Officials Consider Closing San Francisco’s Lombard Street to Tourists
By Mario Sevilla
Mon May 19th, 2014 5:47pm America/Los_Angeles
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Get off my street!
An agency in San Francisco wants to keep visitors off one of the world’s most recognizable streets.
Residents that live on the crooked part of Lombard Street are fed up with tourists enjoying a scenic stroll through their neighborhood, and, as a solution, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has proposed banning non-residents.
If the SFMTA’s recommendation wins approval, eastbound Lombard Street between Larkin and Leavenworth will be shut down during the height of tourism season.
The SFMTA, with support from District Supervisor Mark Farrell, Lombard Hill Improvement Association and the Russian Hill Neighbors, is recommending that Lombard be closed to non-residents due to safety concerns and to curb chronic congestion.
In a document that posted on its site, the SFMTA said that residents are concerned about the safety of motorists, residents, and pedestrians.
“In prior years, this portion of Lombard Street has experienced a number of vehicular collisions, pedestrian injuries, and residential property damage.”
The document cites accidents from July 2011, March 2012, and one in December 2012.
SFMTA is proposing to close Lombard from June 21st through July 13th, and on Friday, July 4th. Street closure times would start at noon and reopen at 6 p.m.
“Longer-term, this pilot would serve to inform staff as to whether the City should pursue temporary street closures on a more regular basis or, more long-term, seek State legislation to allow the City to gate Lombard Street so that only local traffic can drive down the Crooked Street at all times or when deemed necessary,” the SFMTA said in their proposal.
If the proposal sounds a little anti-tourist-y to you, consider the alternative options that have been discussed. Other proposals include privatizing Lombard, installing gates so that only residents can use the crooked street, and making the brick-paved street for pedestrian use only.
The SFMTA will meet Tuesday at 1 PM in room 400 of San Francisco City Hall.
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