Letter | SR-520 and South Kirkland Park & Ride will have a negative impact on Kirkland

I submitted the following to the media hoping the citizens of Kirkland will understand the flaw in Council's thinking and action, not their political BS, regarding the South Kirkland Park & Ride.  The key is that the Council will not increase capacity through Kirkland leaving those who use the South Kirkland Park & Ride no place to go when they get off the bus.  Will the added congestion benefit Kirkland?  I don't think so.  To understand what the council has done and what they plan to do is to understand what is not to be done.  I also responded to the affordable housing issue through Kirkland Views on the Internet.  We have many public documents that are based on a 10 percent housing figure.  There's one based on 20 percent and one based on 41 percent.  Pick one.  Making sure that service people can live within their own jurisdiction becomes bogus when you also discuss mass transit.  The goal of mass transit is to provide inexpensive mass transportation in their service area so people can get to and from work, shops, and entertainment.  Jobs and homes can be anywhere negating the need for localized housing.  Recognizing the independent jurisdictional rights of cities to determine their own destiny, the Growth Management Act assigns the duty of locating affordable housing to counties, not cities.   Here's what I submitted to the media. On May 25th, the city conducted a combined meeting of Lakeview and Central Houghton neighborhoods at which transportation representatives from METRO, the transportation commission, and the city’s Transportation Engineer Manager Mr. David Godfrey presented information on how the expansion of SR-520 will impact Kirkland.  During his opening remarks, Mr. Godfrey and the other speakers said it would benefit Kirkland.   I asked how. Many more cars (at least 250) will find easier access to the south Kirkland’s Park & Ride.  There, the benefit stops.  Since Kirkland’s council has refused to add capacity to its transportation grid system to handle the added traffic, congestion will increase.  The bottle neck of getting through Kirkland using Lake Washington Blvd and 108 Avenue NE will increase congestion, create greater traffic jams , and cause through traffic to use residential side streets to get home.

Mr. Godfrey acknowledged the Council does not want to add capacity.  That only leads to one conclusion – the Council will cause the quality of life in Kirkland to decrease.  As Mr. Ray Steiger, the city’s Public Works Director said, if you think congestion is bad now, just wait until Kirkland’s build out plans are completed.

The plans to expand SR-520 will benefit Kirkland only if cars can find their way through Kirkland.  Most of the traffic from the South Kirkland Park & Ride goes north.  More traffic from SR-520 doesn't help.  SR-520 expansion is funded.  Regional transportation planning is preempting local neighborhoods.  What will this Council do?  Will they protect neighborhoods?  Will they agree to regional plans?   We wouldn't have long to wait.  In the mean time, it doesn't look good for our quality of life in Kirkland.

Bob Style