Sunday, June 13, 2010

Making a Subway Map IV

[ I started writing about the new version of my subway map in progress here in Making a Subway Map I in May. ]

This week I worked mostly on southern Brooklyn, and just yesterday I started on northern Brooklyn, which is not finished yet.

I want to show my work (as we used to say in Math class), but I only saved one version, which you can see here. This is what I had done on Wednesday.

Here, I've brought the Fourth Ave line down to 95th St, and brought the West End and Sea Beach lines almost to Coney Island, and the Culver just to Church Ave. I also began locating the routes at upper right, mostly so as to locate the Franklin Shuttle (black) correctly.

What's new here? As you saw last time, I made the tangle of routes in downtown Brooklyn larger, and this has affected the rest of Brooklyn. It's all a little farther down and to the right than it was before.

The Franklin Shuttle looks very long now. I added a reverse curve around Botanic Garden mostly to fit in station names.

At De Kalb Avenue, as I mentioned I wanted to allow for the return of Nassau St (brown) service, and that accounts for the space between De Kalb and Nevins St. I could fit an extra color line along there from Lawrence to De Kalb to Pacific and south.

In the work file above, the locations of everything south of 9th St and 4th Ave are pretty much the same as before. The only deliberate change was to shift the southern part of the Sea Beach closer to the Culver, because it really is closer.

However, I had felt that southern Brooklyn was a little too small, compared to the similar area in the Bronx, and after looking at the big picture I expanded the space, shown below.

It's in the nature of this kind of diagram that the innermost area gets enlarged to show detail, and that the outer areas get increasingly reduced in size. But still the overall proportions of one outer area to another should be vaguely similar. It's an art, not a science.

Here is the same area, more finished.

You probably don't notice this, but compared to the previous image, I stretched everything south of 9th St and 4th Ave a little bit. This makes the Culver and Brighton Beach line stations (not yet shown in the previous image) a little less crowded together.

I also pulled Coney Island a little more down and to the right than it was before. There's a little space between stations below Bay 50th St and 86th St and Avenue X stations, and you can see how the Culver and Brighton Beach lines curve back toward then city as they come into Stillwell Ave. Now Stillwell Ave and West 8th St stations look almost equally far south, which is fair.

Trouble on the Brighton Beach line. Because the station names are on the right, and because the Franklin Shuttle is built to run into the local tracks, I wanted to put the all-stops line on the right. What I did on the old map was flip the orange and yellow lines up at De Kalb Avenue, but now I felt the De Kalb area looked much more clear if I did not do that. De Kalb looks much better now. But the result was that I now needed to cross the yellow over the orange south of Prospect Park.

There is just no right way to show it. What really happens there is just that the yellow and orange come down on the same track into Prospect Park, and then the yellow splits off the to the outer tracks while the orange stays on the center tracks. There is no over-under crossing nor is there any need for one. I usually do this without crossing one line over the other. But in this case I had to. Visually, the reverse curve to the local tracks almost mirrors the curve above Atlantic Avenue station. I'm going to live with it, but I consider it a flaw.

I'll talk about north Brooklyn next time.

Here are images of the old and new map at the same small scale.  I bring them down to this size occasionally to get the Big Picture. Normally I don't see the design as a whole as I work on it. This shows how it's still pretty much the same design despite the many changes.

Continued: Making a Subway Map V.

No comments:

Post a Comment