Wires schmires.

Jarrett (keeper of Human Transit) is off gallivanting around in Europe.  His travels took him to Vienna, where he noticed that the city a) has lots of overhead wires for streetcars, trams, and the like, yet b) somehow is still a pretty place.  How can this possibly be true?  DC’s laws state otherwise!

Not only does Vienna have streetcar/tram wires, they also have all of their streetlights suspended by wires as well.  Streets with both have two layers of wires:

In case it’s not completely clear, the wires carrying the lights are a meter or two above the heavier wire for the streetcar.  In a way, having two layers of wires seems a little more obstrusive than just having a whole lot of wires at one layer — e.g. under a switch in a trolleybus system.  But it’s not a huge difference, and the point is, Vienna is definitely getting by.  People even photograph the streetscape, and then eat in a restaurant, and then go spend money in the shops, as though they don’t even notice all those horrible wires.

How can they survive under such dire conditions?

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2 Responses to “Wires schmires.”

  1. Christopher Says:

    Of course San Francisco is one of the most photogenetic cities in America and has wires all over the place. AND! Until about the last 15-20 years, didn’t even have have street trees! (Tall trees don’t grow well in SF related to soil, general climate, wind, and earthquakes. Also, buildings tend to be built right at edge of the sidewalk, even houses. Land is valuable and building up is expensive in an Earthquake zone.)

    But SF has really temperate weather, which is obviously making their brains soft.

  2. Garden Variety Links « city block Says:

    […] great photos allow the reader to decide if those wires ruin the city or not.  My opinion is that they do not, and they won’t mean the end of the world for DC, either.  That is, once we decide to bring […]

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