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Lombard Street (San Francisco)

Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California that is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. Stretching from The Presidio east to The Embarcadero (with a gap on Telegraph Hill), most of the street's western segment is a major thoroughfare designated as part of U.S. Route 101. The famous one-block section, claimed to be "the crookedest street in the world", is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood. It is a major tourist attraction, receiving around 2 million visitors per year and up to 17,000 per day on busy summer weekends, as of 2015.[1]

Lombard Street
Sanfran 61 bg 032605.jpg
Lombard Street seen from Coit Tower
Maintained by
Coordinates 37°48′07″N 122°25′08″W / 37.80194°N 122.41889°W / 37.80194; -122.41889
West end Presidio Boulevard
Major
junctions
US 101
East end The Embarcadero

The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O'Farrell.[2]

Contents

Route descriptionEdit

 
Looking east down the curvy block of Lombard Street, with the straight section continuing towards Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower

Lombard Street's west end 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 an arterial road that is co-signed as U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street continues through the Russian Hill neighborhood and to the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. At Telegraph Hill it turns south, becoming Telegraph Hill Boulevard to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Winthrop Street and ends at The Embarcadero as a collector road.[3]

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 most crooked street in the world. The design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry[4] and built in 1922,[5] was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade,[6] which was too steep for most vehicles. 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). The segment normally sees around 250 vehicles per hour, with average daily traffic reaching 2,630 vehicles in 2013.[1] During peak times, vehicles have to wait up to 20 minutes to enter the Crooked Street segment, in a queue that can reach Van Ness Avenue.[1]

The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of the block on Hyde Street.[7]

Today, the Academy of Art University owns and operates a building called Star Hall on the street for housing purposes.[8]

Past residents of Lombard Street include Rowena Meeks Abdy,[9] an early California painter who worked in the style of Impressionism[citation needed].

GalleryEdit

A panoramic view of Lombard Street

See alsoEdit

  • 49-Mile Scenic Drive
  • Vermont Street, the other San Francisco street claimed to be the "most crooked"[10] 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.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c San Francisco County Transportation Authority: Lombard  Study:  Managing  Access  to  the  "Crooked  Street". February 2017 (PDF)
  2. ^ Loewenstein, Louis, K. (1984) Streets of San Francisco: The Origins of Street and Place Names. Don't Call It Frisco Press.
  3. ^ Google. "Lombard Street" (Map). Google Maps. Google. 
  4. ^ Saperstein, Susan (February 2009). "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  5. ^ Brown-Martin, Darcey (September–October 2001). "An Honestly Crooked Street". via Magazine. 
  6. ^ Saperstein, Susan. "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Hyde St & Lombard St". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Academy of Art University Campus Map" (PDF). academyart.edu. Academy of Art University. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Rowena Meeks F. Abdy American 1887–1945 Biography". The Annex Galleries. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  10. ^ "Lombard Street, San Francisco". San Francisco. a view on cities. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 

External linksEdit

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata