July 30, 2020

The Steepest Street in San Francisco

From sfgate via Dianna:

San Francisco is defined by its hills.

But which is the steepest?

It’s not Lombard Street. While the famous winding block between Hyde and Leavenworth, with its tight turns and postcard views, has become the celebrity of San Francisco streets, its incline even before the eight switchbacks were built in 1923 was a relatively paltry 27%. It may be the crookedest and most famous block in the city, but it’s certainly not the steepest. …

YouTuber and San Francisco native Joey Yee wanted to find out, and climbed the city’s actual steepest streets in a video posted on YouTube:

So, what is he grade of Vancouver’s steepest street?

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  1. I doubt Vancouver has anything close to 40%, and I’m not sure about even 20%. The north end of Oak Street is pretty darn steep, and it’s not a little 50 m alley or cul-de-sac, either. (The video shows some steep pavement in spots I’d be reluctant to call ‘streets’ whether they’re named on the map or not. ) There are a few spots in East Van, near VCC, where the sidewalks have ridges moulded into them for safety in the winter. And there’s a nameless alley near the Fraser Lands, running from the top of the pedestrian overpass that crosses SE Marine Drive, from Harrison Drive up to Fraserview Drive, that feels very steep indeed, walking it. Tolmie Street and Sasamat Street, from NW Marine Drive south to 4th Avenue, are a pretty good grind, too. I’ve tramped all over those and other hilly spots in town, and I love them, but I don’t know that I’d want them any steeper.

  2. Hendecourt Rd in our strata hits the mid-20s and is alleged to be the steepest on the North Shore.
    And yes, it snows here, which is why fifty years ago they included underground heating cables.
    Successive strata councils decreed that replacing the cables was “too expensive”, since global warming meant we would never see another snowy winter.
    Yes, it’s dire in winter, especially since we’ve opted for the bargain ” one visit a day maximum” snow plow contract.

  3. The north end of Oak Street is signposted as a 22% grade.

    My go-to “steepest” street in the Lower Mainland has always been Oxford Street in White Rock, which is signposted at 23%.

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