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It's a steep slope down Madison St. to the waterfront. Intersecting avenues create short plateaus in the descent. Pedestrians on the level trust that cars coming at them have good brakes. Bicyclists don't attempt these steep streets unless they know what they are doing. Visitors familiar with the Seattle Center, Pike Place Market, and the downtown shopping area are often surprised by how San Francisco-like things become as one explores further south in the downtown area that leads up to First Hill. Seattle has many, many hills to enjoy and many fine views from them!