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The Transit Map Thread

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I started from Arlington, so I wasn't all that far away. I would normally have walked, but I had just finished a ~8-mile run at the esplinade and was a little tired.

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The DC Metro is golden, especially if you're flying in. In my airline days I took several outstanding day trips there. From Reagan Airport, you're downtown in less than 15 minutes for $1.45. Is there another city in America that can say that?

My wife and I flew up for the 4th of July in 2005 and one nice part of a great day was Nats-Mets at RFK. We learned that sometimes Pedro Martinez really blows...literally. :D

IMG_5763.jpg

Getting back to mass transit, Atlanta's MARTA system is average I guess. It's good for going to Falcons games but inexplicably doesn't go near Turner Field so you have to take a shuttle to/from the stop. You can imagine what that's like after a sold out game. And parts of their system are pretty sketchy. The times and lines used by lots of people are fine but you have to watch yourself sometimes. And of course the Atlanta courthouse shooter famously escaped on MARTA after murdering a judge, court reporter, and a sheriff's deputy. Somehow the police didn't think to check the trains. :blink:

Perhaps my fondest memory of dear MARTA is when the trains were delayed almost an hour, causing me to miss a flight to LAX. No prob, I was only going to freakin' Australia. :cursing:

Fortunately, just in case, I'd given myself a six-hour cushion to connect in L.A. so I still made it. :D

Here's MARTA's map:

RailMap030210-interactive.jpg

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I don't ride subways, trains, buses or whatever frequently so I rarely use them. But I hate the maps that aren't based on a geographic map. Confuses the hell out of me.

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I've always wondered how they got the idea to dig tunnels underneath the city and build train stations. I have to imagine that it's an incredibly long project to start from scratch.

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Here's the Subte map for Buenos Aires, since we're at that.

subte-completo.jpg

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As a long time resident of Los Angeles, and someone who commutes daily via public transportation, I'm so envious of places like New York City, Philadelphia, London...hell, even Atlanta and D.C.--places that have had subways/light rail transportation longer than L.A. I know the perception here is that everyone likes to drive, but for many for take the bus or train going to and from work, school, sporting events, etc., our system is very inadequate compared to other cities.

One thing to remember is geography... NYC is a relatively compact city geographically. By contrast, Los Angeles is much larger. It's also bisected by a mountain range, with more mountain ranges to the west, north and east. Then you also have the deserts, the valleys, the downtown. A full subway system in Los Angeles simply would never work. There are too many geographical factors to take into account. How do you get around the mountains? How do you make it all earthquake-proof?

There was a book written in the 1970s all about the car culture of L.A. It wasn't an accident... L.A. was designed around the car. Whereas older cities like NYC weren't. And it's very difficult to introduce a subway system into a city that was never really designed to be accessible by a subway.

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All of it is above ground except for one small tunnel between Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson & Washington Park.

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I spy Mornington Crescent!

I understand the appeal of a simple, stylized map such as the Underground you just posted or the '72 NYC map - but from a geographical perspective, I definitely think it needs to be more realistic. Street grids, physical features, etc.

Subway/mass transit fascinates me. Maybe it's my suburban Southern upbringing (meaning: drive everywhere) but I couldn't get enough of the subways in Philadelphia and NYC when I was there. Makes me wish they'd hurry up and get Charlotte's LYNX expanded past one line.

street grids? we dont have street grids here mate, this is the old world. london is thousands of years old, towns werent built in squares.

my issue is this, if you are going to have a map which isnt topographically proportioned, then why make any concession to that at all?

the only geophysical landmark of significance in london is the thames, which IS represented on the map.

just so you can see, here is london tube map to scale.

tube_massive.gif

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As a long time resident of Los Angeles, and someone who commutes daily via public transportation, I'm so envious of places like New York City, Philadelphia, London...hell, even Atlanta and D.C.--places that have had subways/light rail transportation longer than L.A. I know the perception here is that everyone likes to drive, but for many for take the bus or train going to and from work, school, sporting events, etc., our system is very inadequate compared to other cities.

One thing to remember is geography... NYC is a relatively compact city geographically. By contrast, Los Angeles is much larger. It's also bisected by a mountain range, with more mountain ranges to the west, north and east. Then you also have the deserts, the valleys, the downtown. A full subway system in Los Angeles simply would never work. There are too many geographical factors to take into account. How do you get around the mountains? How do you make it all earthquake-proof?

There was a book written in the 1970s all about the car culture of L.A. It wasn't an accident... L.A. was designed around the car. Whereas older cities like NYC weren't. And it's very difficult to introduce a subway system into a city that was never really designed to be accessible by a subway.

I totally understand that...I travel as much as I can, and I recently returned from Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend. I didn't go too far away from my hotel, and pretty much everything I wanted was within walking distance (I stayed near the Boulder Station casino in the southeastern part of the city). Public transportation-wise...let's just say that L.A. is lucky, especially when it comes fare prices ($1.25 for the L.A. MTA via one-way, $2 on Vegas' transit system).

As far as subways...you're right, everything north, east, and west of the city is very mountainous, and would be a logistical nightmare build them, plus you're trying your luck with the light rails. The city limits of Los Angeles is very spread out itself; the northern-most boundary of the city is Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley, the southernmost is San Pedro. They're each, give or take, 25 miles from Downtown...so, from one end of the city limits to the other is at least 50 miles, one hell of a trek.

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All of it is above ground except for one small tunnel between Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson & Washington Park.

Small but it has the deepest station in the country and second-deepest in the world.

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double post

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As a long time resident of Los Angeles, and someone who commutes daily via public transportation, I'm so envious of places like New York City, Philadelphia, London...hell, even Atlanta and D.C.--places that have had subways/light rail transportation longer than L.A. I know the perception here is that everyone likes to drive, but for many for take the bus or train going to and from work, school, sporting events, etc., our system is very inadequate compared to other cities.

It's all Judge Doom's fault.

*edit* Man, I look at Portland's Tri-Met, and it puts Vancouver to shame. Plus, at $2.30 a trip, it's the best value in the PNW; Vancouver can run you from $2.75 to 4.75, plus an extra $5 if you're coming from the airport. :censored: Translink.

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That Seattle map is a good example of a transit map that is unnecessarily geographically correct.

Philosophically, the map's emphasis seems to be on the relationship between the light rail and major local roads. Which is fine for a commuter system. But this emphasis creates some design problems, and functional problems for other users.

For starters, there's just a lot of map space not relevant to the system, and judging by the omission of local road detail in these areas, not thought to be relevant to its regular users either.

But the most serious flaw is the lack of detail in the downtown section of the map, where the stations just look bunched together and lack information on where the stations are in relation to downtown streets and points of interest. A map that isn't proportional to the mileage between stations could put more emphasis on these stations, which is likely as important to some users (out-of-towners) as knowing which highway connects to the system in the suburbs is to Seattle commuters.

Being that there's one route, it would seem to be easy, and clearer, to depict it as a straight - or relatively straight - line. And the relationship to major roads could still be preserved in a simplified format.

I don't think it's possible to make the generalization that between geographically correct (or, in New York's case, geographically representative) or simplified maps, one style is better in all cases. The layout of the city (dense grid, spread-out sprawl, crazy Old World maze, etc.), and the characteristics of the transit system (number of routes, frequency of stations, area served by each station, etc.) dictate which is right for each system. New York's map works for New York because the city's mostly on a grid, the stations are named according to the streets they occur at, and there are a lot of friggin' lines and stations.

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One thing I do like about the Seattle map are the logos or pictures used for each stop. Good for kids who are sent on the trains without parents (hopefully not) or people who can't read well.

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