Navigating the Hilly Streets of San Francisco

San Francisco’s design differs from most other larger cities in a very interesting way. The city is built on a series of severe hills, creating steep roads that can be hard to drive around, even for residents. So, if you are a tourist planning your next visit, or a soon-to-be San Francisco resident preparing for what it will take to drive around the city, we suggest following these tips to understand these hilltop roads.

Drive Faster Than You Think To

Some people think the key to taking on a steep hill is to take it slow and steady, but that is the opposite of what you should do. It is best to drive faster rather than slower when trekking up a hilly road. Now, there is a happy medium that you have to find. If you go too fast, you risk stalling out, but if you go too slow, you risk not making it up the hill.

If you have an automatic car, you do not run the risk of stalling out, but you can cause damage to your engine still. We suggest drivers with those cars gain enough speed at the base of the hill to power them through the rest of the hill. If you have a manual car with a stick shift, you want to have enough speed to go into second gear and then take the rest of the hill that way, maintaining a consistent fast, but not too fast, speed.

Understand the Science of Parking

Parking on the hills of San Francisco is usually more intimidating than driving the hills to people. There is the concern of your car just rolling down the hill, hitting cars and people on its way down, creating chaos and destruction. That’s why it is extremely important that you understand the science behind parking since it ultimately comes down to basic physics. The most important thing to always remember when parking along the curb on a hill is to turn your wheels away from the curb when you are facing uphill and to turn them toward the car when you are facing downhill. These wheel turns will prevent your car from rolling right down the hill as it will naturally fall toward the curb instead.

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