By Bianca Barragan, October 14, 2014
Comprehensive Rapid Transit Plan for the County of Los Angeles (1925) Kelker, De Leuw and Co. [All images via Metro's Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library]
Now that Los Angeles's transit network is finally expanding in a big way (with extensions of the Expo Line to Santa Monica and the Gold Line to the Azusa, and the creation of Downtown's Regional Connector all moving along, plus loads of projects in the works), what better time to look back at more than 90 years of failed starts and broken transit dreams that Los Angeles has had in the past. Inspired by CityLab and KPCC's recent (and excellent) exploration of never-built transit networks, this collection of maps reveal some hopes that LA is only just now fulfilling, like a train all the way to the beach (in one version, it might've been a railcar with space for your surfboard). As LA continues to shed its car-dependent reputation and move toward a more multi-modal future, reality might start looking a little more like these dream maps.
"The 1976 Proposed Sunset Coast Rapid Transit Master Plan was yet another proposal for ballot initiative. It suggested a 281-mile system: 230 miles of heavy rail and 51 miles of light rail at a projected cost of $7.5 billion," says Metro. Some rail cars would have provided storage space for bikes and surfboards (!!!).
· Past Visions of L.A.'s Transportation Future [Metro]
· What would LA look like if 100 year-old transit dreams came true? [SCPR]
· What Old Transit Maps Can Teach Us About a City's Future [CityLab]
· The Long History of Wilshire Subway Regrets (and Success!) [Curbed LA]
· New Metro Rail Map is Very Real and Pretty Spectacular [Curbed LA]