These photos show that car-crazy Los Angeles was once a public transportation paradise
Brendan Seibel

Over 100 years ago, the City civil engineers knew that trolleys were a lethal menace and had to be removed from the streets. People did not use trolleys because they loved them. They used them because they had no alternative.

The trolleys took up three lanes on major streets. There had to be tracks going both directions and the trolleys were so wide, that two sets of tracks used 3 lanes. They stopped in the middle of the street to load and unload passengers which was very dangerous due to the cars being next to the trolley. Suppose your bus driver make you get out in the middle lane of Sunset mid-block and then not get hit by the cars as you tried to get to the curb. The trolley were long and often stopped far away from any cross-walk. The trolleys would just leave you stranded in the middle of the street as they moved on.

Trolleys like subways require one to walk to them and then to walk to one’s destination while your car startsat your home and takes you exactly where you want to go. Trolleys cannot make side rips for you to pick up your groceries or laundry. (LA mass transit takes people to only 1% of the jobs within 30 minutes, bu a car reached 70% of businesses within 30 minutes. Since TIME is money subways, trolleys and even buses cost the poor people a lot — it’s their time. Sometimes 2 to 3 hours a day wastes on mass transit.)

We got rid of the trolley for the same reason people do not like subways or light rail or even buses — they are slow, inflexible, dirty and dangerous. One can make even Charlie Mansion seem nice if you only talk about his trying to build a family for lost youth and ignore the rapes and murders. When Angelenos had to deal with trolleys on a daily basis, they had no nostalgia. They killed the trolleys because the trolleys were killing them.

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