Vermont Street in Portrero Hill may be the real “crookedest street in the world.”
We all know Lombard Street. You know, that famous red-brick street in Russian Hill that attracts 2 million tourists per year (or per day, it seems). The iconic street features 8 sharp turns in a 1-block stretch, surrounded by lush landscaping and always teeming with cars and foot traffic. It’s named in numerous tourist guides as the “crookedest street in the world,” and was first built in 1922 so that vehicles could travel down it.
Vermont Street, on the other hand, is a little rougher around the edges – it could use a good pave, and the gray concrete doesn’t exactly invite the same pristine aerial shots as Lombard. It’s also a little steeper and features one less turn – but yes, it is still in fact “crookeder.”
A California’s Gold episode from 2011 corroborates this fact. In the clip, representatives from the San Francisco Department of Public Works compare official city maps from the 1920s and calculate the streets side-by-side in a 100 foot section. It turns out that the curves in Vermont Street are in fact closer together! Watch the video here and see the map comparison at the 21:00 mark.
Each year, Vermont Street hosts a neighborhood favorite Bring Your Own Big Wheel (BYOBW) event. That’s right, hundreds of people show up with their fastest Big Wheel bike and race down Vermont Street in a donation-based contest! Due to Covid, it’s been canceled for 2020 and 2021, but plans are in the works to keep it going in 2022.
You can find this curvy section of Vermont Street between 20th and 22nd Street in Portrero Hill in San Francisco. Remember to be respectful of the neighbors and see for yourself if this other “crookedest street” measures up!
Featured image: Screenshot from Google Street View