California Roads - Lombard St.

Lombard Street

I don't even have to say "San Francisco" in the title because everyone knows.

Lombard Street. Nothing says San Francisco like a road too steep to follow a hill yet stubbornly being built anyway. The base of the hill is on the east side at Leavenworth St., and the road was once two-way. Imagine this in both directions. Imagine trying to pass this stream of cars on the tight curves.

No noise. Since a limit isn't listed, none at all. Quiet. Stop breathing.

Finishing my journey uphill. The road is so steep that pedestrians need to use stairs, though this isn't the only road that steep in the city and not all of them look like this. The road surface looks like brick to the casual observer but it is clearly slabs of pavement finished in brickface, given the joint lines. If this were individual bricks set in mortar, the surface would be quickly destroyed by this much traffic on this type of alignment.

This is someone's driveway. Imagine living here. Imagine having to turn the corner into your driveway even more sharply than the 5 mph curve of the road. Imagine having to navigate hordes of tourists driving down your neighborhood street just to get home, and then having to deal with them being there all day, every day. Imagine pedestrians traipsing all over your property to get the perfect view.

Though not perfect, the view from the top of the hill at Hyde St. features the west and east halves of the I-80 San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This is a rare vantage where the new cable-stayed bridge is visible but the truss it replaced is difficult to see behind it.

Back downhill to the east. Pedestrians are supposed to stay on the sidewalk/stairs, but you see how well that works (and I'm guilty as well). Car traffic comes in random waves, so there are definitely moments to capture the roadway empty and definitely moments to stow the camera and bide your time.

Out to I-80
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