Kirkland Street Named Best in U.S.

Kirkland’s revamped Park Lane — a two block corridor snaking through retail shops — was recognized for its “ingenuity” by Great Places in America, and is being honored as one of the top five streets in the nation.

The city redesigned the street during a roughly $3 million project to update the corridor’s aging sidewalks and water main. Instead of just sprucing it up a little, city officials reinvented the style into an American “woonerf,” after a Dutch word that roughly translates to “living street.”

Park Lane is lush with greenery and promotes a walkable environment while accommodating vehicles with 36,000 square feet of pavers.

The American Planning Association compiles an annual list that recognizes streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces that demonstrate character, quality, and planning meant to “enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country.”

The American Planning Association also recognized:

  • Congress Street — Tucson, Arizona
  • Lincoln Avenue — Chicago, Illinois
  • South Grand Boulevard — St. Louis Missouri
  • Main Street — Waterloo, New York

City officials will accept the award today at 5 p.m. during a ceremony hosted on Park Lane, which coincides with Kirkland’s monthly Art Walk.

“Kirkland is honored to have Park Lane recognized as one of the best streets in the country,” said Mayor Amy Walen. “When we rebuilt this vital downtown avenue, we set our goals high. Our community told us they wanted a walkable, vibrant and green destination place. Those essentials required imagination, curiosity and commerce. We are proud to have hit the mark and are grateful for a robust public process and a team of engineers, designers and contractors who fulfilled the dream.”

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is a staff writer at 425 magazine. Email her.
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