Reminder: Streetcar Workshop Coming Tomorrow


A Streetcar Breezes Through a Downtown Plaza in Portland

Street Smart, The Seaside Institute’s all-day conference on streetcars, and how Los Angeles could benefit by bringing a streetcar system back to our streets, is scheduled for tomorrow. I was planning on writing a long post about the conference today, but since I wrote a small story last week, just about every transportation related blog has written a larger story on the workshop. If you want to read more, about the workings of the conference, check out the great stories at MetroRider, Atwater Village News or Blogdowntown.The conference will be based upon the a book Street Smart written by Gloria Ohland, who doubles as the conference organizer. Ohland visited Streetsblog last week and outlined her vision for streetcars in Los Angeles. Her comments provide a more vivid picture of what streetcars could do for Los Angeles.

I believe that streetcars are the next step in the evolution of this city from an auto-oriented city to a transit-oriented city – it’s the connection between transit and THE PEOPLE (the peds and bikes)!

I’m organizing the streetcar workshop and have been spending a lot of time in downtown LA recently and I’m convinced it’s at the tipping point of becoming a real urban neighborhood! The streetcar could be the catalyst! The whole region is so freakin’ afraid of density but I see an urban spine up the subway corridor of dense, walkable, mixed use, mixed-income communities – from downtown to Koreatown to Hollywood to North Hollywood. These neighborhoods could provide real models for "green living" – with reduced VMT and GHG emissions. Density means increased energy efficiency – for buildings and for transportation.

Streetcars are particularly interesting because they’re not really about transportation – they’re about focusing development and investment along a particular alignment so that you have a walkable, mixed use, high-density neighborhood. It’s about bringing the development (and pedestrians and riders) to transit, not the other way around. I think the whole transportation paradigm is changing.

We’re getting back to the idea of land use as a transportation solution . . . Like in the old days.

The conference begins tomorrow morning at 7:30 A.M. at the Los Angeles Theater. Registration is $75.

Photo: Urbanista_1/Flickr 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century Workshop

|
(The following post was written by Ron Milam, longtime transportation advocate, co-founder of the LACBC, Eco-Villager and self-employed consultant. Read more about Ron at his website.  Also, our friend Darrell Clarke has more images from the conference at LA Visions.) Imagine streetcars returning to Los Angeles. Picture a modern, quiet streetcar going down Broadway in […]

Streetcar Workshops Come to Los Angeles Next Week

|
Many of the Workshops at Next Week’s Conference Were Based on the Book Street Smart One week from today, the Seaside Institute will be holding am all-day workshop on streetcars at the Orpheum Theatre.  With the news last winter that the city is thinking of putting a trolley back on Broadway, this workshop could provide […]

Street Smart: Street Cars and Cities in the 21st Century

|
oin the national nonprofit Reconnecting America and the Seaside Institute, the American Public Transportation Association, the national Community Streetcar Coalition, the City of Los Angeles, and other sponsors for:  A WORKSHOP ABOUT STREETCARS based on the award-winning book STREET SMART: STREETCARS AND CITIES IN THE 21st CENTURY THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2008, 8:00 a.m.-4 p.m. Orpheum […]
STREETSBLOG USA

How Should Streetcars and Bikes Interact?

|
Streetcar service could finally begin this year in Washington, DC. Trial runs are already taking place. And the debate about how people on bikes will navigate the tracks is already raging. Last week, the District Department of Transportation quietly proposed streetcar regulations that would ban bicycling within a streetcar guideway except to cross the street. Most immediately, […]
STREETSBLOG USA

To Speed Service, Seattle Looks to Separate Streetcars From Auto Traffic

|
As streetcars make a comeback in cities across America, they are under scrutiny from transit advocates who complain about service quality. Atlanta’s new streetcar has produced disappointing ridership numbers, with sources reporting it’s not much faster than walking. And Yonah Freemark at the Transport Politic reports that after a fairly strong start, Seattle’s South Lake Union […]