News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


“No.” Feds on $15 million for Northgate pedestrian bridge

October 27th, 2015 by Mike

Bad news for the pedestrian/bike bridge between North Seattle College and the Northgate light rail station.

The Seattle Times posted a story tonight beginning:

The federal government has decided not to contribute $15 million toward a Northgate Station pedestrian-and-bicycle bridge over Interstate 5. Local taxpayers would need to fund the entire $26 million project themselves.

Nor will Uncle Sam donate $10 million to help Seattle expand the Pronto bicycle network, which currently serves the University District, downtown and places nearby.

The Times story is here.

Earlier posts of ours are here and here.

The Times adds:

Bridge funding still remains within reach.

Sound Transit already approved $5 million, and the Legislature $10 million, along with $5 million already pledged by Seattle. That leaves a gap of $6 million.

If voters pass this fall’s $930 million Move Seattle property-tax levy, the city’s plan would allocate $15 million to Northgate, pushing it past the goal line.

As others have noted, however, that is not a firm commitment from the city.

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Let’s Move campaign takes back Maple Leaf claim

October 20th, 2015 by Mike

Here’s the original story from Oct. 9th.

In it the Let’s Move Seattle supporters of the $930 million transportation levy on next month’s ballot made this claim:

This claim is, on its face, rubbish – and @ButterflyForge, aka Laura Dodson, called them out on it.

Now KOMO TV has, too, in a story by Lindsay Cohen, posted Monday and updated today: Controversial tweet leads to questions about $1B ballot measure.

And the Let’s Move Campaign has taken it back – and taken down the claim.

“I want to clarify that tweet was not a scientific poll and by no means were we implying there is no opposition,” said Shefali Ranganathan, deputy director of the Transportation Choices Coalition. “I think what got lost — when you’re looking at a few characters on Twitter — is the context of it, and the context is really that we are reporting on what we heard from folks we’re targeting….

“It wasn’t possible to provide adequate context in a 140 character tweet. And it had become a distraction that was taking away from the substantive issues of the campaign, so we took it down.”

Actually, neither the claim nor the context seem especially complicated – just not true.

Incidentally, The Seattle Times this weekend took another critical look at the levy: Move Seattle levy: Better bus service or a bunch of ‘guesstimates’?

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November election ballots arrive starting next week

October 9th, 2015 by Mike

Update Oct. 11: The Seattle Times has a critical analysis of the $930 million levy here.

Update: Over at Publicola there’s a related headline on the election: “District Five Sidewalk Brawl: Brown Versus Juarez.”

Most of Maple Leaf is in District 5. Spoiler alert! Sandy Brown pitches neighborhood-only taxes (Local Improvement Districts) to pay for sidewalks here.


Seattle’s first-in-a-century election of city council members by district is the focus of our upcoming November general election.

But the ballot also features the largest levy in Seattle history, more than doubling the size of the transportation levy it replaces.

The tweet above, received last week from the pro-levy Let’s Move Seattle folks, implies Maple Leaf is a hotbed of levy backers, and the levy does have a full roster of supporters.

But two of the usually reliable sources, The Seattle Times and the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, have come out against  Move Seattle, which would increase the average homeowner’s taxes by about $150 annually. Total cost: $930 million.

The Times’ reasoning is here, the league’s here. The King County voter’s guide information is  here.

Mail ballots for the Nov. 3 general election go out 20 days before election day.

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