'Crookedest Street in World' May Be Closed to San Francisco Tourists

Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:09 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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That twisting stretch of Lombard Street in San Francisco, a popular tourist spot that's known as the "Crookedest Street in The World," may be temporarily closed in the summer to combat the gridlock that accompanies all of the visitors.

On Tuesday, the city's Municipal Transportation Agency could vote on a pilot closure of the oft-photographed, well-traveled curvy and winding thoroughfare for four consecutive weekends starting in late June and including the Fourth of July weekend during the busy summer tourist season.

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

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The world famous scenic, hilly street that's been featured on TV, in movies – and even video games – is known for its one-block stretch of winding 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 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.

According to The Associated Press, The temporary closing idea came at the request of Supervisor Mark Farrell and a steady stream of complaints by residents wanting 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."

Tourist Dylan Giordano, 21, of Los Angeles, agreed, as he took in the scenery Tuesday with his family visiting from Florida. "It's an insane amount of traffic and it must be difficult and obnoxious for the wealthy residents who live here and can't even get into their own driveway," said Giordano, who just graduated from the University of Southern California with his degree in Environmental and Urban Planning.

If approved, the city will evaluate what impact the temporary closure would have and may seek to shut down Lombard Street more often, said Rose, the MTA spokesman. While no permanent shutdown is being considered, the city may even seek legislation to have parts of the street to be used by residents only.

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