Most of Seattle’s stairways are actually part of city streets, in spots where the right-of-way can’t quite accommodate anything else. There are more than 500 of them. A new one planned for SW Myrtle between Sylvan and 25th – as announced in August – has stirred up some neighborhood concern, so SDOT and SPD invited neighbors to the Southwest Precinct last night to talk about it.
At the front of the room, SDOT’s Greg Funk and Dan Anderson.
Funk said he works on about 10 to 12 stairway projects per year and this one’s a little different in that
it’s a stairway that needs to be installed from scratch. Most of his projects – all but an average of about 1 each year – are replacements, or major maintenance, for existing stairways.
Most of those in attendance said they use the existing path that’s there now because Sylvan is too dangerous to walk along – too much traffic and poorly defined pedestrian boundaries.
But there’s neighborhood concern about a serious uptick in trash along that existing path over the past year. Two residents who live by the east end of the future stairway say they’ve seen and heard lots of suspicion-sparking people, along with arguments, and they’re worried the stairway will be a magnet for more.
Overall, though, most attendees were in favor of the new stairway, with some noting that improved access to and from Myrtle will be especially helpful when Route 120 becomes the RapidRide H Line and has a station at Delridge/Myrtle.
Various questions related to lighting and, as already mentioned, trash. Funk said lighting is not in the plan; trash trouble can be reported via Find It, Fix It.
The precinct’s crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner said she’d visit the area to talk about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The area’s Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca said calling 911 and using Find It Fix It are both vital so any problems in the area can be not only addressed but also documented (as SPD is very data-driven).
What’s next? Since the project went on hold for a bit to address concerns, the one-to-two-month installation is not expected to happen before the first quarter of next year.