There will be 14 different guided walks up and down Seattle stairways as part of Stairway Walks Day, tomorrow from 10 am to noon. The event, which is organized by Feet First, features walks from the book Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo. Enjoy your Saturday morning by exploring neighborhoods from high and low as you ascend up and descend down our city’s unique stairway infrastructure.
The event is open to everyone, and this year Feet First is asking for donations to support their mission to make all Washington neighborhoods walkable. For more information, visit Feet First or sign up online at Brown Paper Tickets.
The walks include the following locations:
DOWNTOWN/ CENTRAL SEATTLE
- Magnolia Tour
- Queen Anne Tour
- The Olmstead Vision Tour
- Downtown Tour
- Eastlake/ N. Capitol Hill
- Madrona/ Leschi
- Fremont Tour
- Ravenna Tour
- University of Washington Tour
- Alki from Above Tour
- Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction Tour
- Longfellow/Pigeon Point Tour
- Deadhorse Canyon Tour
- Mount Baker Tour
Seattle’s second annual Stairway Walks Day will be taking place Saturday, February 8, from 10:00 to noon. Guided walks led by Feet First Walking Ambassadors will begin simultaneously in 18 different locations across the region.
The walking routes are based on those in the walking guidebook Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-And-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo.
Participating is free but spots are limited and last year’s event filled up, so read more and be sure to sign up if you are interested.
This Saturday, February 9, is Stairway Walks Day in the Seattle area. Pedestrian advocacy group Feet First and authors of Seattle Stairway Walks, Jake and Cathy Jaramillo, have partnered to organize a day of 15 different stairway walks.
The event will start at 10 am in 15 different locations as Feet First walking ambassadors will take groups along one of the walking routes featured in Seattle Stairway Walks. The book, published by Mountaineers Books, features 25 walking routes up and down stairways.
Seattle has about 650 public stairways, which is third highest in the country behind Pittsburgh and San Francisco. These stairways are often known only by locals and are a special urban amenity that connect neighborhoods across topographical features that vehicles can’t traverse. This event provides an opportunity to discover new areas and learn some of the history behind this infrastructure that links our city together.
Participation in the walk is free after signing-up online. Several walks have already filled up, but the following have spots still available. Registration closes this coming Friday, so sign up soon.
Bellevue: Kelsey Creek
- Burien: Eagle Landing
Deadhorse Canyon (Renton / Rainier Beach area)
Eastlake/N Capitol Hill
- Lakewood – Seward Park
- Longfellow/Pigeon Point (West Seattle)
Madrona & Leschi
The event is sponsored by Caffe Ladro, which is offering free and discounted coffee to participants.
The stairway is being reconstructed at NE 90th Street and Ravenna Ave NE, starting this week. From SDOT:
SEATTLE—Seattle Department of Transportation’s Roadway Structures crews will construct a new staircase beginning Monday, February 27, and expect to complete the work before the end of April. The stairway will be closed starting Monday, 24 hours a day, seven days a week until completion. A map of the pedestrian detour will be posted at the top and bottom of the stairway.
The crews will demolish the old staircase, install form work, and then pour concrete for the new stairs and walkway.
The stairway was built in 1940 and does not meet current standards. This project is part of SDOT’s program to upgrade the 507 stairways that SDOT owns and is responsible for maintaining. The funding is provided by the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative.
The city’s proposed 2012 would enact cuts at SDOT that would defer stairway maintenance, according to a KOMO news report.
Last year’s budget dedicated over $1 million for stairways, including maintenance and funding from the Bridging the Gap levy. This year, however, $200,000 may be cut from SDOT’s stairway budget. The cuts would impact maintenance, including eliminating two positions – a stairway design and inspection engineer, and a stairway construction worker.
The potential cuts would mean that the city would no longer perform regular stairway inspections and would instead rely on existing assessment to prioritize improvements and maintenance.
Looking for somewhere to walk? Susan Ott Ralph’s Seattle Stairs website has created a guide to 30 stairway walks throughout the city. Each walk features its own downloadable map and guide altogether they add up to 100 miles of walking across 428 stairways with 27,394 steps. The site features photos and step-counts on 650 stairways total in the city.
Here’s a rundown of current and recently completed SDOT projects that promote pedestrian mobility:
A stairway near Thornton Creek had been wiped out by heavy rains several weeks ago. SDOT engineers quickly repaired the stairway and SDOT Blog has a few pictures that show the before and after.
If you’re looking for somewhere to walk this week to take advantage of the mostly sunny weather in the forecast, Seattle Stairway Walks shares a route through Fremont:
In 120 years of existence Fremont has undergone a long series of economic and social upheavals, played out in a tiny yet complicated geography of just 1.4 square miles. Out of this crucible has emerged a neighborhood with more color, energy and visual interest than perhaps any other in Seattle.
The Ship Canal marks the southern border of Fremont, and its lowest elevation. The terrain rises to the north, jumping from one small hill to another in the direction of Phinney Ridge. Where there are hills there are often stairways, and this walk traverses many of them. You’ll start with a short stroll along the wonderful 18-mile long Burke-Gilman Trail, which runs alongside the Ship Canal on its way through Fremont. Turning away from the canal and trail you’ll head north, climbing gradually up residential streets and stairways to Fremont Peak Park, near the northern limits of the neighborhood. After enjoying the park’s stunning views you’ll head back, exploring a charming series of stairs and narrow lanes along the eastern side of the neighborhood.
Click here to read more.
If you’d like to continue exploring Fremont, or walk it on more level ground, our Walking in Fremont walking route takes you through downtown Fremont.
The stairway that was closed at 20th Ave NE & 98th St due to erosion has been re-opened. This stairway is commonly used by students at Sacajawea Elementary, so SDOT has temporarily fixed the stairway until a permanent repair can be done in the summer. Visit Maple Leaf Life for more info and photos.