Quinceanera dresses on Broadway and Bringing Back Broadway

Broadway is already one of the busiest retail corridors in Los Angeles. One of the ways in which streetcar promoters annoy me somewhat is with the slogans they use. The Los Angeles streetcar people have chosen the slogan “Bringing Back Broadway”.

I get it, I really do, and while I don’t love streetcars the way everybody else does, I don’t hate the idea (this is different from me saying “I’m a downtown resident who thinks this needs to happen right now right now right now so David Byrne will approve of my block now that he’s a celebrity expert on urbanism” btw). There is a lot of potential in getting the theaters opened and renovated again, and there is a lot of underused capacity on the top floors. It’s a nice enough plan as far as expensive amenities go.

But.

There is also a lot already here in my neighborhood, and it bugs me the way that people frame what is already there.

For example, when I was discussing how there are a lot of shops with affordable retail in them already on Broadway, one of the streetcar advocates rolled his eyes and said “But some of those tchotchke shops have GOT to go.”

Oh, I see. Little make-up, sunglasses, and costume jewelry stores patronized by Mexican women sell mere trinkets, whereas shops that sell white women more costly crap they don’t need are “valuable, job-creating retail opportunities.” Good to know.

Then when he was telling me about how LA needs a downtown streetcar as circulator because all of the people in financial district need it so they can go to lunch in different parts of downtown. I said “We have a nice shuttle bus system in the DASH already. It’s not a streetcar, but they do a good job of getting people around….”

When I mentioned the DASH, he started shaking his head “Oh, that’s too complicated. People just can’t understand it the way they do a streetcar.”

Ok, so what you are telling me is that people who work in the finance industry can’t figure out a bus route?

If true, that would actually explain a lot.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Quinceanera dresses on Broadway and Bringing Back Broadway

  1. michaeld

    Well I certainty agree that having a street car system in any downtown is asinine and I will go a step further and say the infrastructure of a street car system is something precious.

    Why make connections that already exist, My belief is that the whole point of a city is so that the bulk of it is walkable and supplemented by a mass transit system.

    Lets bring people into the city from neighborhoods that surround tchotchke streets. Lets make the investment to the neighborhoods and the mainstreets that are dominated by roads and where normally the buses are an actual necessity because it is just plain unwalkable.

    I suppose: I wish bus systems and the bureaucrats that make decisions all did so many things differently. In my utopia [!] we would cut down on bus wait time, engaging a greater diversity of people taking the bus, and finally [most likely], having whomever interacts with the bus driver treat them with the respect they should be get.

    It is pretty fucked you know. I live in Milwaukee and I am watching them drop the ball as well.