Walking Montclair’s Steeps

While there are all kinds of great ways to view the topography of Montclair, the most practical one is Walk Oakland! This cool map shows the specific pitches of streets, and helps you get around on foot or bicycle.

Click here to see the map, and magnify any Montclair neighborhood.  You’ll notice the streets are graded by color, with deeper pinks as you head up the hills:  0-3% white; 3-6% light; 6-9% medium; and over 9% dark.

Take a closer look at this Montclair snapshot.  If you know your area, then you’ll agree the pitch colors are remarkably accurate – depending on whether they head up or transverse the hills.

What I like best about this map is that is reveals some ideal walks.  Why do I always restrict to walking up to Skyline?  Probably nothing more than habit.  As an avid walker, the map encourages me to check out some other places rather than my typical routes.

This walking map also manages to label the streets and neighborhoods clearly.  While we don’t commonly use the original neighborhood names, they honor our history.  In addition to Hiller Highlands, Montclair and Piedmont Pines, you can zoom into Forestland, Merriewood and Fernwood too.

Of course, it’s fun to fly around Google Earth and see actual satellite images.  It’s even more useful to have these pitch measurements – and there’s no other place to find them.