A Walker in L.A.: Yesterday’s Rail Route Reimagined as Tomorrow’s Park

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Across the city there exists signs of L.A.’s old streetcar system, hinting back to the days when we had the most comprehensive rail system in the country. The most famous former right of way, the Expo Line, is currently reclaiming its past with a new light rail route to the sea. Many others have been paved over in the name of progress, but there are also streetcar routes that have remained nearly intact and could be perfectly repurposed as parks. I walked by one, the old Pacific Electric line that ran through Beverly Hills, yesterday, and I marveled at this strip of wasted space squished alongside Santa Monica Boulevard and running almost the entire length of the city. Extremely flat and lined with shady eucalyptus trees, this could be the best possible walking or biking route through a busy part of town. A girl can dream.


Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato eater, and a walker in L.A. She shares an experience from her adventures around town at CityThink each Wednesday. Follow her daily on Instagram at @awalkerinLA, on Twitter, or at her blog, and use the hashtag #betteroffped to share your own photographs of walking in L.A.

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  1. Greg

    July 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I had a developer friend who wanted me to design 15 2-story houses on that right away. I’m glad it didn’t go through.