I divvy up Queen Anne for my daily walks (you can check out views from my Queen Anne walks via Instagram), and yesterday’s walk took me to views of Lake Union then up the Howe St stairs to Bigelow and the Crown of Queen Anne.
The old Howe stairway is one I use regularly for this route, and I always dread running into someone else on it. Why? There is only enough room for one person (or, in my case, me and my dog), one side is completely unprotected by a handrail, and the handrail on the other side is partially made of rotting wood. Plus, it’s a steep set of stairs with blackberry vines and overgrowth on both sides (and often on the stairs as well).
It’s definitely a neglected stairway, and one that people likely use to get down to Galer to catch the bus or up from Galer on their way home. But, when I got to the foot of the stairway yesterday, there was an info box with flyers from SDOT announcing that this particular stairway has been chosen for improvements in 2017.
In addition to the treacherous Howe stairway, there are 3 other Queen Anne stairways on SDOT’s list for improvements, here’s the full list – click on the hyperlinks to see exactly where these stairways are, and note that Queen Anne is receiving extra attention this go around, per the map:
Howe Street between 5th Ave N & Bigelow Ave N
Aurora Bridge between Aurora Ave N & Raye St
Wheeler St between Gilman & 13th Ave W
Wheeler St between 12th Ave W & 13th Ave W
As part of the improvements process, SDOT has a survey to poll residents on the improvements that are most valued for each of these stairways.
If you have comments on all four Queen Anne stairways, you’ll need to take the survey four times, once for each stairway. But, it’s a quick survey and important! If you’d like to see better handrails, wider stairs, increased lighting, benches, or more, take the survey today.
The survey closes December 30th, and work begins on the stairways next year. Get your input in so our Queen Anne stairways get the attention they need!