News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Parking, bike lane saga continues at open house Tuesday

August 23rd, 2012 by master

Have you made your opinion known about the addition of bike lanes/elimination of parking on Roosevelt Way Northeast?

Presentation from Seattle Department of Transportation including comments from the Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board.

A second open house is planned from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., giving you one more opportunity to learn more about the current plans by the Seattle Department of Transportation and lodge your support/complaint of the proposal.

Summary of proposed changes from the news release:

  • On-street parking would be restricted all day (“No parking anytime”) on the west side of Roosevelt Way NE from NE 75th Street to NE 85th Street
  • 13 parking spaces would be restricted (“No parking anytime”) on the east side of Roosevelt Way NE near NE 75th Street and NE 80th Street to improve traffic signal operations
  • 71 parking spaces would be retained on the east side of Roosevelt (which is more than enough to accommodate the peak demand for on-street parking).
  • A dedicated bicycle lane would be added in the uphill (northbound) direction so that slower moving people on bicycles do not hold up traffic.
  • Shared lane markings (sharrows) would be installed in the downhill (southbound) direction
  • The new parking lane on the east side of the street would be wider than the current parking lanes
  • The new bicycle lane would also serve as a buffer between parked cars and cars traveling on the street

Here are a few issues the Maple Leaf Community Council has with the current proposal:

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More crosswalks, fewer parking spaces

October 19th, 2010 by master

Crews today were busy marking up Roosevelt Way Northeast for three new crosswalks at Northeast 90th, 92nd and 97th streets.

But at the same time, another crew was busy removing a handful of the parking spaces next to the Legend House apartments at 9720 Roosevelt Way N.E. to provide safer access for pedestrians heading to and from the new crosswalk.

Previously, the nine parking spaces on the south side of the complex on 97th Street were perpendicular to the street, but Legend House manager David Feldman says the city is requiring him to change the layout so cars are parked parallel to the street.

Marybeth Turner with the Seattle Department of Transportation tells Maple Leaf Life that the change was requested “in response to residents in the area who have expressed concern with pedestrian safety at this location” because they had to walk on the road to navigate around the parked cars.

“So now we’re going to have my residents parking in front of your houses,” Feldman said, who pointed out that pedestrians have to walk on the road regardless because, like much in of north Maple Leaf, there are only sporadic sidewalks on Northeast 97th Street.

He adds that the apartment complex, built in 1955, has 42 units, but its parking lot only has enough spaces for about half of those units, although street parking also is available on Roosevelt Way in addition to Northeast 97th and 98th streets.

Turner said that SDOT will be adding signs to remind residents they must park parallel there, in addition to signs at all of the new crosswalks on Roosevelt to remind drivers that parking is prohibited within 20 feet of a legal crossing.

Are safer paths for both pedestrians and bicyclists worth the loss of a few parking spaces in your part of Maple Leaf? Keep in mind, we’ll likely lose many more parking areas if we ever get sidewalks.

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Reaction to cars turning onto Roosevelt Way

September 21st, 2010 by Mike

We’re getting some response to our recent post on the maddening difficulty of turning onto Roosevelt Way Northeast.

Simon writes: “It’s never been that safe to turn onto Roosevelt or 5th from side streets. I personally think the problem relates to *every* single intersection on both those arterials through Maple Leaf.”  David Miller lays at least some of the blame on the spate of townhomes.

And Barbara has posted the problem at Roosevelt and Northeast 88th Street (the one we originally highlighted) on the Maple Leaf Community Council’s issue reporting map.

She also writes:

How about putting up a “No Parking South of Here” sign where the SUV is parked at the northeast corner of 88th/Roosevelt (in our photo).
I go around the block, down 99th. Turn north to go south on Roosevelt. It’s too scary otherwise. Another thing since the bridge has been closed, I hear a lot more horn honking. Better than having car accidents there.

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The increasing problems with turning onto Roosevelt Way

September 18th, 2010 by Mike

There’s a piece of the heated discussion over the traffic changes on Roosevelt Way Northeast that doesn’t have to do with bike lanes, or the extra volume now that 15th Avenue Northeast is closed for the year.

Time and time again, people have complained on Maple Leaf Life, or on the Maple Leaf Community Council’s issue reporting map, that they can no longer see to turn left or right onto Roosevelt from many side streets.

In part this is because of the extra traffic. In part, though, this is because vehicles are parking so close to intersections that it’s impossible to see around them to look for oncoming traffic. This is particularly true when fat SUVs park close to a corner.

The photo above is the driver’s view at the intersection of Roosevelt and Northeast 88th Street (across from Cloud City Coffee). It’s difficult enough enough to turn right (north) there. It’s become almost impossible, for much of the day, to make a safe left turn here.

The city has addressed this at some intersections, for example, at Roosevelt and Northeast 94th Street, where Cheryl originally complained on the issue reporting map:

Line-of-sight vision for turning onto Roosevelt is very often blocked by large vehicles (usually commercial trucks) parked in front of the Cabinetworks business at the southeast corner of this intersection. It makes for a dangerous situation of needing to pull out onto a busy arterial without accurately assessing the traffic conditions.

She later said the city partially resolved the issue  by moving parking five feet further down the street, but still plans to carry a camera in her car to document problems.

What other intersections have trouble with close-parked cars blocking sight lines?

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Cooper's bike rack is back

September 2nd, 2010 by master

Cooper’s Alehouse, 8065 Lake City Way N.E., was gushing yesterday on Twitter that it finally got a new bike rack after “months (and months and months) of waiting.”

It looks like the city has cycling on the brain. Not only is it installing bike racks around the city, but also bike corrals, such as the one recently installed in front of R+E Cycles at 5627 University Way N.E., according to our news partner U District Daily.

I’m not sure how much room Maple Leaf has for the more-elaborate bike racks, though, especially if the Seattle Department of Transportation follows through with its plans to remove 10 blocks of parking on Roosevelt Way Northeast. U District Daily explains:

As part of the Bicycle Master Plan adopted by Seattle in 2007, the city will continue to install on-street bike parking.  These corrals usually eliminate one space for vehicle parking.  SDOT hopes to have six of these corrals up around the city by the end of this year.  

Can you think of a practical space for a bike corral in Maple Leaf? Where else would you like to see new bike racks in the neighborhood?

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Stolen Maple Leaf car recovered, and other updates

August 15th, 2010 by Mike

The car that was stolen Monday evening turned up unharmed the next day, Jessica reports.

“The car was found Tuesday afternoon approximately three blocks away with no damage. It seems teenage hooligans were just out to prove that they could steal a car.”

That same evening, though, a car was broken into a couple of blocks away, also on Northeast 90th Street, and the next night a third car was prowled in the 1800 block of 19th Avenue Northeast.

Meanwhile, an update has been posted to the SeeClickFix site about turning onto Roosevelt Way Northeast from Northeast 95th Street, where Cheryl Stevenson Kauffman two months ago complained about being unable to see around trucks parked near the intersection.

Now she says the problem has been partially fixed:

Yes & no, this issue is fixed. The parking sign was moved about 5′ south. And although I’m very grateful to the city for responding to this issue (finally! I originally contacted them about a year ago), I still sometimes have a hard time getting a good view of traffic. I’m going to try to remember to keep my camera in the car for a while, and take a picture of the set-up sometime when there’s a truck there. I’ll e-mail it to my contact at the city, and see if she still considers it problematic.

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Parking on Roosevelt isn't going anywhere for now

July 28th, 2010 by master

At this point, bike lanes are imminent on much of Roosevelt Way Northeast as it makes its way through Maple Leaf, but the plan is on hold for now from Northeast 75th Street to Northeast 85th Street.

The majority of the project, which aims to add bike lanes to the uphill portions of Roosevelt and shared car-bike lanes in the downhill portions from Northeast 75th to Northeast 115th streets, is slated to take place later this year.

However, adding the bike lanes and “sharrows” to the narrower portion of the road from Northeast 75th to 85th streets would require taking away parking on the west side of the street, and it looks like that part of the proposal is on hold until at least 2011. (Read more about the project on our earlier post.)

From the Seattle Department of Transportation:

In order to conduct additional traffic and parking analysis over the fall and winter months, SDOT is postponing implementation of the plan between NE 75th Street and NE 85th Street until 2011.  We anticipate the 15th Avenue Bridge will reopen by that time and traffic on Roosevelt will normalize.  We will return to the community in early 2011 with an updated proposal.     

The department said it received more than 100 comments on the project, which in addition to residents lamenting the loss of parking from Northeast 85th to 75th streets, also included concerns about transit losing its extra southbound lane where parking now is prohibited just during the morning commute.

But commenters also spoke in favor of additional bicycle facilities, more marked crosswalks and traffic calming, including a request from the Maple Leaf Community Council for additional crosswalks at the intersections of Northeast 92nd Street, Northeast 91st Street, Northeast 89th Street, Northeast 94th Street and Northeast 97th Street. The project already includes the addition of a marked crosswalk at Northeast 90th Street.

What do you think about the plan to now add the bike lane and sharrows only from Northeast 85th to 115th streets?

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Deadline for comments on Roosevelt plan is July 28

July 14th, 2010 by master

Brian Dougherty with the Seattle Department of Transportation has followed up with the 50-plus community members who signed in at the open house on Monday that has resulted in the highest number of comments Maple Leaf Life has seen yet.

Surely some of you also would  like to make some of these same comments to the city.

You have until July 28 to submit comments and questions regarding the plan that would eliminate parking on the west side of Roosevelt Way Northeast from Northeast 75th to Northeast 85th streets, creating room for a designated bike lane in the uphill sections and a shared car-bike lane in the downhill sections of Roosevelt all the way to Northeast 105th Street.

So far, comments shared at the meeting have been similar to what we’ve read from you. Dougherty writes:

We heard support for marked crosswalks, traffic calming and bike facilities in general.  We also heard concerns about removal of on-street parking, congestion at the intersection of Roosevelt and 75th and coordination with other nearby projects such as the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park and the 15th Avenue NE bridge rehabilitation.

Dougherty says the Transportation Department will compile comments and respond to questions by Aug. 16. The final design is expected by the end of August, but you can keep track of project updates here.

To make additional comments, call 206-684-7583 or e-mail

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Should bike lane trump parking on Roosevelt?

July 13th, 2010 by master

Although cyclists appear to be in favor of a city plan to add marked bike lanes along Maple Leaf’s hilly portion of Roosevelt Way Northeast, many of the residents who live along or near the section that could lose 10 blocks of parking are not as supportive of the project.

At an open house last night at Fairview Christian School, 844 N.E. 78th St., the Seattle Department of Transportation laid the plan out and answered questions from curious as well as furious neighbors. (View a pdf of the plan here.)

The plan would add a bike lane  in the uphill sections and a shared bike-car lane (sharrows) in the downhill sections of Roosevelt between Northeast 75th Street and Northeast 105th Street. To make space for the bike lane on the narrower section between Northeast 75th Street and Northeast 85th Street, the plan also calls for eliminating parking on the west side of Roosevelt along that stretch.

And although parts of that section already prohibit parking on the west side during morning commute hours, simply adding that time limit on parking to the entire 10-block stretch still wouldn’t allow enough room to safely add the bike lane and the sharrows, SDOT workers explained. Zoned parking? Also not an option at this time, although Associate Transportation Planner Brian Dougherty said that is something the department would be willing to consider in the future.

Many of those who spoke up said they don’t even live on Roosevelt, but still live close enough to feel the effects of people parking on their block to shop, dine or go to Maple Leaf Playground, and some are even suspected of commuting via bus from Roosevelt and using neighborhood streets as their own park and ride. 

Residents were quick to remind SDOT workers that parking could be even more limited once the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park is completed in 2012, which doesn’t include any plans for additional parking.

But postponing the project until the park is finished, or even until the buses that are temporarily traveling down Roosevelt return to their former routes on 15th Avenue Northeast next spring, isn’t part of the current timeline.

The goal is for the department to adopt a final plan by the end of August, with implementation by September or October. [Read more →]

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