Lombard Street, San Francisco, California, USA
Probably the best known one-way street in the world!
Lombard Street, San Francisco, Ca. is section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns - AKA switchbacks, - that have earned the street the distinction of being (probably) the crookedest or most winding street in the world!
Lombard Street is San Francisco's Crookedest Street - by Mark Adams
Lombard Street in San Francisco is an east-west running street that has gained fame for its one block expanse composed of hair-pin turns.
Lombard Street's origins are in the Presidio, at Presidio Blvd. It runs east through Cow Hollow, and for a mile between Broderick and Van Ness it is considered an arterial road that is co-signed U.S. Route 101. Lombard Street runs through Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill, where it becomes Telegraph Boulevard leading up to Coit Tower. Lombard Street starts again at Montgomery Street, and ends at the Embarcadero.
Though Lombard is quite crooked, it is not the crookedest street in San Francisco, let alone the world. Lombard Street's 8 switchbacks was suggested by property owner Carl Henry. The winding design was necessary to make the hill's natural 27% grade passable for cars, because the natural grade is far too steep for most cars and vehicles to navigate. The speed limit on this segment of Lombard Street is 5 mph for the entire ¼ mile. The crooked section of Lombard Street is one-way traffic only, for vehicles running east or downhill. The hill is paved with red bricks. It was built in 1923.
Lombard Street runs through neighborhoods with extremely elegant real estate. Russian Hill is one of the neighborhoods Lombard Street runs through that is known for its lovely houses and friendly neighborhood atmosphere. But almost anywhere on Lombard, it is possible to find restaurants, shopping, and attractions. Lombard runs through San Francisco as a major artery, and connects to a number of MUNI lines, and runs through various neighborhoods. Cow Hollow, near the Marina, is an upper class residential district that is close to Union Street and Fillmore Street. Both of these streets are known for dining and small boutiques, providing an elegant and unique experience. Coit Tower is a San Francisco landmark in North Beach. Built in memoriam to the San Francisco Fire Department, Coit Tower now offers Art Deco murals inside the first floor, and a panoramic view of the city from the top floor.
Lombard Street is important to San Francisco. It runs through the city as a vital street for traffic flow, and takes the visitor on a fairy comprehensive tour of the city. The views from Lombard Street at Hyde are amazing, and traveling along Lombard is an experience of both beauty and education. One gets to see San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods as one travels the length of Lombard Street. From Presidio Blvd., to Cow Hollow, to North Beach, to the Embarcadero, The Lombard Street route allows visitors to see some of San Francisco's most important areas.
Some of the bus lines that run on or near Lombard include the 28/19th Ave., the 4 Masonic, the 30 Stockton, the 39 Coit Tower, the 41 Union, and the 45 Union-Stockton. Lombard is also a great street to catch a cab because it's such a major street. Or, downtown Lombard Street is located near a number of underground MUNI stations. One can also take the Powell-Hyde line of the Cable Car to the top of the Lombard Street hill. Pedestrians are allowed to walk down the hill, and anyone can drive down the hill's one way slope.
Traffic congestion has always been a problem for the Lombard Street hill, but the wait s worth it for that one spectacular moment as visitors crest the hill and see the magnificent view of Downtown San Francisco, North Beach, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Lombard Street hill can be seen as a gateway to many of San Francisco's mysteries. The view from the top of that hill pulls visitors in, and makes them want to see more of the city. Lombard Street can open the way for visitors to anywhere in the city, from Chinatown to Haight Street. On a sunny day, Lombard Street will make a visitor fall in love with San Francisco. On a foggy day, the view from Lombard and Hyde will ignite a sense of mystery in a visitor, and open up the whole up San Francisco to their curiosity.
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