Monthly Archives: December 2010

Light Rail Transforming Cities, Guiding Development

It’s hard to find a city in America that isn’t planning, proposing, studying or actually building a light rail system. Cities as diverse as Dallas, Seattle and Washington, D.C., all see light rail as part of their future — a way to reshape their development.

There are 35 light rail systems operating in the U.S. today. At least 13 metro areas are currently building others. Many more are being planned.

Pockets in the hillsides are largely settled by an overflow of inhabitants of the Over-the-Rhine area… On the street level, each house juts up straight from the sidewalk. Many of the front windowsills support boxes of petunias. To one side there is usually a doorless hallway leading under the second story to a series of frame side porches, with steps zigzagging up from porch to porch. In the rear is the precipitious backyard, in which flowers and vegetables are often grown. Steep streets lead part way up the hillsides to these communities, but the principal means of access are the flights of wooden and concrete steps pressed against the slopes. On market days (at Findlay Market) women with huge baskets on their arms go down to the basin early in the morning and come back slowly up these steps, setting down their heavy baskets and shopping bags every few flights to catch their breath.

The WPA Guide to Cincinnati (1943)

(via over-the-rhine)