Ask Chris: Why Does San Vicente Run Diagonally Across the Westside?

Our in-house historian has the answer

Pacific Railway created everybody’s favorite shortcut to Beverly Hills in 1897, years before Ford, Chevrolet, or Beverly Hills existed. The route was an express line to the beach that ran down Venice Boulevard before swinging northwest to share track with a slower local train running the length of Santa Monica Boulevard. The line began at the Vineyard junction (now a Lowe’s) and ended at the Morocco station (now the offices of the Beverly Hills Courier). Most riders were looking for real estate opportunities in the mustard fields or for a day on the sand. Early motorists carved out dirt paths along the tracks, and by 1922, the city had paved the road we know today.

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