Letter | Don't let the new transit center get overrun with drugs, crime

Editor:

In response to the opening of the Kirkland Transit Center on Feb. 25.

But the big question is will the city provide the kind of police presence necessary to prohibit the historically ongoing problems of loitering and drug use and sales down there. The problem of the transient youth population, along with the Kirkland youth that likes to live a transient-type lifestyle even though they actually have homes to go to, has been added to by the presence of the Kirkland Teen Union Bldg/Friends of Youth in the park, the open space of the park itself, and by the ease of access for drug traffic coming into Kirkland via the transit center.

Anyone familiar with the situation (affected parents, LWSD administration, KPD, victims of the crime, property destruction and graffiti, and the juvenile courts) knows that this is a trifecta centered around the transit center has resulted in ongoing struggles for the city and it's inhabitants - youth crime, truancy and drug use.

It could be looked at that these are simply a few bad kids, the problems of a few bad families. But those who really understand the situation know that there are generations of these kids, and they pull the "mainstream" kids into their lifestyles, to varying degrees, so no Kirkland kid is really untouched by it.

And all of Kirkland is affected by the drugs coming in on the bus lines, with the dealers hopping right onto the next bus and getting out of town as quickly as they came in. Drugs create crime, decline in property values, unsafe environments, etc.

So I ask the city, why don't you have 24 hour a day foot patrols in the park, and at the transit center?

Police presence would do a lot to deter the ongoing activities down there that Kirkland neither wants nor needs. Enacting a curfew in city parks would also help, but would do no good unless there was someone there to watch the activity.

The City and County took one year to create this "attractive" transit center. Let's not let the ugly activities that have always surrounded the transit center undo the good that was done.

Julie Devine