What's more bothersome to residents of the crooked part of Lombard Street: A whole bunch of cars or a mob of dancers taking over the street to the tune of Pharrell Williams' beyond-ubiquitous "Happy"? I'm inclined to say "who cares?" because the below video of a group of folks who did the latter just looks too much fun.
As you know, the SFMTA instituted a pilot program in which non-resident motor vehicles were banned from the crooked stretch of Lombard (that's the bit between Larkin and Leavenworth) from noon to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through July 13. The result? Massive crowds of pedestrians sauntered down the street, seeing it, arguably, way better than they might have in a car.
According to our pals at Streetsblog SF, the Bay Area Flash Mob then celebrated the last car-free day with a choreographed dance all the way down the closed stretch to “create a moment of joy."
The closure was prompted by District Supervisor Mark Farrell and residents in the area who told the SFMTA that 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."
During the closure, emergency vehicles, cabs, and those who could prove area residency were allowed to drive on the street, presumably after it is cleared of the pedestrians that SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said would actually "not be permitted to walk or gather on the crooked street itself."
In any case, future closures are on hold for now, as the MTA analyzes data collected during the program. After that, ongoing closures are possible, or the MTA just 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."
According to an area resident named "Greg," pre-closure Lombard "gets brutal on weekends...It's always been brutal, but the last four years has changed the area." Here's hoping Greg finds dancers shaking it to the strains of a mammoth pop hit a less-than-brutal alternative.