Summary of general HNA meeting from May 18 2022

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May 23, 2022, 1:16:10 AM5/23/22
to Highlands Neighborhood Association

Notes from Debbie:

Officer Aksdal spoke about the areas he is in charge of, including traffic, canine units and others. KPD is nearly fully staffed (106 out of 108 positions), but a handful of those officers are still completing their training and are not working on their own. He mentioned the online tools the KPD has to study use of force incidents, and calls. Both are interesting. He pulled up the most recent data for the Highlands. There were a couple of DUIs, and a robbery that was next door at the Kirkland maintenance area by the CKC.

Most of the meeting was taken up with presentations by Sound Transit on their part, and some on WSDOT's part, of the Bus Rapid Transit project. It's now scheduled to go out to bidders for the conctruction at the end of this year and they anticipate starting work early in 2023, I think that's what she said. Anticipated opening of the 85th BRT station is 2026. Questions from Highlands residents focused mostly on noise impacts and traffic/parking impacts from the pick-up drop-off (PUDO)  area. In the southeast corner of our neighborhood there won't be any new sound walls because it didn't meet the reasonableness criteria (not enough houses were affected, according to their models.) The models show some houses will have the noise get worse, and some will see improvements due to the relocation of the off ramp from 405 closer to the mainline than it is now.

Neighbors are concerned about the amount of traffic the PUDO will generate. Studies show between 2 and 25 additional peak hour trips in the morning and afternoon, with the lower numbers going north and south on 116th NE and the higher numbers (18 - 25) additional trips going east/west likely on 87th. Neighbors at the meeting expressed doubt that these numbers accurately account for all additional trips. They expressed concern about how busy the area around 87th and 114th, in conjunction with the 85th and 114th intersection, can be already. Neighbors are also concerned about people parking in the neighborhood to access the BRT. The city says they will monitor this potential impact.

Council member Neal Black was the final speaker. He encouraged residents to reach out to the council and the various city commissions to voice their opinion. He noted that the most effective means of communicating is a personal one, not a form email/text that you just sign, even though all are read. He commended his fellow council members and the city staff as dedicated and hard working. He also recommended people volunteer for organizations like the Kirkland Alliance of Neighbors (KAN).

Thank you, Debbie, for writing notes of the meeting!

There were a lot of comments in the chat and requests for a copy of the zoom call, unfortunately, I (Mari) was not able to do either.  I have since googled how to record and copy the chat and I will try it next meeting.

Some of the chat comments were:

Can vegetation help mitigate increased noise?

How does the BRT/Seatac connection work? What is the estimated time to get to the airport from the new station?

How many people need be affected for there to be sound wall?

What is causing the increase in noise level?

I didn’t see four crosswalks at NE 85th St and 114th Ave NE, will there be four crosswalks?

Has a three-layered interchange been built elsewhere? Answer: Yes, but this interchange is a bit unique due to having a level dedicated to transit, pedestrians, and express toll lanes direct access.

Clarification on why they want the kiss and ride (PUDO) in the Highlands and not by Costco or somewhere else? Answer: They want it in a residential area, so residents have good access. They want it close to Easttrail/CKC.  Pedestrians will only have to cross one street to get to the new bus stop.

Roundabouts will be designed to safely accommodate buses and trucks.

 Sorry if I didn't get your question entered. I took screen shots and may have missed some.

Contact information:

Ivonne Rivera-Martinez from Sound Transit 

Neal Black City of Kirkland council member

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