With its grassy median strip, Electric Avenue meanders through parts of Detroit, Lincoln Park, Wyandotte and Riverview like a river of green. Some might think the street’s name and the divided roadway exist to accommodate the power lines that today run along its spine. In fact, there is more to the story that extends back more than a century ago.
Before the automobile, there was a proliferation of rail transit. Since 1892, there had been an electric railway, or “trolley” line, running along West Jefferson/Biddle Avenue from Detroit to Trenton; and since 1855, a steam-powered railroad ran a few blocks to the west. Electric Avenue is the ghostly trace of yet another rail corridor: the Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Short Line Railway. Continued