Saturday, June 5, 2010

How Public Staircases Disappear

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 29, 2010. Part of the the north facing Roselin Public Staircase seems to have disappeared behind this gate. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

It looks like a portion of one of the four Roselin Public Staircases may have been removed from public service according to the County Assessor's map for this corner between Adelbert and Roselin.

According to ZIMAS there was a yard variance case in 1979, but it should have required more than a yard variance to build houses across the public right-of-way. But then, the wall and fence (to the right of the gate in the above photo) were built across the public right-of-way for the continuation of the 6' wide public staircase that led east to the unbuilt 40'-wide City street right-of-way of Silver Lake Court. The 6' right-of-way heading east still appears on the County Assessor's map.

The paper street of Silver Lake Court was never built, nor is it where Google Maps says it is. Silver Lake Court is a landlocked paper street. The southern end starts at the Silver Lake Ave. Public Staircase and terminates north, on a bluff above (west of) the Red Car Property's "Lot C" and below (east of) Roselin.

Yes, it's confusing and esoteric. However, public street and staircase rights-of-way, built or unbuilt, connect the community and reduce car trips by encouraging walking.

We're taking a closer look at the Red Car Neighborhood's public staircases in anticipation of The Big Parade II, June 12 & 13, 2010. The Big Parade is a 2-day, 100+ public staircase hike: