News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

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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Remember – SR-520 bridge closes tonight through Sunday

July 8th, 2011 by Mike

The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge closes tonight at 11 and doesn’t reopen until 5 a.m. Monday. And there will be more closures later this summer.

Included are both directions of State Route 520 and all ramps between Montlake Boulevard and Interstate 405. SR-520 will remain open between Montlake Boulevard and Interstate 5.

Crews will be building a new fish-passable culvert and performing annual inspections and maintenance on the floating bridge.

From the state Department of Transportation:

With approximately 166,000 vehicles traveling this route on a typical summer weekend, we need drivers to take alternate routes, avoid the area if possible and plan for added travel time and delays. We also suggest using carpools and transit.

If you want more information please visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/WeekendClosures.

If you’d like to see photos of the work crews accomplished during the June weekend closure please visit WSDOT’s flickr site.

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Maple Leaf’s phantom block – where’d it go?

May 25th, 2011 by Mike

Here’s a question we hope our readers can answer. It comes from Tracey.

My husband and I live in New Westminster, B.C., and we were in Seattle for the weekend.  We visited the Maple Leaf neighborhood because I learned that my great uncle once lived in a house at 423 N.E. 91st Street.  We met confusion when we saw that the house numbers on 91st St. go from the three-hundreds to the five-hundreds, skipping the four-hundreds altogether.  Any idea if the numbering system has been changed since the 1940s?  I’d love to see if the house is still there under a different number.

She’s quite correct. There’s a 300 block on one side of Fifth Avenue Northeast, and a 500 block on the other, east side, but no 400 block addresses at all.

Northeast 92nd has a 400 block, but 90th and 89th do not. (Clue: Fourth Avenue Northeast doesn’t go through.) Northeast 88th does.

Who knows if those missing blocks ever existed?

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Maple Leaf's phantom block – where'd it go?

May 25th, 2011 by Mike

Here’s a question we hope our readers can answer. It comes from Tracey.

My husband and I live in New Westminster, B.C., and we were in Seattle for the weekend.  We visited the Maple Leaf neighborhood because I learned that my great uncle once lived in a house at 423 N.E. 91st Street.  We met confusion when we saw that the house numbers on 91st St. go from the three-hundreds to the five-hundreds, skipping the four-hundreds altogether.  Any idea if the numbering system has been changed since the 1940s?  I’d love to see if the house is still there under a different number.

She’s quite correct. There’s a 300 block on one side of Fifth Avenue Northeast, and a 500 block on the other, east side, but no 400 block addresses at all.

Northeast 92nd has a 400 block, but 90th and 89th do not. (Clue: Fourth Avenue Northeast doesn’t go through.) Northeast 88th does.

Who knows if those missing blocks ever existed?

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Mayor McGinn takes a Maple Leaf walk – and fields questions

March 20th, 2011 by Mike


Mayor Mike McGinn at the beaver pond in Thornton Creek Park No. 6.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joined around a dozen neighborhood residents – and a dozen or so government staffers – this weekend for a tour of parks, gardens and Thornton Creek.

“I just got to see some of the assets of this neighborhood,” McGinn told a group of about 50 afterward at  a town hall Q-and-A at Aljoya Thornton Place, 450 N.E. 100th St.


Barbara Maxwell, a Maple Leaf Community Council veteran, presents Mike McGinn with a Maple Leaf Community Garden T-shirt as Jenn Zanella looks on.

The tour started at the Northgate Community Center, wound through Thornton Creek Park No. 6 to the Maple Leaf Community Garden, skipped a planned visit to the Northgate Transit Center (for lack of time) and landed at Aljoya after a stop at the Thornton Place commons area.

During the Q-and-A, McGinn stressed that many of the city’s present budget woes are the result of years of deferred maintainance of streets, parks, water systems – all vital infrastructure.

“It’s been a difficult budget-balancing exercise,” he said. “The streets are in really bad condition right now.”

Many of those attending were interested in pedestrian safety and the lack of sidewalks in much of Maple Leaf and Northgate. There were complaints about lack of walkability along Northeast Northgate Way and Roosevelt Avenue Northeast, and at the intersection of Northgate and Eighth Avenue Northeast.

“We’re seeing a desire by many people to live in a more walkable area,” McGinn acknowledged. “We should be prioritizing pedestrian projects. “

The mayor often asked city staffers to follow up on individual questions, including complaints about prostitution on Aurora Avenue North and the proposed “road diet” for Northeast 125th Street. “N.E. 125th has a very steep hill,” McGinn was warned. (Actually, it’s not as steep as one of Maple Leaf’s prime bike commuting routes.)

Asked about proposals to preserve Seattle’s tree canopy, McGinn noted the sensitivity of the issue. A former Sierra Club leader, McGinn wants to save trees. “But how restrictive will we be for people who want to cut down trees on their own property?” he asked.

“This is going to be a hot-button issue.”

(Earlier we posted about McGinn’s comment on the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel.)

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Report from the Pothole Rangers

February 2nd, 2011 by Mike

Here’s a look at potholes the city currently knows about and is trying to fix in our area.

Green means fixed in the last three months. Blue means new reports. Pink equals work in progress. The full map can be found here.

Offhand, I’d say we need to report more potholes to the city. We last posted on them at the turn of the year.

The city Department of Transportation says the map is updated nightly. Its currently posted statistics aren’t so up to date, but say that as of Jan. 30 there were 1,175 open requests to fix potholes, and that 1,365 had been repaired in the previous seven days.

In 2010, we reviewed our methods of patching potholes. We found that there were better methods that would provide a longer-lasting patch, and have made those changes. This method takes more time when a pothole is fixed, but will last much longer than the method we have used in the past. In the long run, this will leave Seattle streets better off for a longer period of time. Our goal now is to repair potholes within three business days of receiving a report.

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The mysterious missing yellow buttons and bumps

January 16th, 2011 by Mike

First it was potholes. Boy, did folks get  incensed about them.

Now on the Maple Leaf street scene we have the vanishing yellow buttons, or bumps, or whatever the city calls them.

We’ll have to wait for the work week to ask the Seattle Department of Transportation, but our guess is these missing yellow buttons on Roosevelt Way Northeast are the victims of last week’s snow, and were scraped up by snowplows.

Meanwhile, Dan writes with a different question: “The yellow bumps that get put on new sidewalks are gone from the new sidewalks on 15th NE between NE 95th and NE 97th; there’s only one left at NE 97th.

“They were there Wednesday night at 11pm, we believe, and were gone by 3pm Thursday.”

Any answers to either of these mysteries?

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Potholes galore!

January 3rd, 2011 by Mike

On the final day of 2010 we invited readers to complain about potholes – and to report them to the city to be filled.

Suddenly, our Maple Leaf watch area on SeeClickFix.com lit up. A number of the reports are outside the neighborhood proper, but we all drive these streets.

Seems our news partners The Seattle Times also ran a pothole story, on Sunday, and also invited readers to post on SeeClickFix.

The chronically bumpy streets of Seattle are crumbling so fast that the city is sending extra crews of “Pothole Rangers” to make repairs, starting Monday.

Citizens filed 1,200 requests and complaints in December.

So far over a hundred Times readers have posted new pothole problems.

Some sample comments from the Maple Leaf area:

Jean wrote, “potholes all along Meridian Avenue North from Northgate Way south to 92nd Street.”

Eugene, and a lot of other folks, complained about First Avenue Northeast just south of Northeast Northgate Way.

“The major potholes on this street have been fixed going southbound. The northbound lanes have now developed potholes of their own.”

Another reader wrote of the same area, “this pothole has been here for about a year now. They patch it from time to time and the patch erodes within days leaving a HUGE crater. Last week my wife hit it dead on and blew our tire.”

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Got potholes? Report them to the city

December 31st, 2010 by Mike

In the spring, Seattle’s rain encourages blooms and beauty, but in the winter that wetness brings on the season of potholes. Is it our imagination, or are the hazardous holes particularly prolific this year?

Or maybe the snowplows scraped some up?

Maple Leaf Life readers have groused about two potholes. One reported: “Giant pothole that first appeared in winter and was patched is back on 1st Ave, just north of Northgate Way. The pothole is in the southbound lane.”

And Brian wrote: “Eastbound on Northgate Way, between Hwy 99 and I-5, there are several deep potholes in the right lane.”

We welcome other pothole reports to close out 2010. If you see a pothole, be sure to report it to the city as well, either online or by phone (684-ROAD). The “Pothole Rangers” should be out to fix it soon, but keep in mind they’re very busy, as KING-5 reported a couple of weeks ago.

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Danger! Metal plates extremely slippery after storm

November 28th, 2010 by Mike

We don’t know exactly why, but metal grates and grills on streets and sidewalks are extremely slippery right now. Do not walk on them!

It’s true in Maple Leaf and – we just got back – also in Victoria, B.C.

In both places they’ve nearly sent us sprawling.

The suspicion is it’s connected to last week’s snow storm, when the city used a new (to us) deicing combination including rock salt on streets. We don’t know if it also causes metal to become slippery, but something has.

It might also have contributed to this tragic story about a dog who was electrocuted on Thanksgiving Day while being walked in Queen Anne. Our partner site, Queen Anne View, says the dog touched a metal plate near a light pole that was apparently leaking electricity.

A link in the story to a pet Web site notes that “stray voltage” is a particular problem when salt is used on streets:

The chances of an individual suffering from injuries brought on by stray voltage is highest in winter when the snow combines with the salt used to melt it to form a salty solution. Salt water is a better conductor of electricity as compared to pure water and so this saltwater slush is especially dangerous

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