Chapter 12.45


12.45.010    Vision.

12.45.020    Policy.

12.45.030    Design guidance.

12.45.040    Exceptions.

12.45.050    Implementation.

12.45.060    Performance measures.

12.45.010 Vision.

The City of Kenmore’s vision is to provide a safe, balanced, and efficient multi-modal transportation system that serves local and regional circulation needs and safely accommodates all users. To meet this vision, the City shall provide a future transportation system that allows users of all ages, abilities and financial resources to safely and efficiently use the public right-of-way to drive, access public transit, bicycle, walk or use any other chosen mode of travel. The City recognizes the public health and environmental quality benefits of encouraging active transportation modes through a safe, welcoming, connected network of modal choices. The City’s target zero goal (City Resolution No. 14-235) (target zero resolution) is a core component of this vision, seeking to have zero pedestrian or cyclist deaths or serious injuries as the result of a collision with a motorized vehicle by the year 2025. [Ord. 16-0427 § 1.]

12.45.020 Policy.

The term “complete streets” is a guiding principle for the consideration of all modes of travel within the public right-of-way. This chapter constitutes the City’s “complete streets” policy. Through the adoption of a layered network approach (as described in the comprehensive plan transportation element) to complete streets, the City recognizes that it can be a challenge for a single roadway to meet the demands of all modes at one time. Safety is a primary concern for the City, and the target zero resolution guides the pursuit of increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists, which can require the separation of some uses on certain roads. A City-wide network (as described in the comprehensive plan transportation element) which accommodates users of all modes of transportation (including air/seaplane and freight) and users of all abilities on appropriate networks of roads, paths and trails balances the principles of complete streets with the realities of promoting a transportation system that is fiscally, economically and environmentally sustainable within existing and future constraints.

Using a toolbox of diverse techniques, the City will plan for, design, construct, operate and maintain a transportation network that meets these goals. Recently developed projects, and those in future years, will incorporate traditional and modern tools such as:




Shared use paths

Paved shoulders

Bike lanes (buffered) and sharrows

Street trees and planting strips

Narrow vehicle lanes

Curbs with ramps

Transit priority lanes


Enhanced pavement markings and symbols

Pedestrian signals

Countdown and lead pedestrian signals


Bulb-outs and refuge islands

Transit stops and facilities

Rectangular rapid-flash beacon enhanced crosswalks

Speed bumps

Bike parking

Raised medians

Street furniture and temporary installations

Street lighting

Textured and colored pavements


Focused LED street lighting and pedestrian-level lighting


Traffic circles and roundabouts



The City will emphasize the layered network approach to complete streets in the review of private development plans, transportation system improvements and the City’s six-year transportation improvement plan (TIP). This approach shall include new construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation/overlay projects, except as noted in KMC 12.45.040, Exceptions. A context-sensitive approach to each project will consider neighborhood character, underserved modal choices and school transportation routes (including busing, walking and vehicle circulation around schools), in addition to safety and fiscal considerations. Projects must meet the requirements of the current system and the needs of the updated future network (as described in the comprehensive plan) specifically as it applies to nonmotorized modal choices. Consideration will be given to accommodation of future transportation technologies, such as driverless cars, and the impact these may have on other modes of travel in the layered network. [Ord. 16-0427 § 2.]

12.45.030 Design guidance.

The city public works department maintains design criteria, standards and guidelines based upon recognized best practices in street design, construction and operation. These criteria, standards and guidelines include, but are not limited to, the latest editions of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Offices (AASHTO) policies for vehicular and bicycle facilities, National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway and Street Design Guides, publications and recommended practices from the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Design Manual and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Public works department employees have taken and will continue to take advantage of local training opportunities to become more familiar with these standards and their associated updates.

The City has adopted road standards (2016) and a street planning toolkit (Transportation Element, Figure 12), which include a number of complete streets principles, to guide all public and private transportation projects in the City. These documents emphasize consideration of multiple modes of travel, especially pedestrian and bicyclists, through the use of a number of the techniques described in KMC 12.45.020, Policy. The road standards include provisions for flexibility and the adoption of new techniques and tools with the approval of the city manager. New techniques and future developments in design which enhance the safety of all transportation users may be incorporated into future versions of the road standards. [Ord. 16-0427 § 3.]

12.45.040 Exceptions.

Exceptions to the policies of this chapter must be submitted to the public works director and approved by the city manager. The circumstances under which the city manager may consider exceptions to a complete streets approach to enhancement of the layered network are as follows:

A. Street projects may exclude those elements of the policies of this chapter that would require the accommodation of street uses prohibited by law, grants, or other agencies;

B. Maintenance activities, such as mowing, snowplowing, sweeping, spot repair, joint or crack sealing, surface treatments or pothole filling, do not require that elements of the policies of this chapter be applied beyond the scope of that maintenance activity;

C. Street construction, reconstruction and maintenance projects may exclude elements of the policies of this chapter when the accommodation of a specific use or mode is expected to:

1. Require more space than is physically available (topographic or right-of-way, where acquisition of additional right-of-way would significantly increase project costs), or

2. Be located where both current and future demand is demonstrated as being absent, including a lack of current or planned transit routes, or

3. Significantly increase project costs and equivalent alternatives for those travel modes that are documented to exist within close proximity, or

4. Be incompatible with the layered network (comprehensive plan transportation element), or

5. Be incompatible with neighborhood character, or

6. Have adverse impacts on environmental resources such as streams, wetlands, ditches, floodplains or historic structures or sites above and beyond the impacts of currently existing infrastructure. [Ord. 16-0427 § 4.]

12.45.050 Implementation.

The City recognizes that many other agencies have a direct or regional interest in the City’s transportation network. Because transportation frequently crosses city borders, ensuring compatibility for all modes with neighboring cities is crucial to an effective network. The City fosters partnerships with local transit providers, King and Snohomish Counties, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Northshore School District to implement complete streets principles in projects involving these entities. WSDOT owns a regionally significant facility passing through the City and shares in the City’s dedication to complete streets and a layered network approach.

The City has developed and continues to update a six-year TIP based on the comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan identifies both pedestrian and bicycle priority networks, in addition to vehicular transportation network improvements. The TIP and comprehensive plan shall guide the development of projects. Projects will be constructed with a combination of City funds and grant funding. The City will stay informed of, and will apply for, grant funding programs, especially those with a focus on complete streets and nonmotorized travel improvements. Funding agency partnerships, such as those mentioned above, are key to implementation of complete streets projects within the layered network. Low-cost projects which can be achieved within existing pavement widths using temporary installations, signing and striping are continually identified and implemented by the City. [Ord. 16-0427 § 5.]

12.45.060 Performance measures.

The public works director and/or designee(s) shall report annually to the city council on projects that were completed in the last year, that are planned for the coming year, and that further the vision of this complete streets ordinance. The report shall identify yearly progress in advancing the lineal feet of bicycle and pedestrian network facilities and the connectivity of those networks. [Ord. 16-0427 § 6.]