This probably does not come as news to the Citizens of Bernalwood, but there are some pretty steep hills in our neighborhood-on-a-hill. And some pretty steep streets that climb those steep hills too. Yet according to the “official stats,” Bernal’s streets are not the steepest:
Now, if you’re willing to believe that official list, then I have a California balanced budget proposal I’d like you to vote on. Here’s the truth: Independent analysts at the excellent Data Pointed blog have concluded that the official steep list is complete and utter B.S.
And not only that, they have also concluded that several of the steepest hills in the city are actually in Bernal Heights.
And not only that, they also, also concluded that the steepest paved street in San Francisco — and quite possibly the entire world! — is a 30-foot section of Bradford Street near Tompkins, just north of the Alemany Farmer’s Market.
Bradford Street, climbs eagerly from Tompkins Avenue at twenty-percent grade. Then, after 150 feet, the slope doubles, and the concrete poops out. “Anyone wanna take over?!” it yells.
“I does!” hollers the insane asphalt driveway! And lickety split, there’s a perilous, oil-stained jump to the private property above: not “country club” private, mind you, but theother kind, wherein the gap-toothed inhabitants take mighty unkindly to camera-waving interlopers. [...]
Carefully, I scaled the beast and measured it: a solid 30 feet of sustained 41% grade! On such a slope, gravity alone pulls a one-ton car downhill with 800 pounds of force, accelerating it from zero to sixty in 7.2 seconds. Whoa Nellie!
Congratulations, Bradford Street above Tompkins, for, having Bravely Thrust into the Forty-Percent-Plus Frontier, you now stand alone atop the Peak Of Maximum Grades as the Most Tilted Paved Urban Thoroughfare In The World!
In a similar vein, Data Pointed has conducted field surveys on hilly streets around the City, and with said data in hand, here’s how their Steepest Hill leaderboard looks right now. (Annotations added):
Amazing, eh? Four of the 10 steepest streets in San Francisco are in Bernal Heights. Fellow Citizens, this could become an economic bonanza for us all. Consider the opportunities:
- Bernal becomes a glamorous onsite location for filming leg-burning fitness videos or MTV/Jackass-style reality television shows.
- Ski Bernalwood could extend lift service to Bradford, to open up some new wintersports terrain.
- Heartfelt could become a retail colossus simply by selling t-shirts that look like this:
Because let’s face it: Bernal Heights may not always be the smartest, or the prettiest, or the most popular neighborhood in the world. But we may rest secure in the knowledge that we will always be the steepest.
IMAGE: Top, Bradford’s 41% grade. Photo by Data Pointed