California Roads - San Francisco

San Francisco

Typical but older street signs. "Street" is the default name but other names are not always listed.

I gave Lombard St. its own page, but despite being curvier in total degrees in its one block, Vermont St. gets only these 3 photos from its Potrero Hill descent and no tourists. Maybe because it's concrete instead of sexy brickface. It's also one-way downhill and actually has fewer curves than Lombard, but each one is sharper.

I'm cheating this North Bay tunnel onto this page. The Baker-Barry Tunnel has carried Bunker Rd. from the western Marin Headlands to Fort Baker since 1918, rebuilt in 1994 for legions of tourists doing the same. It's colloquially known as the "5 minute tunnel" because its one lane switches directions every five minutes; I'm driving east toward the fort.

I would think the tunnel-like Alexander Ave. underpass is just as old as the preceding tunnel.

Now into the city proper, I'm heading east in the 1952 (see closeup) Robert C. Levy Tunnel along Broadway. It was built intended as a tie-in to the Embarcadero (I-480) and Central (US 101) Freeways, neither of which were built this far north and both of which have since been truncated due to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Saving the oldest and quirkiest tunnel for last, this is Stockton St. SB, opened in 1914 to give streetcars a manageable 4% grade instead of going up 14% and down 18% (or vice versa), not that there aren't similar hills with active streetcar tracks today. Curiously, it has two lanes downhill and one up, the opposite of the common climbing lane, but that may be because the road continues as SB only beyond Sutter St. and the NB side is added by a right turn lane. How quiet must one be through the tunnel? The sign is black and white, so that's regulatory. Can we make any noise? Should engines be shut off? What about tire squeal? Breathing OK or no?

49 Mile Scenic Drive
Lombard Street
CA 1
US 101
US 101/CA 1
and Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco International Airport
(not in the city)
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