Docklands Light Railway Strip Map

dlr strip map with official colors

Dealer plates.

The DLR hit the big three-oh recently and got a shiny new map with different shades of teal on it. It sucks. So I went and made one of my own. Notes:

  • Diamond Geezer Blogger Bloke liked that the new thing attempted to show the…interesting service pattern at West India Quay, he was frustrated that it did so rather poorly. I generally depict special unidirectional service patterns rather subtly on the station symbol itself, so hopefully this works well enough.
  • DG’s other point of contention was that the new DLR map still doesn’t show that only peak-hour trains run from Stratford all the way to Lewisham, so here’s that fixed also.
  • In what will surely be a surprise to absolutely no one, I also am one of those people who believes individual DLR services should be numbered.
  • Although Jonn Elledge made a good case for it in his CityMetric thing on the new map, I remain unconvinced that coloring the lines by destination rather than origin was a good idea. It might make sense from a certain logical/logistical standpoint but it still looks fundamentally backward to me. Nevertheless, the official color scheme is used here.
  • Are TfL’s graphic designers not paid enough to care about internal harmony on their maps or something? Is having everything line up properly thought of as some sort of bourgeois decadence? You people are better than this.
  • I threw in the Thames this time because the system is smaller, spends more time above ground, and—honestly—it’s the light rail for the Docklands. Might be useful as a landmark.
Posted in london, maps, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Indianapolis Bus Map

indy bus map poster

Woo. I guess.

Here’s a map of the Indianapolis bus network as it will (ideally) look sometime around the middle of next decade, because talking about Indy’s buses has become fashionable, suddenly. Sources are this poster of the envisioned network, and individual maps for the Red, Blue, Purple, and Green Lines.

As for the restructure itself, I like that the city is getting a 15-minute frequent grid and some 10-minute limited-stop bus services. That is unquestionably an improvement. However, I don’t like that chunks of the south side of town lose bus service entirely (yes, yes, we’re talking hourly bus service, but most of the south side will still only have hourly service after the restructure and…those lines still did serve people*), the lack of through service through downtown (Apparently. Some buses might change routes going through the Transit Center, I don’t know), and that the Red Line isn’t true BRT with signal priority and exclusive, dedicated lanes for the entirety of its length. I mean, it’ll make taking the bus around Indy easier for me and a lot of other people, but I get the feeling that the pols there will sit back and say The Job Is Done And We Won’t Have To Change The Bus Network Ever Again Ever, as opposed to treating this as a first step toward more ambitious long-term goals such as, say, turn-up-and-go frequency on 86th Street.**

The Green Line is literally the only proposed LRT line I’d like to see built as BRT. For starters, it’s not exactly the ideal corridor for it. The Red, Blue, and Purple lines all run through denser neighborhoods, so if any line should get built as LRT in Indy it’s one of them. Second, BRT is the more frequent service as proposed, with 6 bph at peak as opposed to LRT’s paltry 4 tph. And finally, if they build it as LRT my gut says they’ll slack off and build it with only one track in the dedicated ROW, with all the attendant headaches if it gets popular enough to warrant increased frequencies. At least with BRT you’re more likely to get one lane each direction.

This is one of the maps I’m investigating having printed as a poster.

I will be in Indy this week, so if I have any further thoughts about IndyGo that are Too Long For Twitter they’ll probably be here.

*When it comes to the speed versus coverage debate w/r/t transit service I ultimately come down in favor of speed, but what I don’t think people fully appreciate about transit in sprawly non-coastal car-dependent cities like, say, Indianapolis, is that the built environment there is in many respects actively hostile to people who don’t/can’t drive. Redesigning a bus network to favor speed over coverage in such a place needs to come in tandem with redesigning the streets in affected neighborhoods so they favor pedestrians over cars.

**This would, of course, require some changes to 86th Street itself and the built environment around it, but we’re talking like 15 years in the future and a guy can dream.

Posted in indiana, indianapolis, maps, Uncategorized, urbanism | Leave a comment

This Post Comes In Three (Or Four) Parts


There will be a new map tonight or tomorrow. It is not of LA. I am so burnt out on the LA map it’s not even funny. Also the map’s periphery needs serious retooling.


I’m seriously experimenting with getting some of my maps printed, like, professionally. We’ll see if anything comes of that.


A message for white/Western tankies/PRC apologists, because I’ve seen you around:

Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy handover-anniversary rally was today. Judging from the pictures, there were a lot of colonial flags out, and I’m sure some of you are pointing to this as evidence the HK democracy/independence movement is vile and pro-Western-imperialist-decadence and the PRC’s actions in HK are morally and ethically unassailable. Several things to keep in mind:

  • Please take your obsession with ideological purity and shove it.
  • The People’s Republic of China is not communist. Any country with a McDonald’s in it is not communist. (Note to pedants: the contrapositive of this statement is true; the converse is not.)
  • Saying that the People’s Republic of China so very badly wants an empire of its own (e.g. South China Sea, Taiwan) does not negate or diminish the long, long, long list of American/Western genocides, mass murders, and other assorted imperial unpleasantnesses. It’s the starving-children-in-Africa argument with Groucho glasses on.
  • There are left-wing pro-Beijing people, there are right-wing pro-Beijing people. There are left-wing pro-democracy/independence people, there are right-wing pro-democracy/independence people. Politics in Hong Kong is split across different lines than they are in this/your country.
  • This doesn’t mean that the xenophobic/nationalistic elements of the pro-democracy/independence faction can’t be criticized (they should, oh lord, they should), but attempting a one-to-one correspondence between an HK political faction and a political faction at home will result in gross and wildly inaccurate generalizations, every time.
  • Unless you live there, there’s a pretty good chance I spent more time in Hong Kong than you.
  • Xi Jinping will never have sex with you. Ever. Sorry.


As a reward for suffering through that, here’s the HK MTR station numbering map, slightly redrawn to reflect the system as it exists in 2017. On the house.

mtr with station numbering 2017

Can’t wait until the link between Tai Wai and Hung Hom is completed.


Posted in hong kong, maps, Uncategorized, urbanism | 2 Comments

So There’s A Post This Month


I’m going to Indianapolis in early July, mostly for Popcon (first fandom con in five years, it’s been too long) but also just to pootle around the city for a few days. I lived northeast of Indy for a year and a half but my primary experience of the city thus far has been through a car windshield, and I want to rectify that. So if you want to say I have Bad Opinions to my face, you know where to find me.

I’ve been to downtown (i.e. Circle Centre and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument) the IMA, and a few places up where the sprawl of Indy proper bleeds into Carmel and Noblesville, and on the agenda this visit (besides Popcon) is Broad Ripple (where I’m staying), Lockerbie Square, and Marott Park. Other suggestions of places to visit are welcome, provided they’re cheap (i.e. <$20), and although I can walk distances that would fell most men, I am otherwise completely at the mercy of IndyGo and its criminally early shutdown time.

I want to finish the LA crayon map before I leave.

Continue reading

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East Berlin S-Bahn Map

east berlin s-bahn

Maps to liberate Poland to. Glory to Arstotzka.

A map of the East Berlin S-Bahn as it was sometime in the early 80s. I had a nice big long post ready to go to accompany this sucker, but then 217 Congresspeople—my representative included—decided they wanted to see me and my loved ones bankrupt and/or dead, so I’m royally bent out of shape and you get notes instead:

  • The inset that a lot of the old East Berlin S-Bahn maps have for the western part of the outer ring really messes with my perception of the system, because I think the overwhelming desire to minimize West Berlin led them to omit some outer ring stations, even though I also know that wasn’t the case.
  • Other resources: this S-Bahn map from 1979 and Max Roberts’ restored S-Bahn map from 1980. Making sense of the system’s peak/weekday/weekend service patterns as they appear on the maps was interesting.
  • So far as I can tell, East Berlin never gave its U-Bahn lines numbers.

The LA map is coming along in fits and starts.

Posted in berlin, maps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Quick Note on Venue Access

Once in a great while, I go to concerts. Here’s what the experience of actually getting to the concert venue is like. For the record: the venues themselves and the shows played therein were all excellent.

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW
[There for: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Fall 2009]

Getting there, Option 1: CityRail Sydney Trains CityRail to Circular Quay, then a delightful walk along the Harbour. When I was there they hadn’t rolled out the Opal contactless farecard yet, so whenever I found myself taking the train to Circular Quay I would buy a return ticket for about $6. Expensive, yes, but when you’re eighteen and stupid and only had a passing experience with mass transit up to that point it was worth it for the novelty.

Getting there, Option 2: Bus to Circular Quay. I lived in Ultimo, so this was occasionally an option as well, if I felt like using a TravelTen pass (then available at all good convenience stores). Cheaper, but it took a bit longer.

Getting there, Option 3: Hoofing it. An wretched hour-long shoe-destroying slog only attempted when truly broke and desperate.

Best Buy PlayStation Best Buy Theater, New York, NY
[There for: Blackfield, May 2014; Steven Wilson, May 2015]

Whenever I go to New York I always, always, always take the bus. No reasonable person attempts to drive into the Great and Terrible City. It’s ~$60 round trip from where I live, yes, but if it means I don’t have to deal with tolls, traffic, and parking, it’s worth it.

The theater itself is well-signed and located smack in the middle of Times Square, so it’s easy to get to (short walk from the PABT and nine subway lines) and fits right in, but it’s also located smack in the middle of Times By God Tourist Hell Square. You don’t go to Times Square unless (a) you work there or (b) it’s just before sunrise and nothing’s open.

Or you’re there for a concert.

The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA
[There for: Frank Turner, January 2017]

Whenever I go to Philly I drive to one of the stations on the R5 (yes, I still call it that) and take the Regional Rail in. $14, round trip, plus $1 in quarters for parking if you’re there on a weekday. When I was there to see Frank I didn’t get back to the station until around 1 am, which brought no small amount of wondering precisely when one “day” ticked over into another in SEPTA Parking Land (even though this was late Friday night and Regional Rail parking is free on the weekend).

The R5’s off-peak frequency isn’t completely execrable at 2 tph but it ain’t turn-up-and-go, either. From Suburban Station, though, it’s a walk through the still somewhat gloomy pedestrian concourse to the 15th Street MFL station. The MFL, meanwhile, is delightfully frequent.

The Fillmore, a six-minute walk from the Girard MFL station, is separated from the rest of Fishtown by I-95 and way too much parking. In a better world those lots would still have homes and businesses on them. Many of the other people there for the show were also from the suburbs, and I was shocked and dismayed by how many of them drove in. Somewhat ironically…

Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
[There for: Feed Me and deadmau5, April 2017]

Columbia, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, currently has no rail transit to speak of, and I can’t speak one way or the other about the frequency of the local buses because I drove there. The Pavilion is five to ten uneasy minutes’ walk from the mall and is surrounded by edge-city office buildings and the parking garages for those office buildings. What I’m saying is Columbia isn’t exactly walker friendly.

Naturally, access to Merriweather is autocentric, and here’s where things get interesting. When you buy your ticket on the website, you have to select which parking lot you want to reserve a space in. Problem is, 90% of Merriweather’s parking is actually parking for the surrounding office buildings (and thus not actually signed as Lot 4 or Lot 6 except on removable signs and banners), and because of that I wasn’t sure now they’d enforce having a space reserved, or whether I’d have issues because the time on my parking pass said 5:30 and I pulled in at 2:00. In addition, the lot I parked in actually isn’t one lot, but three separate garages sharing one office complex between them, something I wish the website made clearer. As a consequence, during the show I had this constant worry in the back of my head about whether I’d go back to my car and discover it had been ticketed or towed.

What I’m essentially saying here is that taking transit to concerts is awesome and driving to concerts is for the birds.

Posted in baltimore, new york city, philadelphia, Uncategorized, urbanism, washington dc | Leave a comment

A List

I’ve got a serious case of Mapper’s Block, so let’s list the rapid transit stations that can get away with having park-n-ride lots.

Any station with a park-n-ride facility not listed here would be better served by replacing the lot with shops and apartments and beefing up the local bus network to compensate. The list of cities is not exhaustive, but the list of stations within each city is. Although it’s not objectionable for these stations to have some manner of park-n-ride facility on the property, this doesn’t mean that aforesaid station can’t or shouldn’t be made more inviting or accessible to pedestrians, Quincy Adams. In addition, the thing most of these stations have in common should suggest who these park-n-ride lots should be for, namely, tourists.

  • Boston: Alewife, Oak Grove, Riverside, Quincy Adams
  • New York City: None
  • Philadelphia: None
  • Baltimore: Hunt Valley, Owings Mills, North Linthicum
  • Washington: Greenbelt, Shady Grove, Wiehle [until SV Phase 2 is complete], Vienna, Franconia-Springfield, Largo
  • Atlanta: Dunwoody, Doraville, Indian Creek, Hamilton E Holmes, College Park
  • Miami: Palmetto, Dadeland South
  • Chicago: Dempster/Skokie, Rosemont, Forest Park [or: None, if riding Metra doesn’t completely suck]
  • San Francisco: Pittsburg, Richmond, Dublin
  • Los Angeles: Norwalk, Chatsworth, APU
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