Monday, June 21, 2010

Special WCF Feature: An Ancient But Informative 1906 Video

Will it be "back to the future" for us in Ogden City?

At risk of seeming a little slow on the punch, we're going to share with our readers what we believe to be a phenomenal olde-time video, which we passed out to many of our regular WCF readers via our insider email list over the weekend. Due to the positive response on this, we've decided to share it with the other thousands of readers who read this blog.

This video, filmed from the front of an eastbound cable car on Market Street in San Francisco, California, four days before the Great 1906 Earthquake, depicts a thriving downtown urban scene, with urban streetcars serving as a central focal point and urban backbone, tying together the pedestrian, equestrian and economic traffic of a highly vibrant, shall we say, Transit Oriented City Center around the turn of the century in the US West Coast's then most culturally prominent and economically successful urban center:

Is this an urban public transportation model that can repeated in the 21st century with a more modern tone, under the looming threat of Peak Oil?

Will it be "back to the future" for us in Ogden City?

Sooner or later we'll have to face the reality that cheap oil is running out, and that we'll ultimately have to resort to proven methods of public transit, right?

Is a Downtown"Streetcar District" Streetcar the answer to Ogden City's looming public transit needs, or should we just waste our money and build one in South Ogden?


Nick B. said...

Wow! I've now viewed this twice, and I've noticed that most of the automoblies have right side steering. Only two of them that I could count have the current left side steering. There's also one vehicle that's obviously a little older with a centered passenger compartment tiller. I'm therefore wondering when left side steering became the vehicle standard in the U.S. Awesome video, Rudi!

RudiZink said...

Market Street AFTER the Quake

Click on this link for a short film segment of the same Market Street scene after the quake (Fast forward to 4:12):

San Francisco Earthquake Damage 1906

The whole friggin' neighborhood is flattened; but the Streetcar's still rolling along.

David S said...

I think you left out some history.

I'm pretty sure streetcars were private companies, making money.

The reason they went out of business is cars became much cheaper, and the government began subsidizing tire transportation by building good roads. This also resulted in the decline of the railroads and the rise of trucking.

The discovery of cheap oil was also a big factor, and I think cheap oil will still be with us for awhile yet.

The modern socialist streetcar, like all public spending, benefits those closest to the spending, at the cost of everyone else.

That's why people want the streetcar to run through their neighborhoods.

But I do love to take Frontrunner to SLC then ride Trax, and leave my van home.

Once again, with Godfrey at the helm it's hard to know what to believe, and that's a huge problem.

ozboy said...


There was a recent documentary piece on the TeeVee that explored how General Motors was instrumental in killing urban street cars throughout the whole USofA. They would go around the country buying up politicians and street car companies, usually under false names, and then shutting the street car companies down, thus driving business to busses and cars, both of which they were building big time. It was pretty insidious stuff that America's biggest and grandest company was involved with.
It cost them hundreds of millions to buy and scrap the street car companies, but they made zillions off the subsequent sales of the busses and cars. As I recall, some of the big tire companies were complicit in the grand scheme.

David S. said...

. . . and now we forcibly own GM.

What a deal.

googlegirl said...

San Francisco Market Street 2005

googlegirl said...

A Trip Down Market Street 1905 with sound effects

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