News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


It’s Election Day – Vote!

November 3rd, 2015 by Mike

You’ve had that ballot for weeks.

It has to be postmarked by today to be counted in this year’s general election.

As we wrote in October:

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.

Today Crosscut has a piece looking at six things to watch in Seattle and statewide.

For an off-year election, there’s a lot riding on what voters decide today in Seattle, King County, and Washington state. An historically large tax levy is on the ballot in Seattle, as is new money for children’s programs in King County and a new attempt to require a two-thirds majority for state tax increases, which could have enormous implications for the state’s finances.

If ballot returns are any indication so far, these decisions will be made by less than half of registered voters.

Specifically on the transportation levy:

If Mayor Ed Murray’s $930 million transportation levy package passes, it will be spun as a continuation of the norm for Seattleites, proof that we’ll say yes to any new property tax. But if it fails, the implications are pretty enormous.

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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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Tell the state’s Transportation Commission what priorities should be

October 7th, 2011 by master

Here’s your chance to make your voice heard on transportation issues in our region.

The Washington State Transportation Commission has created an online survey so people can tell local and state leaders what our transportation priorities should be. This is an opportunity for you to help shape the future of your local, regional, and statewide transportation system.

The survey asks what type of transportation is most important to you, how it should be paid for, how tolling revenue should be used, and similar questions.

Find the survey at It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

The Transportation Commission provides a public forum for transportation policy development. It reviews and assesses the entire transportation system and issues the state’s 20-year Transportation Plan. It also adopts tolls for state highways and bridges and fares for Washington State Ferries.

The survey is part of the Commission’s statewide outreach program; the Commission asked King County to help inform people about it. Findings will be reported to the Governor, Legislature, policy makers, and advisory groups such as the Connecting Washington Task Force.

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Gas (gasp!) below $4 a gallon!

May 18th, 2011 by Mike

Here’s some (relatively) good transportation news: Gas in the neighborhood dropped below $4 a gallon. For regular. For now.

Nationally, the Associated Press is reporting that gasoline prices are dropping across the country, for a national average around $3.93 a gallon. Here, KOMO-TV quotes AAA this week as saying Seattle-Everett prices hover right at $4 a gallon.

That’s still roughly a dollar a gallon higher than a year ago, though.

You can find local gas prices through AAA’s tool here.

What’s the cheapest you’ve paid for gas this week? (Tip: The Shoreline Costco‘s price for a gallon of regular this morning was $3.899.)

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Friday is Bike to Work/School Day

May 18th, 2011 by Mike

Commute cyclists – who seem to be all over the news currently (here’s today’s column by Danny Westneat in The Seattle Times) – will be out in force Friday.

May is National Bike to School Month, and this Friday is our local Bike to Work/School Day, sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Among those participating is Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St., which will up the ante with special guests from the Seattle Fire Department and the Seattle Police Department, plus an emergency response vehicle featured at the school.

The bike club is hosting 41 cycle commuter stations around the area, although the closest to Maple Leaf are at North Seattle Community College and Green Lake. There’s an interactive map here.

Remember to give Maple Leaf cyclists extra credit, as they commute up the third highest hill in Seattle!

Anybody have plans for bicycling on Friday?

(PS: No, the photos are not from here. They are from a recent trip to Italy, where practically everybody seems to ride a bike. When they aren’t riding scooters or Smart Cars.)

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What happened to the I-5 noise wall?

January 25th, 2011 by Mike

Evan writes: “Saw this at 2nd & 80th on my morning walk to the bus.  Looks like a truck plowed through it!”

We’ll see what we can find out.

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Hope for traffic at Northgate and Fifth Ave.

November 21st, 2010 by Mike

Here’s a local traffic problem that might find a solution, thanks to a $4.5 million grant from the state.

Seattle’s Department of Transportation blogs:

As many of us know, the intersection of NE Northgate Way and Fifth Ave NE has significant traffic congestion during peak periods due to the high volume of westbound vehicles turning left to go south. Queuing from this traffic regularly blocks driveways and through traffic, delaying significant numbers of buses and trucks, and prevents easy access to retail establishments throughout the Northgate area.

The state money, combined with $4.65 million in levy funds, is intended to:

  • Widen the intersection of Northeast Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue Northeast to accommodate an additional westbound to southbound left-turn lane.
  • Extend the right-turn lane on Fifth  at Northgate  for northbound traffic turning east.
  • Rebuild 1.4 miles of pavement on Northeast 105th Street/Northgate Way from Greenwood Ave North to First Ave Northeast.
  • Build two landscaped medians on Northgate between Meridian Ave North and Interstate 5, and one west of Fifth Avenue.
  • Upgrade 12 signalized intersections along the corridor with new controller cabinets and pedestrian countdown signals.
  • Add dynamic message signs, roadway cameras, vehicle detection and travel time readers, and linking them to SDOT’s Traffic Management Center.

The work should be finished by the end of 2013.

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Learn more about light rail's northward expansion

October 6th, 2010 by master

Are you wondering how the extension of Sound Transit’s light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood might affect those of us in the Maple Leaf/Northgate neighborhood?

Make your voice heard on the issue tomorrow as Sound Transit gets started on some of the planning phases for the project with the first of three planning sessions in the affected area. Tomorrow’s meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. at Ingraham High School, 1819 N. 135th St.

At the meeting, the public is invited to learn and comment about:

• Project purpose and schedule
• Areas that may be served by future stations
• Criteria for reviewing alternatives

Additional meetings, also from 6-8 p.m., will be Oct. 12 at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. S.W. in Lynnwood; and Oct. 14 at the Shoreline Conference Center, 18560 First Ave. N.E. in Shoreline.

You can learn more about the project and take a survey at

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