The City of Kirkland is reminding residents of its priority system for clearing streets during winter storms, which focuses first on removing snow and ice from “lifeline” routes near Evergreen Hospital.
The second priority is for heavily traveled arterials -- Market Street, Lake Washington Boulevard, Central Way, 85th, Juanita Drive, etc. Certain hilly roads prone to iciness and difficult to maintain are typically closed.
Bobbi Wallace, a manager with the , said early Tuesday afternoon that the city had three full-sized snowplows out clearing streets, plus two smaller plows and two de-icing trucks. In addition, two large dump trucks were a hauling in sand to the city maintenance yard on 8th Street to prepare for Wednesday.
"Everything is going fine," she said. "Our focus has been to clear the area around the hospital, and our arterials and overpasses and bus routes. We have a plow out right now on Juanita Drive trying to free a Metro bus."
Other public works crews out are a sign crew, signal crew and a water crew, the latter to fix water service lines that have frozen.
"We have quite a few cars getting stuck here and there, and we've had some stop signs hit by cars," she said. That's what our sign crew is out working on."
The signal truck went out to fix light pole downtown that was hit by a vehicle.
Wallace said some of the road crew members were hired last year to cover the three northern neighborhoods annexed to the city in June, and although they have been trained, they are working with experienced staff.
"Really, there's only so much training we can do. A lot they have to learn on the job," she said. "But these are new areas for us, and we're learning too. We'd love to hear from residents how we are doing, or if they have ideas to share."
The attached PDF file shows a city map with the priority routes marked. The city also urges residents to sign up for storm updates via email by subscribing to “News Room” at www.kirklandwa.gov/ebulletins.