Three neighborhood sidewalk construction projects are now in progress as part of Kirkland’s 2020 Neighborhood Safety Program. The renovations take aim at parts of the city frequently used by residents getting to school by foot or by bicycle, and are set to be completed by November.
The Kirkland City Council recently made it a priority to develop a “Safer Routes to School Action Plan” for each of Kirkland’s public schools in its 2019-20 city work program, according to a press release. As stated in the program, the goals for this plan involve improving public safety, balanced transportation and neighborhoods.
The plan was adopted in part due to regional growth. Because school enrollment has been increasing, traffic issues have been too. To move development forward, city staff has been working in partnership with design professionals, law enforcement, Lake Washington School District, parents, students and neighborhoods to make improvements to routes.
In July, construction commenced on the Highlands project. The plan seeks to offer a safer walking route to Peter Kirk Elementary School by combining 850 linear feet of new sidewalk with pre-existing sidewalk along Northeast 95th Street between 112th and 116th avenues northeast.
These changes will result in a continuous walking path along Northeast 95th Street.
In the North Rose Hill area, two projects, which are currently in progress, will provide safer walking routes for people walking to and from Mark Twain Elementary School.
The first, called the Northeast 104th Street project, constructs 1,700 feet of sidewalk on Northeast 104th Street between 128th and 132nd avenues northeast. The other will result in an additional 580 linear feet of sidewalk on the west side of 126th Avenue Northeast between Northeast 90th and 95th streets.
The latter project is located south of Mark Twain and will connect existing and updated sidewalk. It will create a fully connected sidewalk system along 126th Avenue Northeast. The Northeast 104th Street project is located north of Mark Twain and connects to existing sidewalk on the street.
“These projects are in alignment with city efforts to build connections that help ensure the safety of our residents,” Councilmember John Pascal said in a press release. “All three of these projects connect and extend key walkways in neighborhoods close to schools, creating a more complete system of contiguous sidewalks.”
The city continues to seek input from residents. Community members and neighborhood associations are encouraged to submit project ideas for Kirkland’s neighborhood safety program, which are given a maximum allotted budget of $50,000 per year.
Overall, the city annually awards about $350,000 total for projects related to pedestrian and bike safety in Kirkland.
For more information about current projects, visit the city’s website. Questions can be directed to neighborhood outreach coordinator Christian Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org.