Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The morning commute

One of my transportation alternatives to work is the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line. The CTA has just released this fast motion video that documents a ride down the entire line from Howard Street on the city's far north side to 95th Street on the south side.

The elapsed five minutes and thirty one seconds of the movie between Howard and Monroe Street in the Loop in real time takes on average about forty five minutes on a good day. In posting this to my Facebook page I made the somewhat snarky comment that the ride in the film is amazingly free of delays. But having just returned from Los Angeles, I realize how good we have it. I shudder at the thought of driving to work here in Chicago where traffic is bad, but light years better than LA's.

Below is a Public Radio program documenting the fascinating story of the rise and fall of public transit in LA, specifically the old trolley system affectionately known as the Red Car, and how it shaped the city:

It turns out, if this is to believed, everything we assumed about the Red Car, and its demise in favor of freeways and the automobile is backwards. Contrary to popular belief, it was the trolley system not the freeways, that was directly responsible for the tremendous sprawl of Los Angeles.

Replacing the trains in favor of freeways merely merely exacerbated the situation.

Nice place to visit but...

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