By:
11-06-2015

The Ten Steepest Streets In The World

The world is full of interesting streets, including those with heart-pounding inclines. If you’ve seen those epic car chases over the hilly mounds of San Francisco in movies like Bullitt and The Rock, you’ll probably expect the city to be at the top of the list of the world's steepest streets, but you’d be wrong. There are several other places around the globe where roads are so steep that they take your breath away – literally. And if you manage to huff and puff your way up them, you may need oxygen at the top.
Lists are often steeped in controversy and this one is no different. Here’s the slant on the 10 steepest:

1. Canton Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States: 37% incline

Steepness is measured by grade and Canton Street is in an elevated class of its own. It’s a real gutbuster with an incline of 37%, which means it rises 37 feet for every 100 feet of length. It is considered by many to be the steepest residential street in the world – but not by those who live in Baldwin Street, Dunedin, New Zealand, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest with an incline of 35%. Baldwin Street was previously thought to have a 38% incline, but later measurements showed it to be 35%, so Canton Street pips it. Whether you are in a car, on a bike or walking, cobblestone-paved Canton Street is scary. It has stairs at the side instead of pavements and “Do Not Enter” signs at the top and bottom. Pittsburgh is known for its hills and every year since 1983 diehard cyclists have competed in a punishing 50-mile bike ride tackling the 13 steepest climbs in the city, including Canton Avenue. Some people make it to the top, but many give up after trying several times.

2. Waipio Rd, Honokaa, Hawaii, United States: 37% incline

The Ten Steepest Streets In The World This spectacular cliffside road climbs up 800 feet in just six-tenths of a mile. The average grade is 25%, but it has long sections measuring 30%. Some parts reach 37% and some people claim as high as 45%. It’s a paved public road, but it is not a residential street and is only open to 4 wheel drive vehicles and people on foot. Engines have been known to stall on the way up and destroy brakes on the way down. If you are brave enough to slog up it, you’ll benefit from the exercise and enjoy the stunning scenery.
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