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.
Instead of following Portland’s example, we should instead by looking toward San Francisco, a city that has excelled at embracing its history, making it one of the top travel destinations in the world.
Take a look around Downtown L.A. You will find buildings of amazing architectural detail. Historic theaters on Broadway. Old banking institutions on Spring. A Main Street that was once dominated by horse and carriage. And tiny glimpses of bygone eras hidden under layers of stucco and paint that are revealed every day. Throughout the Historic Core you can see the painstaking process underway to restore some of the grandest unknown gems in the city. The Brockman Building. The Eastern Columbia. The El Dorado. The Bradbury.
Los Angeles has a history. A very rich, proud history. What better way to honor that than a ride on a historic streetcar through the city’s center?