Lombard Street (San Francisco)
Lombard Street seen from Coit Tower
|Maintained by||SF DPW|
|West end||Presidio Boulevard|
|East end||The Embarcadero|
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. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O'Farrell.
Route description 
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 (though this title is contested - see "See Also" links). 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 27º (51%) 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.
In media 
- "They built a street up there called Lombard Street that goes straight down, and they're not satisfied with you killing yourself that way—they put grooves and curves and everything in it, and they put flowers there where they've buried the people that have killed themselves. Lombard Street, wonderful street." (audience reacts with knowing cheers and applause).
In 1994, the MTV reality show The Real World: San Francisco was filmed at 949 Lombard Street. Although sources such as Real World Houses give the door number as 953, castmate Cory Murphy notes the door number as 949 in the season premiere when first arriving with Pedro Zamora. One entrance to the house leads to the second floor bears the number 949, and an adjacent door facing the street that leads to the third and fourth floors, bears the numbers 951 and 953.
In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike," there is a scene where Adrian Monk goes to the Mayor's office during a citywide sanitation union strike. He suggests his idea of evacuating the whole city, burning it down, then burning the ashes, and rebuilding the city, saying "Think of it, we rebuild San Francisco ...from scratch. Start fresh, everything clean. Everything brand new. Gonna have that new city smell. Fresh off the lot, we can even straighten out Lombard Street while we’re at it." In the tie-in novel Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, when Monk and Natalie Teeger visit the Mayor's office during a major police strike, Monk again brings up his request to straighten Lombard Street.
In 2010, the street was briefly featured in an episode of MythBusters. The MythBusters "delivery crew" encountered problems during an experiment when their step van could not complete the tight turns on Lombard Street, culminating with the delivery truck stalling and holding up traffic at the bottom of the hill.
The game San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing shows Lombard Street as a shortcut on the circuit 3.
Lombard Street was also featured in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas".
Time-exposure photograph at night clearly shows the 8 switchbacks
Major intersections 
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (August 2008)|
||This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by|
- Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage.
The entire route is in San Francisco.
|US 101 north (Richardson Avenue) – Golden Gate Bridge||West end of US 101 overlap|
|US 101 south (Van Ness Avenue) – San Francisco Civic Center, San Jose||East end of US 101 overlap|
|Gap in route|
|The Embarcadero||Former SR 480|
See also 
- 49-Mile Scenic Drive
- Lombard banking, after which the street was named
- Vermont Street, the other San Francisco street claimed to be the "most crooked" has seven turns instead of eight, but its hill is steeper than Lombard's
- Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa, once recognized by Ripley's Believe It or Not! as "The Crookedest Street in the World". Like Lombard Street it has eight turns but over a shorter distance.
- Loewenstein, Louis, K. (1984) Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street and Place Names. Don't Call It Frisco Press.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Lombard Street (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Lombard+St,+San+Francisco,+CA,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title.
- Saperstein, Susan (February 2009). "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- Brown-Martin, Darcey (September–October 2001). "An Honestly Crooked Street". via Magazine.
- Saperstein, Susan. "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "Rowena Meeks F. Abdy American 1887-1945 Biography". The Annex Galleries. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- Winick, Judd (2000). Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned. New York: Henry Holt. pp. 61; 119. ISBN 0805064036.
- "Lombard Street House". Real World Houses. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
- Staff (XLS file). State Truck Route List (Report). California Department of Transportation. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/trucks/truckmap/truck-route-list.xls. Retrieved February 2008.
- Staff (July 2007). Log of Bridges on State Highways (Report). California Department of Transportation. http://wwBaw.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog2.htm.
- Staff (2005, 2006). All Traffic Volumes on CSHS (Report). California Department of Transportation. http://traffic-counts.dot.ca.gov/.
- "Lombard Street, San Francisco". San Francisco. a view on cities. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lombard Street|
- Map: Coordinates:
- Tourist Trapped: The Crookedest Street In The World, SFGate Culture Blog
- Lombard Street view from Telegraph Hill, with Candyland promotional striping, August 2009
- Lombard Street, SF GuideLines
- Down Lombard Street view in Video with interactive map on Kinomap