WHY BUILD A BRIDGE?
When complete in 2019, the Village at Totem Lake will add more than 800 homes and nearly 400,000 square feet of retail space—enough for 2,000 employees—to Kirkland’s only urban center. This development alone are expected to generate an additional 24,000 trips every day—most of them by automobile, which will apply even more pressure to Totem Lake’s traffic grid.
This is just one of several Totem Lake development projects already in process.
More than half of the 2,500 new homes planned for Totem Lake by 2035 are already under review or in the construction process.
To prepare for this growth, the City of Kirkland providing a series of transportation solutions that will give people more options over how they navigate the urban center.
Foremost among these options is the Totem Lake Connector bicycle and pedestrian bridge, which will connect the two ends of the 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor currently severed by one of Kirkland’s most complicated intersections: Totem Lake Boulevard and Northeast 124th Street.
As it is now, the intersection creates a premature dead-end to the Cross Kirkland Corridor on the south side of the intersection severing it from the mall and an orphaned quarter-mile section of trail on its north side.
But the bridge will connect these two ends, linking Kirkland to the mall and in the process, make possible an alternative transportation corridor that will extend from Renton to Woodinville.
Kirkland is also building sidewalks along 124th Avenue Northeast, upgrading traffic signals to intelligent transportation systems technology and continuing to create more connections to the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
This is the Totem Lake transportation strategy residents have reaffirmed they want in multiple City planning documents. That includes the 2035 Comprehensive Plan update, the Transportation Master Plan, the Cross Kirkland Corridor Master Plan and Totem Lake Park Master Plan. The Totem Lake Connector is also the largest infrastructure investment proposed in the City’s interactive “Suggest a Project.” That internet-based system has accumulated more than 500 transportation-related suggestions. Eighty percent of those suggestions ask for projects that would protect residents from cars, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and traffic calming devices.
The design for the Totem Lake Connector is being funded primarily from transportation impact fees on new development, so growth is paying for this infrastructure. The construction of the bridge is intended to be financed with state and federal grants.