San Francisco’s Lombard Street, along with the Painted Ladies and the Golden Gate Bridge, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, and as such, 2.1 millions tourists each year check out the “Crookedest Street in the World.”
In the summer, it is estimated that about 6,000 people drive down the street per day, and the locals aren’t amused by the traffic that often backs up three blocks, and the shenanigans the visitors get up to, such as climbing on their roofs for a better photo or using their carports as public bathrooms.
Safety is also an issue since both pedestrian and vehicle traffic are heavy and visitors seem more concerned with taking the perfect shot than by making sure they don’t get run over.
To remedy the situation, city officials have voted to back state legislation allowing the city to charge drivers who want to go down Lombard Street. All visitors would be required to make an advance reservation online and pay between $5 and $10 for the privilege of driving down the steep hill and its famous switchbacks.
The new traffic restrictions would be enforced by cameras that track license plates, or onsite staff checking reservations. Residents, of course, would not have to pay or make reservations, and neither would those who work in the area or pass through while commuting.