Council Approves School Zone Camera Pilot, City Welcomes Community Van, Major Investments at 132nd Square Park

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this week in kirkland

March 6, 2019

city of kirkland washington

City Council Approves School Zone Safety Camera Pilot

School Zone Camera

The City Council took action during their meeting on Tuesday, March 5, to authorize a school zone safety camera pilot at Rose Hill Elementary School and Kamiakin Middle School/John Muir Elementary School.

Aside from the goal of traffic safety, the secondary goal of the project is to encourage people to use alternative modes to school (walk, bike) other than automobiles. The pilot is scheduled to begin in September at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, and only warnings will be issued for the first 30 days that the cameras are in operation. Photo enforcement cameras will operate 30 minutes before and after the start of school and 30 minutes before and after the end of school (based on individual school start and stop times). Cameras near John Muir Elementary and Kamiakan Middle School will overlap to allow enforcement consistent with each school’s start and stop times. Cameras will not operate when school is not in session, and signs will be placed to clearly indicate to drivers that they are entering a zone where traffic laws are enforced by an automated traffic safety camera.

The fine for exceeding the school zone speed limit (20 mph) for speeds over 25 mph will be at $136 per incident. A graduated fine of $250 per incident will be issued for speeds over 30 mph. All fines will go to the City and will be used first to cover the cost of the enforcement program. Any revenue in excess of the cost of program will go to costs associated with traffic safety personnel and projects in the Transportation Capital Improvement Plan, Neighborhood Safety Program, and Safer Routes to School Action Plans that improve school safety and pedestrian and bicycle safety, including but not limited to, sidewalks, crosswalk improvements, lighting, rapid flashing beacons, bicycle facilities, trails and signage.

The two pilot locations were chosen based on information regarding traffic volumes, speed data and feedback from traffic enforcement officers.  Based on the data, two schools were recommended as sites for automated traffic safety cameras – John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School and Rose Hill Elementary. These two locations had the highest traffic volumes and incidence of excessive speed.

For more information please see the FAQ on the City website,, or contact Kellie Stickney at


City of Kirkland Welcomes King County Metro Community Van Program

Community Van

In February, the City of Kirkland and King County Metro launched the North Kirkland Community Van rideshare program, a 2-year pilot program meant to enhance public transportation opportunities for residents in the north Kirkland neighborhoods of Finn Hill, Juanita and beyond.

The community van is stationed at the North Kirkland Community Center, located at 12421 103rd Avenue N.E., and is used to provide one-time and recurring transportation services to residents whose needs can’t be met by regular bus service. The van can be used seven days a week during the day and in the evenings, is fully ADA-accessible and can accommodate a driver and up to five passengers. An 11-passenger van may be requested for trips requiring additional capacity, however, the larger van is not equipped with an accessibility ramp.

Trips require a minimum of two passengers and can be routed to a variety of places throughout the City.

Recurring trips to popular destinations may be scheduled to meet the needs of our community.  Do you have suggestions for trips in your neighborhood that are not supported by bus routes? Let us know!

“Community Van is a fun and innovative new way to share rides,” said Community Transportation Coordinator Armaghan Baghoori. “We are interested in hearing from our Finn Hill and Juanita community members to learn more about how the van can accommodate their needs.”

Volunteer drivers ride for free, while passengers pay a standard one-way Metro fare per round trip. Existing transit customers can use the monthly pass on their ORCA cards to pay the fare, while riders without ORCA cards can pay the fare by downloading the Transit GO Ticket app.

All trips are scheduled through Armaghan, who matches trip requests with available drivers. Each trip is published online on the community van schedule page, and open for other riders to join.

The van can also be used for special community events and functions. If a community member is interested in attending a performance at the Kirkland Arts Center with a group of friends, they can complete the driver screening process and use the van on a one-time basis. The screening process is completed by King County Metro and takes approximately two weeks.

For more information about the North Kirkland Community Van, please visit our website at: The North Kirkland Community Center does not operate the community van. To request a trip or submit a trip suggestion, contact Armaghan Baghoori at or 425-587-3924.

City Reaches out to Evergreen Hill Neighborhood to Discuss Major Infrastructure Investments at 132nd Square Park

Parks Department

City staff will be discussing major investments to 132nd Square Park during the monthly Evergreen Hill Neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, March 20.    

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Friends of Youth building at 13116 NE 132nd Street. Attendees will learn about two projects happening at the park: design of a stormwater retrofit project underneath the park; and a Park Master Plan process. Community members will be able to ask questions and share concerns with City staff during the March 20 meeting, and then will have the opportunity to attend a follow-up Open House on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Totem Lake Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 13220 NE 132nd Street, Kirkland, at the northeast corner of NE 132nd Street and 132nd Avenue NE.

Stormwater Retrofit

The City of Kirkland is undergoing a project in 132nd Square Park to better manage stormwater in the Totem Lake and Juanita Creek basin. The project is currently in the design phase, thanks to a grant from the Department of Ecology, and construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2020. Heavy rains and snowmelt can overwhelm the Totem Lake and Juanita Basin drainage systems, flooding streets, sidewalks and homes. This project ensures that the enhanced stormwater system will capture and detain enough stormwater to reduce the risk of flooding. Kirkland’s consultant will be testing soil in mid-March to understand how water moves through the soil under the park. The testing will take a week to complete. During this time, some large trucks and machinery will be parked nearby. When construction starts in spring of 2020, crews will be doing extensive digging in the park to create a large underground vault for managing stormwater flows. The City is using this opportunity to consider what amenities should be installed over the completed stormwater project. So that the City can fully consider the usefulness of the park to both neighbors and the broader community, the City has initiated a Master Plan Process.

Park Master Plan Process

To solicit input on the community’s values and interests, the City will conduct a planning and public outreach process to develop a Park Master Plan to inform the design of park amenities. During the Park Master Plan process City staff will explore the possibility of synthetic turf and lights at the site. The 2015 Kirkland Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan (PROS Plan), identified that, “Kirkland’s existing and popular sport programs outstrip the capacity of current fields. With projected future population growth and growing participation in team sports, the City and local sports leagues will need to properly maintain existing field resources, use existing sites more efficiently and effectively and/or acquire and develop additional field space to meet demands.” Given the community need for sports fields demonstrated in the PROS Plan, and the potential opportunities for efficiencies by aligning park upgrades with the stormwater project, the City is looking to determine whether construction of park improvements (such as synthetic turf and lighting) should proceed after the stormwater improvements.

“The City recognizes that we have an opportunity to better manage stormwater in the Totem Lake and Juanita Creek basin while exploring if improvements such as synthetic turf and lights can provide an additional benefit to our community,” said Parks and Community Services Director Lynn Zwaagstra. “Examining the potential for efficiencies by looking at these construction projects concurrently also aligns with the City’s commitment to be a responsible steward of public funds.” 

More information about the project is available on the City website. Questions about the upcoming soil testing and stormwater retrofit project can be directed to Outreach Coordinator Christian Knight, (425) 587-3831,; Senior Project Engineer Aparna Khanal, (425) 587-3827, Questions regarding the Master Plan for 132nd Square Park can be directed to Mary Gardocki, Park Planning and Development Manager, (425) 587-3311,


Dog Doogity, we've got to bag it up.

Dog Doogity

Upcoming Events

See Something, Say Something

See Something, Say Something

Fire Station 26, 9930 124th Ave NE.

Monday, March 11, 7 p.m

We can all help to keep our community safe from threats of terrorism by being aware of suspicious activities and reporting them to the proper authorities.

Join Juli Gundermann from the Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Fusion Center to learn more about behaviors that could be of concern and how to report them properly. Detective Gundermann will take the class through several scenarios of recent terrorism incidents and point out how things might have turned out differently if someone had reported them.

 Register at

124th Street Project



Open House for 124th Ave NE Project

Kirkland Justice Center (11750 NE 118th Street) in Totem Lake

Tuesday, March 12, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

An open house on Tuesday, March 12, will offer the public an early look at how a five-lane 124th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 116th and 124th streets, will better accommodate driving, walking and bicycling.

Previously scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, the open house was postponed due to unsafe driving conditions caused by the recent snow storm. The March 12 open house takes place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kirkland Justice Center (11750 NE 118th Street) in Totem Lake. An online open house is currently underway. During the open house community members can view concepts for the corridor and provide feedback on them. 

Visit or contact Senior Project Engineer Aparna Khanal,, (425) 587-3827 or Christian Knight, outreach,, (425) 587-3831.

Race and Equity Summit Registration

2nd Annual Eastside Race and Leadership Summit

Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE

Friday, March 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Join the Eastside Race and Leadership Coalition for a day of information and inspiration!

The summit is geared toward people doing equity work in East King County, but all are welcome. We encourage equity advocates from throughout the Puget Sound region to come connect and learn from each other.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Jimmy Matta, Mayor of Burien, WA, Kalika Curry, Community Impact Manager for Eastside Pathways

Attendees will participate in breakout sessions following each keynote to dive deeper into conversations, network, and explore tangible action steps they can take in their community work in the coming months.