SAN FRANCISCO—A group of concerned Lombard Street residents met with city officials this week to present a medley of solutions that could potentially alleviate the landmark’s immense tourist congestion.
“The World’s Most Crooked Street” attracts upwards of 16,000 tourists on peak days and approximately 2 million annually. The street’s 600-foot stretch of winding road lined with multi-million dollar homes makes it one of San Francisco’s top tourist attractions.
For Lombard Street homeowners, the road’s congestion has hindered the comfort of day-to-day life and they’ve resultantly asked city officials to implement tourist restrictions.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority has spent the past year studying the matter and presented their findings to city officials at a community open house on Tuesday, September 13; it transpired between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Yick Wo Elementary School multi-purpose room, which is located near Lombard Street, at 2245 Jones St.
Potential solutions, according to a project overview published by the SFCTA, include:
Education and Encouragement:
- More extensive Parking Control Officer program to direct traffic, shepherd pedestrians and monitor parking.
- Create permanent funding for a Lombard Ambassadors program – which started in August 2015 and currently costs $110,000
- Create an education campaign/partnership with SF Travel, tour operator’s rental car agencies, and hotel concierges.
- Create an incentive to utilize the cable car by allowing visitors to arrive at the Crooked Street and travel back downtown via a single fare payment.
Changes to Street Access:
- Close the Crooked Street to vehicles.
- Close the street to non-resident pedestrians and vehicles.
- Require visitors to congregate off-site and visit the Crooked Street via shared-ride vehicles.
- Off-site ticketing.
- Add security cameras to the street.
- Pursue a Green Benefit District for the block.
Reservations and Pricing:
- Require a reservation to drive down the Crooked Street
- Charge a fee, determined by demand, to make a reservation
A final report of official recommendations will be presented to the Board of Supervisors by the end of 2016, according to the SFCTA; The Board will then determine whether to move forward with some or all of the recommendations – for each proposal that moves forward, additional work must be done, some with longer timeframes than others.
Meeting materials and content will be published online by September 16 and feedback will be accepted electronically, according to the SFCTA.