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Variation of Subway Map for Local Area Showing Buses

July 9, 2013

This is a scan of a rare map showing both buses and trains in the area of the Williamsburg Bridge back when it was closed in 1999. It shows both buses and trains at the same time, where the NYC Subway maps have never showed the bus lines, as it was feared they would clutter the map. But here is a good example of them fitting nicely onto the map. For more dense areas like Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, insets could be used, or perhaps the other side of the map, which is currently used for the area commuter railroad system. (I would make that a separate map folder, as it originally started out as).

  1. OK, now someone has finally produced a citywide combination bus AND subway map!

    click to enlarge

    Been wanting something like this for the longest. Even uses the separate line drawings like Vignelli and KICK. Only thing; I think he should have done the subway lines at least in the colors. (Also, I don’t think he had to make the (A) to JFK and the (Z) as separate lines).
    Might be hard to read the entire one on the screen, but this would at least be good for the station wall maps.

    Told the KICK guy about this, and he’s apparently coming out with one as well:

  2. Denaro has colorized the subways and added Staten Island buses, and the Second Avenue extension, and in the process is gaining more exposure:

    I had also done my own attempt at colorizing part of it, doing the subways in a lighter shade, and all of the bus routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I Hope he still colorizes the local buses:

  3. The other change the the subway map I had always dreamed of, was the current official “The Map” redone with individual line drawings, including on the trunk routes, where lines with the same color will share one line drawing (with the exception of Queens Blvd, where a second 6th Ave. line was added, as a local to Continental Av, and so is drawn separate).

    Originally, maps used single line drawings for all routes, as subway lines were known by names rather than route letters and numbers, and there were more variation on where lines ran. The IND introduced a separate individually colored line drawing for the lines it had in its first decade (which was only 8th Ave and its branches and the G). When all three companies were taken over by the city in the 40’s, all maps used single line drawings, only colored differently for the three former companies, which still operated pretty much separately. When the BMT and IND were merged completely in 1967, it was decided that individual route designation would be used systemwide and appear on maps. Route colors were introduced, with each line shown separately, made sure to be different on the trunk routes where they run together. A few years later, the popular Vignelli map picked up this design.
    In 1979, it was decided to group the line colors together by Manhattan trunk routes and single lines would be used (taking on the prior color of the main express on the trunk; A, D, N, 2 and the originally proposed colors of the 4 and possibly J; and dropping the schematic style in favor of something more a bit more geographically correct). This is the design that has remained (with slight variations) to the present. (Originally, schematic “strips” of each line by itself were included on the rear of the map, but this was eventually replaced by other information, but many people wanted it back).

    In the age of the Internet, KICK map introduced a new design (resembling the 1967 map with the rounded schematic form) using the modern colors, but still separating the lines on the trunks. I sent in a suggestion to use different shades of the color for each line, which was added. Then, in a 2008 retro “novelty” move, an updated version of the [more angular schematic] Vignelli map with the modern colors was published in a magazine. A few years later, the MTA’s website began using it on a map called the “Weekender”, showing weekend service changes, where affected lines showed flashing station dots. (And part time lines like the B, M and W are shown in a pastel version of the trunk color). As seen above, another mapmaker, Denaro, also used the individual line concept for his hybrid bus/train maps. Vignelli was also used on a special foldup map commemorating the final opening of the first part of the Second Ave. line, 1-17, and also applicable sections of the Weekender version began appearing on the service change posters taped to the columns of station platforms.

    This finally inspired me to finally redo the regular map this way, after mulling it for years, but thinking it might not fit, and be extremely difficult to do, and not seeing any blank templates anywhere. (I figured simply drawing nw lines next too the existing ones wouldn’t look right, and so whatever work should be on a blank map). Eventually, a blank form of the map appeared on on that “History of NY Subways” site where each line appears chronologically when it was built. So now, I figured I could use that, realizing I could capture the starting blank with “PrntScn”.
    So the way I did it, instead of drawing new line from scratch; was to copy the trunk lines from the current MTA map (usually with the “Free form selection” tool), and pasted it next to the original line, repeating for how many lines shared the trunk (four for 6th Av. and Bway, and three for the others, and two in some places in the outer boroughs where two of the lines still run together. The exception was the B and D in the Bronx, since the B is rush hours only up there, and already shown as a separate dashed line. ON CPW and Eastern Pky, two lines from two different trunks run together, making it four again). I then filled in whatever holes in Manhattan, and the other outerlying areas that were not changing with pieces of the current map (which had more detail than the blank I used, but this was not meant to be perfect, but just to show the addition of the separate lines). Features like part time indication (whether shading like the Vignelli, or using different station dots), can always be added in later. (for now, night only local stops of express lines; I’ve covored in half, to try to resemble a crescenr moon or hollow circle).
    Squeezing in more line drawings, things had to be shifted, stretched, shrunk, sometimes even skewed. But it all fits!

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