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December 07, 2005

One last San Francisco photoset

Coit Tower at night
Originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
I've posted a general San Francisco photoset, alongside the Monk filming set and the streetcar set.

Highlights: some gorgeous graffiti, mermaids at play, a video store you won't confuse with Blockbuster, and, of course, The (non-wrestling) Rock.

December 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

San Francisco's historic streetcars

Muni 1015, in St. Louis colors
Originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
After the completion of the BART/MUNI subway system in San Francisco, it was apparent that there was a need for transit access to the tourist areas on the Embarcardero, other than the cable car, which has very little capacity.

The city went out and bought a number of old streetcars, most from Philadelphia, and built or renovated a trackway running from the Castro all the way up Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf.

Most of the streetcars are Presidents' Commission on Coaches (PCC) cars, but a few are older Peter Witt cars from Milan, with a couple other cars, including a couple from New Orleans.

They've been painted in the colors of old streetcar companies from around the country. Here's a complete directory.

The streetcar in which I rode on my last trip is currently featured in a newish Dockers commercial: He's on an eastbound, she's on a westbound. He tries to run around and board her car, but he's too late. Then, as the cars pull away, we see that she did the same thing, and they're face to face.

The decision to use the historic streetcars was brilliant; they fit in with the historic architecture, complement the cable cars, and actually work as transportation. At least, usually. Apparently, Muni is having some trouble keeping the old-timers in service because of parts shortages and budget issues.

Here in Atlanta, a group is pushing to run streetcars on Peachtree Street, all the way from Roxboro Rd. south beyond West End, with a tourist loop downtown.

FreeFotos.com | Muni's F-Line

streetcar.org | Market Street Railway, Muni's preservation partner for the F-Line

Portland MAX, the more likely model for any Atlanta streetcar.

sfist.com | That Dockers Commercial

December 6, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack