Tag Archives: streetcar

The Once and Future Clifton’s

With news spreading that the owner of The Edison has purchased Clifton’s Cafeteria – a downtown institution at 7th and Broadway – let’s take a moment to remember what once was, and could be again:

Notice that 1) there is no metal grate covering up the building, and 2) the sign reads “Open 6am to Midnight.”

Tear down this wall. The streetcar is coming.

When The Streetcars Return

On the Left: An old streetcar from the Pacific Electric Railway, On the Right: A new streetcar from Washington, D.C.

If all goes according to plan, streetcars will return to Downtown Los Angeles in four years. But, what will they look like?

I’ve argued before that they should be historic replicas of the Red and Yellow Cars that used to traverse this city when it boasted the largest street railway system in the world. I championed a streetcar that would complement the architecture of our city’s Historic Core instead of mimicking trains you would find in Portland or Seattle or Whereverville. One that says Los Angeles.

That is most likely not going to happen. But, what about a compromise?

The new D.C. streetcars were just unveiled this past December. They already bear a slight resemblance of Big Red. Perhaps L.A.’s newest streetcar could at least pay homage to the past with a clever paint scheme.

Going Off the Rails of the LASI Train

lasiThere’s a story in Blogdowntown today about the new streetcar system planned for Downtown Los Angeles. With a projected opening date of 2014, Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc. is currently looking for input on routes through the area.

Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc. LASI. The LASI Train.

The unfortunate naming pales in comparison to other civic blunders elsewhere. The best example to date is in Seattle, where riders of the South Lake Union Trolley revel in “Riding the S.L.U.T.

Still, I cannot imagine a better moniker for a city that whines about having to walk more than a block to get somewhere. And let’s not forget about the marketing possibilities. Ozzy on board for the inaugural ride?

“Ladies and gents, we’re now arrivvving at 7th streetddd asc aburn jsuxxk dfrr.. i cannn dff foowww… fjrdka”

I can’t wait to ride the LASI Train. I just hope there’s going to be a station next to my living room.

Monday Bullets: Where In The World Is Westlake?

  • Sunset Junction isn’t what it used to be, and that ain’t a good thing. Militant Angeleno finds hipsters and “racially segregated” stages, all while looking in from the outside of a chainlink fence. Tear down this wall!
  • The L.A. Times is asleep at the word processor again. LA Cowboy gives them a history lesson about the historic Westlake neighborhood. It is now virtually impossible for them to graduate without extra credit.
  • LAist reports that Downtown L.A. could see the return of a streetcar within 5 years. Mainly, because Metro would not be in charge. (UPDATE: CurbedLA points to a Downtown News report that it could be 2 years away. 2 YEARS!!!)
  • When Are We Going To California? would like to ask LAX a few questions about their security procedures. Why are the lines always so long? Why can’t you hire more TSA workers? Does the full body cavity search include a happy ending?

David Markland contributed to Monday Bullets. He’s swell.

Photo from wordcat57’s photostream

Downtown L.A. Needs A Historic Streetcar

The biggest mistake Los Angeles can make in the Bringing Back Broadway initiative is the use of a modern streetcar in lieu of a historic trolley.

In recent months, meetings have been held to talk about where a new streetcar line would go in Downtown L.A., how it would integrate into the current transit system, and what it may look like. Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown has been covering the project, including a recent field trip to Portland, and now, to San Diego to study the success of similar projects in other cities. BDT even ran an in-depth look at the advantages of using a modern streetcar design for Bringing Back Broadway.

While the very notion of a new streetcar line in Downtown Los Angeles should excite all of us, L.A. would be missing a monumental opportunity by installing a modern streetcar line that pays no homage to our fair city’s past.

Continue reading Downtown L.A. Needs A Historic Streetcar