Thursday 19 Sep, 2013

Lombard Street

It’s often said that the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B is in a straight line.

Someone should tell Lombard Street.

This famous street in San Francisco, California is iconic for being different. As the “crookedest street in the world,” you can experience this twisty-turny road yourself during a student trip to San Francisco.

History

Named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia, this east-west street wasn’t always equipped with eight tight turns. It was designed in 1922 to help combat the hill’s natural 27% grade, which, most vehicles at the time couldn’t handle.

Modern Day

Today, driving down and navigating around the eight sharp turns are a “must-do” for anyone visiting San Francisco. During the busy summer weekends, more than 350 cars per hour drive down Lombard Street. Having done it myself recently, I can say that it was an experience I will not be forgetting anytime soon.

Editors note: Manual drivers stay away!

Fun Facts

  • The speed limit is set at 5 mph going down Lombard Street.
  • The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of Lombard Street
  • To give you a comparison of how steep Lombard Street is—most pedestrians can handle an incline only up to 4.86%.