Broadway - Taylor Street to Florence Street

  • Neighborhood: Russian Hill
  • Location:
  • Height: 70 feet

Identical stairways on either side of the street up to the top of the hill, near Florence Street. The stairs predate the roadway on steep part of the block, which wasn't built until around the same time as the construction of the Broadway Tunnel in the 1950s. Perhaps the slope's 30.74% grade was considered too steep for early automobiles?

A low wall blocks off the street at the crest of the hill, which is a remnant of where the roadway used to end before it was extended up the slope. For some reason, the wall has never been removed to create a through street between Jones and Taylor in the past 70 or so years, and the block functions as two disconected dead-ends for cars. It's possible this may have been intentional to prevent the street from being used by through-traffic as an alternative to the tunnel.

The wall does still serve a purpose for pedestrians: There are built-in benches at either end, which have no doubt been a welcome sight to many exhausted pedestrians over the years. It was also used in the finale episode of season 2 of The Amazing Race, which aired in May 2002. A clue box was placed on the bench on the north side, where contestants were then directed to their next stop at the Minicipal Pier.



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