News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhoods


Southbound Fifth Ave. N.E. blocked from Northgate to N.E. 103rd

December 16th, 2013 by Mike

4 p.m. Metro is re-routing buses that run along Fifth Avenue Northeast, which is blocked from Northeast Northgate Way to Northeast 103rd Street:

Rts 41 & 68 – Use stops north of NE Northgate Way or Northgate Transit Center.

Rt 16 – Use stops west of 1 Av NE or Northgate Transit Center.

Rt 75 – Use stops east of 5 Av NE or Northgate Transit Center.

Rts 347 & 348 – Use stops east of NE Northgate Way or Northgate Transit Center.

Expect delays and we appreciate your patience.

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Stone Ground Coffee now open at Chevron on 5th

March 16th, 2013 by master

Stone Ground Coffee opened less than two weeks ago in the parking lot of Ricks Tire and Chevron at Northeast 85th Street and Fifth Avenue Northeast, but already the mother-daughter duo running it feel like a part of the community.

Cherie Stone making coffee at Stone Ground Coffee

“People in this neighborhood are so nice and welcoming,” said Cherie Stone, pictured above, the mother part of the team leasing the drive-through coffee stand. “We’ve met a lot of really interesting people.”

Cherie and her daughter, Wendy, officially opened the stand March 4, but they’re waiting to announce their grand opening until they have a proper sign and have a better feel for the products that the neighborhood wants.

Stone Ground Coffee stand

“If you want something that we don’t have, please tell us,” Stone said. “We really want to cater to what people want around here.”

Although they now sell only pre-packaged foods such as muffins, cookies and scones, Stone said they’re hoping to partner with a local bakery to try to add fresh-baked products every day.

“We’d really like to work within the local community,” she added.

In the next 30 days, Stone Ground Coffee also plans to add smoothies to its menu, and is hoping to partner with Chevron so people who buy eight or more gallons of gas will get $1 off their coffee.

Stone Ground Coffee is located in the Chevron parking lot

Stone Ground Coffee is open from 5 a.m to 2 p.m Monday-Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Done For the Holidays: that construction on Northgate Way

November 21st, 2012 by Mike

On what we understand is now known as Blackout Wednesday (that’s today, or rather tonight) the city has announced that the construction that’s jammed Northeast Northgate Way is finished in time for the holidays.

“The Seattle Department of Transportation will open all lanes of traffic tonight– just in time for Thanksgiving travel and holiday shoppers. The intersection will remain clear of construction activities through the holiday season,” the department’s Laura LaBissoniere emails this morning.

The construction has been centered around Northgate and Fifth Avenue Northeast. Areas of the sidewalk that are unfinished will wait until January, when crews return to install new street light and signal poles and complete the sidewalks.

This project will ease congestion and improve pedestrian safety. Specifically, the project:

  • Built an additional left-turn lane from westbound Northgate Way onto southbound Fifth.
  • Extended the right turn lane from northbound Fifth onto eastbound NorthgateWay.
  • Added a landscaped median with trees on Northgate Way just west of the intersectio.
    • Created decorative crosswalks on all four sides of the intersectio.
    • Installed a new signal system and improved drainage and water qualit.

For more background visit the department’s Northgate page.

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Northgate to lose 18 healthy street trees

July 5th, 2012 by master

Ruth Williams, president of the Thornton Creek Alliance and Beaver Pond Natural Area forest steward, has sent a plea out to fellow urban environmentalists about the removal of 18 healthy street trees from Northeast Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue Northeast, starting as early as July 7.

She says the trees, which have become big enough to provide shelter for pedestrians, are being removed to make way for turning lanes for cars.

However, signs posted on each of the trees states that for each tree removed, the Seattle Department of Transportation will plant two. Williams writes:

We should make sure SDOT means what they say and will replace the trees with specimens of similar size.  Since they will no longer be on the sidewalk shading pedestrians, but out in the median shading vehicles, there will be fewer overhead wires and awnings to contend with.  Will SDOT be able to add a few natives to their tree list and plant some now?

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Major intersection – Fifth Ave. at Northgate – to close this weekend

April 30th, 2012 by Mike

A major Maple Leaf intersection will be shut down this Saturday and Sunday mornings when the city’s transportation department closes Fifth Avenue Northeast at Northeast Northgate Way.

The work, to remove existing utility poles and replace them with two 90-foot poles, will close Fifth north of Northgate on Saturday, May 5, from 6 a.m. to noon. On Sunday, at the sames times, Fifth will be closed south of Northgate.

The large crane needed to install the new poles will take up much of the roadway, the Department of Transportation said.  It suggests using Eighth Avenue Northeast as an alternative to Fifth.

Beginning this summer, the department will be working on major improvements to the intersection.

They include:

· An additional left-turn lane from westbound Northgate onto southbound Fifth.
· A landscaped median with trees on Northgate just west of the intersection.
· An extended northbound right turn lane on Fifth that turns eastbound onto Northgate.

It’s all part of the  Northgate Coordinated Transportation Investment Plan. For more details on the intersection, click here.  For a larger map, click here.

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A snowy morning trek to Northgate

January 18th, 2012 by master

This Maple Leaf Life co-editor’s car is staying in the garage today, but a trek down to Northgate found that for many of the area’s retail and food establishments, it’s business as usual. If you can get there.

The journey begins on a snowy Roosevelt Way Northeast, with just a Porsche (seriously?) braving the road on my watch.

Although many of Maple Leaf’s side roads are too snowy for cars, they’re perfect for sledders!

Hardly a tire track or a footprint on Northeast 98th Street (heading toward Fifth Avenue Northeast) at 9:15 a.m.

But plenty of cars and buses were braving the hills (with success) on Fifth Avenue.

And amid all of the snowy chaos is beauty. Even the “Bad Buoys” in Thornton Creek are covered in snow!

Fun for dogs (and dog walkers), too! [

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Sidewalk construction this week on 5th Avenue

March 20th, 2011 by master

Drive carefully this week on Fifth Avenue Northeast as Seattle Department of Transportation crews will be repairing a retaining wall along Thornton Creek that was  damaged by erosion.

SDOT plans to close the sidewalk and curb lane just north of Northeast 103rd Street starting Tuesday, March 22, and expects both to remain closed for a week or longer until the project is completed.

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Bike lanes coming this month on Fifth Avenue

September 10th, 2010 by Mike

Anthony wrote to ask what is happening on Fifth Avenue Northeast:

“I noticed some preliminary lane markings on 5th Ave NE between the 9700 and 9800 blocks. It looks as though a bike lane might be added. Do you know the details on this project and how it is going to affect street parking along 5th Ave? Thanks!!”

That’s a chunk of Fifth that’s quite steep, running down to Northgate Mall and Thornton Place on Maple Leaf’s north side.

The city’s Brian Dougherty responds:

“The Seattle Department of Transportation is installing a bicycle lane in the uphill direction with shared lane markings (sharrows) in the downhill or flat sections of 5th Avenue NE between NE 85th Street and NE 115th Street.

“There will not be any reduction in the number of travel lanes, although the new general travel lanes will be slightly narrower than before.  There will be some temporary parking restrictions during installation.  The project should be complete by the end of this month if weather allows.”

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It's all uphill to here – a Maple Leaf bike story

August 20th, 2010 by Mike

A cyclist churns up the hill on Fifth Avenue Northeast.

Here’s a different kind of bike story – not cars vs. bicycles, just bike vs. hill.

Amid all the furor over bikes on Northeast 125th Street, just north of us, was this, from a Seattle Times story:

Critics say the road (125th) is too congested — it’s a key route from Interstate 5 to Lake City Way — and the hill, with an 8.5 percent grade, is too steep for bicyclists.

“Nobody rides up that hill on a bicycle,” said resident Mauri Stach, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 44 years.

So we wondered, what with Maple Leaf boasting the third-highest hill in town, just what the grade might be between Green Lake and Maple Leaf?

Many of the local commute cyclists (who DON’T ride on Roosevelt Way Northeast) take Fifth Avenue Northeast up from the lake.

How steep is Fifth? The answer, from Brian Dougherty at the Seattle Department of Transportation, is a whopping 11 percent grade, at its steepest section.

Take that, Pinehurst!

(Wondering about Roosevelt? Dougherty says at its steepest, between Northeast 77 and Northeast 78th Streets, the grade is 5.8 percent.)

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