Bloomingrock.com: Champion of the Grand Ave. Rail Project.
“Today’s post is by contributing writer Kirby Hoyt:
Historically, cities have been designed around their prevailing modes of transportation. When Phoenix was first conceived, there were two modes of transportation: the train (for long distance and shipping) and the horse-and-buggy (for local and hauling needs). The streets in Phoenix were designed in a grid that emanated from the railroad depot and ancillary buildings, kind of a play on the Law of the Indies. Within six years of the incorporation of Phoenix, the beginnings of an extensive streetcar system was put in place, with the first streetcar operating on six miles of track using horses to pull cars, and by 1893 the system was completely electrified. It then operated for more than fifty years. Unfortunately, in 1948 the streetcar saw its last day due to a “suspicious” fire that destroyed all but six cars, Coincidentally, this was about the time National City Lines, a company with investors from Firestone Tire, Standard Oil, Phillips Petroleum, General Motors, and Mack Trucks together were buying up streetcar lines across the country and decommissioning them, forcing people to either buy automobiles or ride buses.”