There are at least two jokes in Portugal about the size of things in the USA:
One says that in the USA everything is so big that even the small things are big.
The other says that the streets are so large that even to cross them we have to take the car.
Can you imagine why did Lombard street remind me those jokes?
Was it San Francisco or is it America? Whatever the answer, Americans do love their stuff on wheels; from one to whatever number you come up with (mostly two and four) you'll certainly see some stange things going around on the roads.
San Francisco certainly had its share, an abundance even. Oddball things seemed to pop up wherever I wandered through the streets.
Just when a stretch limo would go by, something even longer and higher went past. No sooner had a wooden cable car trundled along than a Mr. Toad's Tours woody would putter by.
The yellow one in the opening shot is interesting. They track the vehicle by GPS and, wherever you're located there's a relevant commentary going on. Excellent idea.
Russian Hill, a residential neighborhood with pockets of restaurants and shops, is the start of the most famous part of Lombard Street, formerly the world most crooked street (Burlington's Snake Alley in Iowa is now it). But still is a favorite of mine
Lombard Street is best known for one block on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being "the former crookedest [most winding] street in the United States." (Vermont St. between 20th St and 22nd St near the San Francisco General Hospital may be steeper, but has only seven turns, and is in a much less picturesque location.) The Powell-Hyde cable car line stops at the top of this block.
The crooked section of the street is reserved for one-way traffic traveling east (downhill), and is paved with bricks. The section was built in 1923 to accommodate the steepness of the slope
Known as "The Crookedest Street" Lombard Street is CRAZY.
The best way to view this is to get the trolly (Hyde) and get off at the top and walk down either side via the steps. This will let you see peoples houses, and small frontways, also the flowers, together with a fantastic view over the city from high up
Tourists abound on Lombard St., the crookedest street in the world, but can you blame them? Not only is the street itself special but also the magnificent views of San Francisco and the Bay from the top of the street.
Lombard St. has understandably a slow speed limit, speeding down would be suicide and one would most likely end up crashing through one of the houses located on the street. You could probably walk up Lombard faster than you could driving down it.
I figure the people that live on Lombard must pay a pretty penny for their homes. Imagine waking up everyday and looking out your window at not only the beautiful street but at the million dollar view of San Francisco. Spectacular!
Leavenworth St. is your best option for taking some nice pics of Lombard St. and the parade of cars coming down. We arrived in San Francisco in December and missed out on the beautiful flowers which line the street but the greenery was still very pretty with well trimmed bushes and trees.
I suggest arriving by the Hyde-Powell cable car. The cable car will let you off in front of Lombard St. at the top. Enjoy the views from here and then walk down to Leavenworth St. and enjoy Lombard St.
San Francisco is well known around the world for its vertigo inducing streets, as depicted in the bumper scratching and exhaust breaking scenes in famous films like "Bullitt".
It also has what can be described as one of the crookedest streets in the world in “Lombard Street”.
The road has EIGHT switchbacks. It certainly is a hit with the tourist drivers, as it was busy when we were there. I don't suppose you would actually drive down the street other than as part of your tourist day.
The road has a five mile an hour speed restriction and no taxis are allowed.
You get a great view of the street from the bottom at Leavenworth Street, although you can get a good shot from the base of Coit Tower if you have a reasonable zoom on your camera.
again a clarification, lombard street is not the crookedest street in san francisco but it sure as hell is the most touristy of them all! tour buses cannot go into it for the obvious reasons that the raod is narrow that only cars and suv's are allowed so if you want to experience going through it, you must have a car or ride in one to be able to experience it. being in front of it with the videos and the pictures are simply not enough! while here in the city, you must ask a friend to ride you through it but if you are tourists, then just get a rental car but be careful due to the steep gradients of the roads around the city!
Lombard Street (in the Russian Hill district) is the crookedest street, not only in San Francisco but in the whole of America. This steep street was created in the 1920s with eight sharp curves (or switchbacks) to enable vehicles to travel down the one-way, 40-degree hill. The street, which is paved with bricks, is an amazing sight and seems constantly busy with traffic throughout the day.
Some of the most expensive properties in San Francisco exist on Lombard Street, even with its seemingly endless traffic of tourists. During Spring and Summer, Lombard Street comes alive with colour from all the flowers in bloom.
The best place to photograph Lombard Street is from Leavenworth Street, at the bottom of the hill looking up. You will see cars heading down very slowly, whilst tourists walk up and down the sides.
This is by far the crookedest street in the city. First we walked up the Filbert street for the Coil Tower and it was steep enough to cut our breaths away, they say Lombart street is even steeper that’s why part of it designed like this so the people wont be killed rolling down :) The crooked part of the street is located on Russian Hill.
Pic 1 shows the cars going down in really slow speed (there’s no other way), pic 2 shows Lombard street from the Coil Tower and pic 3 shows the rest of Lombard street which goes up to Telegraph Hill.
Oh my god! It was so difficult to walk up the street. Try to walk all day in a city like I did and then leave this for the end of your day, I thought I would die :)
The street houses some beautiful and extremely expensive Victorian mansions. We visited the street in October so we missed the blooming flowers that you can see in spring.
We climbed the steepest street in the world - Baldwin St in Dunedin, New Zealand so we when we heard of Lombard St we though we would see it also. We were a bit disappointed that that we could only walk down the steps beside the street. The cars were backed up a few blocks waiting to drive down it during the late afternoon. We walked to it from our hotel in a relatively short amount time but as expected it was up and down the streets so it raises the heart rate a bit.
As I was glancing up the street while walking on Lombard I spotted the "crookedest street in the world", who I am to let a mere hill or two stop me from seeing it? But if you are better prepared than me, you might try taking one of the cable cars up here, the Powell & Hyde line runs right by the start of it and if you have a MUNI pass you can hop off, take your pictures and then hop back on or I did notice that most of the cable car operators stopped up here long enough for people to take a photo, just make sure you are on the left side if coming from Fisherman's Wharf and the right side if coming from Union Square.
We even drove down it when we were returning the rental car, you just have to be patient and keep an eye on the car in front of you which more than likely will stop for a photo op in the middle of the street. And don't run over any of the throng of people taking photos at the bottom who are oblivious to the fact that these are real streets.
The crooked section, with 8 switchbacks and a 5 mile an hour speed limit, is between Hyde and Leavenworth, the best place to try and get a photo is from the bottom on Leavenworth. If you want to drive it, you have to start from Hyde Street and drive down. I read that the switchbacks were put in place in 1922 to assist in reducing the hill's 27% grade which was too steep for automobiles to climb. Even our modern car had a bit of trouble with some of San Francisco's hills, so imagine how a 1920s automobile would fare.
The section of Lombard Street that goes down Russian Hill (between Hyde and Leavenworth St.) has a steep 27° incline - this proved to be somewhat too dangerous for vehicles, and in the early 1920s the street was redesigned to include eight sharp turns, with a speed limit of only 5 miles per hour. Pedestrians can use the stairs to walk down the street, while looking at the cars (most of them being from out of state and featuring at least one passenger with a video camera) slowly negociate all the turns. Another thing that makes Lombard Street worth stopping by is that it is beautifully landscaped with huge, colorful floral arrangements between all the curves. Definitely a good spot for camera-happy people, and yet another thing that makes San Francisco so unique!
The best place to photograph the street, is from Leavenworth Street, at the bottom - looking up. You will see cars headed down slowly, daring souls walking up, and down the sides, while the flowers and buildings provide dazzling color. It is truly an incredible sight.
In the spring Lombard Street is alive with color, as the chrysanthemums provide a breathtaking carpet of colour.
Lombard Street is one of the worlds crookedest streets (is 'crookedest' actually a word!?). The street runs for 12 blocks, but it is the one block section between Hyde and Leavenworth Street which is the famous part.
To make access easy to this popular tourist attraction, the Powell-Hyde cable car line stops at the top of the block.
The steep, one-way street has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks), which means that traffic slowly zigzags down the hill, trying not to run over the hoards of snap-happy tourists trying to capture the cars in action. The street is paved with red bricks and lined with pretty flowerbeds.
If you find yourself up Coit Tower, you should be able to see the winding street in the distance, and those with a decent lens/zoom will find the photos are better from afar than actually at the street.
We enjoyed walking down as well as driving down Lombard Street. It is best known for the one way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being "the crookedest [most winding] street in world."