News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Maple Leaf, Metro buses and Pronto rental bikes

October 5th, 2015 by Mike

Two things about transportation:

1) Metro is considering a plan that could dramatically increase mid-day bus service in northeast Seattle. Specifically, from about 8,700  to 28,000 households served by a bus every 15 minutes.

There’s a meeting Tuesday night, 6 p.m., at The Mountaineers Club at Magnuson Park, hosted by Rod Dembowski of the King County Council, which oversees Metro.

The address is 7700 Sand Point Way N.E. More details are here.

2) Meanwhile, the city of Seattle,in a bid to rescue the apparently faltering Pronto bike ride-share program, is proposing spending millions of dollars to, among other things, put a Pronto bicycle-renting station at North Seattle College.

From our news partners The Seattle Times:

The proposal to boost the bicycle network is laid out in Mayor Ed Murray’s budget proposal, announced this week. Murray called fora $5 million city contribution to purchase 2,000 new bicycles, to go with a potential $10 million in matching federal grants for stations and other needs….

The idea surfaced earlier this year, as a section of a $25 million federal grant request, primarily to seek $15 million toward the Northgate Station walk-bike bridge over Interstate 5, plus $10 million for the citywide bicycle network.

The grant request touts bike stations around North Seattle College and South Seattle College, which serve higher proportions of low-income and minority students than the city population in general.

The full Times story, and several hundred mostly not-supportive comments, is here.

For more supportive comments, try the Seattle Bike Blog, here.

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Four inches of snow now on the ground – and streets – here

January 18th, 2012 by Mike

Update 12:20 p.m.: A.W. Hoss & Son and COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria have checked in on our Facebook page. Susie Hoss says they are one of the few places open on Roosevelt Way Northeast, and Edgar Carreon says COA will open at 4 p.m.

Also, the mail just arrived!

11:30 a.m.: New snow now reaching 4 inches for this morning, giving us a half-foot of snow on the ground.

City plows have been through in the last hour, temporarily making it easier to get around on arterials. (Map shows plowed and sanded streets in red.)

Potentially more useful are the city’s real-time traffic cameras. Go to that website and hover over the camera icons and see what the streets are like now.

On its Facebook page, the Maple Leaf Community Council is attempting to track road conditions. Among its reports: Lots of folks standing at bus stops, but few buses. The council also Tweeted that the fire department is dealing with wires down at 2733 N.E. 92nd St.

All three of our coffee shops have reported in as open, but Maple Leaf Ace Hardware opened, then closed until Thursday. Cooper’s Alehouse says it plans to open at 2 p.m., as does the Hudson New American Public House.

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Car tabs to rise $20 – without voter approval – to keep buses running

August 12th, 2011 by Mike

Updating our Thursday post on paying more to register your vehicles, the King County Council this morning announced an agreement to let a super-majority of the council increase vehicle licenses by $20, without going to voters.

The money will go to fend off cuts in service by Metro buses, including several routes serving Maple Leaf and the Northgate Transit Center. An official council vote is expected Monday.

The deal settles a standoff between County Council members from Seattle, which needs more bus service – or at least to keep the service it already has, and suburban cities, where buses often run with few passengers. Part of the deal eliminates the downtown free-ride zone for buses. Another part gives $20 in free bus passes to any taxpayer who gets hit with the $20-per-car charge.

Our news partners The Seattle Times are updating the story here. Erica Barnett at Publicola is updating here. There’s also a background piece on the issue in Crosscut last month here.

Still to come: How much more money will the Seattle City Council ask voters to pay for vehicle registration? That council is expected to vote Monday on an increase of up to $80 per vehicle – but this time it is expected to be on voters’ ballots.

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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 →]

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Buses return to 15th Avenue next Saturday

April 9th, 2011 by Mike

As local bus riders know, this switch lasted more than a year.

Our thanks to Mat, who in commenting on an earlier post was the first to note here that the bus service that moved to Roosevelt Way Northeast on Feb. 8, 2010, will return to 15th Avenue Northeast next Saturday.

Service change notices were posted at Roosevelt bus stops today (4/8) – the 73 and 77 will return to 15th starting on April 16.

The reason: the bridge over 15th Avenue Northeast, closed since last May, will now reopen the previous evening, April 15.

Be ready for a little more walking: Metro has cut the number of neighborhood bus stops on 15th Avenue nearly in half.

Route 373, to the University District also moves to 15th Avenue, but Route 68 to the U-District remains on Roosevelt.

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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.


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Metro warning of crowded buses, possible snow routes during today’s afternoon commute

February 23rd, 2011 by master

Update, 4:35 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Seattle just issued a short-term forecast:





(I don’t know why it publishes so


At 4 p.m. Seattle activated its Emergency Operations Center for this evening’s and Thursday morning’s commutes. And our partners at The Seattle Times quote a forecaster: “It’s not going to be a good day to work late.”


Metro Transit is gearing up for possible snow this afternoon by chaining up buses and planning to move from regular routes to snow routes.

Metro buses will move to snow routing as travel conditions change. When buses move to snow routes, it will be announced through Transit Alerts and on the Metro Online website. Check the status for your route before you travel.

People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General information about service will also be sent out via the kcmetrobus Twitter account.

Expect buses to be crowded and significantly delayed when on snow routes and travel is difficult. Also, many people may leave work early today, so take that into consideration in deciding when to travel. Metro encourages people to limit travel if possible if roads become snowy and icy.

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New route 309 to take Maple Leafers to First Hill

February 2nd, 2011 by master

A couple of weeks ago we noticed that some changes were coming to King County Metro’s bus service starting Feb. 5. But the downtown bus stop changes for routes 16 and 66, both which also stop at the Northgate Transit Center, didn’t seem drastic enough for a post in Maple Leaf Life.

But we forgot to look beyond the Northgate corridor.

Kristen pointed out to us that come Feb. 5, Maple Leaf residents will have a new direct route to both South Lake Union and First Hill. She writes:

Probably worth noting, since it’s a helluva lot more convenient to hop on this bus if you work down in the South Lake Union neighborhood, but live in Maple Leaf.

The only neighborhood stops for the new route 309 are on Lake City Way at Northeast 110th Street, Northeast 95th Street and 20th Avenue Northeast, so it might be a long trek for those who live closer to Roosevelt Way Northeast. But in light of snowstorms in recent memory, options are definitely a good thing. More details from Metro’s Service Change page:

New Route 309 provides weekday peak-period express service to First Hill from the Kenmore P&R via Lake City, I-5 and South Lake Union. Southbound service to First Hill leaves Kenmore P&R every 30 minutes from about 7:30 – 8:30 am. Northbound service to Kenmore P&R leaves 12th Ave S & S Jackson St every 30 minutes from about 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

Route 309 makes no stops, southbound or northbound, between Lake City Way NE & NE 120th St and downtown Seattle except at Lake City Way NE & NE 110th St, NE 95th St and 20th Ave NE. Also, southbound trips do not serve the bus stop at Bothell Way NE & 39th Ave NE.

The Service Change page also has details on other changes, including for the 66 and 16, so be sure to check before you travel next week.

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Metro, SPU plan for snow – just in case

December 28th, 2010 by master

The flakes haven’t started falling yet, but snow is in the forecast for tonight and Wednesday morning, which means the city and Metro Transit are preparing — just in case.

Metro is urging riders to check its Snow, Ice & Flood alert page if we wake up to a blanket of snow tomorrow, and also reminds riders that buses are on a reduced schedule this week because of the holidays.

Similarly, Seattle Public Utilities isn’t expecting snowfall to be significant enough to affect garbage pickup, and is asking customers with Wednesday pickup to put their garbage out as usual despite the forecast. So Maple Leaf residents, you know what that means. Unless you hear otherwise, put your garbage out as usual Wednesday night for our regular Thursday pickup, even if there is snow on the ground (unless we hear otherwise, of course).

Hey, and don’t forget to put out your tree and other holidays “greens” this week or next week for free tree-cycling.

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Metro buses on reduced service

December 27th, 2010 by sarawilly

Metro buses are running on a reduced schedule this week. “The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but somewhat less service than on normal weekdays,” the website states. During this week, some school-oriented routes have been canceled and other routes have individual trips canceled. You can see a list of affected bus routes here.

On Saturday, January 1, Metro will run on a Sunday schedule. Metro will be back to normal on Monday, January 3rd.

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