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The day's most popular stories from Gothamist every evening in your inbox from our newsletter. Roberts, who has also created circular maps for other cities like Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Washington DC, and Chicago, tells us, "I don't think that these maps are particularly easy to use, and they do distort geography, but they force a city into an unprecedented level of organization, and people find them fresh and exciting (or horrific, but I feel that if I delight half the people and horrify the other half then I must be doing something right). Further, he says, "I've always liked the 1958 diagram by George Salomon [pictured at right], it is tricky to work out what all the lines are doing, but very elegant.
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For the better part of three decades, the debate over subway graffiti has consumed New Yorkers.
Just two weeks after famed graffiti artist Iz the Wiz passed away, Transit and the NYPD say that graffiti hits are down by 46 percent this year over 2007.
Police patrols and Transit surveillance teams have slashed the number of subway graffiti attacks nearly in half, officials told the Daily News.
Over the years, the agency has tried to combat another form of more destructive graffiti — scratchiti, the use of acid to etch glass windows — with less success.

You think this will force them to do something more permanent like scratching the metal exterior? I like how on the R160s they learned from the window rim scratching on the R143s and put rigid metal there. He designs maps and conducts studies to see how usable they are (he's consulted for Transport for London, the transit agency that runs the Underground). Salomon suggested to use more then three colors, but the MTA wasn't ready for that innovation.
As I explored in April, some feel graffiti is art while others believe graffiti exhibits simply glorify vandalism. The agency also struck a new arrangement with city police: The agency would focus on the far-flung railyards while NYPD squads would target tracks between stations, where some trains are parked overnight. As part of an effort to deter graffiti, Transit will not put vandalized trains on the tracks until they are clean, and it can take the agency up to three hours to clean the outside of a car.
As Donohue reminds us, Transit unveiled a pilot program of scratch-resistant ads late last year.

Those who perpetrate the crime think it a victimless one and will not stop while those fighting it will have to stay one step ahead of artists who have the run of a wide open system. He created a London tube map based on concentric circles for fun earlier this year and has now created one for NYC. No matter the outcome, New York City Transit and the NYPD are hard at work combating these markings.
With increased cooperation and manpower, they have been able to cover more ground and get results, DeMarino said. According to Donohue’s sources, the MTA spent $350,000 in 2007 and just $125,000 in 2008 to clean up the trains.
That program, according to Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges, is too expensive to implement throughout the MTA’s rolling stock.

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