Chicago (Metra) is desperately trying to come up with a way to use the EJ&E’s “Outer Belt” route as a commuter line. Probably not going to happen. They (CTA) have another plan for a “Circle Line” connecting all the radial lines that will run under the two major train stations. That probably won’t get built either. The CTA has a BRT plan to run a line along Ashland Ave that would do the same (without connecting to the train stations). That one might happen.
This line, the Regional Plan Association’s Regional Express (Triboro RX), is another circumferential line that would connect a lot of radial lines. Will it get built? Will any of the MTA’s capital projects get built? Well, probably, for the second question but I don’t know if this will be one of them.
There is a tendency, I think, to assume that anything not in North America, eastern Asia/Australia, or western Europe is “third world”. That’s probably never been really true and it’s certainly not true today. Example: I had no idea that Istanbul (not Constantinople) had a subway, much less that it had the 2nd oldest in the world (1871). And that it was initially cable-hauled. The Tünel is still in use but not directly connected to the rest of the modern system
“[T]he main theme of those who opposed the Charles River scheme was that street railways interfered with driving. Opposition on narrow Inman Street was particularly strong: “Grant the location through this street, and we cannot have a carriage stop at our doors,” said Theodore C. Kurd. Magazine Street was wider, but L. H. Sanborn still protested : “I think the driving public of Cambridge and the vicinity should have a little show for themselves. … The driving public want one avenue to get out of Ward Four without any interruption.” H. Roberts said that Oxford Street was “the only avenue where there is not a track, and the only street, it seems to me, where we can really drive with any safety.” Linn B. Porter, editor and owner of the Cambridge Chronicle, said that the plan to put tracks on Mount Auburn Street “proposes to ruin the one long avenue to the cemeteries which is now free from obstruction; and whom will this line accommodate? … the poorest part of the population … where a street railway is about the only thing they don’t need.”
A sense of civic duty is injected:
“”The fair-minded Colonel Higginson, who lived on Buckingham Street and personally preferred not to have rails on Mount Auburn Street because of inconvenience in driving, made a balanced statement in the later hearing: “I think horse cars almost always injure a street…. But so few people own vehicles, and so many people travel by horse cars, that the convenience of the few in that respect ought to be sacrificed to the public good.””
The good colonel also takes a swipe at Harvard men:
“Higginson spoke of his experience coming home to Cambridge in the late afternoon when he was in the Legislature: “Of those one hundred days, be they more or less, when I rode out in a Cambridge horse-car, I never once had a seat; never. Not on a solitary occasion did I have a seat all the way from Bowdoin Square to Harvard Square. The pressure upon the cars was so great, and the natural courtesy of members of the Legislature towards ladies is so great, that somebody always had to stand up, and I found myself always that somebody. I noticed that the young gentlemen of the University were often wearied by their excessive devotion to athletic exercises, and were not able to stand up to make room for ladies; and consequently I, not being directly in the athletic line, was able to do it.””