Let’s talk about street grids.
Las Vegas has two: the one downtown, and the one stamped on the entire rest of its built-up area. The big one is extremely regular and regimented, subdividing the city into discrete little squares one after the other. This regularity, I felt, was important to maintain as much as possible when I did this thing. The little one, meanwhile, is set at a slight tilt to the big one, and one of its tendrils, extending far to the south, is Las Vegas Boulevard.
Furthermore, (a) this tilt is not easily resolvable to 45˚ without seriously distorting a large part of the map, to the point where (b) it wouldn’t jibe very well with the mental map I imagine Las Vegas residents have of their city. The easiest way to square this, I imagined, was to tilt the downtown portion of the map such that instead of diagonals going over one unit and up one unit, they’d go over one unit and up two. That way everything still adheres to a nice neat grid and and things will line up more or less okay.
Here’s the problem: downtown would then be set at an angle that wasn’t quite 30˚ (it was actually something like 26.5˚ and change I HAD TO DO TRIGONOMETRY FOR THIS AUGH) and which therefore made actually drawing curves and making sure they lined up the way I wanted them to a profoundly unpleasant experience. There was a lot of manual rotation and other kludging involved, and even though I got things aligned to the point where you only notice the imperfections if you look at it under a microscope, it’s still really irritating, knowing they exist at all.
So anyway, that’s why drawing this map was unfun, why I usually stick to octolinear maps, and why when I saw Vegas win the make-me-draw-a-map poll by a landslide my heart sank. But here it is.
The monorail was rerouted along the Strip, so even if it remains a tourist shuttle it’s an actually useful tourist shuttle. Six BRT lines, because Vegas isn’t quite dense enough for a good LRT network. Three commuter rail lines, two of which do something I swore I’d never force a rail line to do: run along a freeway median. (Which, well, US 95 connects most of the major and minor commercial centers on the northwest side of town, and one of Summerlin’s commercial centers is stickin’ out right there…)
Because I am a glutton for punishment, there might be a Texas poll soon.