December 16: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1896:  46-year-old Griffith J. Griffith presents Los Angeles with a gift of 3,015 acres of Rancho Los Feliz, valued at $300,000.

James Rojas historic postcard collection (Click for more information)

“Colonel” Griffith wanted to create the largest park in the world for the people of Los Angeles — a city he believes will soon become one of the great metropolises on the planet.  He asks only that rail fares be kept to a nickel so poor people can afford to enjoy the new park, and that the grounds be named after him.


1911:  Pacific Electric launches service to Van Nuys.  Our post about the history of opening day in Van Nuys, including several photos from the dedication, can be found here.


1937:  The Roads and Highway Committee of the Automobile Club of Southern California submits its Traffic Survey for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area to the organization’s President and Board of Directors.

General location of proposed motorways, 1937 (Click for more information)

After assessing the causes and extent of traffic in the city (while repeatedly noting the need for more parking), the report recommends that “a network of motorways be constructed to serve the entire metropolitan area of Los Angeles.”