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The Steepest Streets in L.A. and San Francisco

March 15, 1986

I'm writing to you about the fantastic article Ronald L. Soble wrote (Times, Feb. 24) about the steepest streets in the Los Angeles area.

Since I grew up in Los Angeles, I thought I would mention a few others that I have seen in Hollywood--Whitley Drive between Hollywood Boulevard and Hillside. In Westchester, 74th Street between Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Avenue. In Manhattan Beach, Poinsettia Avenue between Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Marine Street, and Marine Street between Sepulveda Boulevard, and Highland Avenue and 19th Street between Sepulveda Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

But San Pedro and Miraleste and the Palos Verdes area have the most really tall, tall hilly streets that stand out in my memory.

Seventeenth, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd between Gaffey and the Miraleste District, Channel Street between the Harbor Freeway and the Los Angeles Harbor, and Gaffey Street between Palos Verdes Drive South and 28th Street. Thanks for the article, which helped jog my memory.

In his comment about the steepest streets in San Francisco, Soble mentioned Vallejo between Taylor and Mason as being the steepest. Since it's in the middle of a park, it's not open to automobile traffic at all.

When I honeymooned in San Francisco, I learned about the steepest streets while taking the Gray Line tour. Their steepest street is Arguello Boulevard between Golden Gate Park and Parnassus Street. It climbs 400 feet in those 2 blocks, which makes it a 49% grade. The next steepest street is Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde at 45%, and thirdly, 22nd Street, between Church and Vicksburg, averaging 41%. Those details are in the book, "The Hills of San Francisco," by Herb Caen; unfortunately it is now out of print.



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