Lombard Street (The Most Winding Road in The World)

Information

Address: Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133
East end: The Embarcadero
West end: Presidio Boulevard
Major junctions: US 101
Location: Russian Hill neighborhood

Overview

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 as “the most crooked street in the world”, is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood.

Route description

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.

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 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 shallow inclines, up to 4.86° 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).

The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of the block on Hyde Street

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

Map

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