Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell announced the launch of the first-ever “Lombard Street Ambassador Program” to address growing neighborhood concerns regarding public and pedestrian safety, quality of life issues, as well as the extreme traffic congestion that occurs on and around one of San Francisco’s and the world’s most famous landmarks – the “Lombard Crooked Street.”
Supervisor Mark Farrell Launches the “Lombard Street Ambassador Program” to Address Public Safety & Traffic Issues on San Francisco’s Famous “Crooked” Street
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell announced the launch of the first-ever “Lombard Street Ambassador Program” to address growing neighborhood concerns regarding public and pedestrian safety, quality of life issues, as well as the extreme traffic congestion that occurs on and around one of San Francisco’s and the world’s most famous landmarks – the “Lombard Crooked Street.” The purpose of the program is to allow the ambassadors to provide guidance, oversight, and information to residents and visitors alike, and to also act as a deterrent to criminal, or unwelcome behavior at the famous tourist attraction.
For months, Supervisor Farrell has been working with neighborhood, the San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to come up with solutions to the ongoing quality of life issues facing residents and tourists on the crooked portion of Lombard Street and the surrounding neighborhood. Not only has the street become extremely congested with both cars and pedestrians, there has also been an uptick in criminal activity, including assaults and property crime in the surrounding neighborhood. Most recently, a tourist was shot in a robbery attempt on Lombard and Jones Streets on August 25, 2015.
“The ambassador program will address the real quality of life issues felt by the residents in the neighborhood and make Lombard Street a more desirable attraction and experience for visitors and residents alike,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell. “The Lombard Ambassador Program will create a more civil and safe environment for the residents and the visitors to this area by creating a deterrent to criminal activity, managing pedestrian and vehicle flow, and educating visitors about the area.”
Supervisor Farrell worked to secure funds in the recently approved City budget to create the program, which will begin on August 29, 2015 and run through November 1, 2015 - and start again on May 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. The ambassadors will be present seven days a week during peak visiting hours and will work with the Central Station Captain David Lazar and beat officers in the area to report any criminal activity, assist with traffic and pedestrian flow, and to provide information to visitors about the attraction.
"I would like to thank Supervisor Farrell's Office for implementing this important plan to address the concerns of the residents on Russian Hill,” said Captain David Lazar. “The Lombard Street Ambassadors will provide tremendous support in addressing crowd management, educating tourists on crime prevention and serve as a resource to our City's Tourist who visit the crooked street. Central Station will support their work and will provide guidance and training to them as needed.”
“The Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District (FWCBD) is so pleased that we are able to assist our neighbors on Lombard Street with the implementation of this program,” said Troy Campbell, Executive Director of the FWCBD. “The Ambassador Program will help manage the massive crowds and problems that this passive tourist attraction generates.”
In addition to the Lombard Street Ambassador Program, Supervisor Farrell secured additional funds through the City budget to provide more parking control officers to help manage traffic congestion during peak visiting times at the attraction. He also set aside funds in the City budget for the San Francisco Transportation Authority to conduct a study on potential long-term solutions to the massive crowds and traffic congestion that are disrupting the area. Their study should be completed later this fall, and Supervisor Farrell will host a hearing once the report is completed to explore additional solutions and continue to work with the neighborhood and City agencies to implement them.
“Residents of Lombard Street, and those close by, are pleased the Lombard Ambassador Program will be introduced this Saturday,” said Russian Hill neighborhood leader Helen Raiser. “Thanks to Supervisor Mark Farrell’s office, the plan is to make the visitor’s weekend experience, and that of the residents, a win/win! The Ambassadors will help with crowd control, assisting in ways that are helpful yet respectful of the residents. We welcome these Ambassadors and wish them well!”
The Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District was awarded the grant through a competitive process and will oversee and manage the ambassador program.