2016 survey results reveal high satisfaction and define priorities for the biennial budget process
The 2016 survey results are in and once again Kirkland received top marks as a great place to live. The 2016 telephone survey of City residents addressing livability, services and priorities revealed that 86% of residents think that life in Kirkland is very good or excellent – with the majority of those saying “excellent.”
The City Council has commissioned the survey every other year to gauge the needs and wants of the community during the biennial budgeting process. This year, a random sampling of 502 registered voters living in Kirkland were called during the week of April 25 to May 2nd.
“We’re pleased to see that people love living in our City,” said Mayor Amy Walen. “This survey helps the City understand what is working, what we can improve and the priorities of our citizens when it comes to investing tax dollars.”
The overall survey ratings are consistent with previous years, but the positive feeling has increased steadily. When asked what they like best about living in Kirkland, respondents cite location, proximity to amenities and the small town feeling, followed by access to the water. Their main concerns include over-development and traffic. This survey revealed that more people are satisfied with the availability of stores than in previous years, and a strong majority (83%) like the mix of goods and services available in the City.
Safety isn’t much of a concern during the daylight hours, an overwhelming majority (97%) say they feel safe walking in their neighborhood, but when darkness falls, people feel a little less safe (82%) and almost one in five (15%) feel unsafe. Crime and lighting issues are the leading issues for those who don’t feel safe.
City services, including fire, emergency medical and police are considered extremely important by respondents (60%) followed by pedestrian safety, City parks, maintaining streets and the solid waste and recycling programs. Residents were satisfied with the City’s performance for the services of highest important, rating Fire and Emergency Medical services at 4.66 on a scale of 1-5 and Police services at 4.41.
“The City recognizes traffic congestion is one of our top challenges,” said Kirkland City Council Member Shelley Kloba. “Our goal is to provide options for our residents to get to school, work and play. Therefore we have adopted a Transportation Master Plan that proposes $274 million between now and 2035 in streets, transit, sidewalks, bike lanes and an intelligent traffic signal network. In the currently adopted capital improvement program, Kirkland will invest over $102 million in transportation projects in six years. This includes $29.4 million in street maintenance, $20 million in intersection improvements, including $1.4 million in smart signal technology (ITS), $19.4 million in street projects, and $34 million in sidewalks and school walk routes, trails, bike lanes, and crosswalks.”