Washington RER Strip Map

washington union station rer strip map

Step back, doors closing.

A little bonus thing I dusted off after finishing the Brisbane map. It’s a [partial] strip map of Baltimore/DC’s crayon suburban rail system, showing all the places that are a one-seat ride from Union Station itself. It uses an earlier, less developed version of the Baltimore map’s design language, and the geography of the Line 3 branches into WV and PA are backward, but I like to think it still holds up pretty well.

Posted in baltimore, maps, washington dc | Leave a comment

Brisbane Tram Map

brisbane stadtbahn

[muffled Zero Punctuation playing in the distance]

Wanted to draw something to see how Brisbane’s tram network would look if it (a) stuck around and (b) was integrated into the busway network, and the result was something like a German stadtbahn. (Hence why the color scheme was ganked from the tram system in Hannover.) Also has a mildly crayoney rendition of the suburban rail network (+ Cross River Rail) that may or may not be expanded upon later.

The Brisbane Metro high-frequency BRT plan is intriguing.

Sources: A, B, C, D, E, F, Wikipedia.

Posted in brisbane, maps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chicago L Map

chicago l with line numbers


This map exists for two reasons:

  • The official L map has an inset for the Loop because something something fealty to geography. Meanwhile, I hate insets. What’s more, the majority of the L maps that don’t have an inset distort the Loop to the point where it’s wider than it is long, which quite frankly looks ridiculous. I wanted a map that didn’t have an inset but still kept the Loop somewhat geographically proportional. The end result, as it turns out, makes the Loop a perfect square, albeit at the expense of some geographic fudging (especially around Library station) so nothing overlapped anything else.
  • The L has a color-based naming system, and eight lines is about where you max out with that sort of nomenclature before it gets unwieldy. Also I generally take issue with line names instead of letters or numbers because even stuff like “Green Line” or “Orange Line” has to be set on such small type on the strip maps that it’s almost unreadable from a distance. Numbering the different L lines makes a bit more sense, and prefixing each number with “L” Barcelona-style differentiates them from the also-numbered bus lines. (And it’s also makes a nice little reference to the name of the system.)

I didn’t smooth out very many of the other kinks and jogs that are shown on the official map because I have this hunch that they’re integral to Chicagoans’ mental map of the system, and trying to line up as many of the identally-named stations as I could was irresistible.

Anyway here it is.

Posted in chicago, maps | 1 Comment

Sacramento Crayon Map

sacramento crayon with straight d line


[Housekeeping: I spent most of October writing a big ugly piece about the Nostalgia Critic and his review of The Wall because it irritated me just that much. Please read and validate my suffering. First part is here, there’s a link to the next part at the bottom.]

Here’s crayon of the old, surprisingly extensive interurban system that used to radiate out of Sacramento. More geographically accurate in the center around Sac itself, deliberately compressed and distorted up toward Chico and down toward SF and the Central Valley. This is probably one of the most distorted transit maps of the Bay Area ever made (although a bunch of really old streetcar maps of Oakland (e.g.) do the same thing IIRC, so it’s not like there isn’t precedent).

Given how the upper and lower portions of the map still manage (I think) to be legible even though the stations are spaced very closely together, this one’s made me seriously think about how I use space in my maps and what I can do to use space more efficiently.

Should probably also note that interurban flag stops don’t necessarily carry a negative low-ridership connotation with me because whenever I go to Philly I take the NHSL, whose entire route is flag stops, and that’s the sole reason it can legitimately call itself a high speed line.

Posted in maps, modesto, sacramento, san francisco, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

California HSR Strip Map

california hsr strip map

Gavin Newsom can bite me.

Hello. This is the first map I’ve managed to get done in a while that wasn’t stillborn. Mea culpa.

This is a crayoney strip map of the California HSR project. We might see the central spine completed before climate change fries the Central Valley, but I’m not holding my breath. The interchange info comes from a ton of crayon maps that exist only in computer and Google Earth sketches.

Posted in los angeles, maps, san francisco, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Philadelphia Subway Crayon

philadelphia subway

Something something Rocky’s house from here.

Goodness. I speculate I’ll be gone for two months and then I post two maps in two weeks. Anyway, here’s crayon of the Philly subway, a network which always seemed infuriatingly half-finished for some reason. This is based off the old A Merritt Taylor long-term rapid transit plan from 1913, but which the loops removed and what’s left tweaked to facilitate crosstown service because loops are dumb and grids are good. Also the Ridge Spur was folded into the Chestnut Hill trunk lines because the Ridge Spur is dumb too.

Pretty much the only viable parts of this thing here are the BSL extensions to Roosevelt Boulevard—although probably not to the point of completely absorbing that fancy Frankford-Neshaminy bus service—and maybe the Navy Yard. We can talk about converting the Chestnut Hill lines to rapid transit once they get rapid transit level frequencies.

Oh yes: the new frequency map SEPTA’s rolling out now looks pretty good. Some of the curves, especially the more sweeping ones, look kind of funny, but it’s still substantially better than the map they’ve been using.

Posted in maps, philadelphia, urbanism | Leave a comment

St Petersburg Metro, Soviet Style

st petersburg metro soviet style

I have a friend in Minsk, who has a friend in Pinsk, whose friend in Omsk has friend in Tomsk has friend in Akmolinsk…

Felt like doing something in the style of that really neat 1980 Moscow Metro map where all the lines are ramrod-straight, so why not see what happens with Russia’s other really complex metro system? Fun fact, the lines on the Moscow map form a star in the middle, yada yada communist symbolism. This one I think just looks cool.

Not super into the angled station labels on the M4 but the design language is unforgiving toward horizonal route lines so here we are. Oh well.

And yes, it’s in English. Pretend there’s a transliteration convention at work or something.

Posted in maps, st petersburg | 2 Comments