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Active transportation fail: stairways edition

In too many buildings, the stairs are hidden and/or miserable places to be.

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Our society is, slowly, making headway on the active transportation front. While sometimes it seems like we're butting heads against a brick wall, bike paths and walking opportunities are at least given lip service by politicians and city planners. And for good reason: a good active transportation system reduces overall transportation costs (each person on a bike is one fewer person driving a car that opens up potholes and adds the traffic that requires more and wider highways), improves overall health (and reduces health care costs) and simply makes life more enjoyable for a hell of a lot of people.

But there's still one kind of active transportation infrastructure that doesn't even get lip service: stairways in buildings.

This has long been an irritant for me. I like to walk places, and I like to take the stairs. But more often than not, I can't even find the stairs, or if I can, they're nonfunctional.

Today I had business at the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax, so let me use that building as an example.

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