May 12, 2009
Streetcars were the primary circulation system of all cities small and large during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Streetcars not only facilitated growth but influenced development patterns and even social structures. Starting in the 1920s, the rise in popularity of the automobile led to the decline of most streetcar systems. Now, cities around the country have reintroduced streetcars to "stitch together" revitalizing downtowns and to promote walkability.
In this program, David Wilson from the Chicago Transit Authority revisited the history of streetcars in Chicago and discussed how other cities are making use of streetcars today.
About the Speaker
David A. Wilson works as a Service Planner for Chicago Transit Authority analyzing transit routes for effectiveness and efficiency. After a career in freight transportation, David returned to school and received a master's degree in Urban Planning and Policy with a focus on Transportation from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2006. He has presented programs on transportation history topics to a variety of community and academic organizations. He presented a paper on Streetcar Reintroduction at the 2006 annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, and as a guest lecturer at UIC he presented a program on the Evolution of Transit Technology.