Tag Archives: stairways

Walker Street Stairway attacked by marauding SUV

This is not a through street.
by David Gackenbach

Neighbors in the area of 17th Avenue South and South Walker Street on North Beacon Hill were awakened late Thursday night by the sudden sound of metal grinding on metal followed by the long honk of a car horn.

Not knowing if something had fallen out of the sky nearby, one neighbor at the top of the stairway looked around the house in the dark, saw nothing, and went back to bed.

It wasn’t till daylight that the point of impact and projectile were discovered. A dark green Ford Explorer took a wild ride down the Walker Street Stairs, from the cul-de-sac near 16th Avenue, down to 17th Avenue and across into the cul-de-sac above the stairway to 18th Avenue.

Along the way the SUV broke some railing, bottomed out at the midway landing, then annihilated the steel guardrail and neighborhood bulletin board at the bottom. The impact was enough to rip the guardrail out of the ground, break up the concrete sidewalk it was anchored into, and send a chunk of concrete clear across 17th Avenue to the east. The SUV bounced onto the planting strip, went up the sidewalk (missing parked cars) and stopped when it hit a neighbor’s tree.

Injuries to the driver appear to be minor, as she was seen being helped away by friends with a van, who also pushed the Explorer out of a driveway and to the side of the road. Whether the damaged SUV will be towed by the owner or the city as an abandoned vehicle remains to be seen.

Neighbors recalled that a similar incident happened about ten years ago, but the car was smaller.

(All photos by David Gackenbach.)

Damage to the sidewalk, bulletin board, and stairway.
The SUV left quite a mark.
The guardrail and sidewalk were ripped out.

View Walker Street Stairway in a larger map

Lucile Street Stairway closed for repairs

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reports that they have temporarily closed the public stairway that runs between 18th Avenue South and 20th Avenue South at South Lucile Street, through the greenbelt east of Cleveland High School. During the next two months, SDOT crews will rebuild a lower portion of the stairway which does not meet current standards. A pedestrian detour is in place.

View Lucile Street Stairway in a larger map

Beacon Bits: Car wash, Lunch Bus, and an Earth Day Work Party

A north Beacon stairway to be improved at this weekend's Earth Day Work Party. Photo by Vicki Grayland.
A north Beacon stairway to be improved at this weekend's Earth Day Work Party. Photo by Vicki Grayland.
  • Dominic Holden discusses the 15th and Beacon car wash, and suggests that whoever filed a complaint about the car wash violating zoning is misguided: “The building, as far as I can see, has no windows facing the sidewalk. No window shopping, candy shopping, or book shopping will be happening in that garage. The pedestrian potential there—at least for now, with that building in this economy—is probably as good as it’s going to get.” Most of the commenters, however, disagree — Slog
  • Sound Transit is hosting another Lunch Bus trip at 11:30 am on Friday, April 17. The Lunch Bus is a guided tour of the Link light rail initial segment construction, followed by lunch at a local eating establishment. You are responsible for buying your own lunch. Tours depart and return at the southwest corner of 5th Ave S & S King Street in the International District. You must RSVP today — see the website for info.
  • Beacon Ridge Improvement Community is hosting an Earth Day Work Party this Saturday, April 18, from 9:00 am until noon. Neighbors will help clean up and beautify the public stairways at South Walker, Hill and Holgate Streets between 16th and 17th Avenues South. Refreshments will be provided. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring tools if you have them, marked with your name (weeders, shears, shovels, trowels, rakes and brooms). Questions? Contact David at bricchair@comcast.net. Interested in becoming more involved? BRIC needs committee leaders and board members. See David if you are interested.

(Edited 4/16 to correct photo credit.)