There was a recent Advocate story about the Regional Transit Authority seeking funding to extend the new North Rampart Street streetcar line along St. Claude Avenue, which “traces part of the route of the old Desire Streetcar line made famous in the title of a Tennessee Williams play.”
In fact, the streetcar named Desire did not trace any part of the hoped-for extension of the North Rampart streetcar. The Desire line outbound turned from Canal Street into Bourbon Street and continued through the French Quarter on Bourbon, then one block on Pauger Street, then along Dauphine Street to Desire, out Desire to Tonti Street and to the Industrial Canal, then headed back inbound along France Street, to Royal Street, and back through the Quarter to Canal.
The Desire route did cross St. Claude outbound on Desire and inbound on France Street; otherwise, it didn’t trace any of the route of the possible North Rampart extension. (“The Streetcars of New Orleans” Vol. II, by Louis C. Hennick and E. Harper Charlton.)
When the North Rampart streetcar does start running, I suggest that it be called Desire, even though it doesn’t trace the route of the old Desire line. It will eventually cross Desire Street, and the name Desire would make it attractive to tourists. They don’t know where the former Desire car ran, and many of them expect to see just such a streetcar when they come to New Orleans.
Also, I suggest calling the North Carrollton streetcar “Bayou St. John.” Tourists would expect to see the word “bayou” because many of them associate that word with New Orleans and Louisiana.
Also, the North Carrollton car does terminate right next to Bayou St. John, at a spot right across the bayou from where the former streetcar named “Bayou St. John” used to operate along Moss Street.
Richard J. Moore
former college Latin professor