The Automobile in the Transit Metropolis
During the 1920s, the number of cars in Chicago quadrupled. The Cook County Superintendent of Highways began to warn that Chicago roads were dangerously congested, and that road building was not keeping up with auto registration.
Chicago decided almost inadvertently to favor the automobile as early as the 1920s. Although L ridership reached its peak in the 1920s, a variety of road projectsincluding a far-reaching superhighway systemwere proposed during this period, as city leaders and planners began to look for ways to adapt the city to the car.
As more citizens chose and were able to purchase and use private automobiles to get around, they began to alter the circulation patterns of the city. Over the next decade, the Chicago Motor Club, with assistance from the pro-business Chicago Tribune, began to agitate for constructing urban highways.
This 1935 photograph shows pedestrians, a 1910 Pullman streetcar, and countless automobiles.
This 1935 photograph of Halsted Street in Chicago shows pedestrians, a 1907-08 J.G. Brill P.A.Y.E. (Pay As You Enter) street car, and many automobiles.