News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Return of Maple Leaf’s street mural

November 13th, 2015 by Mike

Maple Leaf’s street mural on Northeast 98th Street is back.

Tara writes:” The street art on Northeast 98th Street (between 15th and 12th avenues northeast) was covered up by the recent chip sealing. It was just redone. Looks great!”

She actually sent these photos in mid October, but we were saving them for use in brightening up an otherwise wet, windy day.

Thanks, Tara!

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Check out the new street mural on 98th!

October 23rd, 2013 by master

Maple Leaf finally has its own street mural!

Photos submitted by neighbor Barb Steffens, the artist who designed the street mural.

Over the weekend, neighbors on Northeast 98th Street between 15th and 12th avenues northeast came together to paint this street mural.

Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte first brought up the topic of a neighborhood street mural in summer 2010, after her involvement with two street murals in Wallingford. Neighbors were divided on the issue, so the idea eventually fizzled out.

UPDATE: Neighbors tell us this mural was designed by Barb Steffens, although she gives credit to Ylanda Thomas Todd for starting the project, who tells us:

We weren’t aware of the previous mapleleaf project until we were well into our project. The inspiration was informed by Portland’s fantastic community building efforts.

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend’s activities: [Read more →]

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Maple Leaf street mural painting on the rocks

May 11th, 2011 by master

By Katie Melton

Disagreements between neighbors about a proposed street mural at Northeast 96th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast has caused Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte to put the project to rest. 

“I think we can pretty much assume that there will be no mural in Maple Leaf this year. Disappointing, but oh well. I will try again next year, perhaps on my own street,” Marcotte tells us. 

In our most recent post regarding the street painting, neighbor Dan Halligan commented that he liked the idea of the project being done on his street, Northeast 90th Street and 20th Avenue Northeast, but street conditions were of concern. 

“While I’d love the mural on my block, we’re on the corner of 90th and 20th, a block past where the sidewalks end and the street is made of tar covered with gravel type. I don’t think it’d be suitable for a mural,” Halligan wrote. 

The street Marcotte suggested the mural be painted on has similar conditions, and was not an issue for the project to move forward. We let Halligan know and asked if that swayed him to pursue the project, but he never got back to us. 

Neighbors have a number of safety, aesthetic and financially related concerns regarding this project. One of the repeated issues was the dog painting that was proposed. 

As some readers suggested in their comments, would neighbors be interested in submitting or suggesting alternate design ideas for a street mural?

Until then, wait until next year to hear any further ideas from Marcotte.

Katie Melton is the intern for Maple Leaf Life. She is a journalism student at the University of Washington.

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Our traffic circle vs. street mural debate on KING-5

March 24th, 2011 by master

Sounds like KING-5 caught wind of Maple Leaf’s traffic circle vs. street mural debate:

Keep an eye on this post from our sister site My Wallingford to see what neighbors there have to say about the effect of their two street murals on both traffic and community spirit.

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Neighbors divided about proposed street mural

March 21st, 2011 by master

Although the street mural of a turtle painted in Wallingford had the support of 100 percent of its neighbors, a similar proposal to paint the Maple Leaf intersection at Northeast 96th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast seems unlikely to be as popular with some of its immediate neighbors.

Maple Leaf neighbors are considering painting the street at the intersection of Northeast 96th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast.

At a meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss the project proposed by Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte, who also is the artist behind the Wallingford turtle, a couple of neighbors who live on the intersection expressed concerns that the street mural would decrease their home values and lead to excess traffic on their block.

Marcotte originally proposed a mural closer to her own home at the intersection of Northeast 102nd Street and 12th Avenue Northeast, which was rejected by the Seattle Department of Transportation because of the roundabout already at the intersection. But instead of giving up, Marcotte proposed moving the project six blocks south to one of the street’s few intersections without a roundabout.

“I love this neighborhood and this is the place where I want to live for the rest of my life,” she said at the meeting. “As a member of the community, I want to be more involved with my neighbors and a sense of place with my community.”

Marcotte explained that painting the mural, which would be a volunteer effort organized and maintained by the community, can produce that effect by bringing neighbors together to take part in the project, as well as creating a gathering area for neighbors. “I think it would be cool if we could create a new place that we can call ours,” she said.

Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte proposes painting a dog mural on 12th Avenue Northeast because of its popularity among dog walkers.

However, adjacent neighbors aren’t so excited about having a gathering place right outside their homes, and are worried the mural could attract negative activity, such as the tagging at the turtle mural that a reader recently commented on. [Read more →]

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Meeting to discuss painted intersection March 20

March 7th, 2011 by master

By Katie Melton

Want to make your voice heard on the proposed street mural on the corner of 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 96th Street? There will be a meeting at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at the residence of Stacy Brewer, 1050 N.E. 97th St., to discuss the project.

To move forward, the project needs the approval of 60 percent of Maple Leaf residents on the adjacent streets, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation. The street painting would be completed by Maple Leaf children and adult volunteers, with the help of Rachel Marcotte, the Maple Leaf artist behind this project and the Wallingford turtle painting, shown above.

The meeting will provide attendees the opportunity to look at design proposals, as well as ask questions about the process and impacts of the project.

If you cannot attend the meeting but still have comments or questions, contact Marcotte at or 206-522-4883.

Katie Melton is the intern for Maple Leaf Life. She is a journalism student at the University of Washington.

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Proposal to paint Maple Leaf intersection moves forward

February 27th, 2011 by master

Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte sent us the above video to better illustrate intersection painting projects.

By Katie Melton

In our last post discussing the possibility of painting the intersection at Northeast 96th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast, nearby neighbors commented in support of the project.

And since then, Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte, who orchestrated the Wallingford turtle painting, received approval from the Seattle Department of Transportation to create a street mural at that intersection. 

“Yes, a painted intersection would be possible at this intersection,” wrote Christina Legazpi with SDOT’s Neighborhood Traffic Operations. “Next step is to work with your neighbors on a design. Once the design is submitted to me and approved, I can put together a petition for you to distribute around the neighborhood to show there is at least 60% approval for the project.” 

Some neighbors also expressed concern regarding the toxicity of the paint and traction on the road. The paint used in Seattle intersection paintings is nontoxic, and SDOT mandates the exact paint that can be used.

It’s called DriveLine, and exact ingredients in the product can be found from SDOT or Rodda, the supplier. The paint dries within minutes, so runoff is not an issue. Also, the clean-up is done with water, and Marcotte explained that the painters mix a lot of grit into the paint to ensure good traction.

Neighbors in the vicinity of Northeast 96th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast who would like a role in the project should email Rachel Marcotte at

Katie Melton is the intern for Maple Leaf Life. She is a journalism student at the University of Washington.

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