What is Old is New
Our city was built around streetcars. Omaha’s first horse-drawn streetcar started in 1868. By 1890, we had more than 90 miles of tracks, second only to Boston.
People were able to get everything they needed along the streetcar line – groceries, clothes, medication, flowers and more were all on the way to and from work.
When things like cars and refrigerators became more affordable, people could move to the suburbs and live farther away from their jobs and other necessities. This changed the way city planners designed roadways and the way developers designed buildings. Eventually, streetcars became less desired.
But things often come full circle, and studies are showing both millennials and baby boomers are returning to more urban living, where cars are not needed and you buy groceries for the next meal, not the next week.
Many cities, like Kansas City, have added the benefit of streetcar transportation to their urban core, which helps restore and revitalize historic areas.
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