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Seattle All Stairs photo
Some people spend their time knitting, reading books or playing sports.
Susan Ott Ralph and David Ralph like staircases. Public staircases, that is. The couple have spent the better part of a year compiling a comprehensive online list of Seattle’s public staircases at Seattle All Stairs, everything from big climbs in Queen Anne to small steps in Fremont.

The entire experience is chronicled via Google maps, and it is amazing. In total, there are more than 650 different stairways available on the site.

I’ve always been a bit of a staircase fan myself, especially the winding, broken down concrete slabs in Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park.

Now, thanks to the Ralphs — who climbed and photographed nearly all of the stairways in the city — the world of public stairways is open to everyone.

The Web site is especially handy, with pink placemarkers indicating stairway climbs of 100 steps or more. It also offers suggested walks, which highlight some of the best places to stroll or run if you’re looking for a good cardio workout.

To get started on the project, the Ralphs requested a list of stairways from The Seattle Department of Transportation.

The couple was featured on KOMO news last week, with Susan Ott Ralph saying that the map is a way to  show off the city. The Seattle Times also chronicled the effort, which started out as a New Year’s Resolution for the couple in 2009. Take a look at the recent KOMO report below, and if it weren’t so crappy out today, I’d actually think about checking out a new staircase or two.


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