World’s steepest street, New Zealand

Baldwin Street, in a quiet suburban part of New Zealand’s southern city of Dunedin, is reputed to be the world’s steepest street. It is located in the suburb of North East Valley, 3.5 kilometres northeast of Dunedin’s city centre.

A short straight street of some 350 metres length, Baldwin Street runs east from the valley of the Lindsay Creek up the side of Signal Hill. Its lower reaches are of only moderate steepness, and the surface is asphalt, but the upper reaches of this cul-de-sac are far steeper, and surfaced in concrete, for ease of maintenance (tar seal would flow down the slope on a warm day) and for safety in Dunedin’s frosty winters. At its maximum, the slope of Baldwin Street is approximately 1:2.86 (19° or 35%) - that is, for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation rises by 1 metre.
Baldwin Street’s claim to fame has caused some controversy after it emerged that the original entry in the Guinness Book of Records was based on a typographical error, claiming a maximum gradient of 1:1.266 (38° or 79%). This would be impossible to walk up, and appears to be an error for 1:2.66, which itself is slightly steeper than the currently accepted figure of 1:2.86. Alternatively, the mistake may have been caused by confusion between degrees and percentage grade, i.e., mixing up 38% with 38°.

Nevertheless, Baldwin Street is officially recognized as the world’s steepest street at a 35% grade. Canton Avenue, in the Pittsburgh neighbourhood of Beechview, may be steeper; it is officially measured to be a 37% grade.

Other notably steep streets include Eldred Street in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles, California, one of three streets in Los Angeles between 32% and 33.3%, and Filbert and 22nd Streets in San Francisco, both claiming a maximum gradient of 31.5% (approximately 17°).
[Source: Wikipedia]

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