Kirkland Passes State's First Complete Streets Ordinance
Cascade Bicycle Club Advocacy Efforts Successful
October 4, 2006 -- Kirkland City Council yesterday voted in favor of passing a Complete Streets ordinance, as advocated by Cascade Bicycle Club, a leader in creating more livable communities through bicycle advocacy, events and education programs. The ordinance is one of the remedies called for by Cascade Bicycle Club's "Left by the Side of the Road Report," which prescribes more complete bicycle routes in Puget Sound. Kirkland's ordinance is the first of its kind in Washington State that requires most new and reconstructed roads in the city to include bikeways and walkways.
The routine inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfares in roadway planning will incrementally improve Kirkland's transportation network, reduce traffic congestion and allow more residents to complete day-to-day errands without a car. Designated bicycle and pedestrian areas will increase safety for all roadway users, including motorists.
Click on David to watch the passage of the ordinance
"We are excited that Kirkland is the first city in Washington to support improved roadways for cyclists and pedestrians with a complete streets ordinance" said Chuck Ayers, Cascade Bicycle Club executive director. "This is an incentive for people to use their bicycles as transportation, help reduce traffic congestion, and increase street safety."
In April 2006, Cascade Bicycle Club released its "Left by the Side of the Road" report to government officials. The report challenged cities to take action to improve bike facilities on high-priority routes and pass complete streets ordinances to improve failing segments of the regional bicycle/pedestrian network.
"This ordinance will improve life for our residents and visitors," said Deputy Mayor Joan McBride. "Enhanced networks benefit everyone and we are pleased to help pioneer the effort."
Kirkland's Complete Streets Ordinance
Bicycle and pedestrian ways along transportation facilities.
(1) Bicycle and pedestrian ways shall be accommodated in the planning, development and construction of transportation facilities, including the incorporation of such ways into transportation plans and programs.
(2) Notwithstanding that provision of paragraph (1), bicycle and pedestrian ways are not required to be established:
a. Where their establishment would be contrary to public safety;
b. When the cost would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use;
c. Where there is no identified need;
d. Where the establishment would violate Comprehensive Plan policies or
e. In instances where a documented exception is granted by the Public Works Director.
"Complete streets" is the concept that our public roads should be designed for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Designing roads to accommodate active transportation will ease congestion, reduce pollution, and improve public health. It is also the right thing to do. Our roads are a public asset, and complete streets legislation will insure that one group of users is not unfairly favored over another. Cascade Bicycle Club supports complete streets, and we are actively working to implement such laws in cities and towns here in the Puget Sound region. If you are interested in learning more about complete streets, you can find the Compete Streets Coalitions web page listed on our links page.