Princeton Miners Climb is more than just a set of stairs

There a couple of ways to view the newly-opened Miners Climb linking upper and lower Billiter Avenue.

There a couple of ways to view the newly-opened Miners Climb linking upper and lower Billiter Avenue.

Probably more than two. First, of course, they are stairs.

Stairs are useful things, as we all know. In your home or on a hillside, they make it easy to get from the bottom to the top without being a mountain climber, pounding pitons into the wall to secure your ropes.

But the stairs of the Miners Climb is symbolic of something more. Building and connecting a community.

Princeton has been without one of its most important connections since the zigzag trail was demolished a couple of years ago, after a parked truck slipped into gear and rolled down the steep street above, slipping by the concrete barrier and tearing out the walkway.

That it was a popular link was clear from the number of people that continued to use the path, despite its poor condition and fences warning walkers away.

Last week, the trail was reopened, with new concrete stairs and metal railings to enhance the path, and five rest stops for those who can’t handle the climb at one go.

Creating the Miners Climb was not an easy task. Not only was it a costly venture, but the final design was not without detractors. There were questions raised about whether the stairs were the best solution, rather than following the old zigzag pattern and whether the new climb was now too steep, even with the rest stops.

But in the end, the result remains the same. Princeton has a connection that many communities would envy, directly linking the two upper levels of town with downtown, residential with shopping areas.

It took help — a lot of tax dollars, that is — from the provincial government for Princeton’s city hall to replace the zigzag trail.

But we think it was money well spent to not only renew this important byway connecting the community, but to forge it in a new a better form that will last for many years.