08 Jul '12, 9am

My French Love Affair with the Tram, and the Ensuing Heartache

Last week, Yonah Freemark at Next American City looked at a recent public transportation phenomenon in France: the rise of the tram . In the 1980s, there were only three tramways still running from their heyday earlier in the century. Now, 22 cities have them ; that number will be 29 by 2016. Freemark notes what makes trams popular: they're electric and silent, they run on the ground level, they support grassy medians and they're really not ugly. The Good I've lived in Paris and Orleans, whose expanding tramways I used regularly. Just about every city I visited in the country had one as well. Compared to the bus, the tram is a pleasure to take. It has right of way over most traffic, so it's fast. The ride isn't jerky or noisy. The elderly and disabled can easily get in and out, as there are no steps. In Orleans, the tram cuts unobtrusively through the center of town, a lar...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/frances-love-affai...

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