Mixed Messages on Sidewalks in Kirkland, Washington
In Kirkland News, Kirkland WA, Schools on October 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm
Mixed messages about the importance of sidewalks in Kirkland? First, I received a message from Karen Story giving the Kirkland Highlands neighborhood an update on this year’s neighborhood connections project. I went out before the rains started last week to take photos of the sidewalks that were finished in The Kirkland Highlands as part of the Neighborhood Connections project. If you recall, this was The Highlands year to receive $29,000 grant for neighborhood improvement projects of our choosing. First there’s the Cotton Hill Park trail ($5000):
The widening and new paving of the sidewalk along 116th Ave NE north of 92nd ($6500):
The paving of the section of 116th between 88th and 94th (partially complete, cost TBD):
The corner of 116th and NE 87th is still experiencing too many accidents to move forward on this part of the grant. Still to come is the corner of NE 87th and 112th, by the Kiosk. Several neighbors have been cleaning up the 112th entrance to the neighborhood.
The neighborhood voted for mostly trails and sidewalk projects to help improve our neighborhood. Sidewalks are obviously a priority to Highlands’ residents.
This week, Karen sent another email out to The Highlands from KAN, The Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhood about the change in the city’s plans or sidewalks as they relate to our schools. Here’s a copy of the email message:
“I learned earlier in the week that the City staff have dropped sidewalks around elementary schools as the top priority for sidewalks. It appears that the staff is not using “within 1/4 mile of schools” as a top priority for sidewalks.To my knowledge the change was made without consulting the Neighborhoods and possibly without consulting the City Council. If sidewalks close to schools are a top priority for our Neighborhoods and our City, we need to press the City staff hard on the issue of sidewalks around elementary schools. For our most vulnerable population, we have let school kids slip back into the multi-page prioritization list that we determined several years ago was not working adequately.
The City is seeking public input on a revision to the non-motorized transportation plan. I would like to see our residents, and maybe our Neighborhood Associations, send a strong message that sidewalks around elementary schools must be the City’s top priority. Our expressions can go a long way to raising the issue that the policy appears to have changed without notice. To get the most responses, it is often best to draft a message that expresses the issues and encourage the writer to personalize their message.”
Sidewalks, safety, and school kids are a priority for The Kirkland Highlands. Let the City know how you feel and send an email message.