U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-01-2012, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 4,783,921 times
Reputation: 1454

Advertisements

LA's Worst Transit Decision

Did any of you ever know about this? If built, do you think it would have been successful and eventually expanded? How do you think LA would be like today if it was built with eventually expansions?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-01-2012, 02:32 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,264,546 times
Reputation: 2924
this would be the second worst. the worst was selling LA's thousand mile streetcar system to National City Lines, a front company owned by a corporate conglomerate that included an oil company known as Standard Oil, a car company called GM, and a tire company named Firestone. National City Lines began buying up all the streetcar systems around the country in 1936 with the goal of shutting them down and replacing it with autocentric sprawl. but first they had to buy up and bury the fine public transit infrastructure that existed in every city so that people would have no choice but to buy a car if they wanted to go anywhere (see the animated film who framed roger rabbit).

in 1963, of course, the oil and auto industry were still calling the shots in the LA city council. doesn't surprise me that an oil company was behind the decision to kill the monorail proposal. its scary how to this day these same companies wield so much power in our government. it would explain why the current transportation bill recently passed by congress this year looks like it could have been written by an Exxon-Mobil executive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2012, 03:50 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,003,828 times
Reputation: 1348
Third worst. First would be building a metropolis in an area with an inadequate water supply.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2012, 08:39 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,556,250 times
Reputation: 4048
cisco kid: The city of Los Angeles didn't sell the streetcar system to National City Lines, they didn't own it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2012, 10:22 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,264,546 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
cisco kid: The city of Los Angeles didn't sell the streetcar system to National City Lines, they didn't own it.
no. but they allowed it to happen. to allow such an important public asset (though privately-owned) to fall into the hands of the clearly ill-intentioned was a travesty and totally against the public interest.

the city or county could have bought the system themselves, and thus saved it. but they didn't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2012, 12:39 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,556,250 times
Reputation: 4048
Such a move would have been highly unusual. Los Angeles had a very strained relationship with PE and LARY going back two decades by 1925...by the 1940s the system was not in the best of shape, and PE started converting lines to bus routes as early as the 1920s. The intents, and unintended consequences, of NCL's actions were not all that obvious at the time--we have the benefit of hindsight that they didn't have.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2012, 08:19 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,264,546 times
Reputation: 2924
'such a move would be highly unusual.'

you're right about that. LA council members in those days tended to be openly corrupt. for them to do the right thing would have been highly unusual indeed.

since forming in 1936 the NCL company had been acquiring electric rail systems in dozens of cities across the US. as soon as they did streetcar service in the respective city was always drastically cut and shortly after began to be decommissioned and dismantled. it was soon obvious that was their M.O. a pattern of behavior that was to be repeated dozens of times over the course of almost a decade by the time NCL got to LA in 1945. their actions were widely reported in the papers since it was controversial at the time. even if they didn't realize who was behind NCL all LA city officials had to do was pick up the paper to learn what NCL was all about. but no one is that ignorant. if they failed to do their due diligence on NCL then they were incompetent which is as bad or worse than being corrupt.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,252 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
this would be the second worst. the worst was selling LA's thousand mile streetcar system to National City Lines, a front company owned by a corporate conglomerate that included an oil company known as Standard Oil, a car company called GM, and a tire company named Firestone. National City Lines began buying up all the streetcar systems around the country in 1936 with the goal of shutting them down and replacing it with autocentric sprawl. but first they had to buy up and bury the fine public transit infrastructure that existed in every city so that people would have no choice but to buy a car if they wanted to go anywhere (see the animated film who framed roger rabbit).
This talking point gets repeated at nauseum on C-D. Putting aside the many challenges to the factual basis of Snell's claims, how do you think Los Angeles would be different today if the streetcars had never been removed? You say that the dismantling of the streetcar lines gave people "no choice but to buy a car if they wanted to go anywhere," but there were still buses they could have ridden. They did not have to buy a car because there were still viable transit options.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2012, 09:00 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,556,250 times
Reputation: 4048
cisco: No, they knew exactly what they were doing, and I fail to see how not municipalizing the streetcar line counts as corruption. The city actively didn't want them there, due to ongoing conflicts between LARY and the city of Los Angeles. Most streetcar companies went out of business or converted to buses on their own--NCL purchased, in all, only about 10% of the nation's streetcar systems. You're deliberately overstating and misrepresenting what really happened--to nobody's benefit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,417,195 times
Reputation: 3085
Never heard about it, but just did 5 minutes of research, I wonder if any of the following had any bearing. I'm not saying whetehr it was a good ro bad decision, but likely not as clear cut as that little article makes it.

It appears Alweg had numerous proposals around the world, most of which never were accepted
The Alweg Monorail's financier Dr. Wenner-Gren died in 1961
The Hitachi company of Japan acquired patent licenses for the Alweg system in 1960
I assume Alweg asked for rights to the land to build and run the system
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top