Alarms about crumbling infrastructure usually concern big projects like highway overpasses and water mains. But the Atlantic Cities’ Sarah Goodyear found a relatively primeval transportation system that’s fallen into disrepair: the 400 pedestrian staircases on the steep hills of Cincinnati:
…the staircases of Cincinnati have long been in decline, with the city steadily reducing funding for their maintenance and eventually de-funding them altogether in 2011 as the municipal budget got squeezed. At the same time cities around the country are looking to build new pedestrian facilities in the urban core, or to improve what already exists, too many of Cincinnati's staircases are overgrown, littered with broken glass, and poorly lit. While steps in some neighborhoods attract runners looking to boost their heart rate, many others are perceived as dangerous places, incubators for drug dealing and prostitution.
Goodyear reports that a citizens’ group called Spring in Our Steps is advocating for repairs to the city’s sidewalks, alleys, and public staircases — many of them in lower-income neighborhoods. (Areas with both high altitudes and high incomes were not as interested in access to the streetcar stops at the bottoms of the hills.)
Boston is not noted for its pedestrian staircases (Beacon Hill residents make do with treacherously steep sidewalks). Next-door Brookline, however, has a plethora of them. WalkBoston catalogs many of them on “Brookline’s Secret Stairways and Paths,” a Google map.
Do you live near a pedestrian staircase in Boston or in any Bay State community? And is it in better shape than Cincinnati’s vertical drug markets?
Image from the Cincinnati Transportation and Engineering Department.