News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Let fundraising begin for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

April 28th, 2011 by master

Even though the Maple Leaf Reservoir is slated to be completely covered by mid-2012, Donna Hartmann-Miller, who heads the Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park committee, told more than 50 people at last night’s Maple Leaf General Community Meeting that the park that will be built on top of the reservoir likely won’t be ready to use until sometime in 2013.

And although that adds one more year of waiting to use the space adjacent to the current Maple Leaf Playground at 1020 N.E. 82nd St., that also gives the park committee another year to raise funds, which was one of the overarching topics of the Wednesday meeting at Olympic View Elementary, 1020 N.E. 82nd St. (Whose plant sale is this weekend, by the way! Post to follow.)

Although a $5 million levy is expected to cover the cost to put the lid on the reservoir and pay for much of the design for Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, the committee is raising money to pay for a few unfunded details, including a picnic shelter in the Family Terrace, which will be located at the site of the current Maple Leaf Playground; completion of a walkway around the perimeter of the park; trees; and furnishings.

Hartmann-Miller noted that there will be many ways to help out as fundraising gets under way, including donating either your money or time, and shopping locally after she gets more community businesses on board with a plan to donate a portion of their proceeds to the park (stay tuned for details in the coming months).

Your participation also is in need with such issues as the Family Terrace, for which community resident Scott Bishop is pursuing a $100,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund.

“We’ve raised $75,000 so far from community members, and 200 volunteer hours,” Bishop said. “That combination puts us over the $100,000 community match. If we are the recipient ultimately … we’ll be able to make that Family Terrace come to life.”

Bishop is looking for ideas from the community to both upgrade the current Maple Leaf Playground and to include more options for children’s play, and is inviting those with ideas to attend a Family Terrace Design Meeting from 6-8 p.m. June 1, also at Olympic View Elementary.

“There is more than one way to play,” Bishop said. “This is an opportunity to expand this area for other ways to play.” [Read more →]

→ 2 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

15th Avenue bridge reopens early

April 15th, 2011 by Mike

It was supposed to stay closed until 5 p.m. today, but the bridge on 15th Avenue Northeast over Thornton Creek is open for business.

One reader reports: “Went by around 8 and it was open!”

At 10 a.m. crews were still on a side street loading barricades into trucks, but traffic was moving smoothly across the span.

→ 9 CommentsTags: ,

15th Avenue bridge to reopen in a week

April 6th, 2011 by Mike

It didn’t take quite a year.

The city transportation department emailed us today to say the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge, closed since May17 of last year, will reopen next week.

When we last reported on this, at the beginning of March, the bridge work was essentially done and crews were just waiting for three days with little rain (or snow) to finish a concrete overlay on the deck.

This afternoon Maribel Cruz from the Seattle Department of Transportation wrote us:

Several constituents from the community have contacted us and I’m sure many are anxious to know when it will reopen. Well without further ado, we plan to reopen the bridge on the evening of Friday, April 15th, 2011. The contractor plans to use most of the day, removing construction signs, cleaning the work area and then finally removing the barricades on both ends of the bridge. We expect traffic to be able to drive on the bridge after 5 p.m.

→ 7 CommentsTags: ,

Metro cuts half of bus stops as 15th Ave. reopens – Fifth Ave. affected, too

April 2nd, 2011 by Mike

If we’re reading this right, Metro is planning to reduce the number of closely spaced bus stops on the Route 41 and 73 corridors in Maple Leaf by nearly a dozen this month when buses resume running on 15th Avenue Northeast.

Metro is planning to reduce the number of closely spaced bus stops on the Route 41 and 73 corridors, affecting some stops that also serve routes 48, 242, 243, 71, 72, 73, 77, 79, 83, 347, 348, and 373. The changes will help buses move faster and operate on a more reliable schedule, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and reduce Metro’s operating and maintenance costs.

Squinting at Metro’s map (above and online here), it roughly looks like  nine stops will remain in Maple Leaf along 15th Avenue, while 11 will be cut. (The numbers depend on where exactly you think Maple Leaf begins and ends.)

Also in rough numbers, Metro says it intends to increase spacing between stops from about 700 feet to 1,200 feet.

As a result of the changes, about 16 percent of Route 41 riders who board north of Northgate Transit Center and Route 73 riders who board north of NE 50th Street will have to catch their bus at a different stop. When the project is completed, all riders should have a faster, more reliable trip.

The Maple Leaf Community Council, in an email, said:

Metro has opened a comment period on bus stop removal on 15th Avenue NE and 5th Avenue NE in the Maple Leaf neighborhood.

The Route 73 corridor changes include removal of 33 of the 85 stops north of 50th NE.


[

→ 9 CommentsTags: , , ,

A bridge still closed – 15th Ave. span now waiting for three days without rain

March 9th, 2011 by Mike

Almost there … but not until it stops raining.

That’s the word from the city Department of Transportation about the 15th Avenue bridge reopening, which should have been about now.

And, in fact, it’s about ready, according to e-mails between Joshua Newman, president of the Maple Leaf Community Council, and Kit Loo, of SDOT.

When we last wrote about the bridge, which closed May 17 for repairs and upgrades, it was waiting for a concrete overlay on the deck surface. That work was expected to require seven rainless days. In a row.

THAT hasn’t happened. Instead, it rained for 22 of February’s 28 days.(Heck, have you looked outside today? It rained another half-inch between daybreak and noon.)

The city and the bridge contractors have puzzled out a way to cut the needed dry spell to three days, but even that is not in the forecast.

According to Loo’s e-mail on Tuesday:

If we were able to get the good clear weather window, the Contractor had anticipated completing the project by next week.

But as you can see the weather has stymied our efforts. We have been working with the Contractor to figure out some ways to work around the short weather windows that is typical during this time of the year. We have been able to work out a plan that has compressed the weather window down to at least 3 days without rain.

Once the weather cooperates and the concrete (yes, it’s still going to be concrete, @chris), overlay is down, it will take about ten additional work days to open the bridge, Loo said.

We had also looked into the possibility of suspending work and opening the bridge temporarily… in consultation with Metro regarding the re-routes, the costs, and the confusion that drivers may have regarding the re-opening and reclosing the bridge in order to complete the overlay, suspending the work to future date was not an attractive option.

→ 1 CommentTags: , ,

Driver crashes through 15th Ave. bridge barrier overnight

February 25th, 2011 by Mike

Shortly after 1 a.m today a car smashed through the barrier blocking access to the closed 15th Avenue Northeast bridge, Seattle Police report.

The vehicle proceeded through the barrier and traveled approximately 200 feet before striking a parked construction truck and bridging equipment. The driver, a man in his 20′s was pinned in the vehicle and unconscious as officers and fire personnel arrived.

Firefighters cut the roof off the car and medics took the driver to Harborview Medical Center. “The driver had an odor of alcohol on his person so a DUI officer responded to Harborview Medical Center to process him,” according to police.

→ 4 CommentsTags: , , , ,

15th Avenue Bridge reopening just around the corner

January 17th, 2011 by master

Who’s ready for the 15th Avenue Bridge to reopen to traffic?

Believe it or not, the yearlong wait is almost over, with the reopening scheduled for March, noted the most recent edition of the Maple Leaf Community newsletter (January/February/March 2011).

Kit Loo with the Seattle Department of Transportation has provided us and Pinehurst Seattle with more details to that timeline, explaining that although “the most difficult and challenging portions” of the project are completed, the March reopening date still isn’t a given.

Still in store is a new bridge overlay, which Loo says requires seven days of no rain or snow plus an ambient temperature above freezing. Hey, it could happen, but we just thought we’d warn you. Click the link below to see the complete text of Loo’s email: [Read more →]

→ 12 CommentsTags:

15th Avenue has a new solar-powered speed sign

November 18th, 2010 by master

Photo courtesy Maple Leaf Life reader Dawn Siegel.

When the 15th Avenue Bridge opens back up again this spring, all of the commuters who fled the 15th Avenue Northeast corridor during the bridge’s construction are in for a few new sights.

We now have the above solar-powered speed sign for northbound drivers at Northeast 86th Street, and the new sidewalks from Northeast 94th to 97th streets, shown below, also have recently opened up to pedestrians.

Unfortunately, it looks like some of the hydroseeding that was done last month may already be destroyed, at right, by a driver who apparently used our new sidewalk as a U-turn pullout.

In addition to improvements on 15th Avenue, Maple Leaf also has been promised a few crosswalks on Roosevelt Way Northeast, at Northeast 90th, 92nd and 97th streets. In mid-October, the intersections were prepped for the crosswalks, but still no sign of them a month later.

Well, the Seattle Department of Transportation Blog says they’re coming “before the winter rains,” so any day now ….

UPDATE: Brian Dougherty with SDOT says the tentative date for our new crosswalks is Dec. 9, weather and other factors pending. Rain, snow stay away!

→ 14 CommentsTags: , , ,

15th Avenue bridge project is on schedule

September 27th, 2010 by master

The yearlong construction on the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge over Thornton Creek is about halfway through, and Project Manager Kit Loo says so far the project is on track for its spring completion.

Although the construction zone is too dangerous for the contractors to give Maple Leaf Life a tour, Loo, with the Seattle Department of Transportation, sent us the photos that were on display at the recent North District meeting for us to share with our readers.

Now we can see why it was so important that the approximately 60,000 bees that were living under the bridge needed to be moved before construction began.

[

→ 3 CommentsTags: ,

Sidewalks on 15th Avenue are just around the corner

September 20th, 2010 by master

It may be some time still until we see sidewalks on many of Maple Leaf’s side streets, but in the meantime the new sidewalks that are being added in conjunction with the 15th Avenue bridge project are beginning to take shape.

Here’s word from the Seattle Department of Transportation’s project page, last updated on Thursday:

15th Ave NE between NE 106th St and NE Northgate Way: Demolition work is complete on this site. Final utility work will occur this week. Grading for the curb, sidewalk and one new wall will begin next. Impacts to your driveway access during construction will be minimized, but will be necessary at times.

15th Ave NE between NE 94th St and NE 97th St: This week work began with vegetation removal. Once this is complete, the contractor will begin installing new pipes in sections of the existing ditch.

Keep an eye on the project website if you live near these sidewalks as “Road Closed” signs were stashed about. We’ll try to keep you updated, too.

→ No CommentsTags: ,