If you look at Hayes betwixt Pierce and Scott, you can see why the Hayes Street Cut exists.
And then you Google it to reveal:
“Hayes Street Cut: In order to re establish direct car service to the Hayes Street district north of the Panhandle* it is necessary to provide a lower grade between Pierce and Scott Streets And by a cut of 15 ft across the plateau at Pierce Street the maximum grade may be reduced from 14.6 to 10.9 (See Fig 72) which is within reasonable limits for electric equipment If a terraced arrangement is used with half the cut in the roadway and half in the walkway the cost for retaining walls will be considerably less than if the cut is extended full depth between property lines.”
Click to expand
And here’s the San Francisco Call from 1910:
“All matters connected with the proposed Hayes street cut were put over until next week. The committee received the works board’s report that the improvement would cost the city $54,000.”
Now of course many parts of SF have been regraded over the years, but what makes the Hayes Street Cut the Hayes Street Cut is that the City accommodated the already partially-developed area. Nobody wanted to mess with private land south of Hayes. So people figured regrading the street while leaving the sidewalks mostly intact was the cheap solution. Terracing = less digging.
Here you go, the HAYES STREET PROFILE:
(I’ll note that the HSC makes the annual Bay to Breakers fun-run** easier on the competitors, as you can see.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAYES STREET CUT!
*We use the phrase NoPA these days, except that back then “north of the Panhandle” meant the area farther west, not that the real estate ladies of the 94117 would give a care about that.
**Hayes Street is NOT the highest part of the B2B course, despite what the MSM tells us every year. In fact, the highest part of the B2B is on JFK Drive at the foot of Rainbow Falls in Golden Gate Park. The More You Know…