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Broadway Transit Mall Hardly A New Idea

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, May 25, 2007, at 05:23PM

Broadway Transit Mall Yesterday's post about Metro's interest in a Broadway transit mall generated a lot of interest and comments. As I mentioned in the post, the idea is hardly new. What I didn't realize was that the City was set to do this exactly same thing thirty years ago.

The Times ran a story on November 13th, 1977, titled "Broadway Mall to Get the Acid Test." It told how the City was applying to Caltrans for $360,000 to fund the bulk of the pilot project. Were the money granted, the project could be implemented "within a few months." If the pilot went well the final conversion would be a $2.2 million project.

What's particularly striking about the 1977 Times piece is how closely it reads to a piece that could be written today.

Despite its aging facade, the street is vigorous and interesting. It has become a mecca for the city's Mexican-American families and other less affluent ethnic groups and all contribute to its vitality.

For three years, merchants on Broadway and city planners and engineers have been trying to find a way to preserve and improve Broadway's economic position, reduce traffic congestion and provide a better way for public transportation to serve the street.

There are no follow-up stories, so I'd have to suppose that the funding for the pilot just never came through. I quite like the render that was done. I think something like that would serve Broadway very well.

Update (Saturday): The Times today runs a positive story on the transit mall idea . This site doesn't get credited for making a story out of the topic, but Cara quotes me saying nice things about the idea.

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