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Atlanta’s Original Traffic

by Chris Schroder

Before automobiles ruled the streets, Atlanta’s intersections were filled with streetcars. George W. Adair and Richard Peters, formerly associated with the Georgia Railroad, spearheaded the streetcar campaign, opening the first line in 1871.

The horse-powered line ran from Peachtree to McPherson Barracks, present-day Spelman College. It wasn’t until the late 1880s that Atlanta saw its first electric streetcar.

The last historic streetcar service in Atlanta ended in 1949. However, streetcars are returning across the nation, including Atlanta. A 2.7-mile electric streetcar line will open this summer and carry passengers from Centennial Olympic Park to Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District.

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