West Seattle scene: New 60th/61st/Spokane stairs open

Thanks to Danny McMillin for sharing that photo from the South Alki area, where SDOT‘s two-month project to extend the 61st/Spokane stairway up to 60th is complete. He says a sign informed users it was open as of last Friday.

30 Replies to "West Seattle scene: New 60th/61st/Spokane stairs open"

  • JayDee April 9, 2012 (7:42 pm)

    Thanks for the stairway. While I am certain that some homeowners may have mixed feelings, it is a public Right of Way. It is a good addition to the ‘hood.

  • wsea April 9, 2012 (9:02 pm)

    Look like I have a new location for my stair workout.

  • Nick April 9, 2012 (10:02 pm)

    What’s the point of the double hand railings? There’s 2 on each side of each railing. Idk but it just seems like a waste of metal seeing as we only have 1 hand on each side of our bodies. It’s like a railing for a railing?

  • Ken April 9, 2012 (11:39 pm)

    Appears to be a nice looking stairway. Thanks SDOT! Will have a new route on the walks to the beach. Nice to sometimes see tax dollars being spent for more pedestrian uses rather than only vehicular/bicyclist.

  • resident April 10, 2012 (12:15 am)

    The old, free, natural trail was fine. Then again that didn’t require study after study, design and finally a jobs program to work. This is cool though..

  • JN April 10, 2012 (12:23 am)

    The “second” railing definitely isn’t related to bicycles at all. The only addition to stairs for a bicycle is a grooved channel at ground level for the wheels. That is a puzzler, though. Regardless, it is a fantastic addition and looks amazing!

  • eaglewatch April 10, 2012 (3:16 am)

    I am curious if the tree cutting adjacent to the new stair was done by the city or by a neighbor who decided to do some view clearing. If it was the former, it just proves the point that the city can cut trees on a hillside for views but the same action by a homeowner can result in charges being filed by the city.

  • Yeah stairs! April 10, 2012 (6:35 am)

    Nick, the lower rails (I believe) are for kids…or short people like myself. =)

  • Peter April 10, 2012 (7:45 am)

    The double “handrail” is common. The handrail projecting from the inside of the guardrail is a smaller diameter and less impeded by supports than the top beam of the guardrail, two features designed to make it easier to keep a hold on. It’s a safety feature.

    Looks great! Now if the would do the same on Hudson between Fauntleroy and California …

  • somewhereabovealki April 10, 2012 (8:09 am)

    The “trees” are invasive English laurel, generally regarded as a noxious weed. You can look it up on the King County noxious week list.

  • Dave April 10, 2012 (8:33 am)

    What in the world was the cost of this project? It is nice but money could have been spent elsewhere.

    • WSB April 10, 2012 (8:38 am)

      Read the comments of the original story, linked in this one, for a discussion of that.

  • YarnCore April 10, 2012 (9:45 am)

    Never fails that an innocuous post about a lovely stairway to the beach turns into a pile of comments about the cost, the trees, the waste of metal on handrails. Why is everyone always so up in arms about everything?

    Looks nice, I look forward to using it.

  • gatewooder April 10, 2012 (10:00 am)

    Another walking opportunity in our community, can’t wait to try a new route with this stair!

  • sam-c April 10, 2012 (10:50 am)

    – (just saw Peter’s comment, which answers the question)-

    yeah, a handrail has to be between 1 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter (code) so the outside rail is probably larger than that. the outside rail isn’t technically a ‘guardrail’ – that is only required when the drop off the side is greater than 30″. if it were a guardrail, it couldn’t have any openings more than 4″ and would need to be taller than the handrail

  • Wetone April 10, 2012 (10:53 am)

    $130,000 estimate for the project ? That might have covered those fancy handrails and their installation, but I doubt it covered the whole project. I still wonder why we needed this project. When you can walk down and around the block. Our tax dollars wisely spent ? I don’t think so. Projects like this is why this city is broke.

  • miws April 10, 2012 (11:23 am)

    How much would a lawsuit cost the city, if someone fell and injured themself on old, dangerous, broken, uneven stairs?



  • RarelyEver April 10, 2012 (11:42 am)

    how many steps does it have? also, having walked this particular thoroughfare many mornings when we still lived on beach drive i have to say the design is NOT an improvement over the much more natural descent/wooden steps at the bottom that were there previously. :(

  • Lura Ercolano April 10, 2012 (12:54 pm)

    Why build stairs “When you can walk down and around the block.” ?
    With that approach, why fix or maintain ANY road or street if a functional detour exists? Do you believe the city should save money by designating, say, every 4th block for ongoing maintenance, and letting the other blocks become impassable? Why not?
    This is a thoroughfare, a right-of-way, basically a street, on a hill that is too steep for cars. Makes sense to me that it should be useable.
    On another note, If I lived west or south of those stairs, I’d be VERY glad that there is now a path to high ground to RUN to in the event of a tsunami warning.

    • WSB April 10, 2012 (1:15 pm)

      Lura – In unincorporated King County that’s pretty much what they are doing. The most recent budget ushered in a “tier” system. Streets that are lowest-tier may just be left to revert to gravel. Budget problem, not choice, of course. Meantime, good point about tsunamis. Down here in Fauntleroy, we are close to one exit route that everyone in Lincoln Park should know about – the famous SW Thistle stairway, stretching from a short block east of Fauntleroy Way SW all the way uphill to a short block west of California SW. – TR

  • Wetone April 10, 2012 (1:53 pm)

    The point is with projects like this, there not needed. There will be future cost to taxpayers for maintaining this area or it will end up like are streets. The city does not maintain roads properly now because of budget issues. By the way if we have a tsunamis at Alki I don’t think the stairs will be very useful. If we have a earthquake big enough to cause a tsunamis in this area those stairs will be sideways on the hillside :)

  • margaritaville April 10, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    Very nice – though my knees hurt just looking at this new stairway.

  • westelllo April 10, 2012 (4:14 pm)

    Might have to come over and trying running those stairs. Looks like a good workout.

  • JN April 10, 2012 (4:29 pm)

    It seems that there are more then a few here who believe that anything other than car infrastructure is a frill. Of course, without pedestrian infrastructure such as this we would end up with a dysfunctional and unliveable city. Staircases, sidewalks, crosswalks: all are completely necessary expenditures.

  • datamuse April 10, 2012 (9:05 pm)

    I think “not needed” is code for “it’s not what I personally would spend money on, therefore it’s a waste”.
    We don’t NEED trash cans by bus stops, either, but the one near my house would be a lot tidier if they’d put them back.

  • Jiggers April 11, 2012 (12:16 pm)

    No the aren’t JN…They will waste money and rebuild stairways, but not improve social services? I’m wondering how thye got the monies to rebuild. Tax payers money? Wouldn’t that be better served to help human need first? That is what makes a City dysfuntional. JN…Not brokendown staircases.

  • Joe April 11, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Another sign of neighborhoods existing sidewalks and pedestrian facilities being (unneccesarily?)updated and improved while we in Arbor Heights are told there is no money for sidewalks. Hmmm….yet bright new staircases are popping up around the Alki area. Wonder where the decision makers live??? My guess is Alki. Have you looked at the kiosks around WS with pedestrian maps??? Arbor heights is cut off. Ommitted. Nowhere on the map. The city doesn’t even recognize us. Maybe we should annex to Burien along with White Center.

  • mandy April 11, 2012 (6:00 pm)


  • M. April 11, 2012 (8:37 pm)

    Looks very nice! Anyone who has experience with concrete work, especially stairways, might know how much time and effort it takes to build one of this quality and size. The nearest E/W access points are blocks away in either direction, and the old stairway was in very poor condition.
    The City did an excellent and needed replacement.

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