LETTER | Where Does Density Belong?


The environmental SEPA analysis for the South Kirkland Park & Ride TOD is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't address what happens to the 40 to 60 bus passengers off loading every 15 minutes during rush hour (s) to get into their cars to go home. 

Editor:
Interstate 405 doesn't hack it.  Almost all of those trips go through Kirkland on NE 108th Ave or Lake Washington Blvd, NE which end up in downtown Kirkland.  It has caused gridlock and congestion that are not even mentioned in the report.  Traffic counts are being done at the sites.  Traffic counts are also needed downtown.
The TOD SEPA analysis is fatally flawed.
Can you believe it, the City has declared that the impacts of people getting off the bus or live in the TOD have no significant impact in Kirkland.  See attached City analysis.
In the Growth Management Act, mass transit needs to be supported with sufficient infrastructure in local jurisdictions to accommodate traffic.  Kirkland has not done so.  What are the consequences?
Our Mayor doesn't care.  She, not the citizens, want to determine property densities.  Citizens don't like traffic jams that come with density.  In this case the density problem not only pertains to property.  We have Councilmembers who are proven to be dense.  They don't want what citizens want.  Their irresponsible judgements are supposed to preserve and enhance our quality of life.  So far, their judgements do not.  Higher densities do not belong in Kirkland be it on property or in Councilmembers
Is the TOD part of Kirkland or not.  The SEPA impacts not only affect the local neighborhood, but the entire city particularly downtown.  Nowhere have I seen the Downtown traffic gridlock mentioned in either the analysis by the City of the BN rezone or in Metro's SEPA for the South Kirkland Park & & Ride TOD.
As seen many times before, those who respond to the Request for Proposal bids by jurisdictions for an analysis already know what the report should consist of in order to keep in business.  Without an analysis that reflects what the jurisdiction wants, they're gone.
I suspect bids were also true with the SEPA for the TOD.   The City signed off on the report.  They became responsible.  They probably could have signed off on a staff report regardless without going to bid.  But bid they must.  If the analysis is wrong, they're not to blame.  Or are they?  Think about that as you are sitting in your car going nowhere.
At least once before the Planning Director Eric Shield was wrong and had to reverse his opinion on the "Non-Significance" declaration of the BN rezone.  Most of the mistakes were his.  Irresponsible judgement, probably encouraged by the Mayor, prevailed. After all, he likes his job.  Planners and the public don't need political pressures that cause intellectual density and degradation of the planning profession.
Councilmembers, including the Mayor, should act to sustain and improve our quality of life.
Robert L. Style