Sunday, January 16, 2011

Streetcar Sunday - Marseille, France

I'd like to just step into this street scene, head right over to the Cafe on the left, and watch the trams go by as I sip a café au lait. The trams have been there since 1875, when the first horse-drawn tram traveled on this very street.  If I were sitting in some other city, I might look at the trams with sadness, predicting their demise in a few decades. Not so in Marseille where trams have been running continuously since 1876.

And it's not as if the City Council in Marseille didn't try. They wanted to replace the trams with buses and were successful at pulling trams off of La Canebière by 1955.  Since then though, new tram lines have been built and trams are back on La Canebière. It's part of a new plan to reduce car traffic and favor pedestrians.

Here is a view of the intersection today, looking like a pedestrian's worst nightmare. There is obviously still work to be done.

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  1. I enjoy these Then and Now shots. Amazing the building on the left has survived.

  2. Very cool juxtapositions you do. With your images, that is. :)

  3. Crossing that current intersection does indeed look like a death wish! And speaking of death wishes, where is my inter-continental architecture bazooka when I need it? While it is great that the left corner cafe building has survived (albeit sans petticoat-like awnings), the new building on the right deserves to die. Earth to architect, it is an important corner, treat it like one....

  4. Christine, (yes, I finally got your name right:)I have been to Marseille but only to the airport. It was like a scene out of the movies. A French couple I had met through eBay were meeting me and were there to greet me with a big placard bearing my name. It was my 3 minutes of fame (don't know what happened to the other 12)



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