Lombard Street pin.jpgWhat are those yellow circles that are painted on the street? They are all over North Beach and Google won’t tell me why they are there.

According to a 311 spokesperson, the circles “highlight where underground utilities or telephone lines are located for future reference.”

Self-described “transit nerd” Eric Hunt gave me some more specific information. “The stencil-based yellow circles, some with odd lines coming out at strange directions, are part of the MUNI system and alert trolley coach drivers to details of the overhead wire system they need to know as it pertains to the coach they’re driving,” he wrote to me in an email. “The circles are placed on the ground so that the driver sees the circle and a few seconds later his/her trolley poles will come to the junction the circle describes, so they’re about a bus-length ahead on the ground of where the action is above in the wires.”

I do not recommend using this information as an excuse to draw your own yellow circles and confuse Muni drivers.

See the comments section for more helpful advice on this issue!

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