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October 28, 2013 by Columbus Circle Leave a Comment Yesterday marked the 109th anniversary of the New York City subway, which opened with one line (the IRT) on October 27, 1904. While the subway is a great way to navigate the city streets, we all know a better way to get around — running! Speaking of running and the city, thanks everyone who joined us for the Brooks Adrenaline Rush 5-Borough runs!
The current map designed by a committee lead by John Tauranac in 1978 is a lot more geographically accurate but looks quite different from the rest of the subway signage. The current map also combines trains running along the same trunk route to one single line and specifies which trains stop at each stations below the station names. Lines running local, then express and then local again is a special feature of the New York City subway that no map does a good job showing properly.
So good looking you want to hang it on the wall and so easy to use it becomes your subway map of choice.
The goal was to create a subway map that is beautiful to look at, easy to use and custom designed for New York City.
One of these NYC specific challenges was to find an appropriate way to differentiate between express and local trains. Another unique feature of New York City are the five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island). One of the only elements of geography that anyone visiting or living in New York City can be counted on to know with almost 100% certainty is Central Park and its location in the middle of Manhattan. Instead of showing lots of geographical details the map highlight sights, major landmarks and museums. The numbered grid system used in New York City makes it easy to navigate the streets above ground especially in Manhattan and since the subway lines often follow the grid it makes sense to include the major streets that subway lines run along into the map.
Highlighting major transfer points also brings clarity to otherwise messy intersections like the area around Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Additional improvements over the current maps are a clearer way to show rush hour extensions and skip-stop trains.
My design uses 30, 60 and 90 degree angles to show subway lines instead of the more common 45 and 90 angles also used by the Vignelli map.
It is worth remembering that no NYC subway map will be completely geographically accurate since Manhattan has so many lines in such a small space compared to the rest of the city. Tommi Moilanen is a Finnish designer working at the intersection of interaction design, industrial design and service design. For those of you who have used the subway in New York, the sight of rats must be quite common.
New York subway workers are holding a photo contest a€“ for the a€?nastiesta€? shot of a rodent. It does sound like a fun contest, but the organizers are pretty serious about seeing some results.
The MTA, however, has a different story to tell.A  They say that they routinely clean the platforms and tracks of all trash.
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The only decent subway system we have in the USA that I could think of is probably in Washington DC. I was also thinking that all of the suburban rail systems in the NYC are in pretty good shape, not great, but they are generally in good order.
I wouldn't mind if the subway was shut down at 2am if it was for cleaning purposes and the buses were still running.
I've lived in areas where the subways stopped running at 12-1am and yeah its a huge pain, but you learn to work around it. Whenever I have foreigners come and visit me, the first thing they notice is how dirty and decrepidt the subway looks.
I'll say it again, we're falling behind in terms of the quality of our subway, and something needs to be done about it.


Nevertheless action needs to be taken on the subway system but it will take both the MTA as well as the riders to work together. Also on a side note there are many Metro North lines that feature extremly outdated and downright disgusting trains. Yeah the New Haven line is supposed to be relaly bad, but the Harlem line is very very nice. If you still remember the post from some weeks ago—yes, we are going back to take the metro. So, why, why, why does the poor L train—which is great beacause it is very fast and connects to most lines—not deserve a colour of its own?
Or should you look at it the other way around—it is so special that no colour could have been worthy the powerful L? Alfalfa Studio BlogAlfalfa Studio Blog is dedicated to sharing creative inspiration from the worlds of graphic design, art, photography, architecture, literature, music, fashion, technology and culture from New York City and around the world.
Contributors include the partners, designers, guest collaborators, and friends of Alfalfa Studio, a NYC graphic design company run by Rafael Esquer.
Whether it’s the loop in Central Park, or the running path along the west side, we all have our favorite running routes. We are preparing for a busy week as runners from all over the world will descend on the city.  Come in to the New York Running Company for all your Marathon needs and to ask our experts about your last minute preparations. Black and white signs with Helvetica showing just the information subway riders need at the points they need it and nothing more. The 1972 map designed by Massimo Vignelli is considered a design classic and can be found in the collections of MoMA even though it was replaced over 30 years ago by being too abstract for the citizens of New York City.
On one hand this brings clarity especially to Manhattan which would otherwise be full of crisscrossing lines but on the other hand it makes it harder to quickly comprehend which lines run express and which local.
After having lived almost a year in New York City before starting this map project I had never realized that D train runs basically all of Manhattan as express. They are almost like cities within a city and the navigation in the subway system is built around them. By clearly showing where the boroughs are and by differentiating between express and local trains the map nicely matches the rest of the navigation scheme. Lots of big cities have famous parks but the perfectly rectangular shape, the prominent location and the overall lack of green space in the city makes Central Park pretty special.
Lots of major transfer stations also happen to coincide with attractions like Times Square or Grand Central so making these stations more prominent than the rest of the stations makes both navigating the system and locating yourself on the map easier. This allows for a better geographic accuracy while still looking more organized than the free form lines of the current map. Complete accuracy is not even needed in a subway map which is ultimately about finding a way from one station to another through the network. Design is always context specific and as shown above, New York City, like any other city for that matter, has its own specific features and character that should be reflected in the design. He has studied industrial & strategic design at Aalto University and Rhode Island School of Design.
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They also dispose of trash effectively, place poisonous baits in non public areas and remind people not to litter, they claim.
The LIRR and Metro North are even run by the MTA, the same organization that runs the subways. It does have a lot of problems from filthy subway stations to old subway cars (on certain lines) and construction. The New Haven lines which runs from Union Station in New Haven (the 10th busiest station in the country) down along I-95 through Bridgeport, Stamford and Greenwich and into Grand Central has horrible trains.
This feeling is amplified by the fact that a big portion of the station names are not aligned horizontally. The diagrammatic map designed by Vignelli, that is currently used in its updated incarnation in the Weekender app, does a better job than the official map in this regard by showing every train as a separate line.


It was impossible to see that from either of the official maps without actually following the lines specifically trying to decipher that piece of information. You don’t really need to know the exact geography of the area to be able to navigate in the city. Streets are more specific to where you happen to be heading at any given time and most of them are useless most of the time but people can be counted on to know at least some of the major landmarks. This way it is also possible to show all the trains stopping at a specific station in a row below the station name which is exactly the way you would see them at station entrances. The map also shows PATH stops within Manhattan as equal to the rest of the subway stops since it really is a subway type rapid transit system connecting New Jersey to Manhattan. The updated version is also pretty geographically accurate which many people may not realize since the geographic inaccuracy of the original map is so often referenced. If you would like to know when a 24 x 30 poster of his subway design becomes available for order you can sign up for an email alert here. Apparently, subway workers have had enough of this and want their workplace to be completely free of rats. The MTA chose not to comment on the claim of the Union that there has been in a spike in infestation in recent months.A Sounds like the union and MTA are having a little cat and mouse game of their own, doesna€™t it? True, NYC has its problems, but as for efficiency, coverage area and reliability, I think NYC's subway beats DC's Metro HANDS DOWN. Subways and buses also serve five boroughs which is a huge area and much larger then many other urban public transporation systems.
Cities like Philadelphia and Detroit have lost their population and power to sprawling Sunbelt cities like Houston and Phoenix.
I work on the upper east side three days a week and take the subway and then a crosstown bus and never have problems. Everyday when I get on the train, the same thought comes to my head: there is the blue line, the red line, the orange line, the brown line, the yellow line, the purple line, the dark green line and the light green line.
Originally the signs were black text on a white background instead of the current reverse scheme of white on black but not much else has changed since then. The map shows quite a few street names but not really enough to function as a proper street map. It is still hard to get an overall understanding of the express sections since every line is drawn with an equal weight. PATH also accepts Metro Card as does AirTrain JFK which is treated in a similar manner on the map. And theya€™ve come up with a totally unique idea to accomplish this – a rat photo contest.
The site was created by the largest union in the city, the Transport Workers Union Local 100.A The winning photograph is to be selected by popular opinion. In many cities the car is the dominant force of transporation and public transporation could take 3x as long then driving in a car.
Interestingly the first version of the map showed more street names than the current version does. It kind of functions as a You Are Here dot except that it always remains in the exact same spot on the map. Visitors to the website are able to vote for the most repulsive picture on the a€?Rate my Rata€™ section. DC's subway is, yes, cleaner, but try to get somewhere late in the evening or on a weekend or live out in the suburbs and rely on it? Most of the rat-pictures have been rated between 3 and 5, while a few actually have been called cute.




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  • Judo_AZE, 13.05.2015 at 10:20:41
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