In December 2021, an online advertisement appeared to display a picture of two contractors on a steep driveway as they prepared to drive a gray SUV from the sidewalk to the top. It led to a 43-page slideshow article.
Nearly six years earlier, a commenter on Reddit asked: "Out of curiosity, is there like a Snopes article or something?"
Apologies, we're a bit tardy.
According to our research, this was a real photograph. We also found details on the history of the pictures and even an update on the situation.
Pictures of the Steep Driveway
Zillow.com published that the home was built in 2003 and was first purchased in 2004, meaning that the pictures likely dated to late 2003.
While the pictures were real, the driveways on the street have since been redone. According to updated photographs from Google Maps Street View, the sidewalk was later reconstructed to be closer to the street.
In fact, Google Maps even showed where the sidewalk was curved to give more room for the driveways to not be so steep:
We also looked at historical satellite imagery on Google Earth Pro which showed that the moved sidewalk appeared to help fix three houses from having potentially dangerous driveways:
On the garagejournal.com message board, a user shared this memory which seemed to line up with what happened:
A person on another forum said he had seen it in person. If I remember correctly he was an engineer or construction manager for the housing development.
He said the angle of the photo made it look worse than it really was, but the driveways were still way too steep. They ended up tearing it all out and regrading the street higher so the driveways would work.
In sum, it was true that the photos showed a real and steep driveway that could potentially be described as a contractor mistake. However, by 2004, the driveway was redone after the sidewalk was moved closer to the street.