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Streetcar for Los Angeles 3-4 Years Away?

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A streetcar in Portland, OR | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

After 50 years since the disappearance of streetcars in Los Angeles, it looks like they might be making a comeback. About 250 people showed up yesterday for an all day workshop organized by an Oakland-based non-profit called Reconnecting America. Curbed LA reports that the first line will "basically going from LA Live to the planned mixed-use Grand Avenue project via Broadway. Timeline: 3-4 years."

And while the focus for many is a streetcar in downtown, panels throughout the day showed that other local cities are planning the same, reported Eric Richardson of blogdowntown. Garden Grove, Pasadena, Irvine are all looking into the possibility already to implement the transit mode. Even the Red Car line in San Pedro, which is more of a tourist attraction these days, is being looked into for heavy expansion.

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Last month a coalition from Los Angeles traveled to Portland and Seattle to look at their streetcar systems. They found that in Portland, construction took one week per block, minimizing traffic and concerns from local businesses. The owner of Powell's Books had a good to business owners affected by the construction: "Go to the beach for one week, and when you come back your property will be worth 50% more." However, he duly noted that he was wrong about it being 50% more. Try 300%.