Statement from the City Council, Message from Police Chief Harris, Council Recap, 85th Street Station Area Plan Workshop is June 4, Input Needed on Safer Routes to School, King County Plans to Re-Open Limited Business Activity, Traffic Alerts, Upcoming Events and More

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this week in kirkland

June 3, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Statement from the City Council

City Council

This statement was given during the Council meeting on Tuesday, June 2. 

The City Council would like to take a few moments to acknowledge recent events, locally and throughout the nation. As a council, we are united in our steadfast commitment to the values embodied in our February 21, 2017, resolution to be a safe, inclusive and welcoming community. As our country struggles to live up to America’s great promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness during these tumultuous times, the need for city leadership to listen, to support marginalized communities, and then to take action, has never been more important.

During this Council meeting our City Manager will update us on the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus continues to spread, so too does violence and discrimination against people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.  Such actions will not be tolerated.  The science is clear. The virus does not come from any one culture or race. Everyone can contract COVID.  And anyone can transmit it.  We will only overcome this outbreak through unity of purpose and celebration of our shared humanity.

Tonight, we will proclaim Pride Month in the City of Kirkland to once again affirm the dignity of Kirkland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, (LGBTQ) residents, employees and visitors. We proudly fly the pride flag over City Hall and Marina Park. We continue to recognize that the fight for dignity and equality for LGBTQ people is never ending. We appreciate and support the tireless dedication of the people who strive every day to create a more inclusive society.   

But as we recall Stonewall, and the protests and riots for equality from five decades ago, we are overwhelmed with sadness and anger from the actions that caused the protests and riots of today, born of slavery and injustice that began five centuries ago. 

The horrifying death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has broken our hearts and demonstrated once again how far we must go to end structural racism and create equal protection under the law in this nation.  The City Council believes that the decision to charge the officer who killed Mr. Floyd was right and just, and that that he must be prosecuted for his actions. We also believe others who participated in the senseless and wrongful death of Mr. Floyd or allowed it to happen through their inaction must be held accountable.

The Council supports the right of the community to assemble and protest Mr. Floyd’s death. Peaceful, meaningful demonstration is one of the most fundamental constitutional rights of our Republic.  The right to free speech and assembly is at the core of what it means to be an American.

City leadership is also united in our commitment and responsibility to protect our neighbors lives and property. We feel the anger, heartbreak and betrayal expressed by so many in our community and communities across this country.  However, the destructive acts of violence by others do not honor Mr. Floyd. Some of those destructive acts, including many that have occurred locally, are orchestrated by well-organized thieves using peaceful protests as a cover for criminal activity. Mr. Floyd’s family has denounced such violence and so does this Council.  These actions are also harming businesses that are already suffering from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.

We are deeply grateful to the community of Kirkland who protested peacefully over the past few days. We also commend the courageous and dedicated women and men of the Kirkland Police Department who protected Kirkland’s right to assemble, protest and have their voices heard while also keeping our residents and businesses safe.

The recent protests are necessary to raise awareness of painful and systemic racism that still plagues our nation.  We support the right to free speech, the right to assemble, and the fight for equality, justice and accountability.

There can be no successful path forward without our society, especially white people, reaching a deeper understanding of our role in systemic racism. For justice to be served for victims like George Floyd and many others, we all need to ask ourselves hard questions about our own prejudices, biases and belief systems. And as a Council, we must take actions to create change in our community.

As a Council, we are prepared and willing to do the hard work to move our City forward.  We will listen. We will strive for understanding and empathy. And then we will work every day to reject racism as experienced in our economy, our social interactions, and our systems of justice. Together we can build a collective force that bends the arc of our country's future toward a more just and equitable society.

To all in our community and throughout the U.S. whose lives are directly impacted by racism and discrimination, we are sorry.  We can and will do better.  We will continue working together to ensure that Kirkland is a safe, inclusive, and respectful community for everyone.

In closing, our deepest sympathies go to the Floyd family for the loss of their loved one.  We will have a few moments of silence this evening – First, we’ll have one minute of silence for Mr. Floyd and his family; In addition, we’ll have one minute of silence for all those who have lost their lives unjustly at the hands of law enforcement over the years. And finally we will have one minute of silence to reflect on the justified anger and pain caused by the generations of racism and hatred in our country, and additionally reflect on our own biases, and consider how we can do better, be better, help heal this pain, and commit to the work ahead.

Message From Police Chief Cherie Harris

Police Chief Cherie Harris

In light of the tragic in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I wanted to speak directly to our community. On Thursday, May 28 I shared a message with all of the officers of the Kirkland Police Department. I encouraged them, as difficult as it might be, to view the video footage of the event. I told them that as police officers we need to see Mr. Floyd’s calls for help and hear him say repeatedly that he cannot breathe, because we must face this tragedy head-on. As law enforcement, we cannot pretend that what happens in Minneapolis doesn’t cast a shadow on all of us.

All officers of the Kirkland Police Department have sworn an oath, “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution and the community I serve…” I was especially disheartened by the officers who stood by and did nothing. I’m proud to say that on numerous instances I’ve heard Kirkland officers holding each other accountable and doing what is right, as they have sworn to do. I promise you that I will continue to foster the culture of accountability that exists within our department.

Each of our officers puts themselves in harm’s way every day, they have a right to go home, unharmed to their loved ones. That also means ensuring that when they use force that “no reasonable alternative to the use of force appeared to exist and that the amount of force used was reasonable to effect the lawful purpose intended”. These aren’t just words we memorize in the Academy, but words we live by. Every officer in our department completes ongoing de-escalation and mental health training. Our officers receive, on average, 20 hours per year of violence de-escalation and mental health training. Annual training consists of two days of skills training in de-escalation, including crisis intervention, verbal de-escalation, and physical de-escalation. These skills are then applied in a full day of live scenario training.

However, with all this said, I know that this is not enough. In order to serve our community in the way we are committed to, and the way Kirkland deserves, we must also actively pursue open and honest dialogue with all members of our community, and we must be willing to have difficult conversations in order to build relationships of trust. We must act on what we learn. We know this is hard work, and we are committed.

I am proud of our Kirkland police officers. I grieve for the family and friends of George Floyd. I grieve for the people of Minneapolis. In Kirkland, we are committed to doing our part to heal our nation and to bring honor to our profession. Today that means that we stand together to denounce the actions that led to the death of George Floyd.

Council Recap

Pride flag image

Pride Month Proclamation

On Tuesday, June 2, the City Council proclaimed June as Pride Month in Kirkland. This proclamation affirms the dignity of Kirkland residents, employees and visitors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ).

The rainbow LGBTQ “pride flag” is being flown over City Hall and in Marina Park to affirm the City’s commitment to be a safe, inclusive and welcoming community that is open to everyone and where all people can be themselves without fear of discrimination or violence.

This June of 2020 marks the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which ignited on June 28, 1969. You can read the proclamation on the City website.  

Bike Everywhere Month Proclamation

The Council also proclaimed June as Bike Everywhere Month, an annual recognition meant to promote greater public awareness of bicycle operations while helping Kirkland become a more walk- and bike-friendly community. Part of the Bike Month recognition is the designated Bike Everywhere Day, which takes place Friday, June 19. City supported Bike Everywhere Day celebrations and activities will be consistent with public health guidelines and recommendations for social distancing.  

Totem Lake Connector Bridge Project Update

The City Council unanimously passed Resolution 5426, which rejects all bids received for construction of the Totem Lake Connector Bridge and authorizes a new call for bids. This project continues the Cross Kirkland Corridor across the intersection of N.E. 124th Street and Totem Lake Boulevard, providing a safe connection for pedestrians and bicyclists in the Totem Lake region. The City received four responsive bids during the initial bidding period, which extended from January through March. The bids came in higher than predicted by the engineer's estimate, causing the project cost to exceed what was available for the project at the time of bid opening. The City has applied for contingency funding from the Puget Sound Regional Council to help address the gap.

Click here for more information about this agenda item.

Kirkland Way Low Clearance Bridge at the Cross Kirkland Corridor 

The City Council discussed options for reducing vehicle collisions with the Kirkland Way bridge at the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The vertical clearance of the bridge is 11.5 feet, lower than current minimum bridge standards, and despite warning signs is frequently struck by over-height vehicles. The Council requested additional information on potential solutions and will discuss further at a future meeting.  

COVID-19 Update

City Manager Kurt Triplett provided an update on the City's COVID-19 response. The update focused on the City's summer lifeguard program, the operations of City boards and commissions and information about the City's efforts to safeguard against criminal intrusion during the recent peaceful protests. View the update here

Image for June 2 COVID update

Online Workshop for the N.E. 85th Street Station Area Plan is June 4

The City is hosting a live, online workshop for the NE 85th Street Station Area Plan on June 4th at 6 p.m. Join us to help develop concepts for the plan. We want to hear your vision for the area, and any concerns you might have. Register for the workshop here!

Station area image

Safer Routes to School: Your Input is Needed

Safe Routes to Schools

The City Council directed staff to work with Kirkland neighborhoods, parents and PTAs to develop a prioritized list of walk and bike improvements to make it easier and safer for children to walk and bike to the bus and school.

The walk recommendations resulted from a year-long public engagement process and engineering analysis of Kirkland’s transportation network.  More than 550 suggested projects were reviewed and analyzed by both City engineering staff and an independent engineering consultant.

Voting: In June, the City wants to get your input on the preliminary list of walk recommendations. Which ones do you think are most important for your school/neighborhood? Anyone can vote, even if you don’t have school age children. There are three ways to provide input.

  1. Neighborhood Zoom Meeting: The walk recommendations and instructions for online voting will be presented during neighborhood zoom meetings. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification on specific projects, and learn how to vote. Click here (or see attached PDF) to see when your neighborhood zoom meeting is scheduled.
  2. Online: You can access information regarding Safer Routes to School Action Plans online.  After June 1, you can vote for your top three walk recommendations online. 
  3. Email or phone: Voting can be done by contacting Kari Page at or (425) 587-3875.

You are encouraged to walk (or drive) by the projects with your school age children and vote together. Note you will be asked to pick your top three projects. Each household can only vote once. Additional information about the City’s technical prioritization criteria is also listed online.

The bike recommendations are being developed as part of the Active Transportation Plan update process underway later this summer and are not included in the walk recommendations in June.

Additional information: Contact Kari Page at or call 425-587-3875.

Supporting Kirkland's Small Businesses through COVID-19: We Need to Hear From You

The City of Kirkland’s Economic Development team seeks your feedback as we prepare to move together toward Phase 2 of Washington State’s Reopening Plan, which includes new safety and health requirements for businesses. To help the City learn what you consider are the main obstacles and top strategies for operating your business in a COVID-constrained world, please take a few moments to respond to the survey

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Parks & Community Services Hosts Summer Camp T-shirt Drawing Contest

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Calling all artists!

Get out your pencils, markers, paints and crayons and design our 2021 Summer Day Camp t-shirt. Kids five through 11 years old can submit a drawing, using just three colors, by June 30, 2020. We will select one masterpiece that will be printed on next summer’s Day Camp shirts. Submit your design, name and age, and optional description, to Kirkland Parks & Community Services Department Program Assistant Tami Cobb at: 

For more information on the Kirkland Parks & Community Services Department Safe Start plan for reopening, visit the Parks webpage

Executive Constantine Announces Plan to Re-Open Limited Business Activity in COVID-19 Recovery

KC logo

NOTE: King County submitted its application for the modified phase of the Safe Start reopening plan today (Wednesday, June 3). It will likely take several days to be approved by the state. The County will issue updates as it has them. 

King County Executive Dow Constantine, in consultation with Public Health – Seattle & King County leaders, announced that pending state approval, King County will begin to re-open some business activity with limited or modified openings for a number of sectors.

Working with community, business, and government partners – including the County Council and Board of Health leadership – King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the county is prepared to move forward to allow limited or modified openings for several business sectors and personal activities.

King County has not yet met key criteria to enter Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan and case counts are still unstable, so it will move forward with a modified approach, including partial re-opening of the following businesses and activities:

  • Recreation and fitness
    • Only allowed outdoor with 5 -- not including the instructor -- or fewer people outside of household
  • Gatherings
    • Only allowed outdoor of 5 or fewer people outside the household
  • Additional construction
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Manufacturing operations
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Real estate
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes
  • In-store Retail
    • 15 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes
  • Personal Services
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
  • Professional services
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes for customers
  • Photography
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Pet grooming
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
  • Restaurants
    • No indoor dining allowed
    • Outdoor dining is permitted but seating at 50 percent of existing outdoor capacity.

King County will continue monitoring progress over the course of two weeks, and if metrics are more stable and meeting the state’s criteria, more businesses and activities will reopen in accordance with Phase 2.

“Thanks to the people of King County, whose united efforts have flattened the curve and saved thousands lives, we are ready to continue safely, carefully reopening our economy,” said Executive Constantine. “Our continued vigilance against the virus can help make this a one-way journey from lock-down back to prosperity, and I’m excited that folks will soon be able to support our local businesses by doing simple things like dining at an outdoor restaurant, getting a haircut, or shopping for a summer outfit.

On May 27, Public Health – Seattle & King County released a new dashboard featuring key Indicators, with targets that help inform reopening decisions. Based on trends toward all the targets, public health officials and policymakers believe these openings, done safely, will enable much-needed economic activity while also protecting the public and managing the spread of disease in our community.

"Working together, King County residents have made real progress in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases and the burden on our healthcare system, allowing us to move forward cautiously at this time,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public health – Seattle & King County. “The virus continues to circulate widely and most of us remain susceptible. With increased activities at work and other settings, there will be more opportunities for the virus to spread, so it’s absolutely essential that we sustain significant changes in how we go about our lives for the foreseeable future.”

With the limited re-opening, maintaining the safety principles that led to the success against the outbreak has never been more important. These include continuing to practice physical distancing of 6 feet or more, minimizing contact with others outside the home, frequent hand washing or sanitizer, use of cloth face coverings in public, and avoiding group gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

With testing increasingly available in King County, it’s critical that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 seek a test immediately. Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to family, friends, and the community. Public Health's COVID-19 website has more information about the testing, including to get tested.

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Traffic Alerts for the Week of June 3 through June 9

Holmes Point Drive

The north approach to Holmes Point Drive will be closed tomorrow, June 4 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. City crews will be in cleaning and stabilizing a slope that slid this winter. Work will include removing fallen trees and hydroseeding to restore the slide area. 

Holmes Point Drive map

116th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 70th Place

A City of Kirkland contractor began the paving process June 1 on 116th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 73rd Street and the Houghton Park and Ride’s northwest corner.

To minimize its disruption to traffic flow and to maximize efficiency, Watson Asphalt’s crews will be working nights. The paving project will connect two sections of 116th Avenue Northeast that the City of Kirkland repaved in 2017 and 2018. For more information, visit:

Neighborhood Safety Program

Drivers should expect minor traffic delays at seven locations this month while Kirkland’s contractor implements the 2019 Neighborhood Safety Program.

NPM Construction is improving safety on Lakeview’s Lakeview Drive, Houghton’s 108th Avenue Northeast, North Rose Hill’s Slater Avenue, Kingsgate’s Northeast 132nd Street, Finn Hill’s 87th Avenue Northeast, Norkirk’s Northeast 87th Street and Juanita’s Northeast 120th Street.

NPM Construction will be building these projects until August. For more information, visit:

Totem Lake

Marshbank is continuing to close all but one of Totem Lake Boulevard’s five lanes between Northeast 124th Street and 120th Avenue Northeast. The contractor expects to maintain that closure until mid-June. After June 15, Marshbank plans to re-open one northbound lane and keep open the southbound lane that is already open.

At 120th Avenue Northeast and Totem Lake Way, Marshbank has re-opened the sidewalks to travel. For more information, visit or

Cross Kirkland Corridor

Marshbank Construction is requiring cyclists to walk their bicycles through a 250-foot stretch of the corridor northwest of its intersection with Totem Lake Boulevard while crews complete a few remaining tasks.

For more information, visit or

108th Avenue Northeast

Drivers should continue to expect minor traffic impacts this month on 108th Avenue Northeast while a Kirkland contractor upgrades an aging water and sewer main along the north-to-south arterial.

Marshbank Construction is replacing the two systems—both more than five decades old—to increase their capacities to serve Kirkland’s growing population and to reduce the systems’ needs for maintenance.

That need is most urgent in the sewer line, which runs from Northeast 68th Street to Northeast 53rd Street. Settling soil has created a sag in the sewer line, allowing sewage to accumulate there and requiring maintenance crews to periodically flush the line.

The contractor is also replacing the water main between Northeast 68th and 60th streets.

Marshbank expects to complete the upgrades by Spring 2021. For more information, visit:

Upcoming Events

Friday Market

Juanita Friday Market

3 to 7 p.m., Friday June 5 through September 25, 2020

Juanita Beach Park

The City of Kirkland is excited to welcome you back to the Juanita Friday Market on Friday, June 5! There are big changes this year so before you go, be sure to pre-order your purchases, check-out the drive-thru plans, and see how we'll be handling health & safety issues. And while we'd love to see everyone, if you're in a high-risk group please stay home and send a friend to do your shopping. 

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Kirkland Wednesday Market presented by the Kirkland Downtown Association

3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 through September 23

Marina Park

The Kirkland Downtown Association Wednesday Market opens Wednesday, June 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Marina Park. Please see the new market rules. If possible, please order from market vendors in advance. More information about the Wednesday Market is available at

Kirkland Urban

KU Kids at Home by Kirkland Urban

10 a.m., Saturday, June 13

Virtual Event

KU Kids is now virtual! This free, family-friendly series takes place on the second Saturday of the month from now through August! Join in the fun at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, as Julie from Clown Buggie Entertainment takes over Kirkland Urban’s Facebook page to host a craft-a-long creating melted crayon art on canvas and answering questions along the way. To participate, guests can pick up a free craft kit on Thursday, June 11, from Shake Shack, Mud Bay or Restore at Kirkland Urban. Follow Kirkland Urban on social media (@kirklandurban on Instagram and Kirkland Urban on Facebook) for more details as they are announced, or visit the Kirkland Urban website!

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Kirkland Arts Center 

May 21 through June 24

Reflections, a virtual exhibit

Kirkland Arts Center is excited to share its first virtual exhibition! Step into the KAC gallery from the comfort of your own home and be transported into Reflections: From 1962 to the Future, curated by Donna Lindeman Porter. Find out more at: 

This exhibit an ode to the many creatives and community members who have been part of the legacy of Kirkland Arts Center. This rich exhibition spanning more than four decades of work exemplifies the lasting difference individuals can make when we come together. This show features the work of more than sixty artists, including the renowned Patti Warashina and Tip Toland, and is a tribute to our community and the creative spark within each of us.

Cancelled Events

Because continued physical distancing is critical to halting the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce All Chamber events are cancelled until further notice. For more information, visit:

Kirkland Performance Center All Kirkland Performance Center shows have been postponed until further notice. For more information, visit:

Parks and Community Services Closures

• The Peter Kirk Pool shall be closed for the summer season.
• The North Kirkland Community Center and the Peter Kirk Community Center shall be closed for public use through September 1, 2020 except to provide selected senior services and support for human service needs.
• All public, private and non-profit special events that use City facilities and infrastructure are cancelled through September 1, 2020. Special events may be rescheduled after September 1 if authorized by the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.
• Green Kirkland Partnership restoration events are suspended until September 1, 2020.
• All current parks recreational programming is cancelled through September 1, 2020 to allow City recreation staff to prepare for COVID-19 modified programming after September 1.

For more information on programs and facilities that will be opened in a future phase of the Governor's Safe Start plan visit the City website