San Francisco to impose tolls for iconic ‘Crooked Street’

The famous one-block section claimed as ‘the most crooked street in the world’, is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighbourhood. (AFPrelaxnews pic) 

Visitors and tourists hoping to capture an Instagram snap while driving down San Francisco’s most iconic “Crooked Street” may have to pony up an entrance fee.

After years of putting up with traffic and congestion around Lombard Street, better known as Crooked Street for its steep hairpin turns, a proposal to impose a toll and reservation system is being considered in the California Legislature.

According to the bill, the tourist attraction draws more than two million visitors a year, who queue for up to 10 hours for the chance to drive down the iconic street, snarling traffic and resulting in overcrowding in the residential neighbourhood.

During peak periods, traffic can stretch three blocks and even impact traffic on the state highway system.

To remedy the situation, the bill proposes implementing a reservation system, in which drivers would have to book a specific time to visit.

Entrance fees being considered range from USD US$5 to US$10.

Lombard Street is the latest neighbourhood street to become overrun with visitors.

In Paris, residents of rue Crémieux in the city’s east end asked the city to consider closing their street on evenings and on weekends to reduce the number of tourists descending en masse on their pastel-coloured, Instagram-friendly neighbourhood.