FOLLOWUP: Schmitz Park slope stairway to be ‘delayed’

(WSB photo, proposed stairway site at 57th/Stevens)

Earlier this week, we reported on Seattle Parks reps meeting with neighbors near the Alki entrance to Schmitz Park to discuss their concerns about a stairway planned for the slope at 57th/Stevens. Parks reps promised to let the neighbors know by week’s end what would happen next. We’ve just received their followup email to neighbors, much of which recaps Monday’s site meeting, then concludes:

… Once again, we appreciate your willingness to meet with us to hear about the project and voice your opinions. It is important that we pause and take the time needed to address your concerns. In order (to) accomplish this, we will do the following:

-We will delay the installation of the stairs but will continue with the tree planting, vegetation management and invasive plant removal at this time.

-We will continue to coordinate with SDOT to address the safety concerns which were raised at the meeting. An addition of a staircase in the future will be dependent upon this coordination.

-We will keep you informed of any progress, changes or general information as we shift our focus to address your concerns.

As an interesting side note, we are working closely with the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted in 2022. The replacement trees in this corridor will be the first of 200 trees that are intended to be planted to commemorate this celebration. Here is more information on this effort at

Stairway construction had been scheduled for August, Parks said at Monday’s meeting. Meantime, there was one update during the meeting recap in today’s email, addressing the neighbors’ contention that, contrary to Parks’ claim, there was no historic unofficial trail on the slope at the proposed stairway site: “(A neighbor and the two Parks managers) walked further east along the slope and found what appears to be the goat path in question. It has a fallen tree blocking at the upper elevation and has become overgrown but is still visible.”

23 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Schmitz Park slope stairway to be 'delayed'"

  • Just wondering June 18, 2021 (4:25 pm)

    Goat path?  Wild or domestic?  :)

    • Rick June 19, 2021 (7:36 am)

      I used to have Tennessee fainting goats. They were the best.

  • Flo B June 18, 2021 (5:03 pm)

    To those that will claim the “nimby’s” won.  Please promise to NEVER EVER complain about ANY change the city makes in your ‘hood. After all, that would make YOU a “nimby”.

    • AMD June 18, 2021 (9:49 pm)

      This was discussed in the last thread, and plenty of us then (as now) said we like the improvements to our neighborhoods and/or wish there were more of them.  Believe it or not, there are plenty of YIMBYs around.  I don’t need to personally benefit from something to think it’s worthwhile.

    • K June 18, 2021 (11:05 pm)

      Flob, NIMBY is an acronym, it’s not a synonym for “complainer.” 

    • This June 18, 2021 (11:20 pm)


      And perhaps those complaining about the staircase should never ever use it once it’s built?

  • wetone June 18, 2021 (5:04 pm)

    Grew up in that neighborhood and trail was there in early 1960s as we used it daily, also remember traveling road in cars. Trail was just that a trail and slid on my a** many times going up and down ;) why city would want to put stairs there is interesting when other paved access is very close. Used to be some neat fish ponds upstream a few hundred feet also…. 

  • WSOwl June 18, 2021 (5:47 pm)

    Way to go NIMBYS!🙄

  • Just tell them what the real purpose is June 18, 2021 (6:40 pm)

    Thanks for the update West Seattle Blog.  It is amusing to read  “(A neighbor and the two Parks managers) walked further east along the slope and found what appears to be the goat path in question. It has a fallen tree blocking at the upper elevation and has become overgrown but is still visible.”  In other words, there was not a path where Parks planned to put the stairs but Parks searched hard enough to find a blocked and overgrown path that used to exist, but doesn’t anymore, so they think they should put a stair in a different location where there is no evidence of a path.  If Parks just wants another place to make a connection for this intersection why don’t they just come out and say it rather than keep providing what appears to be falsehoods.

    • This June 18, 2021 (11:08 pm)

      Maybe the park managers had evaluated the area and determined that location made the best sense, for reasons maybe not as apparent to you, and it’s near enough to be utilized by the goaters?

      Sounds like those who don’t want these stairs nearby are harping on this specific location detail because they don’t have a good argument against it otherwise.

    • JohnW June 19, 2021 (9:50 am)

      There were and are several small ‘goat’ paths along this stretch, all comprising short-cuts to the street.  
      I have visited, walked and photographed the site this week  
      All claims of no-trail are enhanced  this time of year with underbrush and invasives obstructing even developed trails.  
      Go yourself and believe what you see if you don’t believe the numerous accounts of people who have long used these ‘trails’.

      The Parks Dept has already clearcut and compromised the steep slope.  They have not followed the Seattle DCI Codes that Parks and  we all have to follow.  
      They are in violation.  
      The Parks’ representatives were laying low after the promised release of their plan (I tried to call several times yesterday) and now they are bailing?   
      They are still required to prepare a “Restoration Plan” which should not include the mentioned sod as it is not of the approved restoration foliage.  
      The required fencing that Parks has not set up around their construction area if made permanent could prevent casual path use at a low cost.

      I would like to see that this exposure of the Parks’ land will expose the illegal signage claiming “Private Property” in the surprisingly  lovely area of daylighted creek (mentioned by Diver Laura) that I believe is our, the people’s, green space. 

  • Goat June 18, 2021 (9:39 pm)

    I think I ended up on this goat path with my dog. Then I walked down toward the house with the cool gabezo thing to get back down. Definitely a strange access point on that side. 

  • Alison June 18, 2021 (11:13 pm)

    I’m not sure why we need a staircase there. The entrance/exit to the park is just a short walk from this spot (5 extra minutes max). 

    • JohnW June 19, 2021 (9:54 am)

      A good stout fence would solve the problem.  

      • This June 19, 2021 (4:52 pm)

        If there are multiple goat trails on the slope, as you mentioned, a staircase would seem a more positive solution for walkers than a fence, no?

  • Alki Mom June 19, 2021 (6:22 am)

    I’m curious – does anyone know if they explored adding sidewalks next to that slope?  That street is a death trap to the little kids and parents who walk to school.  

    • JohnW June 19, 2021 (10:56 am)

       Sidewalks usually add safety but, “death trap?” 
      Got any data for accidents or injuries to pedestrians to support “death trap of this location?  
      Or speculative hyperbole? 

  • Xman June 19, 2021 (8:07 am)

    It could be worse – looks a great place to put up a couple condos. 

    • JohnW June 19, 2021 (10:58 am)

      Or great place for a Dog Park.

  • Chris K June 19, 2021 (9:46 am)

    Our parks need less concrete, not more.  

  • Mark H June 19, 2021 (12:06 pm)

    So two neighbors can block a public investment that serves hundreds.  Got it. 

    • WSB June 19, 2021 (7:05 pm)

      There were about a dozen at the meeting; I don’t know how many additional had been in contact with the Parks Dept., either pro or con.

  • Alkititled June 19, 2021 (11:48 pm)

    Hhhhmm … Alki residents seem to (in general) object over traffic, cruising, accessible pathways, parking … EXCEPT for Safestreets (which reduce traffic). Must be nice to always get what you want …

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