The angle is not exaggerated in this photograph: Pittsburgh streetcars really do have to climb absurd grades like this. This is one of the small number of remaining streetcar safety islands in the city. Behind it is a tiny Central American restaurant with a reputation for excellent food; it inhabits a little building in the Spanish Mission style, which seems appropriate.
A friend from Beechview was complaining that no one believes streetcars still run in Pittsburgh. Pittsburghers from between the rivers know there’s a subway, but they seem entirely unaware that the subway fans out into various lines that meander through the city neighborhoods south of the Monongahela and far out into the South Hills. The next time you run into a doubter, you may offer this photographic proof that streetcars (as people in Beechview still call them) still run on the street in Pittsburgh. This is a Red Line car stopping at the outbound Hampshire stop in Beechview, and then continuing around the bend past the Beechview Community Center.
Old Pa Pitt is a transit extremist. He believes in a subway between downtown and Oakland, and nothing less. But the “bus rapid transit” now in progress will certainly be an enormous improvement over what we have now, which is herds of buses getting stuck in inbound Fifth Avenue traffic. Here we see them piled up in front of the fancy new Atwood Street station.
A southbound Red Line car leaves the Mount Lebanon subway station, as seen from the Alfred Street crossing.
From Station Square across the river into the subway tunnel. You can also download a full-resolution version from the Wikimedia Commons file page.