Friday, June 17, 2011
Who Killed the Electric STREET CAR.
So, as I edit the first draft of Flora in the City, adding detail, I learn that the library at Westmount is done in Queen Anne Revival style, like Tighsolas. It seems obvious now.
I also learn something else by reading gazettes. Sherbrooke Street didn't have a trolley car in 1911. The newly amalgamated steetcar company, the Montreal Tramways Company, wanted to put in some tracks, but the residents complained.
I see it got through anyway.
The Ste. Catherine trolley was crowded. SO I will have Edith complain about the crowding. It is especially crowded as the office crowd is leaving for the half day on Saturday.
She'll describe Sherbrooke Streets.
The residents of Sherbrooke at Greene said their road was built on a swamp and that their houses shook every time a truck went by. (What was a truck then?)
Of course, the wealthy never want the masses at their door!
A letter to the Editor also shows that the residents of Westmount were concerned about speeding trolleys. One man claimed the trolleys used 'the loop' to make up time.
I'll also have Edith complain about that.
The City wanted somehow to eliminate 10 percent of routes to improve traffic congestion.
Gee, I even read that they were thinking of putting in a subway to ease congestion, a la Boston and New York. That didn't happen until 1966.
I mentioned this to my husband at night in bed and he said that GM killed the trolley cars in American Cities, especially LA.
I then remembered Toronto still has electric cars. Why? I know San Francisco does too but I always assumed that was touristy.
I saw that my new NPD MP promotes electric cars. He is a city planner.
I never saw an electric car in Montreal, only the remnants of tracks, here and there on roads when the pavement pulled back. Like fossilized remains...
Stats I found for the Toronto Street Railway Company showed that between 1896 and 1906 passengers increased from 23 million to 76 million, another big indication of what happening in Canada. And Montreal at that time was a bigger city and growing faster, population wise.
A lot of that increase was working women, like Marion, Edith and Flo, coming to the city!
And now, as Coco Chanel said, they needed looser clothing to be able to run for the streetcar!!