Usually, when the topography is hilly like that, engineers like to build ZIG-ZAG roads, which are easier for cars and pedestrians to travel.
The land before paving.
In that case you can't build zig-zag roads anymore. What's left to do, is to build a road that's a straight line from bottom of the hill to the top.
The sign says 32% Grade (meaning, 32 feet elevation gain for every 100 feet distance travelled on the road).
Let’s put that in perspective. Let's put that number into something that makes sense:
....... a 3-story building is about 32-feet tall
...... a basketball court is about 100 feet long (actually, exactly 94 feet long, but suppose let's add 6 feet to reflect the extra area where the posts are installed)
Now, use that 100-foot long basketball court as a ramp to the top of the 32-foot tall building. That’s what 32% Gradient is like.
Now, keep that same 32% slope, but make it 2 blocks long. Climb it once. Climb it twice. Climb it 10 times. Climb it some more. That is the nature of the Fargo Street Climb competition held annually in March by the Los Angeles Wheelman.
In 2006 the record was set at 50 climbs (by Doug Kubler).
In March 2007, Francis Marlon Ignacio set out to break Doug's 50-climb record. The previous year, Francis did 48 climbs, placing 3rd. So he figures, just add 3 more climbs, and he overtakes the record.
Almost 80 riders arrived at Fargo Street in March 2007 to try their strength.
In the end, Francis did break 50. He made 51 climbs.
However, Douglas wanted to put the record beyond reach for a long time, so he did 80 climbs that same day. Monster.