LETTER | Neighbors Waiting Since September And No Response From City Regarding Unsafe Driveway Conditions


Dear Editor:


In September, hundreds of citizens submitted a petition to the City Council regarding unsafe driveway conditions on Lake St S / Lake Washington Blvd.  That petition was accompanied by the five questions below, and a request for the City to provide a response to each of the questions.  Citizens heard that the city was having item # 2 "looked into" but never heard more than that.  When will the citizen's hear?  When will the city respond?


The most concerning is that the developer of Potala Village Kirkland - Kirkland Aqua - Lobsang Dargey continues to try and push for an additional driveway that is in direct conflict with the city's MANDATORY driveway policies and will multiply the dangerous conditions with approximately 100 cars per hour (more than all of the other driveways combined).  He has never shown that a driveway onto 10th, as originally directed by the city, would cause complete inability to use his property.  Should he be allowed to put the safety of a large number of people at risk merely because he prefers a Lake St driveway for economic reasons (e.g. squeeze in more units)???


City Council and Staff, we again submit the questions that we asked in September with our petition.  Staff led you through a long winded discussion about concurrency during an agenda item which listed our petition.  Not one of our questions was about concurrency so their discussion might as well have been about pet licenses, it was completely off topic.  Please review and respond to the items brought forward for answers before another month goes by.


1)  Have you reviewed the extensive input provided by the citizens about unsafe conditions along Lake Washington Blvd / Lake St S?  These have been letters, emails, petitions, testimony at city council meetings and now picketing of the boulevard by 35 “redshirts” during two evenings this past week.


2)  Have you researched why the city of Kirkland provided INCORRECT information claiming no collisions when the citizens provided WSDOT data showing numerous collisions on the boulevard including several vehicle-bicycle or vehicle-pedestrian accidents?  (Let’s not forget that some of the slow-moving accidental “taps” never get reported and could end up with worse outcomes)


3)  Since the citizens alerted you to the need for video data when traffic is in a queue, (not an expensive supplement), did you insist that the new traffic report include video?


4)  As our electeds, you have either a fiduciary duty, or a duty of reasonable care to investigate and/or cure unsafe conditions. Currently those properties that can only ingress or egress onto the arterial have NO SAFE GAPS for ingress/egress.  What are you doing to fix this?


5)  As our electeds, you have been notified that a developer wants to have one driveway in a location where more than 100 cars per hour (nearly one every 45 seconds) will have to ingress/egress onto a street where there are no safe gaps to do so.  The driveway, additionally, is in conflict with MANDATORY driveway policies of the city and in conflict with national industry recommendations.  Additionally, other developments that have the opportunity to have access from the side street have required this for years. ARE YOU IRRESPONSIBLY TURNING A BLIND EYE?  …  or are you willing to fulfill your responsibilities to the citizens of Kirkland (both the neighbors and the others that utilize the arterial for transportation and or recreation, by car, bike, foot, walker, scooter, etc).



Karen Levenson