LETTER | Park Lane should not be "Parking" Lane


“Park” Lane, is Park Lane, not “Parking” Lane, just on the west block. Maybe the eastern block by the transit Center could be made one way only and add parking along the side that would be the opposing lane to compensate for loss of spaces on Park Lane. We were there several afternoons and evenings over the last few weeks and it was so busy and vibrant with people wandering down the center, criss crossing from one side to the other, kids running around having a good time, all the outdoor tables filled both at the restaurants and also the ones other merchants have placed in front of their establishments. I understand an occasional delivery or pick-up may need to be made, but all the stores have exterior alley access for that! Most of the time when parking was possible, it was jammed and people were cruising around and around looking for a space when they could have simply spent that time parking within block and walking. 

Also I woke up with a dream about a terrific outdoor plaza space with terraces on each side where people were eating at outdoor tables above walls of greenery. When I looked closer, the green vines were obscuring a parking structure just a little below the grade of the main plaza so the terrace was only five or six feet above that level, making it very accessible for people to interact from one to the other. I was reminded of strolling plazas in Europe and also of a great multi-level shopping area next to the revitalized gaslamp area of San Diego. 
It seems something like this either for the parking lot adjacent to Park Lane, or the former antiques mall, could bring people together with other people without the interference of auto traffic, noise, pollution, grease on the bricks and into the planters, etc.
Kirkland has an incredible opportunity to encourage the downtown to become even more people centered than it already is and not just for special events but ALL the time.

Lora Hein