Is Transit Oriented Development right for Kirkland?

Definition: Transit Oriented Development

Development that maximizes the use of transit and reduces the use of single occupancy vehicles, by increasing the opportunities to walk, bicycle, carpool or take transit. The center of a TOD neighborhood has a bus or rail station, generally surrounded by higher-density development.

Have you seen what they are planning to do at the South Kirkland Park & Ride? They want to build a huge "affordable housing" Transit Oriented Development complex where there is now a park and ride.

Affordable housing in that location? you ask.

Yes, someone in city hall thinks it is a good idea to spread the wealth so to speak, and put affordable housing in every neighborhood. What kind of sense does that make? Next thing we know there will be a lovely tenement propped up along the waterfront. Be damned with the cost of land as a consideration as to where affordable housing should be placed. Our bull-headed do-gooders know what's best for us.

For those who are itching to call me an elitist or a NIMBY, hold your horses for two seconds. The logic of my argument is as sound as the sky is blue. By putting affordable housing in every neighborhood, we ignore the fact that some areas have higher land values than other areas. Why waste good money on high land costs when that same money could be spent on MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING if only you put it where it makes economic sense.

And speaking of economic sense, what is the logic behind putting 200 units (up to 100 of them are affordable) in a location where there is no retail, hardly any services and the only thing to eat is Burgermaster, The Keg and the convenience store at the gas station on Lake Washington Blvd.?!? All of the people who will live in this Transit Oriented Development will have to jump on the bus or get in a car to get services. Not very eco-friendly in my mind. Wouldn't a Transit Oriented Development be better sited WHERE THERE ARE SERVICES, like Totem Lake?

Now I don't know what "affordable" means these days but I can tell you this: as soon as someone who buys an affordable unit wants to sell it because he can't stand the noise and the smell of diesel bus fumes wafting in his windows, he will sell it AT MARKET RATES!!! Goodbye affordable housing, and hello boondoggle!!!

Bellevue owns half the land in question and wants nothing to do with Kirkland's cockamamie plans. I wonder why no one else is onboard if it is such a good idea?

Both the Lake View neighborhood and the Houghton neighborhood are staunchly against this plan, but those in power have ignored them. If the neighbors are so much against the plan, how can it be such a good idea?

I smell a rat. The South Kirkland Transit Oriented Development is being pushed by some at city hall when it doesn't make sense because they have a different agenda. They want to build as much affordable housing as they can despite what everyone else thinks about it because they think they know what's best for us.

Well I am tired of people thinking they are smarter than everyone else in the room. The neighbors know what's best, not some politicians or bureaucrats in city hall.

Ralph

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Ralph, I don't know how much longer I can put up with your neanderthal reasoning! You would have been a hero to John Rockefeller and Andrew Mellon in the 1800's when they were pillaging the American economy and it's workers. Marie Antoinette, with her "let them eat cake" mentality would have loved you. The lower classes be damned as far as you are concerned. Putting affordable housing next to public transportation is not only sensible, it is in consonance with the Growth Management policies which this state enacted years ago.Where have you been for the last 20 years!?

Sprawl has not worked for anyone and Transit Oriented Development is a smart tactic to try to make it easier for people to get to and from work using public transportation.

By the way, providing affordable housing has been a core value of the state, county and city for years. You would have us build more tent cities?

Of course the Houghton neighborhoods are against this project. They define the term, Not in my back yard, NIMBY. Thanks to them we lost the Lake Washington School District Headquarters and it's good paying jobs. They are against anything and everything progressive in their territory. You talk about Bellevue not wanting any part of the project. Since when is Bellevue a good example of anything forward looking?!? Their city council squabbling is an embarrassment. Kudos to our city council for trying to do the right thing.

Kindest regards,

Gladys

[box](un)common sense is a column featuring personal views on issues from around town as seen through the eyes of  these long-time Kirkland residents.[/box]