|Posted on July 8, 2015 at 8:40 AM|
This week on Transit Accessible Attractions we will be featuring "the crookedest street in the world," Lombard Street.
Lombard Street is known as the crookedest street in the world, with a 16% grade. It's not, however, the crookedest street in America, the world, or even San Francisco (that award goes to Vermont Street in Portrero Hill). However, with eight switchbacks and thousands of tourists every day, Lombard Street is one of the most famous streets in the world, boasting some of the most expensive houses in San Francisco.
Lombard Street boasts a 16% grade, but did you know it was once much steeper? In the early 1900's, people discovered the 27% grade hill was too steep for cars to safely traverse, as well as pedestrians. Proposed by a property owner, the 8 switchbacks shortened Lombard Street's grade to 16% and made it possible for cars to safely reach the bottom of the hill.
Lombard Street is one of the few main attractions in San Francisco to be accessible by the world-famous cable cars. Out of the three cable car lines, two go to Lombard Street, the Powell-Mason and the Powell-Hyde. Both end up at the Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, at the intersection of Powell and Market.
The Powell-Hyde cable car runs along Powell and Hyde Streets, eventually terminating at Fisherman's Wharf. The Powell-Hyde stops directly above Lombard Street.
The Powell-Mason cable car also terminates at Fisherman's Wharf, running along Powell and Mason Streets. The Powell-Mason stops two blocks away from the bottom of Lombard Street, at Lombard & Columbus.
If you are riding BART, exit at Powell Station and proceed to Powell Street, right above the station. Both cable cars terminate at the end of Powell Street on the cable car turnaround.
There are a few buses that stop near Lombard Street as well, most notably, the 30-Stockton, which travels between CalTrain (4th & King) and the Marina District via Fisherman's Wharf. Exit at the intersection between Columbus & Lombard and proceed 2.5 blocks west on Lombard Street, where the curvy part begins.
The 41-Union runs along Union Street and goes between Howard, in SOMA, and the Presidio. If you want to go to the bottom of Lombard Street, exit at Union & Leavenworth and walk three blocks north to the bottom of the hill. If you wish to reach the top, exit at the next stop, at Union & Hyde and walk three blocks north to the top of Lombard Street.
The 45-Union/Stockton runs between Townsend Street in SOMA and the Presidio. The 45 shares bus stops on Union with the 41, so both buses will drop you off three blocks from Lombard Street. To plan your trip, visit the 511 Transit Trip Planner.
Stay tuned next week to see which attraction we'll feature next!