10 Streets That Changed America

About the Show

This episode begins and ends on Broadway in New York. We’ll trace the street’s 400-year evolution: from Native American trail, to Dutch trading route, to the home of America’s first public transit service, to an electrically-lighted theatre district known as the 'Great White Way'. At the end of the programme, we’ll see how Broadway has become the poster child for the 'complete streets' movement, in which automobiles take a back seat to more sustainable forms of transit. Elsewhere in this episode we’ll ride from Boston to New York on a dirt 'highway', which was created for the nation’s first mail carriers. In New Orleans we’ll take America’s oldest streetcar line out to some of the nation’s first suburbs, and in Detroit we’ll drive a Model T along America’s first mile of concrete-paved road. We’ll explore a car-friendly street created by a 1920’s entrepreneur who predicted that Los Angeles would be dominated by the automobile; and take a horse and carriage on a Brooklyn parkway that was built on the proposition that streets should be scenic. It’s an episode about how streets have connected the nation, divided communities and changed the way Americans live, work and shop.