Could you pass a driving test on this street? Pedestrians walk down Lombard Street, the world's crookedest street, in San Francisco
Could you pass a driving test on this street?
Lexile

The Municipal Transportation Agency unanimously approved a pilot closure to vehicles on the oft-photographed, well-traveled curvy and winding thoroughfare. It will be for four consecutive weekends starting in late June and including the Fourth of July weekend during the summer tourist season. The vehicle closure does not apply to residents who live in the area.

About an average of 2,000 vehicles travel on the street each weekend day during that period, the city said.

Lombard Street is a world famous scenic, hilly street in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood. It's been featured on TV, in movies and even video games. It is known for its one-block stretch of winding brick road that consists of eight sharp, hairpin turns.

Attracting hundreds of thousands annually, tourists prefer to take snapshot panoramic views of the city at the top and then drive down the crooked street with flower gardens at every corner like it's an amusement park ride. It is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in San Francisco besides the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Cable Cars and Fisherman's Wharf.

The temporary closing idea came after a steady stream of complaints by some residents. They want to curb the street's chronic gridlock mostly due to curious tourists, especially during the summer.

"This will be a test to improve the safety for residents, pedestrians and motorists in the area," MTA spokesman Paul Rose said. "There are often a lot of people who come to either take pictures or drive down the street and it can cause lengthy delays."

The city will evaluate what impact the temporary closure will have and may seek to shut down Lombard Street more often, Rose said. No permanent shutdown is being considered yet.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do residents of Lombard Street want it closed? How does the city benefit by keeping it open? Which is more important?

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COMMENTS (37)
  • 3KileyG
    5/22/2014 - 12:40 p.m.

    Residents of Lombard street want the street closed because everyday tourists drive through and take pictures. This could make it more dangerous for kids to play, cause more traffic, and take some feeling of privacy the residents have. San Francisco benefits from the street because it attracts many tourists, which brings more money to the city. I think it is more important that residents have their privacy than the city making money. If I had nearly 2,000 tourists driving down my street each day, I wouldn't like it. Especially since it is such a wingding road, you never know when someone might miss a turn and go straight into your yard. I think it is the residents right to ask for the street to be closed from time to time, and it is a good thing that the city of San Francisco is working with them.

  • qj9polo
    5/22/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    I could drive a car on any street you name it. when you play certain grand theft auto games you actually can learn alto from it.

  • JN5softball32
    5/22/2014 - 01:00 p.m.

    This road looks very dangerous to drive on and I think the residents should have a say in whether they want this street to be used or not. The road is very small in length and narrow, so there could be a more likely chance of someone getting into a car accident if not careful or experienced well driving on these type of roads.

  • LA24Swagg
    5/22/2014 - 01:01 p.m.

    This looks like the perfect place to take your driving test, because of how the roads are and all of thestreet sign might make it the best of road tests

  • tatyannal-Koc
    5/22/2014 - 06:39 p.m.

    I always wanted to visit that place i think its cool. I defeintely don't think its a good place for people to drive on. People who do drive on the rode are very couragious.

  • LucP-5
    5/23/2014 - 12:29 a.m.

    This article is about the windy street in San Francisco that has many sharp turns on it. A lot of tourists go there to look at all of the flower gardens or drive down this street. Because this street gets so crowded they are shutting it down temporarily. They say that driving down this road is like a amusement park ride with the different 8 curves on the road. They say that they might shut it down temporarily more often and possibly even close it for good. I think that it is good to try and see what happens when they shut it down. And if they shut it down what will all of the tourists will go to for and attraction.

  • Deishia
    5/23/2014 - 08:07 a.m.

    They want it closed because its100% a danger zone . Its very unsafe for adults let alone kids to drive on . As far as the money aspect I think they should keep it.

  • toryhernandez
    5/23/2014 - 08:08 a.m.

    The residents of Lombard Street want it closed mostly because of safety purposes. The city of course does benefit from it since it's an attraction for tourists all over the world. You can argue that both of them have legit reasoning for closing and keeping it open. However, in my opinion I think it's a great idea to let everyone see something special.

  • alexisnickolson0905
    5/23/2014 - 10:03 a.m.

    It is known for its one-block stretch of winding brick road that consists of eight sharp, hairpin turns. The temporary closing idea came after a steady stream of complaints by some residents. They want to curb the street's chronic gridlock mostly due to curious tourists, especially during the summer.

  • morganann01
    5/23/2014 - 10:06 a.m.

    It is known for its one-block stretch of winding brick road that consists of eight sharp, hairpin turns.The temporary closing idea came after a steady stream of complaints by some residents. They want to curb the street's chronic gridlock mostly due to curious tourists, especially during the summer.

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