News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


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

August 20th, 2010 · 6 Comments

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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