Crookedest Street Closing: San Francisco Landmark Shutting Down For The Summer

Nathan Francis

The Crookedest Street in the World will be closed for the summer.

The San Francisco landmark, a twisting street that is popular with tourists, will be temporarily closed after a steady stream of complaints by residents that the street was too clogged.

"This will be a test to improve the safety for residents, pedestrians and motorists in the area," Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said. "There are often a lot of people who come to either take pictures or drive down the street and it can cause lengthy delays."

The MTA voted on the measure this week, closing down the Crookedest Street for a stretch of four weekends starting in late June, the busiest tourism season.

Even many tourists agreed that the street had too much traffic.

"It's an insane amount of traffic and it must be difficult and obnoxious for the wealthy residents who live here and can't even get into their own driveway," Dylan Giordano, 21, of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press. Giordano might know something about gridlock, having just graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Environmental and Urban Planning.

Aside from the twists and turns of the street itself, many tourists were drawn to Lombard Street for the stately mansions in the Russian Hill neighborhood. The street is alive with color during the summer, with plentiful gardens of flowers.

The tourism site SF To Do notes that the street is actually crooked for a good reason:

"Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of America's crookedest streets and found on many tours. The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions. If not for the byzantine curves, easing out this treacherous slope, people could be killed rolling down. For an idea of how steep this street really is, go two blocks up, to Filbert Street and peer down over the ridge. Lombard is even steeper."