"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

Light Rail in Palos Verdes

Say what?  No, this is not some new scheme to bring light rail to Palos Verdes.  Actually, it was in the original plan for the City.   Everyone is familiar with the Red Cars that ran from downtown LA to San Pedro up until the early 1950’s (my father used to ride them to work and back), but Palos Verdes was once slated to have its own system.  Like some other of the oiginal ideas, it ran afoul of the Great Depression.

The original idea was to have a system of light rail throughout the City for commuting, shopping and, I suppose, general convenience.  If you’ve lived here for any period of time, you’ve no doubt noticed the easements, alleys, and strange rights-of-way running behind lots, across streets, and winding around the City.  One of them runs behind Granvia Altamira between PVE and what became RPV, curving out across Granvia between Via Sonoma and Novato Place, then running behind the homes on the west side of the street, crossing Via Fernandez.  Another runs behind Paseo Del Mar from the 1500 block out to Paseo Lunado.  Finding these old rights of way is a little like trying to find the original Route 66, as much of it has been deeded to adjoining lots or other purposes:  on the east side of Granvia where it curves out to cross the street just up from Novato Place, that right of way has been converted to a lot, sold, and a house now sits on it.  But look across the street and you will see the right of way continue down that little draw behind the homes in the 1100 block across the street.  I’m pretty sure it was also supposed to run down the middle of PV Drive North in Valmonte, tho where it was supposed to go once it got to the end and Via Alameda is not clear.  Anyway, these are remnants of the once-planned light rail line for Palos Verdes.

Another related anomaly is Cataluna Place in Montemalaga.  You will notice that it runs up into a little draw which, at the inception of the Palos Verdes Project, was pretty much at the edge of civilization.  This was good because it was planned as the “yard” for the streetcars — barns for repair, storage, etc.  By the 1960’s is was clear that the rail line was never going to happen, and a developer built the homes on Cataluna Place.

 I’m going to try to get more information on this and post it here.

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