It probably should be mentioned that STREETcars didn't really reach 'perfection' in the street. In the early years in all but the largest cities, the so-called Street Railway's were simply railroad tracks laid somewhere in the street right-of-ways. For this reason they required charters from both the State Corporation or Railway Commissions and the Cities themselves for the use of these right-of-ways.
Usually along a median or alongside the traffic lanes of the streets, these railways were required to provide railroad crossings at each intersecting street, otherwise their track was no different then that of the CSX, NS or FEC and it was certainly not drivable. As the traffic volumes swelled and the cities began to pave all available space within these right-of-ways the Street Railways found themselves entrapped in brick, concrete and asphalt. Even as pavement slowly encroached on them, they were reluctant to mix it up with automobiles, trucks and buses, preferring to remain in medians (North Main and Pearl Streets) on the side of the road (San Jose, Ortega) or on exclusive right-of-way (Camp Johnston/NAS JAX). The mathematics of a 90,000 pound Streetcar against a 4,000 pound Chevy are impressive to say the least.
For a short time, Jacksonville even attained world fame for it's green landscaped streetcar medians which became known as 'The Most Beautiful Streetcar Line In The World.'
However, the reader should keep in mind that a Street Railway is first and foremost a very efficient railway. They were so efficient in fact that the steam or major railroads often insisted that they be built to strange track gauges to prevent them from competing for interstate or intrastate freight, such was the case in Jacksonville which bowed to railroad pressures to establish a 5' 2" track gauge for the streetcar system.
Today, Cities with highly successful Light-Rail Systems and even a few with Modern Streetcar Systems, are revisiting the roots of this mode of rail transit and getting them out of the traffic lanes. Extensive elevated bridges, tunnels and former railroad grades are being converted into rapid transit using simple Streetcar Technologies in San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas, Norfolk and many other locations. Jacksonville's Skyway System with its simple bridgework is increasingly posing an opportunity to take a lemon and create lemonade with a conversion to Streetcar Technology in the Sky, in short, Florida's first Streetcar EL. Maybe not quite perfection, but certainly our chance to recapture "Sic transit gloria mundi!"