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.
Lombard Street's western terminus is at Presidio Boulevard inside The Presidio; it then heads 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 to 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 known for the one-way block on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, where eight sharp turns are said to make it the crookedest street in the world. The design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and built in 1922, was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles. It is also a hazard to pedestrians, who are accustomed to 4.86° inclines because of wheel chair navigability concerns. The crooked block is perhaps 600 feet (180 m) long (412.5 feet (125.7 m) straightline), is one-way (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The sign at the top recommends 5 mph (8 km/h).
In 1999 a 'Crooked Street Task Force' tried to solve traffic problems around the winding section of Lombard Street. In 2001 the task force decided it would not be legal to permanently close the block to vehicular traffic. Instead, it 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 proposed the use of minibuses to ferry sightseers to the famous block, although residents debated the efficiency of such a solution, since one of the attractions is driving down the twisting section.
The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of this block.
- "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).
The 1991 episode, "The Big Clam-Up" of Captain Planet and the Planeteers a run-a-way cable car safely lands at the end of the street.
The Rise of The Zombies's film starts with a car chase scene in Lombard Street.
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 and 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 season 3 episode 13 of Futurama "Bendin' in the wind" Fry can be seen driving down Lombard street in his Volkswagen van as he follows Bender who is on tour as a folk singer.
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 the American Dad episode "Bar Mitzvah Hustle," Steve Smith devises a theft scheme with "more twists and turns than Lombard Street." When his team looks at him in confusion, he shows them a picture of the street, which they immediately recognize.
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.
Time-exposure photograph at night clearly shows the 8 switchbacks
||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|
- 49-Mile Scenic Drive
- 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. "Lombard Street". Google Maps (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 on San Francisco To Do
- 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