An interesting column appeared last month in the Winston-Salem Journal entitled “About that Desire for Streetcars.” Winston-Salem (famous for being the headquarters of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco) is moving forward with a contentious $179 million boondoggle to build a streetcar line through downtown. And apparently New Orleans’ streetcar system is being cited as an exemplar.
The column, which was written by the aptly-named John Railey, takes the form of a parody of the Tennessee Williams masterpiece “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
“What we really need is a real streetcar line, like the one we had in New Orleans,” says the thickly satirized protagonist. “Such a streetcar line would be worth any cost. It’s just silly that some critics say we should first spruce up and expand the city bus lines. Silly taxpayers, being so pettily pessimistic about the streetcar line prospect.”