Thought the debate regarding which street in San Francisco is the crookedest—some say Lombard, some say Vermont, some say Carlton B Goodlett (because City Hall, ha ha ha)—the twisty stretch of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth is the one that draws tourists from the world over. But that might soon change, should the SFMTA have its way.
As Streetsblog notes, on Tuesday at the SFMTA's regular board meeting, the board is expected to vote to approve the transportation agency's recommendation of a temporary closure of the crooked part of the street to through traffic from about noon to around 6 PM on "Saturdays and Sundays from June 21st through July 13th, and on Friday, July 4th."
You can read the whole SFMTA document here, which says that this recommendation came at the request of District Supervisor Mark Farrell and residents in the area, as the street has been the site of "a number of vehicular collisions, pedestrian injuries, and residential property damage," as well as "chronic congestion in the summer months created by the large number of motorists." Needless to say, under the current proposal, residential traffic would still be permitted.
The purpose of this pilot plan to close Lombard is to "serve to inform staff as to whether the City should pursue temporary street closures on a more regular basis." Which basically means that if this goes well, they'll seriously consider making this closure an ongoing thing, leaving tourists to regularly assure the parking enforcement officer posted to enforce the closure that, "no, they really do live right over...there!"
Another anti-tourist option being considered by the board? Just gating the crooked section of Lombard off so only locals can drive down it. While "California law currently prohibits the use of permanent gates to allow selective entry of individuals to a street," that doesn't scare the SFMTA board. In fact, they say that if the pilot goes well, that they might "seek State legislation to allow the City to gate Lombard Street so that only local traffic can drive down the Crooked Street at all times or when deemed necessary."
The SFMTA board will meet to mull this and other issues on Tuesday at 1 PM in room 400 of San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl.