Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bringing Back the Streetcar

Looks like it's closer to happening.

At right is the approved route. Reconnect and revitalize seem to be the buzzwords. It started back when we had a Community Redevelopment Agency (i.e., the new good ol' days), and now other groups have stepped in keep the project moving, like Metro and City Hall. The Federal government has awarded grants to help develop streetcar lines in other big cities, so why not here in LA?

Like the old streetcars--the Red Cars, etc.--this would move along fixed rails in the street. Supporters say it would fill in gaps in the current bus & metro system, making Downtown accessible. As Eric Metz wrote on the UrbanOne website :

Despite Downtown’s compact size, it’s difficult to have dinner in South Park or at L.A. LIVE and then attend a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall without driving or taking a taxi. 

Wow. I just took a look at the html code for that quote. Paragraphs and paragraphs!

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures: the old and the new. The picture on the left is from the LA Library's Herald Examiner Collection. Although the streetcar is id'd as one built in 1906, the picture's date in 1952.

The right hand picture is from the Urban One site.

I think the new streetcar is kinda cute. What do you think?

The most up-to-date and comprehensive information is at the StreetcarLA site, where the map came from.