Message from Fire Chief Sanford, Homeowner Tree Removal Code, traffic updates and more!

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this week in kirkland

October 16, 2019

city of kirkland washington

A Safety Message from Fire Chief Joe Sanford

Chief Joe Sanford

If you happened to see the Seattle Times this morning you may have read that the "Big Dark" has arrived. The parade of storms headed are way over the next few days signifies the start of the wet and gloomy season. The good news is that Pacific Northwesterners are not known for being scared of a little rain. However, it's important for us to be proactive about being seen when we're out walking and biking this time of year. It's also important for drivers to be extra aware of their surroundings on these dark days and nights, which means slowing down and using extra caution. 

Here are a few tips for being seen this winter:

  • Wear reflective gear when biking or walking. This can include head lamps, hi-visibility jackets, pants and shoes with reflective material. There are also free apps you can download for your phone that can help increase your visibility (see video below). 
  • Walk facing traffic so you can react quickly.
  • When walking, always use sidewalks and off-road, multi-use paths when possible. Stay off the street and bike lanes to avoid danger.
  • Don’t assume others see you. Take extra precautions and always be alert when crossing the street or using crosswalks.
  • Keep your head up, looking for hazards 10–15 feet in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions that can cause you to lose focus. Looking at your phone or even listening to music should be avoided at night so you can be more aware of your surroundings and react when needed.

Thank you for doing your part while driving, walking or riding a bicycle to make sure that we're all safe and seen during these darker months. 

ped safe app on iphone

Tree Code Update: Homeowner Tree Removal

Did you know that the City of Kirkland is in the process of updating the tree code? In a series of videos, we’ll share information about the tree code update process, the current code, the proposed changes to the code, and we’ll let you know how you can get involved. In this second video we’re focusing on our code regarding homeowner tree removal. The first video, which introduces the tree code update, is available on the City website. More information can be found on the Tree Code Update page on the City website.

homeowner tree removal video part two cover

Two Opportunities to Help our Community get Prepared this Fall!

volunteers with pretend injuries laying on the floor at a CERT drill event

The City’s Office of Emergency Management invites the community to take a more active role in emergency preparedness and is offering two fun and interactive ways to get involved!

This week, community members are invited to learn more about how to stay safe in the event of an earthquake. Join OEM staff, first responders and other Kirkland residents from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” with millions of people worldwide during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. This free class give you the chance to learn all about Kirkland’s seismic risk, safety actions you can take, and debunk some common earthquake myths.

And yes, you will get to practice your best "Drop, Cover, Hold On!"

Thursday’s Great Shakeout class takes place at Kirkland Fire Station 26, located at 9930 124th Ave. N.E. in Kirkland. All are welcome! Sign up online! 

If you love being part of a team, the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is seeking volunteers for its 2019 disaster drill, which takes place 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 2. This dynamic event is meant to realistically simulate what would happen during a devastating earthquake, allowing CERT members to engage in search and rescue efforts as they work to uncover injured “victims.” CERT members will transport “survivors” to a staged triage area for injury stabilization and treatment, where they’ll practice dressing wounds and providing medical assistance.    

Volunteers are needed to portray earthquake victims, complete with fake wounds using special effects makeup in order to add a sense of realism to the drill.

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old to participate and minors must have permission from a parent or guardian. This event takes place at Kirkland City Hall, at 123 5th Ave. Lunch and refreshments will be served. To register as a CERT disaster drill volunteer, please visit: For more information, please email: or visit the Office of Emergency Management page on the City website. 

Traffic Updates for October 17 to October 23

Each week we will provide an ongoing list of Kirkland’s capital projects that will affect traffic. We will list new projects first. 

Elementary School Walk Route Enhancements – Northeast 104th Street

Kirkland’s School Walk Routes contractor will continue directing traffic this week onto one lane of Northeast 104th Street, between 126th and 132nd avenues northeast. A-1 Landscaping and Construction will operate the lane-closure from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. while its crews build a new sidewalk that will enable Mark Twain Elementary School students to walk to school. 

Totem Lake Gateway Project

Night construction continues for the first in a series of infrastructure projects in Totem Lake.   Marshbank Construction will be closing one lane of Totem Lake Boulevard, just north of the intersection of Totem Lake Boulevard and Northeast 124th Street nightly through early November.  Working hours are between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Please drive cautiously through the work zone. Once work on this series is complete in early November, work will be suspended until early spring. For more information on the Totem Lake Gateway Project, visit:

Goat Hill Stormwater Upgrade

Commuters traveling along Juanita Drive should continue to expect traffic delays near Juanita Beach Park until early November while Kirkland’s contractor wraps up a vital upgrade to the Goat Hill stormwater system. Grade, Incorporated’s construction crews have finished installing the 30-inch stormwater pipe across Juanita Drive and will work to connect to the new pipe on Northeast 116th Place. Once completely installed, Grade, Incorporated will repave the trench. Flaggers will direct traffic through the work zone, when necessary. 

Third Street Water Main Upgrade 

Shoreline Construction plans to close one of Central Way’s lanes on Tuesday and Wednesday while its crews complete some of the last tasks on the Third Street water main upgrade. Shoreline is on schedule to complete the upgrade and pave Third Street by the end of October. The City of Kirkland’s crews will also continue the one-block closures along Third Street, between Central Way and Seventh Avenue. During the lane-closures, a uniformed police officer will control traffic at the intersection. Flaggers and detour signs will direct traffic around the work zone during road closures along Third Street. For more information, visit:

124th Avenue Northeast Sidewalk

Kirkland’s project engineers expect Allied Construction to complete the new sidewalks along the west side of 124th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 90th and 108th streets, by the end of October. The new sidewalk will create a continuous walkway between South Rose Hill and Totem Lake, after planned private development occurs. For more information, visit:

Sixth Street Improvements 

Kirkland’s Contractor, Lakeside Industries, will be working along Sixth Street between Fourth Avenue and Northeast 68th Street, re-installing the utility lids for the water and sewer mains previously upgraded underneath the street.  Work for this task will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The contractor is planning to re-stripe the arterial’s travel lanes overnight when conditions are right.  We cannot provide an exact time for this task, but the City expects it to occur within the next two weeks.   Once the road is permanently striped, the City will activate the new four-way traffic signals at Sixth Street and Ninth Avenue South.

At times we may share private development projects that are impacting major arterials. These are provided as a courtesy, please check apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT -  Central Way & Third Street

Private development at the northeast corner of Central Way and Third Street will impact traffic intermittently as the property is developed. W.G. Clark has erected fencing around the work site, temporarily eliminating the parking along Central Way.  This project will bring Bartell Drugs to downtown Kirkland, with residential housing above the retail store.  

Find your Perfect Volunteer Match at the Viva Volunteers Fair

Volunteering is important, no matter what age you are. The Kirkland Senior Council, EvergreenHealth and the City of Kirkland sponsor a volunteer fair each October to help would-be volunteers find their passion, whether it is helping adoptable animals, food banks, the environment, Kirkland Parks and Community Services' events, healthcare, emergency preparedness or building homes for those in need. This year’s Viva Volunteers Fair is on Saturday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Peter Kirk Community Center, 352 Kirkland Avenue.

There will be snacks, coffee and many door prizes to make the day even more interesting!

viva volunters flyer

Upcoming Events

Green Kirkland Day!

Green Kirkland Day

Saturday, October 19

Various locations (visit

Join the Kirkland City Council and the Green Kirkland Partnership in celebrating the thousands of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that volunteers plant across the more than 500 acres of natural areas in Kirkland every year. 

Green Kirkland Day features volunteer events at five parks, including North Rose Hill Woodlands, Watershed, Juanita Bay East, Edith Moulton, and Rose Hill Meadows Park. No experience is necessary, and we encourage volunteers of all ages to join us. Register to volunteer at the event online at

Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty (warm layers and rain gear are encouraged), wear close-toed shoes, and bring a filled water bottle. Tools, training, and gloves will be provided. Lunch will also be provided courtesy of our sponsors: REI, CLIF Bar, PCC Kirkland, and Forterra. More information about volunteering is available on the Green Kirkland Partnership website. This event is made possible by King Conservation District and EarthCorps.

citywide connections map

Citywide Connections Map at Planning Commission 

Tuesday, October 24, meeting starts at 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chamber

Staff will present recommendations to the Planning Commission regarding the Citywide Connections Map civic conversation. More information is available on the Citywide Transportation Connections Map webpage. 

child in monkey costume



Pee Wee Monster Bash

North Kirkland Community Center

Friday, October 25, 10 a.m. to noon

Gather up your ghastly ghouls, miniature monsters and caped crusaders for the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department’s annual costumed Pee Wee Monster Bash!

The 2019 Pee Wee Monster Bash is for preschoolers age one through 5. Your tiny tykes will love our clever collection of kooky Halloween-themed carnival activities, including a cookie walk, swamp fishing for tasty treats, crafts, a monster movement maze, story time and more! Admission to this open house-style event is $15 and kooky costumes are welcome. Please leave your strollers at home so there’s more room for exploration and fun.

Toy prizes will be awarded to all attendees!

This event sells out, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information about the Pee Wee Monster Bash or to register, please visit the City website.