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Alargule's NYC Subway Map


Alargule

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As I already mentioned in my introductory post, I've been working on my own map of the NYC subway system. Yes, competition is fierce (Eddie Jabbour's Kick Map, the Vignelli 2008 edition, to name but a few) in the 'design your own unofficial NYC Subway map'-field...but I'm not out there trying to beat those guys ;)

Instead, I've tried to reduce the complex subway system to a more comprehensive level, with the following criteria in mind:

 

 

  • Standardized angles for easier navigation;
  • Use as few different station symbols as possible (1 symbol for stations, 1 for transfer stations etc);
  • Make a clear distinction between parallel local and express services;
  • Show routes running over the same track(s) as one bundled line with the same thickness;
  • Do not attempt to show the complex service patterns with all its exceptions to the rule on the map. That's what a service guide is for.

 

 

Of course, simplifying or reducing a system always means a loss of certain information, e.g. the geographic context, service patterns or the exact layout of transfer stations. But it will hopefully result in a map that's easier to comprehend and easier to use.

 

But I won't be the judge of that, so any comments, suggestions, questions are welcome (click on images to enlarge):

 

NYC2010KleinHelvetica2.png

 

And as an added bonus, a map with all the current capital projects completed:

 

Nygif2030Klein.png

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Very nice map, although may I suggest using a darker blue for the (A), (C) and (E) lines? The lighter (JFK) blue is supposed to be recycled for the 2nd Avenue (T) once that comes on line. Also, (Q) trains will stop at 49th Street on weekdays, so you should create some sort of symbol that shows the (Q) stopping there on weekdays, but not weekends.

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Very nice map, although may I suggest using a darker blue for the (A), (C) and (E) lines? The lighter (JFK) blue is supposed to be recycled for the 2nd Avenue (T) once that comes on line. Also, (Q) trains will stop at 49th Street on weekdays, so you should create some sort of symbol that shows the (Q) stopping there on weekdays, but not weekends.
Actually, if you look at the (T) he has on there, it's an even lighter blue (closer to cyan or sky blue), and that's the way it's really supposed to be. It's on the coloring used on the SAS maps that it has darkened to be almost the color he has 8th Ave. there, which was what the dark blue was in the 1967 colors.
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Thank you for all your comments so far! ;) I first drew this map about six years ago using nothing but MS Paint. Not really a good program for drawing...anything, for that matter, especially not maps that you frequently want to edit.

That's why I decided to remake that map using Adobe Illustrator. That provides much more flexibility and possibility to twist and tweak the map into a pleasing result. Of course, the devil is in the details, and since I don't live in New York or even nearby, I simply have to rely on the information I find online. So thanks for any error pointed out :P

As for the size of the map: I do have a smaller thumbnail version, but it was still too big for this forum. I'll try posting an even smaller version.

Concerning the line colors: I'd like to use the official colors, but I don't know if the official rgb-codes are publicly available?

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Is that official policy, or just popular belief? I believe the main reason the current map has been around for over 30 years is that the MTA is satisfied with the Hertz design, and not because they want to rule out any diagrammatic map design. Bear in mind that the Hertz map is pseudo-geographic at best: especially Manhattan's geography has been distorted in order to show the subway lines more clearly. The Eighth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, Sixth Avenue and Lexington Avenue lines have all been distributed equally whereas in reality they aren't (there's still an extra Avenue between the Sixth and Lexington Avenue lines). Downtown Manhattan has been enlarged for more clarity. The path of the rush hour express lines (5, diamond 6, diamond 7, D) suggests those lines diverge from the local main line, which they don't. It just looks geographically accurate, but it really isn't.

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Actually, if you look at the (T) he has on there, it's an even lighter blue (closer to cyan or sky blue), and that's the way it's really supposed to be. It's on the coloring used on the SAS maps that it has darkened to be almost the color he has 8th Ave. there, which was what the dark blue was in the 1967 colors.

 

Right. I just noticed the second map. Originally I looked at this thread on my iPhone. I must have scrolled too quickly and missed it. I see the difference in the two blues.

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By the way, just to note on the capital projects map:

While the (4) and the (5) are physically connected (or wil be) to the Cortlandt Street station thru the Dey Street psgway, there is still no free transfer. However, the (E) at WTC will have a free transfer with the Cortlandt Street BMT station.

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Does that mean that passengers actually have to get out of and into the system again in order to make that transfer? In that case, the Fulton St Transit Center stations and Cortlandt St stations should not be connected on the map.

 

Also, I heard of plans to accommodate a free transfer between Jay St/Borough Hall and Lawrence St in Brooklyn. Is that true?

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Does that mean that passengers actually have to get out of and into the system again in order to make that transfer? In that case, the Fulton St Transit Center stations and Cortlandt St stations should not be connected on the map.

 

Also, I heard of plans to accommodate a free transfer between Jay St/Borough Hall and Lawrence St in Brooklyn. Is that true?

 

Yes, the transfer is getting built right now.

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Does that mean that passengers actually have to get out of and into the system again in order to make that transfer? In that case, the Fulton St Transit Center stations and Cortlandt St stations should not be connected on the map.

 

Also, I heard of plans to accommodate a free transfer between Jay St/Borough Hall and Lawrence St in Brooklyn. Is that true?

That is correct. The Dey Street passageway lies outside of fare control. I, on the other hand, would widen the passageway and divided it into two, one part being within fare control and the other outside of it.

 

Yes, the Jay-Lawrence project is in the works. It will open next year.

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OK, some updates:

 

 

  • Fixed the Bedford Pk Blvd error;
  • Tried a darker shade of blue for the Eighth Avenue lines;
  • Corrected the transfers in Downtown on the capital projects map;
  • Added the Jay St/Lawrence St transfer (capital projects map):

 

 

NYC2010KleinHelvetica3.png

 

Capital projects map:

 

Nygif2030Klein2.png

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  • 4 months later...

OK; I finally got around to making some changes to the map:

 

 

  • The blue color of the IND 8th Ave line was too saturated. I used a paler shade of blue that looks more like the color the official MTA map uses;
  • I realigned the IND 8th Ave, IRT 7th Ave and BMT Broadway lines in Downtown Manhattan, to create more whitespace for the station names to fit in. The IND and IRT lines had too many unnecessary kinks for a diagram, so I straightened them. I made a few extra curves to the BMT Broadway line to provide for more space for the station names;
  • The Bleecker St and Broadway/Lafayette transfer is now also shown more clearly as two stations on separate lines.

 

 

2000px-New_York_Subway_Map_Alargule.svg.png

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  • 1 month later...

With the opening of the new Jay St/Metrotech (A)(C)(F)(R) transfer complex, and the renaming of the Broadway/Nassau St station on the (A)(C) lines to Fulton St, I decided to display both station complexes as one station on my map. See the above post, since it directly reflects all the updates I upload to Wikipedia.

 

Also did some other stuff:

 

 

  • Dark-color background (whooo!). I believe it makes the lines stand out more clearly - it gives them a lot more 'body' (don't know if that's the correct term to use here);
  • The terminal station names are now shown in italics;
  • I used a smaller font for the other station names, and made those bold, too;
  • Realignment of the Concourse (B)(D) line in the Bronx, which now turns north on the map after crossing the (4) at Yankee Stadium.

 

 

As always, you're welcome to make comments, suggestions, and to point out silly mistakes ;)

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