This post is a text version of this YouTube video:
New York's subway system is quite easy to conceptualize, even if its intricacies are confusing at times. Signs in stations direct commuters towards their desired trains, which travel all around the city. The simplicity of this concept at its core is, in no small part, a consequence of having a clear, well designed map to navigate the system. Personally, I have a preference for the new Vignelli-style maps that the MTA has been producing, because it gives much better clarity of lines and their relationships between each other. It's also just a very clean, aesthetically pleasing design.
Compare this to NYC's bus map, and the difference is immensely striking. Since the bus system utilizes the street grid as its foundation, the map becomes very convoluted and hard to decipher. Despite the city's best attempts, I don't think there's any good way around this, because the sheer number of routes and their complexity prevent any map from reading as clearly as that of the subway system.
As a senior in the Barnard + Columbia Architecture program, I created a proposal for a system of elevated subways that interacted with street life in a way that intertwines public space and city programs with transit. This system is designed in such a way that it proposes a livable, sustainable, and engaging method of constructing elevated train structures in contrast to the current elevated lines that exist in NYC today.
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This post is adapted from a YouTube video that I created: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIERh_9qieA
I recently took a trip to one of the cavernous stations on the brand new 2nd avenue Subway in New York City. Its mere existence is astonishing given all the roadblocks there were to getting it built in the first place, and the stations themselves certainly feel worthy of a modern metro system. But there's still something wrong, or at least disappointing, about the way in which these stations conceive of the relationship between a city, it's people, and their transportation. So what exactly makes this a bad design?