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Great Failures in Transportation

SoCal Connected on KCET

Southern California has long been known for sunshine, sandy beaches and...traffic. After World War II, when the population exploded, engineers and urban planners came up with a variety of solutions. One plan would have created a grid of freeways, one every four miles. Another involved using the open skies. And what happened to all those promised monorails?

Take a brief, tongue-in-cheek look at some of the solutions that didn't quite pan out.

Some Interesting Resources


Southern California Freeway Development — An fascinating collection of maps, dating to the late 1940's, showing plans for developing an ambitious network of expressways across the basin.


100 Years of Flying Cars — This site features scores of amusing designs, from the earliest days of the automobile to the present time. Plus, here's a great newsreel from the 1950's about the Aero Flying Car, whose fans included a big TV star of the day, Bob Cummings.


An LA Transit Timeline — A brief history of transportation in Southern California, from PBS's Blueprint America project.


California High Speed Rail Interactive Map — California High Speed Rail Authority's map shows the proposed route of the proposed high-speed rail system for the state. Featuring "visualizations" of the trains as they travel across the landscape.

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