LA MTA Backbone Route circa 1961

Doing a bit of web walking to prepare for our upcoming Sunday ride along the old Pacific Electric alignment here in Beverly Hills, I came across an intriguing proposal for a subway-to-the-sea circa 1961 – the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Backbone Route. LA MTA backbone system map detailThe hard-working folks over at Metro’s superb Primary Resources blog give the whole backstory to this intriguing conceptual midwife to today’s Purple line (aka subway-not-quite-to-the-sea). The best part: it courses right though Beverly Hills along the same alignment as today’s subway proposal (albeit hewing to Santa Monica Boulevard through Century City). See the map.

Back in the day, two light rail lines converged at Beverly Hills, each connecting Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific communities of Santa Monica and Venice. The Hollywood line came by way of Hollyood Boulevard down Santa Monica, while a southerly route came by way of Venice Boulevard to San Vicente and then into Beverly Hills via today’s Burton Way. The station was at Canon between Santa Monica & Little (South) Santa Monica adjacent to today’s post office. Come join us at 2pm this Sunday, disembarking from Peets (258 S. Beverly) for a look at the PE tracks that set a template for a century of rail planning afterward.