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The Steepest Streets in San Francisco

3 years ago

San Francisco is home to some of the steepest streets in the world. In fact, linguists have even theorized that San Francisco means ‘The City of the Burning Calf’ in Spanish, though more research is needed to confirm this claim. And while San Fran’s overwhelming geography perpetually turns bike couriers into hernia patients, it makes for a serenely pretty landscape with viewing points never more than a stroll away. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You think your life is an uphill struggle?! Move to San Francisco.” - Every San Franciscan ever.

The Steepest Streets in San Francisco

 

Now, if you were to head to San Francisco’s own list, one propagated by the Bureau of Engineering, you will see something that may have been correct around 100 years ago. As the city’s geography changes, however, so does the list of steepest streets - and SF has done a poor job of keeping up to date. With San Francisco’s famous slopes a tourist draw for millions a year, this might come as no surprise - the steepest streets according to the outdated list also happened to be some of the most visited. And nobody bothered to check.

Until a Mr. Stephen Von Worley decided to take up the challenge, that is. Someone every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with, Von Worley took it upon himself to quantify the steepness of every single San Francisco street. And he started by looking outside the famous confines of Chinatown and North Beach and heading into the ‘burbs. Here’s what he found, as recorded by 7x7 magazine:

 

San Fran's Steepest

10. Broadway above Taylor (31% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2309" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

9. 22nd between Vicksburg and Church (31.5% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2316" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

8. Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth (31.5% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2313" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

7. 24th between De Haro and Rhode Island (31.5% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2318" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

6. Ripley between Peralta and Alabama (31.5% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2310" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

5. Baden above Mangels (34% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2314" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

4. Nevada above Chapman (35% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2315" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

3. Prentiss between Chapman and Powhattan (37% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2317" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

2. Romolo between Vallejo and Fresno (37.5% grade)

Steepest streets in San Francisco

1. Bradford above Tompkins (41% grade)

[caption id="attachment_2311" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Steepest streets in San Francisco Image courtesy of Google Maps[/caption]

Coming in at number one on the list of the steepest streets in San Francisco is Bradford. With a gradient of 41%, it would take roughly 7 seconds for a one-ton car to accelerate to 60mph if nobody pumped the brake.

 

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