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Breaking Records: Steepest Street

September 18, 2020

Who knew it’d be so difficult to measure the gradient (or the incline) of a road? Ready for the drama? In 2019, Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Wales, was awarded the title of the steepest street in the world by Guinness World Records—a record that was long-held by New Zealand’s Baldwin Street. Beating a record like that was definitely worth celebrating. Hundreds of people poured into the streets of the small town to celebrate the record achievement. Well, unfortunately for the people of Harlech, the celebration was short-lived. After a formal review by Guinness World Records which involved consulting with specialists and a review of how the measurements should be taken (turns out the centerline of a street is the most effective), Baldwin Street was reinstated as the steepest street in the world this year. How steep is this street exactly? A gradient of 34.8% (beating Ffordd Pen Llech’s gradient of 28.6%). What does that mean? For every 100 ft (horizontal), the ground drops by 34.8 ft.

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