Sunday, September 15, 2013

The crooked street

The most crooked street in the world?  Yes this is the most winding street within a short span.

The hill's natural inclination of 27 % from Presidio Boulevard to The Embarcadero was a safety hazard for pedestrians (and vehicles) This gave rise to the idea of creating a street with hairpin bends in 1922. 

Th long exposure picture from Wikipedia will give you an idea of the sharp bends


The speed limit on this  400 meters long road is 8 km/hr.  


We did not drive down the crooked street but walked down, which helped me to get some pictures of the street. 
The cable car line stops at the top of this block and I was lucky as two cable cars from both directions came at the same time.  
The cable car is another interesting mode of transport in San Francisco. Started in 1873 this is the only place in the world where it is still operative. Even though it looks like the tram, the operating system is totally different. There is cable that runs under the ground on which the grip lever holds for traction.



The driver of the cable car is known as the grip man. Its a highly skilled job and requires to smoothly operate the grip lever, to grip and release the cable. As I had read about it earlier, I made it a point to zoom in onto the grip man while he was driving. (you can see his concentration in the video)



Getting a ticket at the start point of the cable car is very difficult but at this point where the crooked street starts, many of the tourists alight, so you can easily hop in and get a seat.
Stretch limousines are a common sight on these roads.



There is a Crooked Street Task Force which regulates the traffic and takes care of the traffic problems in the neighbourhood. 
In this picture below one can see the Coit tower and the Golden bridge far away.


While at the other end, you can see the Alcatraz island out in the sea


There are many types of vehicles that pass through the crooked street.



Some of them have people popping out of the hatch back


while some of them are literally hanging out of the windows from both sides


No doubt residents on either side must be having a wonderful view but there must be some exiting moments like a tourist hit a water hydrant last year and the car had to be moved by the fire dept to access the shut off valve (the water ran for about half an hour) 



A picture of 1933 showing the street before the hydrangeas were planted:


And another earlier picture during the construction (both the above pictures are from Wikipedia)


Like they say, if you are in San Francisco, don't miss the crooked street. Made a short video on the crooked street.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

The operation of the cable car looks interesting. The drver (grip man) with his long pony tail looks smart.
Charles

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe. The pics from Wikipedia not only gave added info but also a view of this amazing street sans flowers etc etc.How come you did not make mention of the terrible climb up? Cindy

Atticus said...

While Lombard street is the more famous (and much, much prettier), it isn't actually the most crooked street in San Francisco: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_Street_%28San_Francisco%29

Joe Zach said...

Have to agree with you Atticus. Sinuosity of 1.56 versus 1.2 for Lombard Street.

Joe Zach said...

Yeah Cindy, I needed a picture to show the top view. Oh yes the climb up .... but it was worth it :-)

pallavi puri said...

Hi Joe,

Firstly, thanks for dropping by my blog :)

Secondly, you have a great space here. Look forward to visiting more often! Another follower added to your list :)

Thanks
Pallavi

Lady Lilith BloodCrave said...

wow what a street. I would be really scared to drive on it.

Mina Menon said...

Thts such interesting trivia esp abbt the cablecar.... enjoyed reading it

Agrigirl said...

Love the first photo. When I first moved to SF, there were a few times when I accidentally turned down it. Arggh!

Joe Zach said...

Thanks for following Pallavi. Hope to see you around :-)

Joe Zach said...

Nice to see a SF girl here.
I too liked that first picture from Wiki as that gives a clear idea of the road.

Joe Zach said...

Yes its very interesting to read about the cablecar and its working. I read a lot about it before reaching SFO.

Joe Zach said...

I think at 5 m/hr its quite safe :-)

Joe Zach said...

Yes Charles the grip man is supposed to have a lot of strength in his upper body and a very good hand eye co-ordination.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I would so love to come back to San Francisco sometime; your post is wonderful, brings back great memories. We walked that hill back then and it's a good thing, because we couldn't do that now. One time we were there with our 4 kids and our youngest who was about 10 hopped on a cable car and started out before the rest of us could get on...I was afraid I'd never see him again.. But we all eventually caught up. To give you an idea as to why we wouldn't make it walking any more, that little kid is middle aged himself now....nearing 50. (Of course I'm not much older than he is ;>).)

Loved the post.

Jeena R. Papaadi said...

Very interesting!

Indrani said...

This is something unique!
I want to walk there some day.

Joe Zach said...

Yes Indrani, its really worth visiting once.

Joe Zach said...

Welcome Jeena.

Joe Zach said...

That is a long walk down memory lane Sallie. But you can still pay a visit if you happen to be in the vicinity.

aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar said...

love the street

Joe Zach said...

Good that you like it Mukhtiar.

anuymous dev said...

Yayee..visited SanFrancisco for free.I love the crooked street shot.Its amazing to see how cable cars climbs such steep heights.Tomorrow we are going to cross the famous Canal De Panama...Hoping for some thrill shrill.:)

Joe Zach said...

Canal De Panama? You can get some good shots if you are on the cruise.
The history of the cable car started with that. The steep height prompted the desire to reduce the suffering incurred by the horses that hauled up streetcars.

Lata Menon said...

The pictures and writeup is really lovely and the video is even more beautiful!
Visited SF long back while sailing with Shiv...brought back beautiful memories....

Magic in You.. said...

Another interesting post.
5 superb posts within half a month, Joe - your next post should definitely cover the Secret of your Blogging energy:D

Joe Zach said...

Good that it brought back memories Lata. Wanted to write more about this topic (especially the cable car) but I know it would turn out to be long and boring for the readers.

Joe Zach said...

Secret? There is no secret. Its rather the fear of Alzheimer catching up. So I am trying to write and finish off before I forget the things I saw.
By the way I have done 5 this month? Wow... I never counted.

Nancy said...

Fabulous post full of facts about this well-know SF street I didn't know. Thank you Joe!

Joe Zach said...

Thanks Nancy. Many more coming up :-)

Barb said...

Hi Joe, Don't know what you did, but you solved my commenting problem! I love San Fran (my son and d-i-l lived there before moving back to CO after they had kids to be closer to free babysitting). Love both the hydrangeas and the steep crooked street. Wouldn't like to live on it though.

Debbie said...

a GREAT group of images!! i live on a winding road but nothing like the one you pictured!!

looks like a fun visit!!

Joe Zach said...

Yeah Debbie, this was too winding for me to miss while I was there.

Joe Zach said...

I just joined Google+ and that must have done the trick Barb.

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Most amazing! I've just been back from the hills, but this is out of the world!

www.volatilespirits.com

Anita said...

Great post! It is informative and appealing to the eye. I actually relaxed and watched the entire video while dreaming of traveling and experiencing the odd and intriguing sights of this country.

Priya Anandakumar said...

Beautiful clicks, lovely click of the crooked street...
very interesting post...

Alia james said...

cricinside just love this blog!!