New rule ensures bike lanes are clear of parked cars
Kirkland’s City Council voted on Sept. 6, to adopt an ordinance that will improve safety for bicycle riding throughout the City by ensuring bike lanes are clear of parked vehicles.
The ordinance will take effect this week, but police officers will only issue warnings for the first month as residents are familiarized with the new law. By mid-November, officers will begin citing drivers with a $45-fine for parking in marked bike lanes.
“Kirkland’s goal is to create streets that are safe and accessible for all modes of travel, and all ages and abilities,” said Kirkland Transportation Manager Joel Pfundt. “Making sure that bike lanes are free of parked vehicles is one way we can make the streets a little bit safer and more convenient for the traveling public.”
The proposed ordinance exempts instances of “incidental encroachment from adjacent designated parking”—areas where parked automobiles might extend by a few inches into the bike lane.
“On Market Street, for example, some residents’ vehicles can’t fit completely in the parking stall,” said Kirkland Traffic Sergeant Nathan Rich. “We are not going to cite those people. If it’s incidental encroachment, it’s not a factor.”
The ordinance applies to all of Kirkland’s existing 49 lane-miles of bike lanes, as well as the bike lanes the City will create in the future.