Friday, September 26, 2008

'San Francisco Marches On'

This is a really cool promotional film from the 1930s that exhorted San Franciscans to build an underground subway line. The proposal in question was voted down resoundingly at the time, though a similar subway was built later — at much higher cost, of course.

Factoid alert: The narrator claims that Market Street "handles a larger volume of surface traffic than any street in the world." I don't think that's the case today (thanks a lot, India), but it's funny to see how unterrible the traffic looked back then (maybe because there are so few regular cars).

The film also promotes a crazy new technology called "buses": "Many of the large cities in the United States have removed all streetcar tracks and are operating buses exclusively. San Francisco, the city that knows how, should follow suit."

In this case, we were one of the only cities in the U.S. to not take that advice. And no regrets yet!