Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods 

by Jake & Cathy Jaramillo

* The only guidebook to stairway walks in Seattle
* Explore Seattle neighborhoods in a new way with these interesting walks in Seattle
* Written for people of all ages who want to get outside, exercise, and explore
*Learn more --> 


Links & Media

* Seattle Channel's City Stream: Seattle Stairways (2016) 

* KPLU 88.1 "Tourist in Your Own Town" - Mount Baker Stairway Walk (2013)

* KING 5 Evening Magazine - Discover the Secret Stairways of Seattle (2013)

* KUOW News - The Hidden Legacy of Seattle Stairways (2013)

* AAA Journey - Last Stop: Stair Attraction (2012)

* Seattle Times - Guidebook Authors Show Ups and Downs. . . (2012)

Feet First - Seattle Walkability Advocates

* Sound Steps - Great Walking Groups for Over-50s!

* WalkOn inBellWa! - Walking Routes in Bellevue's Parks and Neighborhoods

Inventory of Seattle Stairs of 100 Steps or More website by Doug Beyerlein

* All Stairs Seattle Guide website by Susan Ott & Dave Ralph

* Year of Walking Seattle's Parks blog by Linnea Westerlind

*KOMO News - Year of Mapping Seattle's Stairs (2011)

*Seattle Times -  Queen Anne Stairways Map (2009)

* Washington Trails Association Magazine -  Urban Hiking (2007)

* Seattle Times - Seattle Stairways: Taking Time to Learn More About the City (2003)

* Seattle Weekly - Stairway Weekend (1999)

The Mountaineers as well as our publisher, Mountaineers Books


An Easy Thing You Can Do For Our Stairways

In our last post we asked all Seattle stairway lovers to weigh in on the City's citizen survey regarding the proposed Transportation Levy to Move Seattle. The new levy will replace the old Bridging the Gap levy (BTG), which supplied just over 40% of the funds used to rehabilitate and maintain our large, historic and useful stairway network over the last nine years.

Since then, we've received more information from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) about funding for stairway rehabilitation and maintenance. The new levy proposal will maintain the old level of investment in stairway rehabilitation and maintenance, enabling the rehabilitation of about 45 stairways over the new levy's 9-year lifetime.

It's been our observation that the network of 490 SDOT-owned stairways is undergoing a slow process of deterioration. Even stairways that are structurally safe and sound still need periodic and systematic cleanup to keep them attractive and secure for everyday users. Just maintaining the same level of investment as before won't be enough to ensure that our stairways continue to play their vital role in providing a "safe, interconnected, vibrant" Seattle - the Mayor's stated goal for the new levy.

Here's where you can help! The City is still taking citizen feedback on the proposed levy through the end of the month. Take a quick moment to answer the brief SDOT online survey here. As you go through the survey, you'll see this question: "Are there other transportation investments you feel should be a top priority for funding through this levy?” Just add a quick note here, such as “The levy should at least double its current level of funding for the rehabilitation, maintenance and upkeep of our deteriorating public stairways. This is essential to make pedestrian connections and recreation in Seattle easier and safer." 

Your action in answering the survey will go a long way, if we all join together!


Your Stairways Need Support. Here's What You Can Do Today!

This year, the "Bridging the Gap" levy expires. The mayor’s proposed Transportation Levy would replace Bridging the Gap, but it surprisingly fails to mention one of Seattle’s most important transportation modes - our city’s extensive stairway network! Funds needed to keep our stairs functioning safely might well disappear unless we act quickly. 

As you probably already know, Seattle possesses a historic built legacy of more than 650 publicly accessible stairways. Many of them are more than one hundred years old, yet even today they still connect our citizens to transit, parks, and everyday neighborhood businesses. 

Stairways provide scenic byways in the city for exploration and outdoor exercise. They’re a “third place” for neighbors to meet casually. In short, our stairway network remains incredibly relevant to our city’s function and quality of life.

Back in 2011 the city’s budget for stairway maintenance was only about $1.1 million. This inadequate funding shows (see picture below) - despite the dedicated efforts of SDOT stairway rehab and replacement crews. When the current Bridging the Gap levy expires, even this paltry budget looks like it will disappear! 

We’re appealing for you to take action in two, fairly easy ways: 

1) Please take a moment to give your feedback to Mayor Murray and the city, using the brief SDOT online survey here.

As you go through the survey, you'll see this question: "Are there other transportation investments you feel should be a top priority for funding through this levy?” Just add a quick note here, such as “The levy must add specific funding for our deteriorating public stairways, to make walking easier and safer." Your action in doing this could go a long way, if we all pitch in together. 

2) Amplify your voice! Please send a link to this post to your own networks.  

That’s it! Thanks so much for your efforts to protect our precious stairways from this fate:


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