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.
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.