Contrary to popular belief, the steepest street in the world is not in San Francisco, but actually in Dunedin. The short straight street is a little under 350 m long with an average slope of slightly more than 1:5.
The steepness of the street was completely unintentional. As with many other parts of early New Zealand, streets were laid out in a grid pattern with no consideration for the terrain, usually by planners in London.
The street is the venue for an annual event in Dunedin, the Baldwin Street Gutbuster. Every summer since 1988 this exercise in fitness and balance involves athletes running from the base of the street to the top and back down again. The event attracts several hundred competitors annually and the race record is 1:56.
Since 2002, a charity event has been held annually in July, which involves the rolling of over 30,000 Jaffa balls (orange-flavoured chocolate balls covered in red sugar coating). Each Jaffa is sponsored by one person, with prizes to the winner and funds raised going to charity. This event follows a tradition started in 1998, when 2,000 tennis balls were released in a sponsored event raising money for Habitat for Humanity.
The steepest street in the world according to the Guinness book of records
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