Building Subways in the Post World War II World: Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

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In a September 2014 issue of the Beverly Hills Courier, a front page story declared that the construction of a new subway stop for the proposed L.A. Purple Line would make Beverly Hills High an ISIS target. ”I’m extremely concerned with this type of information … The symbolic nature of a school holding our children, our hopes and dreams for the future,” Superintendent Gary Woods told the paper, “if this is attacked in essence they’re attacking the core of our being of, our culture.”[1] Yet if one travels back two years, Beverly Hills officials drew upon a very different rationale for its opposition to the proposed Purple Line stop.

In July 2012, officials and others told the New York Times that the school sat near an active oil field and earthquake fault. In addition to these threats, the Purple Line Metro Rail stop would interfere with planned school renovations estimated at $120 million. The high school’s Parent Teacher Association even produced a video replete with “images of exploding fireballs and book-toting students walking the halls of Beverly High,” and a voice over that noted ominously, “Methane gas, toxic chemicals and teenagers don’t mix . . .this dangerous combination is on the verge of exploding at Beverly High, turning the school into a megadisaster.”[2]

All this sturm and drang suggests that public transit systems in Los Angeles, since the removal of the interurban system in 1961 (the Red Cars of the Pacific Electric and Yellow Cars of the Los Angeles Railway), remain a point of debate for many in and around the city, but especially those in Beverly Hills. The city’s wealth has long given it an advantage in regard to restricting L.A.’s transportation infrastructure. In the 1960s, Beverly Hills successfully prevented the construction of a highway through the town and has long sought to alter the Purple Line’s course.[3]

To be fair, even Purple Line proponents, like former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa refused to ascribe motivations to opponents. “Remember: Beverly Hills has a history of opposition to the subway,” he told journalists in 2012. “I can’t tell you what their motivations are. They say they want it, but they don’t want it there.” Of course, Villaraigosa had once been a staunch opponent of the subway, but later reversed course becoming a visible and vocal proponent. Though the former mayor attempted to be diplomatic in his comments, many fellow transit advocates argued that Beverly Hills simply wants to restrict access to their city from the “not-so-prosperous people” who utilize public transit. Though not necessarily taking aim at Beverly Hills, SoCal writer D.J. Waldie penned a 2005 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that asserted in many instances “Anglo homeowner fears of ‘those people’ coming to their neighborhood” drove opposition to L.A.’s subway, referred to today as Metro Rail.[4]

Yet, in regard to worries about methane explosions, the denizens of Beverly Hills weren’t totally raving maniacs. Thirty years ago this March, a pocket of methane located below a Ross Dress for Less on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angles exploded—not metaphorically, but physically. When gas seeped in between a floor slab and the foundation walls of the establishment into an unventilated basement, it took only an employee clocking in to set off the blast at 4:47 pm on March 24, 1985.

“For a moment we thought it was an earthquake,” Rose Sanchez told reporters in the aftermath. Windows and everything was shaking,” security Chris Moore attested. “I looked outside and I could see debris two or three hundred feet up in the air.” Smaller but no less harrowing explosions followed, ripping a hole in the roof. “It looked like it was raining fire. It was like a cyclone. Gusting air, screams, black objects flying around. It was horrible,” Sanchez remembered. “Everything was on fire”[5]

Fortunately, though 21 people received medical attention, several for severe burns, no one died. While area businesses reopened four days later, the explosion would have deleterious effects on subway/railway development in Los Angeles and provide cover for Metro Rail opponents who might oppose construction for very different reasons. Democratic Congressmen Henry Waxman, a longtime subway skeptic, would use the incident to prevent future railway construction for decades, thereby retarding local efforts to improve Los Angeles County transit.[6]

As demonstrated above, opposition to the construction of public transit elicits an array of motivations and responses. Two recent books shed light on the complicated nature of postwar rail/metro/subway construction: Ethan Elkind’s The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City (2014) and Zachary Schrag’s The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (2006). Despite the cities’ very obvious differences, the process of building mass transit rail in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. reveal numerous similarities, while also highlighting regional differences.

Washington D.C.

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That class and race should influence where and how transportation infrastructure is built should come as no real surprise. Mid-twentieth century freeway construction impacted black and brown working-class minorities around the nation to a much greater degree than their white middle class counterparts. “By and large, that story is not one of triumph: rather it is one of reckoning – of coming to terms with the freeway and its monolithic presence in daily life,” writes UCLA professor Eric Avila in his 2014 work, The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City. “And though it is usually a story of utter destruction, it is not one of defeat, for the very act of telling this story though traditional and inventive cultural forms signals the continuing struggle against the freeway and its towering presence in the racialized quarters of American cities.” Though it might seem obvious that transit projects have always encountered resistance from more affluent or politically connected communities, a comparison helps to outline the dynamics at the heart of such protests.

Unlike perhaps New York with Jane Jacobs and her crew of East Village mothers, Los Angeles never witnessed any large scale organized revolt against highway construction [Editor’s note: Though as pointed out by one commenter below there were smaller independent sustained protests in and around L.A. and Orange Counties that did alter or prevent said freeway construction]. Instead, thousands of miles away from LA and a decade earlier in Washington D.C., the tony Cleveland Park neighborhood long resisted transit planning that residents viewed as deleterious—providing a harbinger of the kind of opposition that would surface as planners doused metropolitan regions in concrete and steel.

During the 1950s, federal planners envisioned a six lane highway through Cleveland Park. The Northwest Freeway (as it came to be called during the dispute), advocates argued, represented the most direct path between the burgeoning Montgomery County suburbs of Maryland and the city’s downtown.

Unfortunately for planners, by the 1950s, Cleveland Park residents consisted of numerous “white professionals – lawyers, doctors, journalists, and not a few members of Congress,” notes Schrag. These homeowners shuddered at the thought of a new highway disrupting their community of detached homes, “thick oaks,” and private schools. As a result, in 1959, a group of Cleveland Park lawyers and other professionals led by David Sanders Clark and Peter Craig formed the Northwest Committee for Transit Planning (NCTP) to oppose highway construction. By the early 1960s, similar groups would begin popping up all over the nation’s cities, but in 1959 the NCTP proved quite novel.

Sounding like a proto-Jane Jacobs, Craig criticized the 1956 Highway Act for making cities choose between highways funded at 90 percent by the federal government or no transit at all. “[I]n my heart, I feel certain that Congress never intended that the Federal-Aid Highway Act would be used as a device for burying our cities in concrete,” Craig told listeners.[7] Their opposition paid dividends. Taken off guard, Congress readjusted and decided to suspend freeway construction in the city west of 12th street and north of the inner loop until July 1965—the hope being, argued some officials, that planners would have more time to consider alternatives to highway construction, notably the possibility of rail.[8]

As in Beverly Hills, connections and wealth helped to blunt efforts at freeway construction. Yet also like Beverly Hills today, complaints arose once again in Cleveland Park in the late 1960s when Metro planners attempted to construct a subway station there. “The same activist streak that had stopped that road soon materialized in opposition to a Metro tunnel beneath Yuma Street, [the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority] WMATA’s favored route for the Connecticut-Wisconsin crossover,” writes Schrag. Indeed, the Yuma Street Citizen’s Committee, whose president was also a member of the New York Times editorial board, declared its opposition, vowing to “fight to preserve the city neighborhood by insisting it not be spoiled by a subway system routed through [our] neighborhood solely for the benefit of those suburban commuters who have already fled the city.”[9]

The latter controversy might have stemmed from bureaucratic misunderstanding, but some residents believed WMATA had been disingenuous in its attempts to court local opinion and had already decided on plans without community input. WMATA critics like Yuma street resident Joseph Saunders saw only subterfuge in the organization’s efforts: “I was very burned with the dishonesty … of Metro officials … Whatever we might say, they would make some sort of rejoinder in meetings … They didn’t even make the slightest concession.” Saunders went as far as refusing to shake hands with WMATA General Manager Jackson Graham when they met.[10] An anti-trust lawyer with the Department of Justice, Saunders won several court injunctions, delaying construction for two years. In some instances, these delays cost $125,000 per week.

Ultimately, the protests failed to prevent construction. WMATA officials built the station they had desired but they endured a lengthy holdup from 1973 – 1975 and were forced to make numerous, expensive concessions, including the installation of much more acoustical insulation than initially planned. The Metro also had to dig vent shafts from the bottom up, diminishing noise and surface street issues, to reduce community disruption. The delays cost WMATA around $6 million, but as Schrag notes more importantly it established a costly precedent. All new segments of the WMATA would require public hearings, environmental impact statements, and more public hearings before final designs could commence.[11]

Cleveland Park Metro station circa 2014

Cleveland Park Metro station circa 2014

It should be noted as well that neighborhoods sometimes unfairly endure accusations of racism. For example, in D.C. popular legend claims the upscale Georgetown community has no Metro stop due to racist local opposition, but as Schrag explains the truth of the matter remains far more prosaic. Sure, opposition arose and certainly some of it could be described as racially motivated but ultimately planners determined a station there to be unrealistic. Due to Georgetown’s proximity to the Potomac “any tunnel under the [river] (such as the one that today connects Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn) would have been so deep at the river’s edge as to render a station there impractical.”  Local protest never really factored into the decision. [12]

The L.A. Example

Granted, one must remember that the D.C. example carries with it some caveats, most notably its unique status as a “federal city” directly under the supervision of Congress and populated, one could argue, by individuals with more knowledge of the workings of bureaucracy and government than most other metropolitan areas. Still, the role of community resistance, particularly by the politically connected, and planning agencies’ need to negotiate and alter plans in accordance with protest proves equally true for Los Angeles. Congressman Henry Waxman’s role in Los Angeles serves as a prime example.

Representative Henry Waxman

Representative Henry Waxman

Having helped friend and former college classmate Howard Berman ascend to a neighboring Congressional seat, notes Elkind, Waxman had constructed something of a political machine. Since Waxman represented some of Los Angeles’ wealthier districts – his fiefdom included Westside communities such as Fairfax, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Westwood and the heavily trafficked Wilshire Corridor – crossing the congressman meant possibly losing political and economic access to some of L.A.’s more influential residents.

Since L.A. depended on federal funding for its own subway and light rail projects, Waxman’s position in Congress gave him a significant role in debates. His lack of connection with then-Mayor Bradley probably heightened his skepticism toward the project.

In 1985, the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) required Waxman’s support for a “starter line” that would become known as Metro Rail. Congress had earmarked $427 million for the project, but nothing would be built if the local congressional member, in this case Waxman, rejected the proposal. Claiming the route made little sense to him, Waxman added that it “seemed … it had a lot of territory to cover to get people out of their cars,” cost too much, and had been determined too much by political considerations rather than sound planning. The congressman’s last point, perhaps disingenuous to some extent, rang true. As both Elkind and Schrag demonstrate, constructing public transit required no small amount of political horse trading and in many cases physical rerouting. “Forging consensus in the sprawling political context of Los Angeles,” Elkind writes, would be “messy and unseemly” in moments but proved to be the only way forward. “Fighting bruising political battles in desperate fashion, rail leaders … managed to bring rail back to the consummate car city.”[13]

If Beverly Hills and the Westside resisted rail in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, Beverly Hills had also done the same for highway construction. In fact, the only successful highway revolt to emerge in Los Angeles unfolded in Beverly Hills, a community that, like D.C.’s Cleveland Park, was able to afford outside studies and blunt bureaucratic attempts ultimately delaying construction until in 1975 the California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans) eliminated the project from its master plan. “So Boyle Heights got six freeways and Beverly Hills got none,” writes UCLA’s Professor Eric Avila.[14] Highways sliced up multiracial and multiethnic Los Angeles into segregated communities, “wreaking havoc on the city’s heterosocial spaces.”[15] This is not to say multiracial Boyle Heights didn’t resist, it did. “Five freeways now slash through Boyle Heights, namely the San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Golden State, Long Beach, and now the Pomona,” wrote the editor of the Eastside Sun newspaper and board member of the Eastside Jewish Community Center Joseph Eli Kovner in 1957. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be had refused to listen.

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In the decades that followed, Chicano/Chicana artists would register their community’s complaints through art like Judith Baca’s “The Great Wall of Los Angeles.” In perhaps one of its more famous representations, that of the removal of a vibrant working class Mexican American community from Chavez Ravine and the division of other Chicano communities by highway infrastructure, Baca’s sprawling mural directly engages the subject. “[A] serpentine freeway writhes between and around [a Chicano family] and its supporting columns crash into the homes of the barrio below,” reflects Avila. “This portrait of a Chicano family ravaged by infrastructure resonates with the history of Mexican American families in the Los Angeles area during the 1950s and 1960s, as it reflects Baca’s own experiences growing up in San Fernando Valley.”[16]

Westside homeowners never needed to channel any frustrations through art; they rarely lost. Even before the methane explosion, Westside residents in Beverly Hills, Fairfax, and Hancock had sounded alarms about metro construction. Worried about gentrification and changing the character of local communities, rail opponents like Diane Plotkin, Vice President of the Beverly Wilshire Homeowners Association, jumped on the 1985 methane explosion to further dig in the community’s collective heels in protest. “Whose idea is it to build a Metro Rail through an oil field?” she inquired at one public hearing. She then followed this concern up with others about traffic congestion and parking. Needless to say, some observers believed that the real fear revolved around the possible influx of minorities into said neighborhoods.[17]

Again, to be fair, while race and class issues undoubtedly played a role, to chalk up such opposition to these factors alone ignores real planning concerns. From subways to hospitals to condo high rises, homeowners everywhere fear big projects, notes Elkind. Hancock Park had fought a bitter battle to prevent a metro station at Wilshire and Crenshaw, eliciting the support of RTD board member and the hardly racist George Takei. Like others on the Westside, Takei argued that residents there simply “wanted to preserve the character of Hancock Park as well as the south side of Wilshire…”

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Fairfax’s situation differed somewhat from that of Hancock. Home to a long-standing Jewish population dating back to just after World War II, several other politicians (in addition to Waxman) worried about rising property values and rents negatively afflicting the neighborhood’s aging residents. “Henry and I were both elected seven years apart … and we were elected by the same constituency of old Jewish mothers who are important to us both culturally and politically,” asserted Waxman ally, city council member and then-subway opponent Zev Yaroslavsky.[18] State Senator David Roberti concurred. “It would pretty much destroy an ethnic community that was long established in Los Angeles. If your constituents don’t want thousands of commuters coming in, there’s not a politician in the world who is not going to respond to that okay?”[19]

For all these worries, Waxman’s formal reason for opposing the subway remained safety. When a three-month study backed by Waxman’s supporters suggested that the Wilshire and Fairfax area to be a “high potential methane risk zone,” the congressman’s opposition had been sealed. Other experts testified that the report had been mistaken and assured Waxman no real danger existed. Years later, even Yaroslavsky admitted the safety issue had been a bit of a canard: “I never believed, and none of our building experts ever believed, that there was an issue of safety … You need to vent it, you need to take precautions, but it’s totally mitigable.”[20] Nonetheless, Waxman’s decision had been made.[21]

Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984 and the president’s long-standing skepticism regarding the project did not help either. In a weekly radio address, Reagan described the L.A. subway project as “a ton of fat.” “If you are asking if we will take every opportunity not to spend the money on the project in Los Angeles,” one high ranking Department of Transportation official noted, “then the answer is yes.”[22]

Reagan decreased funding to the federal agency known as the Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA). Moreover, while UMTA dedicated $117 million dollars to the project, it refused to give any long-term commitment. This meant that while other postwar subway lines would begin with greater financial backing and more robust plans –Congress authorized 2.5 billion for D.C.’s initial 98-mile design, which began with a 47-mile segment, while San Francisco leaders committed to 28 miles of a 71.5-mile proposal for its Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)—L.A.’s 8.8 mile metro start (referred to as “Minimal Operational Segment,” or MOS-1) seemed anemic in comparison.[23]

Not content to simply nix a station in his Fairfax district, Waxman then dedicated himself to undermining the entire project. Metro Rail proponents rallied in the eleventh hour by appealing to Congressmen Julian Dixon and Glenn Anderson. The two congressmen Bradley allies and themselves advocates for an L.A. subway saved the project from disaster. Dixon’s constituency, just south of Waxman’s, consisted largely of African-American Angelenos and stood outside the alleged methane zone. Admittedly, it too had gas deposits, however, local residents, unlike those in Fairfax, largely supported the project. Somehow Dixon convinced Waxman to compromise. The Metro Rail would now move south through Dixon’s district, avoiding Waxman’s.

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The shift weakened Metro Rail’s impact. The Wilshire Corridor had been the whole point. The 16-mile stretch along Wilshire Boulevard had bloomed in the post war period with business, housing, and cultural attractions terminating at the ocean in Santa Monica. The new route would now run along the old Yellow Line Vermont corridor, less residential than Fairfax and with fewer cultural attractions, but still home to many large health and educational centers. It would also be cheaper because it “represented a shorter and more direct path to the Valley,” points out Elkind. The route moved North from Wilshire at Vermont establishing stations at Beverly, Santa Monica, and Sunset Boulevards, turning west along Hollywood Boulevard and stopping at stations at Western, Vine, and Highland, eventually terminating in North Hollywood after passing under the Santa Monica Mountains.

That said, even if wealthier communities have the “right” reasons for resisting, working-class communities, particularly those of color, end up bearing the brunt of such infrastructure expansion. While Boyle Height’s residents and their congressional leadership welcomed Metro Rail expansion (in the form of light rail with stops at Mariachi Plaza and Soto) to Los Angeles’s Eastside in the 1990s, they certainly did not feel the same about highway construction decades earlier.[24]

Even with L.A. metro construction, divisions between non-white communities emerged. Despite the Red and Yellow Lines’ history of connecting minority communities to the LA’s centers of employment, commerce, and leisure in the first half of the twentieth century, new Metro proposals did not always receive support from all of the city’s citizens of color. In 1997, a Los Angeles Times poll revealed that while Latinos supported the subway more than any other group, blacks and whites were largely opposed. Moreover, organizations like the Bus Rider’s Union (BRU), whose constituency included large numbers of lower income workers and persons of color, took legal action to prevent construction, arguing subways and light rails unfairly routed funding away from increased and better bus service and resulted in rising fares.[25] As Roger Christensen, vice chairman of the MTA Citizens Advisory Board, noted, debates spurred by the BRU and others had chipped away at some of Metro Rail’s liberal constituency. “It became accepted wisdom that rail was being built on the backs of people of color whose civil rights were being abuse who white people could use the train.”[26]

U Street, D.C.’s Metro and the Law of Unintended Consequences

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In D.C. black leaders like Reverend Walter Fauntroy constructed a coalition of supporters to advocate for a shift in the proposed Green Line section of the Metro. Howard University sociologist G. Franklin Edwards also worked hand in hand with Fauntroy to convince transit officials to alter their plans. Planners had initially designed it such that it served the whiter wealthier Connecticut Avenue corridor. When a 1962 proposal suggested a Mid City line serve the city’s African American communities, officials deemed it “too costly.”[27] However, the efforts of Fauntroy, Franklin, and others convinced WMATA to reroute it along the city’s U Street, long the heart of black D.C.

What happened afterwards and persists today reveals the complexities of mass transit. U Street residents, many long time denizens of the historic Shaw community, undoubtedly needed access to the Metro, but the way it unfolded and the results have not been wholly triumphant. When construction finally commenced after numerous delays, unlike in Cleveland Park, no provisions were made to reduce disruption. Businesses found themselves isolated from foot traffic and many shuttered their doors. Even the legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl struggled to stay afloat. Crime emerged as a problem as well. “[T]hat which was bad for pedestrians proved to be a boon for criminals, who seemingly maneuvered around the building sites with impunity,” notes Blair A. Rubel in his history of U Street.[28]

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Many long time residents of the local neighborhood, Shaw, admitted they worried about the prosperity that might follow the Green Line’s completion. Low-income residents worried about rising rents that might drive them out, while higher income homeowners testified to the fact they had purchased homes in the neighborhood with the expectation that Metro would increase property values. In a 1988 article, Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy noted a tornado of white gentrifiers had swept Shaw of litter and junkies. When completed in 1991, home values immediately increased. Activists pointed out that homes worth 80,000 or 90,000 just a couple years earlier now sold for 150,000.[29]

One wonders, as did many observers at the time and today, if Shaw and U Street had been Cleveland Park, would it have endured the long delays or inattention to community disruption and crime that ensued during its construction? “Poorer neighborhoods do lack the resources to make themselves heard as effectively as wealthier areas,” notes Schrag. “And in a capitalist system dedicated to matching supply and demand, any improvement to the physical city may displace many residents.” Fauntroy too admitted his own frustration: “I always said that it would be double edged, a mixed blessing … We’d get out there, but they’d get a chance to get in here. I don’t know if we can fight economic forces. Those economic forces are power, now. They are very powerful.”[30] Still, as Schrag notes, freeway construction would have savaged D.C.’s black community further. Moreover, the subway kept employment in the city while the Red, Blue and Orange lines of the Metro have long served large pockets of African American residents in the District and Prince George’s County. “Only a holistic view of Metro can reveal its service to black Washington,” says Schrag. [31]

Clearly, building metro transit, whether in D.C. or L.A. remains a process fraught with complexity.In a democracy, one cannot simply shove a subway through a city, but economics also means communities with more money often have more clout politically, thereby bargaining with city and regional planning agencies with greater power. Even when communities of color advocate for metro rail, the ensuing results can be negative for longtime residents.

Danger Will Robinson!!!

Danger Will Robinson!!!

Since the process requires neighborhood input, those opposing construction need to state their motivations clearly. After all, determining the real reasons behind opposition can be like reading tea leaves. Returning to Beverly Hills High, if before they baldly stated it stemmed from the dangers of interactions or potential methane explosions, today more sophisticated arguments are deployed. “We may be eligible to join an elite group of international cities with easily accessible targets that will result in larger catastrophes,” warned Board of Education President Noah Margo. “In the mind of a terrorist, placing a subway directly under a high school is like pushing a baby stroller into rush hour traffic.”[32] Perhaps, but the debate parallels those from decades earlier and one doubts officials would suffer similar distractions in Inglewood or Watts. Building a postwar subway isn’t easy.

[Editor’s note: Should you be interested, look for our own Alex Cummings on Atlanta’s recent light rail fiasco in the forthcoming City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. For reference sake here’s the citation: Alex Sayf Cummings, “Atlanta’s Beltline Meets the Voters,” in Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb, eds. City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis (New York: Faber and Faber, forthcoming 2015)]

[1] Laura Coleman, “ISIS Threat Highlights Beverly Hills Metro Worries,” Beverly Hills Courier, September 26, 2014, 1.

[2] Adam Nagourney, “Subway Line Meets an Obstruction: Beverly Hills High,” New York Times, July 15, 2012, accessed November 14, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/us/subway-line-under-beverly-hills-high-faces-roadblock.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[3] Adam Nagourney, “Subway Line Meets an Obstruction: Beverly Hills High,” New York Times; Eric Avila, “L.A.’s Invisible Freeway Revolt: The Cultural Politics of Fighting Freeways,” Journal of Urban History, 40.5 (September 2014): 833 – 834.

[4] Ethan N. Elkind, Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2014), 96.

[5] Elkind, Railtown, 80-82.

[6] Elkind, Railtown, 80.

[7] Zachary M. Schrag, The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro, (Balitmore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2006), 40 – 42.

[8] . Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 44.

[9] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 159 – 161.

[10] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 160.

[11] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 160-161.

[12] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 155.

[13] Elkind, Railtown, 10-11.

[14] Eric Avila, “L.A.’s Invisible Freeway Revolt: The Cultural Politics of Fighting Freeways,” Journal of Urban History, 40.5 (September 2014): 833 – 834.

[15] Avila, Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006) 208.

[16] Avila, The Folklore of the Freeway, 77.

[17] Elkind, Railtown, 84.

[18] Elkind, Railtown, 86,

[19] Elkind, Railtown, 88.

[20] Elkind, Railtown, 95.

[21] Elkind, Railtown, 88-89.

[22] Elkind, Railtown, 93.

[23] Elkind, Railtown, 90.

[24] Elkind, Railtown, 153;, Eric Avila, “L.A.’s Invisible Freeway Revolt: The Cultural Politics of Fighting Freeways,” 833 – 834.

[25] Elkind, Railtown, 174, 180.

[26] Elkind, Railtown, 171.

[27] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 106-108.

[28] Blair A. Rubel, Washington’s U Street: A Biography, (Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2010), 235.

[29] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 218.

[30] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 218.

[31] Schrag, The Great Society Subway, 220.

[32] Laura Coleman, “ISIS Threat Highlights Beverly Hills Metro Worries,” Beverly Hills Courier, September 26, 2014, 1.

Comments

  1. Great article, but a bit off re: freeway revolts in LA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_revolts#Los_Angeles

    Pretty quickly became highly contested, and as a result LA has the fewest lane-miles of freeway for any major US city.

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