More pedestrians take to Lombard Street during first car-free weekend

The first weekend of a pilot program creating car-free access to San Francisco's famously crooked Lombard Street went “relatively smoothly,” a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman said today.

The crooked section of Lombard Street between Larkin and Leavenworth streets was closed to most vehicle traffic on Saturday and Sunday between noon and 6 p.m. as part of a pilot program that will continue for the next three weekends.

The SFMTA board approved the program in May to keep tourist vehicles off of the road during the busiest weekends to increase safety and reduce congestion.

Pedestrians, bicyclists, taxis, and residents who live on the block are still allowed access, which led to more pedestrians in the area than usual, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said.

Rose said early reports indicated that there were more people walking on the portion of the curved road, which usually has a line of cars inching around the bends.

Overall, he said the agency is waiting to “look at the data and results as we complete the entire process” before determining how the closures are affecting congestion, safety and the local transportation network.

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