Lombard Street, San Fransisco, USA

August 2, 2020
Lombard Street, San Francisco, California, USA

Location | Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

Lombard Street is perhaps the most famous crooked street in the world with 2 million yearly visitors. It is a one-way block where eight sharp turns (total of 600 feet/180 meters) help reduce the steepness. It was built in 1922 to reduce the hill’s natural steep 27% grade, which was far too steep for the most common cars.

In 2017, the City of San Fransisco published a study – Managing Access to the “Crooked Street” – proposing some short- and mid-term strategies which could resolve the key challenges of visitor access and circulation to Lombard Street and the surrounding neighbourhood. The four key recommendations adopted by the City included: 

  1. Improved Enforcement of Existing Regulations
    Potential Solution: Increase the number of Parking Control Officers, expanding their hours of deployment and the locations they patrol.
  2. Engagement of Tourism Industry as Partners in Visitor Management
    Potential Solution: Develop an education and marketing campaign/partnership with various tourism operators to remind them how they can be a good neighbour, in terms of tour group size, timing, and loading/unloading.
  3. Engineering and Signage Enhancements
    Potential Solution: Traffic engineering interventions including painted or raised sidewalk extensions, barriers, or wayfinding signage could help to address conflicts and near-misses between pedestrians, drivers, and transit.
  4. Reservations and Pricing System for Vehicles
    Potential Solution: Implement a system to manage paid reservations for access to the “Crooked Street”. Such a strategy could allow for the flow and demand of vehicles entering the street to be regulated, reducing queue lengths.

 

The Outcome 

As a result of surveys, community meetings and open houses, the community showed a strong support for the reservations and pricing system to address traffic and tourism challenged. This led to a second study published in 2019 – Lombard Crooked Street Reservation and Pricing System – where the City of San Fransisco outlined the design options of a paid reservation system and how traffic congestion could be sufficiently handled while also keeping safety, continued tourism, liveability of the neighbourhood and financial viability a top priority.

The recommendation included that the system should:

  • Operate 9am to 9pm
  • Cost $5 on weekdays, $10 on weekends and holidays
  • Includes staff to check reservations and help direct vehicles
  • Allows for a limited number of free passes to San Francisco residents through the city’s Discover and Go program.

 

Revised Scheme 

However, governor Gavin Newsom rejected the proposal due to “social equity issues”. He emphasised that the “iconic attraction should be available to all, regardless of their ability to pay”. Consequently, now the City of San Fransisco is working to revise the same scheme to be free of charge. Due to COVID-19 it is estimated that the new legislation for the regulation of Lombard Street will not come out before 2021.

Subscribe

Sign Up for News

Receive urban planning news, guides and product updates and more!

Invalid email address

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Improve Quality of Life in your Community

Improve Quality of Life in your Community

Overview Around the world most large cities have generally reached consensus in how we can create better cities to improve quality of life and and liveability for its residents. In order to develop better cities, governments prepares goals and strategies to strive...

High Speed Rail transforming Cities?

High Speed Rail transforming Cities?

High Speed Rail Origin High-speed rail (HSR) is not a new phenomenon with the first trains being operational in a Japanese city called Tōkaidō Shinkansen since 1964. There is no international standard measurement of what constitutes high speed. However...

Plantzia Beautification Plan in Spain

Plantzia Beautification Plan in Spain

Location | Plantzia, Biscay, Spain Plentzia is a tourist and resort city with a large beach (Plentzia Beach) where the river pictured runs out to. The beach, located in the Biscay Bay, has become very popular as it has a very clean water and the beach is sheltered....