Hill Climb Assists

How are hill-climb assists age-friendly?

Public hill climb assists are important to get older adults and children up a hill. Escalators and elevators as well as additions of railings along sloped paths and stairs can help people of different ages and abilities to traverse the steep grades.

Hill Climb assist - elevator and stairway - access from Lenora to the Seattle Waterfront.

Where should hill-climb assists be prioritized?

Hill climb assists should be prioritized along steep slopes in denser urban areas.  Where possible, they are a good opportunity for private development to help contribute to an age-friendly city.

These should be well marked in the public realm, along with hours of operation, information about the type of facility.

Primary departments invested in hill-climb assists

  • Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Office of Planning and Community Development
  • Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection

Estimated cost

Current hillcimb assists are located and implemented as part of private development or as a part of major projects (e.g. the Waterfront Overlook Walk).


SDCI Privately Owned Public Spaces
SDCI Elevator and Escalator Permit
King County Metro downtown hill climb map


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.