San Francisco considering traffic control measures on crooked section of Lombard

Known as the "crookedest street in the world," Lombard Street's popularity and the fame of its eight hairpin curves has created a daily train of tourists and traffic that many residents say has taken a turn for the worse

A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority showed that during peak times, between 16,000 and 17,000 people per day traveled this single block on foot or in cars.

"We've had break-ins and people on our roof."and Megan Hanley says she and her neighbors have found human feces and trash left at doorsteps. She says she regularly finds people  walking or even lying in the streets.

The constant noise, tour groups at all hours, traffic and trespassing now has neighbors on this crooked street bent out of shape.

At a public meeting Tuesday night organized by Supervisor Mark Farrell's office and the San Francisco Transportation Authority, neighbors packed a room to see the various proposed solutions and speak with city officials.

"It's a small catastrophe, every three day weekend, every day," said Sal Romano, who says he's lived on Lombard street 22 years.

Frustration was evident at the public meeting San Francisco County Transportation Authority spokesman Eric Young told residents he understands their concerns over the large crowds.

"That translates to about 2 million people a year and to put that in perspective that is more people than the people that go annually to Muir Woods," Young said.

Young says the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count has increased from 1,560 vehicles in 1999 to 2,700 vehicles in the summer of 2015.

Some proposals seem fairly simple. Those include adding more signage to improve vehicle flow and a proposal to increase police and traffic patrols.

"When they do their job, it's congested but it's livable. When they don't do their job, it's a mess and that's why so many people are here upset," said Jason Wisner, a resident of Russian Hill.

Another plan would add passenger loading zones on nearby streets such as Leavenworth at the foot of the crookedest block.

More controversial, is a proposal to create a reservation system, possibly with an admission fee.

Many neighbors, though, who were asked to fill out survey forms say they want to work together with city officials but were furious that the organizers from Supervisor Mark Farrell's office and the San Francisco Transportation Authority had not made plans to take spoken testimony from the attendees.

Also, some residents said they had no idea solutions were being drafted that would directly impact them.

"I hadn't heard about these proposals ever. Other people have been working on them for a while and I don't know how you can have these proposals and put a loading zone in front of my house and not tell anybody," said John Goodman, a Russian Hill resident.

Others too say they are upset by those who suggest they should have known better and bought homes in other parts of the city if they can't handle the crowds.

But some residents say they have been living on Lombard Street long before it became a tourist destination and can't afford to leave, even if they might want to.

Anne Brubaker says she is living in the house that has been in her family for generations.

"You are ignoring the majority of residents who live on Russian Hill and for those of you who think this is fun and games. I'm living in the house I was born. I cannot afford to move," Brubakers said.

The unanswered question is funding. Te residents right now pay a fulltime gardner to clean up trash. San Francisco Police have increased patrols and there are two city ambassadors. But many say there needs to be a comprehensive plan.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority plans to collect all of the public comments and present a report to the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.