There seems to be a disconnect in Kirkland. Many folks moved here thinking they lived in the suburbs. But is that still true today? Will it be true in 20 years?
In my mind, Kirkland is most certainly a suburb of Seattle and Bellevue. But your perspective may be different. If I wanted to live in Seattle, I would have moved there instead of Kirkland. In Seattle, I would have enjoyed more public transportation choices and have easy access to more dining and entertainment options as well. On the flip side, I would have had to put up with more density, more noise, more crime, more drugs, more homelessness, etc.
I chose to live in Kirkland because I like the quality of life we have here. But over the past decade, I have seen a shift in focus from City Hall toward more urban standards: more density, and generally making life more difficult for the vast majority of us who (gasp!) drive cars.
Yes, I am a blasphemer to the Mass Transit Über Alles crowd. I like parking lots. I find they make life convenient. One can leave one's house and drive to near the location one wishes to go. Some would have us take bus to a train to another bus and then walk half a mile. In the rain. Uphill. Both ways.
Do you think Kirkland is urban or suburban? Kirkland is undergoing some major developments in both downtown (Parkplace now called Kirkland Urban) and Totem Lake Mall (please don't rename it "Totem Urban". We don't need another development named after a smooth jazz radio station). Demographic shifts and projected population growth indicates major changes ahead for the Eastside. Kirkland is already the most densely populated city in the region. Will we maintain that relative density or will we let our neighbors catch up to us? What do you want?