Lombard Street #2
photo by Rachel Kramer

Lombard Street - World's most bendy road?

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The "bendy" section of Lombard is between Hyde and Leavenworth - just a few blocks above Ghirardelli Square.

Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being "the crookedest (most winding / bendiest) street in the world." Other streets with switcbacks claim to have the "Crookedest Street" title, Like Vermont Street in San Francisco, And Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa, as called by "Ripley's Believe It or Not".

The switchbacks design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and instituted in 1922, was born out of necessity in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade,which was too steep for most vehicles to climb. It is also a serious hazard to pedestrians, who are accustomed to a more reasonable sixteen-degree incline. The crooked section of the street, which is about 1/4 mile (400 m) long, is reserved for one-way traffic traveling east (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The speed limit in this section is a mere 5 mph (8 km/h).

How to get there

The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of Lombard Street. You can also get there by walking up Hyde (very steep) from Ghirardelli Square, up Leavenworth (one block east, less steep) or by walking west from North Beach on Lombard Street, but the best way to get here depends on where you're coming from.

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Rachel Kramer, Kenny Hindgren, Pascal Vuylsteker, Rupert Ganzer, bobbyh_80, Samantha Marx, Alvin Trusty, Laura Padgett, The Gifted Photographer, bébétoujours, Joy

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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