One term for this type of walkway is "pigeon steps." I found the phrase in Karen L. Leedom's book, Astoria: An Oregon History, but I found precious little about pigeon steps online - only enough to suspect that it means you have to take small steps like a pigeon. In fact, walking up this paved ramp is a bit tricky when it's wet because the grips are so close together that an adult has to take steps that are about 3/4 or less of a natural stride. I find it hard to get the right rhythm, but I do find these passages charming (and useful).
According to Karen's book, when the streets were made of wood, narrow slats were placed across to keep the walker from slipping, and when they were paved, the slats were reproduced in cement. Possibly the grips were nailed the width of a plank apart so it was easier for the workmen to space them and nail them down. Another term for the steps was "clickety clacks."
Tomorrow I'll show you the view from the top.
This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.