Moving to a new page!

Hello! It’s been more than a year since I’ve made a post on this blog, and I’d like to apologize for the delay; I’ve been working on making new maps after being inspired by the wonderful posts at Transit Maps on Tumblr. So, I have some announcements to make:

1. I’ve started a general New York transit map Tumblr blog. Most of my regular maps will be moving here, as well as the frequent transit maps I post.

2. All the Tomorrow’s Subway posts are stopped, at least for now. I’ve had a year to reflect on and refine my proposals, and at some point I’ll make a new post series on a revamped fantasy subway plan.

To start off, here’s a post from my Tumblr:

Map of 2030 New York City Subway

This is the culmination of a fairly long project to create a modern map based on George Salomon’s 1959 subway map, which was New York City’s first diagrammatic map. However, he was far more visionary than that; in a report he published for the MTA, he recommended a unified wayfinding system for the subway that would represent each trunk line as one color, which is the system we use today to represent subway routes. Unfortunately, the Tauranac map threw out the diagrammatic map, so I took it upon myself to create this.

The original map, while good, had many issues – tick marks and stops were off-centered, stops were unevenly spaced, geographic inaccuracies, etc. However, thanks to the wonders of digital art-making, I was able to fix all of these issues.

Stop spacing was standardized and condensed in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx, while the spacing in Queens was expanded (and made geographically accurate as well.) Trunk line names were replaced by the subway’s ubiquitous bullets. Airport routes were also included, as well as the system’s expansions since 1959 (the Chrystie St connection, the 63rd St tunnel, the Archer Av line, and the future 7 Line and 2nd Av extensions, in addition to the various transfers added and the spread of wheelchair accessibility across the system.)

A full link to the PDF can be found here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ten Minute Network – Frequent Transit Map V3.1

 

Changes:

  • B9 service added
  • Southern Brooklyn redone for better diagrammatic look
  • Cleaning up of miscellaneous service labels, transfer boxes, etc.
  • Outline of the box is now black

Link to the full PDF is available here.

Posted in Frequent Maps

Ten Minute Network – Frequent Transit Map 3.0

This enormous behemoth is the product of a lot of frustration, determination, and tears. But here it is – the first, and as far as I know, only frequent transit map of the four boroughs.  This has taken the greater part of a month to make – it depicts every frequent transit route operated by NYCT and MTA Bus – every ten minutes or better, all day, Monday-Friday. At first this was supposed to be a simple diagram of the subway, to make Tomorrow’s Subway more polished. It somehow morphed into this.

The scale of this is astounding – originally, this was a quarter of the size it is now. However, due to legibility problems, it was blown up to its current size. If you print the PDF at full scale, it comes out to about 8 feet by 10.5 feet – definitely not something you want to carry around.with you on a normal basis. Perhaps it should’ve stayed as a separate map for each borough. Who knows?

The original plan for the general frequent transit map was to cut out a lot of routes by implementing a 10 minute standard (with 11 minute midday frequencies tolerated) and make something like this Montreal frequent transit map, with individual stops for every bus route. Due to the immense scale of the map, that went out the window first. Next to go were the PATH system in New Jersey and all of Staten Island – PATH was only going to be given a small section of the map anyways, and Staten Island only had one frequent transit route serving it, the S53 – not even the Ferry or the SIR ran 10 minutes all day. After that was the collection of one way avenues in Manhattan, to reduce clutter – that was replaced by a single line representing services running on the same street, which would’ve been much easier to simplify if the M5 didn’t have its odd routing on both 5th and 6th Avenues. Finally, due to a desire to finish the thing, street labels were put aside for a later date. Hopefully, at some point in time I will actually add the features listed here – the street labels, and maybe the stops, or at least just limited stops.

There are some serious geographical distortions – I don’t know how, but somehow the entire area around Coney Island got much bigger than it needed to be. Less noticeable are the geographical distortions around Randall’s Island, the Western Bronx, Eastern Queens, and Southern and Western Brooklyn.

If you spot an error, please feel free to point it out in the comments or in a private message – due to the immense scale of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made mistakes here and there – it’s impossible to see mistakes on a canvas that’s 8 by 10.5 feet. Any sort of other feedback would also be greatly appreciated.

Full link to the PDF here.

Posted in Frequent Maps

Tomorrow’s Subway – Utica Av Line

Plans for a Utica Avenue subway line in Brooklyn have existed since the 1920s, as a spur off of a massive trunk line in Bushwick. Then, in 1968, the MTA’s Program for Action saw the proposed Nostrand and Utica Av extensions merged into a single extension of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line down Flatbush Ave, to where Kings Plaza is today. However, demand for public transit on the corridor has only surged, even as the planned subways never materialized – the B46 on Utica is the city’s 2nd-busiest bus line, with 52K boardings per weekday. To put this in perspective, if the B46 were a light rail line, it would be tied for the tenth-highest ridership in the United States, and it would have the second highest amount of boardings per mile in the United States at 6.7K boardings per mile. This demonstrates more than enough demand for a subway line, as this single, congested bus route has higher ridership than light rail systems over five times its size.

Under Tomorrow’s Subway, a subway line would be built under Utica Avenue.

Branching off of a converted Atlantic Branch, the first phase of the line would extend down to Kings Highway and Farragut Road. A second, later phase would see the Utica Avenue Line extended south to Flatbush, before heading east and terminating at Kings Plaza. At the flying junction with the Atlantic Branch, there would be a stub tunnel heading northwest, should the line be extended northwards in the future.

Such a line would improve commutes for those on the city’s 2nd-busiest bus line, and be the final piece of a Second Avenue Subway system that would run under the two busiest bus routes in New York City (three, if the Bx41, Bx15, and Bx55 are considered one route within one or two blocks of the Park Av Line). Such a system would undoubtedly have high ridership, and would be cost-effective if managed properly.

Posted in Future Plans

Tomorrow’s Subway – Atlantic Branch Conversion

The Atlantic Branch of the LIRR currently serves trains from all over the system, taking them from Jamaica to Flatbush via two intermediate stops at Nostrand Av and East New York. Upon the completion of East Side Access, the branch will become a Jamaica-Atlantic shuttle, and separate platforms at Jamaica Station will be constructed for this new shuttle. This would make it an ideal candidate for subway conversion – it would serve a densely populated area where subway ridership is growing, and provide the only direct link between two transfer hubs – Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal. (Currently, it is possible to do this by taking the (J) and transferring to the (A) at Broadway Junction, but the (A) misses Atlantic Terminal and has poor connections with non-IND lines.)

Upon a conversion to subway service, additional infill stations would be built at Utica Av, Crescent St, Woodhaven Blvd, and Lefferts Blvd, providing “express” service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal.

This would be a matter of rejigging electrical systems, extending the platforms to the length of a ten-car Division B train (approximately 600 ft), and constructing infill cut-and-cover stations. An initial service could be run between Atlantic Center and Jamaica, with provisions for a future Utica Avenue Line. Long term, Tomorrow’s Subway would see such a line extended westwards to the Hanover Square terminus of the SAS, with a new station at Smith St and Atlantic Avenue. Such a connection would provide a relief route for the (A) and (C) in Brooklyn (which are currently constrained due to the shared Cranberry St Tunnel) and provide express service from Downtown Brooklyn to Jamaica, which currently does not exist due to the lack of a third track along the (J)/(Z).

In the future, this line would be used as the SAS’s Brooklyn trunk line, and provide a Manhattan connection for the future Utica Avenue Line.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tomorrow’s Subway – Park Avenue Line (Bronx)

There has been a significant gap in north-south Bronx service since the removal of the Third Ave El in the Bronx in 1973. Since then, local and limited buses have helped to fill the gap – 71K bus riders a day ride buses closely paralleling parts, or all of the old El, with the Bx41 on Webster and the Bx15 and 55 on Third Av handling the bulk of the ridership.

Currently, the MTA and NYCDOT are planning a Bx41 SBS to increase capacity in the area, but this is not enough – under Tomorrow’s Subway, the SAS would be extended under the MNRR right-of-way on Park Av.

Both of the parallel bus corridors on Webster Av and Third Av are narrow, and cut-and-cover would be extremely disruptive and require expensive utility relocation. By contrast, the MNRR right-of-way likely does not have utilities located under the railroad tracks. Thus, the MNRR between Melrose and Williamsbridge would be suspended either over the weekends or for an extended period of a few months for construction of the Park Av Line. The existing tracks would be ripped out, and a trench 20 feet deep would be dug in the place of the former trackbed. The trench would then be decked over, and tracks would be relaid to allow for the resumption of MNRR service. During this construction period, MNRR service between Melrose and Williamsbridge would be provided by two shuttle bus services – one nonstop service between the two stations, and one stopping at all stations, both running on Webster Av.

Its location between the two busiest north-south bus corridors in the area would guarantee a large amount of ridership, and potential riders could also be siphoned off of the farther Bx32 and Bx17. This would speed up commutes for the thousands of commuters using the north-south buses in the area every day, and could be the spark for intense development in the area. It would also replace the subway service that was lost over 40 years ago.

Posted in Future Plans

Tomorrow’s Subway – Second Avenue Subway Trunk

The current Second Avenue Subway runs as a two-track subway down Second Avenue, eventually extending from Hanover Square downtown to 125th St and Park in Harlem. Projected to serve over 560,000 riders when fully built out, it will finally fill a gap left by the destruction of the Second and Third Av Els in Manhattan over 55 years ago. Such a line has been in the works since 1929, but various economic and fiscal crises have prevented the plan’s realization until now.

Despite the fact that it is long overdue and needs to be built as quickly as possible, there are two major flaws in the current SAS plan.

1. Transfers suck.

The SAS will skirt many transit hubs – 59th/Lex, 53rd/Lex, Grand Central, Union Square, Fulton St, and South Ferry. The MTA currently only plans transfers at 125th St, 55th (to 53rd), Grand Central, 14th St, Houston St, and Grand St. Riders from the West Side, Astoria, or most parts of Brooklyn will not have direct transfers to the SAS despite the proximity of certain stations to existing ones.

2. Long inter-station gaps.

The SAS is only two tracks – to reduce the impact on travel times, the line’s stop spacing has been lengthened in some parts. However, the stop spacing is too high in some cases – 14 blocks between 86th and 72nd, 17 blocks between 72nd and 55th, 13 blocks between 55th and 42nd, and 14 blocks between 14th St and Houston St. These long inter-station gaps would prevent the establishment of transfers and would bypass areas with huge ridership potential – Midtown East and the Lower East Side.

Under Tomorrow’s Subway, the trunk would be modified to solve these issues.

Stations would be added at 79th St, 60th St, 52nd St, and St. Mark’s Pl. 79th St would provide additional coverage in the Upper East Side, while 60th would provide a transfer to the (N)(R) at 59th/Lex and 52nd would provide a transfer to the (E)(M) at 53rd/Lex. A station at St. Mark’s Pl would also provide service to the underserved Lower East Side, and a transfer could also be added between Wall St on the (2)(3) and Hanover Square.

As part of a phase 3B, the SAS would be extended west under 125th to Broadway, and phase 3C would see the SAS extended north to 3rd Av/149th St on the (2)(5). These two extensions would generate massive amounts of ridership – 32K bus riders use the 125th St buses every day, and the (2) and (5) are crushloaded during peak hours. These modifications would greatly boost already-high ridership estimates on the SAS, and would allow SAS to serve as a true Lexington Av relief line.

Posted in Future Plans
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