We began the meeting by welcoming Lt. Brouelette from Kirkland’s police department, who joined us to meet residents and answer questions before we started our agenda.
Liz Mack from Sound Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit team joined us to provide a NE 85th Street Connection update:
Sound Transit responsibilities are to plan, build and operate the regional transit systems and services in urban areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties
BRT will start in 2024 to the north, east and south of Lake Washington.
BRT is designed to be a fast, frequent and reliable transit system. It will run every 10 minutes during peak travel times and 15 minutes during off-peak hours and 19 hours per day for six days per week, with 17 hours of service on Sundays.
Paying for fares happen off-board and riders enter and exit from all doors to make the process faster. You will be able to purchase tickets, ORCA cards, and reload ORCA credits.
To keep the bus moving quickly they will travel in managed lanes where possible. This includes the 405 express toll lanes.
There will be a Lynnwood to Bellevue line and a Bellevue to Burien line.
They estimate 15,000 to 18,000 riders by 2040.
WSDOT will build new direct access ramps from the I-405 express toll lanes to support BRT service at NE 85th Street. The BRT station will be in this new area, and it will also accommodate local buses making transfers.
Although it is early in the planning process, there is money set aside to improve transportation access to the BRT station on NE 85th Street.
The BRT will be called STRIDE.
We have an opportunity to provide input through mid-February:
Sound transit wants to understand what barriers you have to station access.
A subcommittee of three council members will manage the selection process. They will review the applications and create a shortlist of the top five candidates. Council members will approve the short list at the first City Council meeting in February.
The full Council will interview the finalists at an open meeting that the public is invited to attend for observation only – no public comments will be allowed during the interviews and they will not be recorded or broadcast. The interviews will likely occur on the same day as the next Council meeting.
Requirements: Candidates must be willing to disclose their financial information as required by state law. Council members spend up to 20 hours per week on their duties. There are meetings during the day as well as Council meetings in the evening. There are also interactions with residents informally through phone conversations, emails and coffee meetings. All Council members are assigned to committees every other year, typically after the elections. For the new Council member, there may need to be changes to best align with the new person’s interests and capabilities.
Jon Pascal shared the process City Council used to selected a new mayor, since Amy Whalen held that position:
The mayor’s responsibilities are largely ceremonial, including presiding at meetings and serving as the face of the City. It is a two-year appointment. The mayor also sets the agenda for Council meetings along with the Deputy Mayor and the City Manager.
There is no formal City Council process for selecting mayor other than it requires four votes from existing City Council members.
Council members are not supposed to collaborate on the process as a group, but they were able to have individual conversations with each other to decide who they wanted to nominate and vote for.
In this process, Jay Arnold nominated Penny Sweet at a City Council meeting and the Council members voted affirmatively. Penny Sweet will fill the remainder of Amy Whalen’s term, which will run until November 2019.
City Council member compensation:
A Salary Commission sets the compensation for City Council and Mayor.
It is $1,238 per month for Council members $1,577 (this typically increases annually at the same amount as a cost of living increase).
Council members can take City’s healthcare plan or a $300 equivalent instead.
They receive $225 monthly for travel expenses plus an ORCA card.
Jon also shared:
There are early plans for Transit Oriented Development at the Kingsgate station, that will include a 500-stall parking lot.
There are King County plans to add a waste transfer station in NE King County for garbage. It is likely to be built in Houghton.
Don Winters and Dave Aubry gave presentations as members of the Cross Kirkland Corridor History Committee.
Don gave us an overview of the history of Kirkland’s railroads:
Peter Kirk’s vision for Kirkland included railroad lines in many parts of the city. What came to pass is that the Northern Pacific railroad wanted to build a line that circled Lake Washington. The built the Northern and Southern sections but not the Eastern part.
Where Slater Avenue is today, Peter Kirk’s steel mill buildings and a sawmill where they built the mills were located adjacent to the railway in Kirkland. The steel mill failed to progress because of issues of sourcing ore and completing the railway.
In 1905 the old railroad was torn up and steel mills were dismantled. This is where the railroad was located until the rails were removed when the Cross Kirkland Corridor was built.
Passenger trains ran for 17 years. They often included postal cars where postal workers sorted mail while the trains ran. After passenger service ended, they still occasionally ran excursion trains, including to the Puyallup Fair.
A depot was built at Kirkland Avenue in 1912. It doubled as a telegraph office for Western Union and for railroad business. It was torn down and replaced with a new depot.
Today there is a caboose on the Google campus to commemorate the railway.
The dinner train ran on the tracks from Renton to the Woodinville wineries for about 15 years.
Dave Aubry shared plans for an installation:
This is a joint project with Kirkland rotary and the CKC History Committee. Rotary awarded them a grant for picnic tables. The Kirkland Parks foundation is raising funds to plant native plants in the area.
There will be a picnic pavilion with picnic tables, 60 feet of original rails, historical markers and native plants.
The City of Kirkland offers money for matching grants to neighborhood association projects. The projects have several requirements:
The neighborhood association must approve projects.
The residents within the neighborhood must contribute volunteer hours that the City equates to dollar amounts.
Residents must also provide an equal amount of money to the amount matched by the City.
We voted to approve two matching grant projects:
Michelle Lustgarten, an art teacher at Lakeview Elementary and Robert Wolverton proposed a project for 5th graders at Lakeview Elementary to work with a professional artist to create murals on the North and South side of the underpass beneath the CKC.
Moss Bay’s participation in the 2019 Crossing Kirkland event.