L.A.'s First Freeways

Perceptions may be changing with the gradual return to Los Angeles of fixed rail transit, but from today's vantage point, the city's freeways almost seem like an inevitable feature of the landscape. As "Saturday Night Live" recently parodied, for many of us freeways are the region's primary geographical reference points. They delineate boundaries between neighborhoods, threaten to cripple regional transportation when they close, and -- as commentators from Joan Didion to Steve Martin have observed -- possess mythic significance.

But there was a time when, far from being a defining characteristic of the city's landscape, freeways were merely an experimental impulse of traffic engineers.

Keep reading the full post at KCET.org.