This self-proclaimed crookedest street in the world is one of the coolest attractions in San Francisco, but it might also be the most popular and most stressful, too. If you're driving it, whoever is behind the wheel needs to navigate the 8 hairpin switchbacks down a steep slope while stuck in slow-moving traffic and dodging hordes of Segway tourists, amateur photographers who would do anything for the shot and pedestrians along the way. A word of advice: It's hard for the typical tourist to get a good photo of the road, so just enjoy the experience. But, it's a quick stop if you're in a car, and there's no reason to not cruise on down if you're up for it.
“San Francisco's crookedest street!”
Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. Lombard Street begins at Presidio Boulevard inside The Presidio and runs east through the Cow Hollow neighborhood. For twelve blocks, between Broderick Street and Van Ness Avenue, it is a principal arterial road that is co-signed as U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street then continues through the Russian Hill neighborhood and onto the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. At Telegraph Hill it breaks off to the south, becoming Telegraph Hill Boulevard, leading to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Winthrop Street and finally terminates at The Embarcadero as a collector road. Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest (most winding) street in the world. The switchback's design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and instituted in 1922, was born out of necessity in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles. It is also a serious hazard to pedestrians, who are accustomed to a more reasonable 4.86° incline because of wheel chair navigability concerns. The crooked section of the street, which is about 1⁄4 mile (400 m) long, is reserved for one-way traffic traveling east (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The speed limit in this section is 5 mph (8 km/h). In 1999, a Crooked Street Task Force was created to try to solve traffic problems in the neighborhoods around the winding section of Lombard Street. In 2001, the Task Force decided that it would not be legal to permanently close the block to vehicular traffic. Instead, the Task Force decided to institute a summer parking ban in the area, to bar eastbound traffic on major holidays, and to increase fines for parking in the area. The Task Force also proposed the idea of using minibuses to ferry sightseers to the famous block, although residents debated the efficiency of such a solution, since one of the attractions of touring the area is driving along the twisting section of the street.The Powell-Hyde cable car line stops at the top of this block.
I have been here before when the picture looked like you see on this website, but the hedges have all grown now and you can't see the zig zag as well as you actually visit this location. It was disappointing this visit. I'm surprised they still let people drive down this street.
Lombard street is amazing, but the poor residents are getting real pissed at the traffic, and I don't blame them. The traffic queue to drive down here can be gridlock sometimes.
nice to go down the hill by this road, kids will love it but like everybody said some time you will find a lot of traffics or tourism taking pictures of this street.
but i Did it :-)
You can't really see the zig zag when you are down at the bottom of the hill like you can in this picture. It's super crowded and traffic is hard to get through once you reach the bottom. It's a fun drive though the houses on that street are gorgeous!
We arrived early, drove down, no lines, no waiting & no crowds at the bottom. But if you REALLY want a more crooked street, go to Vermont Ave!
Short visit. If you want to drive it do it soon, there is talk to turn this residential or toll. Also the trolley will stop for a minute and let you take pictures from the top of the street. There are great city views at both ends.
Cool curvy street. 11 p.m. on a Saturday there were hundreds of tourist.
Free and Fun! It is hard to find anything worth doing for an affordable price in San Francisco. We drove it twice! then we parked and took pictures with the road in the background. Just parking around the corner was a first. We had to park on a steep hill! The kids enjoyed it. It was just too short.
We drove down the street which was cool but it definitely doesn’t look like the beautiful picture which was disappointing. Lots of tourists taking selfies. Worth a drive by.
Read people's comments before you go and that definitely gives you an idea of what you're getting yourself into. Hedges have grown, and it is tighter to go down this street. Make sure ur there with a decent car that can handle it and has breaks that work, since traffic can get insane (you move very slowly down the road). So many people at the bottom are taking pictures and they stay and socialize also. Parking was limited while we were there but I still had a chance to step out and take a few photos. It was a really cool experience!
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