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This familiar map by D.W. Pontius, traffic manager of the Pacific Electric streetcar system, has appeared many times in many sources
Left turns have long challenged motorists’ patience—and common sense.
Call it 19th-century L.A.’s idea of a thrill ride. Leaving the safety of the granite slopes, trolley cars raced out onto a creaking, cantilevered wooden trestle, soaring over a 1000-foot sheer drop—with no reassuring seat belts or safety bars.
Los Angeles was just 17 years into the era of horseless carriages when this map was produced in 1914
You're not imagining things; traffic is getting worse
Los Angeles later earned its reputation as a car city, but in the early 20th century it was a laboratory for innovative transportation technologies. In the hills above Hollywood, trackless trolleys brought real estate development to Laurel Canyon.
A richer (and skinnier) writer on the perks of going car-free in L.A.
Los Angeles remembers its Red Cars with an almost mythic reverence. Often overlooked are the true workhorses of the city’s bygone transit network: the Yellow Cars of the Los Angeles Railway.
Decades before Walt Disney moved his studio there and dreamed up Tomorrowland, Burbank glimpsed another man’s futuristic vision in 1910, when a colorful inventor named Joseph Fawkes built an experimental monorail, the Aerial Swallow.
In 1950, 800 miles of track for Pacific Electric Railway’s Red Cars crisscrossed L.A. By 1960, there were 20 miles. The following year, on April 9, a teenage train enthusiast named Ralph Cantos was aboard the Red Car’s final run.