If your neighborhood is highly walkable, that means you can do most of your daily errands on foot, maybe while catching up with the neighbors and getting a nice dose of outside exercise. In this kind of setting, the neighborhood itself is your route to transit, parks, libraries, grocery stores and school.
Some of us live in walkable neighborhoods like this; unfortunately, our neighbors in South Park aren't so lucky. Their neighborhood is ranked 58th in the Seattle Walk Score database, out of 86 listed neighborhoods. Recently, though, there's been a small but significant improvement around 12th Street S and Trenton Street, and it has to do with stairs.
And, more is coming. But before getting to the "more" part, let the Feet First website bring the story up-to-date as of this September:
"On Friday, September 18, Feet First partnered with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the über-talented muralist, Angelina Villalobos, and an incredible volunteer team from Microsoft, to create stunning stairway murals on the 10th and 12th Street stairs, which intersect S. Trenton and S. Donovan Streets. These stairways are known thoroughfares to Concord Elementary School, SeaMar Community Health Center, the community center, and library...
"With a lot of community support and even more elbow grease this group literally transformed the stairways – shifting from dark, dubious and overgrown trails to bright and welcoming pedestrian passages."
We finally got the chance to see the transformation for ourselves. We also found an announcement, at the bottom of the 12th Street stairs, that the Seattle Department of Transportation has earmarked this important stairway for a complete renovation! That's going to magnify the improvements in accessibility and safety already made to these stairs. We hope, however, that the art will return!
Here's a brief but colorful visual tour of the stairways, just before the planned renovation on the 12th Street S stairs, which is set to begin this January: