After residents of the visitor-beloved stretch of Lombard known (dubiously) as the "world's crookedest" asked the SFMTA to consider keeping tourist traffic off their street, the MTA complied, launching a "pilot program" of weekend closures that began last Saturday. But, surprise, instead, throngs of pedestrians packed the fabled stretch, causing some to say that the closure plan has backfired.
According to the Chron, signs were already up by 11:30 Saturday morning when "a small platoon of parking control officers" arrived in advance of the 12-6 PM closure.
Even the PCOs were skeptical about the closure, with one asking John King "Why buy a house on a block that tourists come to from around the world?"
Though SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said that "pedestrians will still be allowed to use the sidewalks...but will not be permitted to walk or gather on the crooked street itself," the meter maids apparently weren't there to enforce that rule as, according to CBS5 "Lombard’s been turned into a pedestrian path."
"Greg," a man who lives three blocks away from the area, told the Chron that "It gets brutal on weekends...It's always been brutal, but the last four years has changed the area."
But instead of the tranquility they might have expected, says CBS, "they got chaos" when tourists "turned the redbrick road into a winding walkway."
“I think this pilot program is a joke...I mean look at this,” Fran Bak told CBS.
Future closures are planed for noon to around 6 PM through July 13th, and on Friday, July 4th. After that, the MTA will decide if they want to continue the closures, or make the more permanent decision of seeking "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." Until then, happy hiking!