I have just been informed that the town is now looking into removing the old outdoor staircase, just up the hill from the Foodland grocery store. I have one question…are you guys crazy?
In the last two weeks, I have had a chance to walk the loop trail from start to finish — twice — and, although, I would recommend putting in a bench at every trail sign for rest breaks or meeting points (do you really need two dozen benches along the river?), I have to admit it is a great way to see the town.
The reason for the question is if you are going to go to all the trouble of putting in a trail such as this, to promote exercise and outdoor activity, why would you want to remove a set of stairs used far more than the loop trail ever will be? Yes, it is a hazard in the winter time, especially when the kids intentionally fill the steps with snow to make a “cool” sled track, and the steps are just a tad bit too far apart for easy stepping, but it is needed!
The best idea is to see if a company (or individual) will sponsor a brand new — covered — staircase, connecting the lower sidewalk with the upper sidewalk, with no more slipping and sliding on the wet grass or having the steps fill with snow. Who knows? You may even be able to squeeze in some LED light strings for after dark — connected to the grid or with its own solar powered rechargeable power pack.
At the very least, the new staircase should be priced out and debated so those of us that need it can try to raise the funds to get it done. We have a chance to build something that will make this town more attractive and worth coming to see. Let’s not just rip it out and forget about it.
Dave Lotte, St. Marys