News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Construction on Monday near 15th Ave. at N.E. 85th

November 20th, 2016 by Mike

The old Waldo Hospital is no more, and construction is well along on its replacement: Aegis Ravenna, an 8o-unit assisted living home.

Ania Pastuszewska, project engineer, emails:

Monday will be very busy hear near Northeast  85th Street and 15th Avenue Northeast.

We scheduled the second of four major concrete pours, so please expect about eight concrete trucks per hour cycling through the site. The next two pours will follow in the early December. We will be all cleaned up and quiet for the Thanksgiving holiday. We appreciate your patience and cooperation to keep the west side of 14th Avenue Northeast clear for truck access on the pour day. THANK YOU!!

We (Compass Team & our Subcontractors) wish you a peaceful and warm Thanksgiving.

Courtesy Aegis at Ravenna.

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NB Fifth Avenue backed up through Maple Leaf

October 3rd, 2015 by Mike

This weekend’s closure of the Interstate 5 on-ramp at Northeast 80th Street has backed up traffic on northbound Fifth Avenue Northeast from at least Rick’s Chevron (at Northeast 85th) north to past Northeast 92nd.

Roosevelt Way Northeast is much better.

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Maple Leaf Speedway as Chinese president leaves

September 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update 8:30 a.m: “Alert from the Seattle Department of Transportation, I-5 Express Lanes (SB) and I-5 northbound from Northgate to SR 526 are closed to traffic, for additional information, go to the Seattle Traveler’s map at”

All surface streets here appear to be raceways this morning.

Interstate 5 is closed as the Chinese president prepares to head for Paine Field.

Traffic has diverted to … us.

State Patrol: “During freeway closures, drivers should remain in their vehicles for their own safety, Traffic is unpredictable & lanes can reopen quickly.”

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Several incidents this Friday morning – traffic’s a mess

July 17th, 2015 by Mike

WSDOT 6:15 a.m.:

UPDATE: The I-5 express lanes are now open. Continue to consider alternate routes as the express lanes will get jammed up quickly.

To summarize the situation on southbound I-5 in Seattle:

1. All lanes southbound I-5 at SR 522/Lake City Way are blocked due to a collision involving a Seattle Police Department vehicle.

2. The backup as of 5:25 a.m. is about 4 miles.

3. The I-5 express lanes are in the process of being opened but there is no estimate for when they may open or when mainline lanes will open.

4. Drivers are urged to delay their trips if possible or use alternate routes, and to expect significant delays.



* 15th Avenue Northeast at Northeast 97th Street is closed because a Metro bus hit a box truck.

* An officer-involved shooting has closed Northeast 65th Street at Ravenna Avenue Northeast.

* Many morning commute buses are being re-routed and traffic is a mess.

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Traffic news: 20-mph zones and rush hour times

February 13th, 2015 by Mike

Our news partner The Seattle Times posted two stories this week that should interest many, perhaps most, of us.

Today’s piece is on a pilot program in Seattle to reduce speeds on some arterials streets from 35 mph to 20 mph. As for major streets,the plan calls for: “Review arterial speed limits and reduce to 30 mph or lower.”

Seattle will try limits of 20 mph for streets in five to 10 residential areas this year — including a swath of Lake City around the library, and a piece of Seward Park Avenue South at Rainier Beach High School.

Cities may lower speeds under a bill sponsored by Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, that passed the Legislature in 2013.

This has been frequently discussed in Maple Leaf, but until the new legislation passed there was no legal authority for local officials to make the change. The argument is that many more pedestrians (or bicyclists) can survive being hit by a car at 20 mph than at 35-40 mph.

None of Maple Leaf’s streets are directly involved in this year’s change, but proposed future changes include part of Lake City Way Northeast in our neighborhood (green lines).

The plan, dubbed Vision Zero, involves a number of other changes:

The city’s broad traffic-safety effort will include slower speeds, more school-zone cameras, fewer right turns on red and targeted enforcement. The name, “Vision Zero,” refers to a statewide effort by law enforcement, government, urbanist and safety groups to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.

The Times story is here. The full Vision Zero plan (pdf) is here.

The Times’ “FYI Guy” earlier this week posted an interactive look at commute times throughout the city under the headline: “What times does your neighborhood leave for work?”

Locally, the FYI Guy says:

Very few of us leave for work in the late morning or afternoon, but it’s not uncommon in areas with a large concentration of people who do shift work, such as food service or retail jobs. The University District has a high percentage, as do Northgate, downtown Seattle and many areas in south King County.

The story and map are here. Below is the 10 a.m. commute from Northgate.

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Wednesday: Community meeting on traffic, police, more. Sunday: 12th Man rally at noon in the park

January 27th, 2015 by Mike

A meeting from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday will focus on plans for the now-defunct Waldo Hospital, traffic on Lake City Way, new apartments near Northgate Mall – and police and public safety.

The January meeting of the Maple Leaf Community Council is held at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Free, licensed child care will be provided.

According to the council’s newsletter, the main item on the agenda will be a 45-minute presentation by Aegis Living on plans to build an assisted living facility on the grounds of the old hospital at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street.

There will also be a briefing from the Seattle Department of Transportation on Lake City Way, and information on the apartments near the mall.

Finally, the newsletter notes: “The Seattle Police Department will be on hand to talk about public safety. It’s no secret property crimes are a problem in Maple Leaf. It’s also no secret the priority SPD puts on property crimes needs adjustment.”

Police-related items being discussed in the neighborhood this week include squatters in a vacant house in the 9800 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast and a number of tents in the Thornton Creek woods behind the bus stop at Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 103rd Street (across from Northgate Mall).

In non-police news: Maple Leaf’s 12th Man returns to the park at noon Superbowl Sunday!

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Endangered: The Northgate pedestrian bridge at I-5

January 25th, 2015 by Mike

Last week The Urbanist had this post: “Call To Action: Save the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge.”

It talks about the planned bridge over Interstate 5 to link North Seattle College and Licton Springs to the Northgate transit center and light rail hub.

When we last wrote about it, the projected cost was $20 million, paid by a variety of agencies, including Sound Transit.

Now The Urbanist reports:

The Northgate Pedestrian Bridge, a pedestrian and bicycle oriented crossing of I-5 for the Northgate Link Station, is at risk of losing its funding in the summer. The Sound Transit Board placed an artificial time limit for the City of Seattle and Sound Transit to come up with a funding solution.

And it notes some of the benefits:

In recent years, new growth has been occurring at a rapid pace and transforming this area. Licton Springs also hosts North Seattle Community College, a number of office buildings, a hotel and some small retail. On the east side of this bridge lies the neighborhood of Maple Leaf, which also hosts mixed density, major retail outlets, library, and a community center. There is a significant draw between these two communities, and there ought to be a strong natural path for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel between them.

For more details, and to take action, follow the link.

The Urbanist also has a post on pedestrian improvements along Lake City Way Northeast, noting: “Lake City Way is an arterial street in northeast Seattle that has been chronically unsafe for all users. It’s also a State highway, so features beyond sidewalks and beg buttons for people walking are mostly an afterthought.”

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How much of a pedestrian safety problem do we have in Maple Leaf?

June 5th, 2014 by Mike

Anni emails:

I’ve lived in Maple Leaf for 12 years and live very close to the lower baseball fields on Brooklyn Avenue Northeast between Northeast 80th & 82nd streets. I have three young kids and our street is full of kids like most of the streets in the neighborhood.

I am very concerned about the speeding and overall lack of awareness from drivers that I’m seeing on our neighborhood streets.

She goes on to ask: “I’m curious to know whether anyone else has expressed this concern and if the Maple Leaf Community Council has or is planning to address it?”

And she wondered about purchasing signs, like the one above. (We’ll paste her entire email below.)

We get few tips or inquiries directly about pedestrian safety; the issue gets raised more in comments on other posts. Examples are here and here.

But the last person who directly emailed about pedestrians would agree with Anni. “Richard” wrote (in late February):

I am writing to beg my Maple Leaf neighbors to pay attention to pedestrians while driving. I run in the neighborhood several times a week and don’t think any reasonable person would believe I should be taking my life into my own hands running on the sidewalks of my neighborhood for less than three miles.

Most times the drivers are apologetic and polite when they realize how close they’ve come to hitting a pedestrian. But I’m still surprised by the number of times that drivers have blamed me in one way or another for being a pedestrian either entering or crossing the intersection they’ve pulled through.

He later added, of a specific incident: ” His immediate reaction was to get out of his car and start yelling and then drove alongside me for almost an entire block yelling out of his window for me to wear some lights. I think they’re startled to realize that they’ve almost hit someone.”

The failure of drivers to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks irritates many residents, some of whom (Donna!) will count the number dozens of cars that whiz by while waiting to cross Roosevelt Way Northeast at the hardware store.

Certainly many Maple Leaf streets are … graced … with those green turtle statues warning of children at play. And the politics of getting marked crosswalks installed are complicated. (Be aware that the city considers all intersections to be crosswalks, marked or not.)

The Maple Leaf Community Council has been a long-time advocate for safer streets, sidewalks and crosswalks, and will likely weigh in on its current activities. (During the council’s May membership drive, it posted activity updates on its Facebook page.)

We’ve also heard from local businesses, like the Blue Saucer and the late, lamented Maple Leaf Grill, about pedestrian issues.

Here’s Anni’s entire email:

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Traffic’s backed up on Roosevelt further than the eye can see

May 29th, 2014 by Mike

The scene on Roosevelt Way Northeast outside the Maple Leaf Pharmacy. All southern routes into downtown are jammed as the backup on Interstate 5 exceeds 11 miles.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the snarls, caused when a joint on I-5 near Interstate 90 popped up, damaging at least three cars, here.

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Traffic's backed up on Roosevelt further than the eye can see

May 29th, 2014 by Mike

The scene on Roosevelt Way Northeast outside the Maple Leaf Pharmacy. All southern routes into downtown are jammed as the backup on Interstate 5 exceeds 11 miles.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the snarls, caused when a joint on I-5 near Interstate 90 popped up, damaging at least three cars, here.

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