Aug
16

On circular subway maps; weekend service changes

By
A close-up of the circles radiating out from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. (Courtesy of Max Roberts)

A close-up of the circles radiating out from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. (Courtesy of Max Roberts)

A few weeks ago, I ran a brief post on Max Roberts’ circular subway map. With a focal point in the New York harbor, the map presents the subway system as a series of concentric circles. It’s a fun map that highlights connections between lines and is generally divorced from geographic reality.

This week, Roberts published a piece on The Guardian’s website about the philosophy of his design. Roberts speaks a bit self-deprecatingly about his efforts. “A circles-and-spokes approach offers no obvious benefit for this city,” he said of New York, “and without a clear centre defined by orbits, where should the spokes radiate from? I should not even have attempted this map, there are so many others on my list of things to do.”

Roberts wrote a bit more about his New York approach:

A point of radiation in New York Harbour gave me just enough space to fit everything into Lower Manhattan, a perfect semi-circle from the Manhattan Bridge all the way to Bay Ridge, and left me with enough space to make the rest of the map nice and balanced. DeKalb Avenue is always difficult, and eastern Queens needed some thinking, but that was it, the design almost crystallised in front of me.

The New York subway has been forced into an unprecedented level of organisation…There is geographical distortion, and a few awkward spots where the lines cannot decide whether they are orbital or radial and end up zigzagging. Some people may object to its aesthetics, and geographical purists will dislike it in the same way that they distrust all highly schematised designs, but the overall spaciousness and power is harder to dispute.

I’ve always argued that geographical maps and schematic maps have distinct roles to play, each serves a purpose, and so any transport undertaking that refuses to make both available is short-changing its customers. A good geographical map shows where the network is, a good schematic shows how the elements of a network relate together logically. An uncomfortable hybrid serves neither role effectively. Whatever the usability study outcomes, if a product is attractive and powerful for some people, so that they enjoy looking at it, that is half the battle won for the information designer.

Check out the rest of the piece. It’s a good, quick read. Meanwhile, after the jump, this weekend’s service advisories.


From 11:30 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, there is no 1 train service between 137th Street and 242nd Street due to brick arch repair at 168th Street and 181st Street and station work at Dyckman Street.
Customers may take the A train, M3 and free shuttle buses instead. Free shuttle buses operate:

  • Between 137th Street and 168th Street
  • Between 168th Street and 191st Street
  • Between 207th Street and 242nd Street

Customers may transfer between trains and shuttle buses at 137th Street, 168th Street and 207th Street. Instead of Dyckman Street 1 and 207th Street 1 stations, use nearby A stations. Transfer between 1 and A trains at 59th Street-Columbus Circle.


At all times, until 5 a.m. Monday, August 26, there is no 2 train service at 241st Street in either direction due to switch renewal north of 238th Street and track work south of 241st Street. Customers may take free shuttle buses between 238th Street and 241st Street during morning and evening rush and during the overnight hours when the Bx39 does not run.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 17 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, uptown 4 trains run local from Grand Central-42nd Street to 125th Street due to track tie renewal north of 125th Street and track maintenance south of 138th Street-3rd Avenue.


From 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17 and from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Sunday, August 18, 5 trains run every 20 minutes between Dyre Avenue and Bowling Green due to track tie renewal north of 125th Street and track maintenance south of 138th Street-3rd Avenue. Uptown 5 trains run local from Grand Central-42nd Street to 125th Street.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Manhattan-bound 6 trains run express from Hunts Point Avenue to 3rd Avenue-138th Street due to track tie renewal north of 125th Street and track maintenance south of 138th Street-3rd Avenue.


From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 17 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, 6 service operates in two sections due to track tie renewal north of 125th Street and track maintenance south of 138th Street-3rd Avenue.

  • Between Pelham Bay Park and 125th Street
  • Between 125th Street and Brooklyn Bridge


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m., Monday, August 19, Main Street-bound 7 trains run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue due to cable work between 33rd Street and 69th Street for Flushing CBTC.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, August 17 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, August 18, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, August 18 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, uptown A trains run express from Canal Street to 59th Street-Columbus Circle due to switch renewal north of 42nd Street-Port Authority and track tie renewal at Canal Street.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, there is no A train service at Fulton Street due to paint and lead abatement at Fulton Street. There are no transfers between 2 3, and 4, 5 service at Fulton street. Customers should use nearby Chambers Street A, C station instead.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, there is no C train service at Fulton Street due to paint and lead abatement at Fulton Street.


From 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, uptown C trains run express from Canal Street to 59th Street-Columbus Circle due to switch renewal north of 42nd Street-Port Authority and track tie renewal at Canal Street.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, August 17 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, August 18, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, August 18 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Coney Island-bound D trains skip DeKalb Avenue and run express from Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 36th Street due to rail renewal at Union Street.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Jamaica Center-bound E trains are rerouted via the F line from 2nd Avenue to 47th-50th Sts due to switch renewal north of 42nd Street-Port Authority and track tie renewal at Canal Street.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, August 17 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, August 18, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, August 18 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Jamaica Center-bound E trains run express from Queens Plaza to Forest Hills-71st Avenue due to installation of temporary subway barriers in preparation for the Queens Boulevard interlocking project, replacing and modernizing signals at Union Turnpike, 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Jamaica Center-bound E trains skip 75th Avenue and Van Wyck Blvd due to installation of temporary subway barriers in preparation for the Queens Boulevard interlocking project, replacing and modernizing signals at Union Turnpike, 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue.


From 11:15 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M line after 36th Street, Queens to 47th-50th Streets due to station work at Lexington Avenue-63rd Street for Second Avenue Subway project.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Jamaica-bound F trains skip 75th Avenue, Van Wyck Blvd and Sutphin Blvd due to installation of temporary subway barriers in preparation for the Queens Boulevard interlocking project, replacing and modernizing signals at Union Turnpike, 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, there is no G train service between Court Square and Nassau Avenue. G trains operate between Nassau Avenue and Church Avenue. There is no G service at Greenpoint Avenue, 21st Street and Court Square.

Free shuttle buses operate on two routes:

  1. Via Manhattan Avenue between Nassau Avenue G and Court Square
  2. Via McGuinness Blvd between Lorimer Street L and Court Square

Customers may transfer between:

  • G trains and shuttle buses at Nassau Avenue
  • L trains and shuttle buses at Lorimer Street
  • E and 7 trains and shuttle buses at Court Square


From 3:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, there is no J train service between Broadway Junction and Myrtle Avenue due to switch renewal north of Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and track panel installation at Kosciusko Street. J trains operate in two sections:

  • Between Jamaica Center and Broadway Junction
  • Between Chambers Street and Myrtle Avenue, and then rerouted via the M line to/from Metropolitan Avenue.

L trains provide connecting service via Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs and Broadway Junction. Free shuttle buses operate between Broadway Junction and Myrtle Avenue, making stations stops at Chauncey Street, Halsey Street, Gates Avenue and Kosciusko Street. Transfer between J trains and free shuttle buses at Broadway Junction and/or Myrtle Avenue.


From 3:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, M service is suspended due to station renewal north of Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and track panel installation at Kosciusko Street. Customers should take the J train making all M stops between Myrtle Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue. (See J entry.)

Note: The Central Avenue M station reopened at 4 p.m. Friday, August 16.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17, from 11:45 p.m. Saturday, August 17 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, August 18, and from 11:45 p.m. Sunday, August 18 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Coney Island-bound N trains skip DeKalb Avenue and run express from Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 36th Street due to track tie renewal at Union Street.


From 10:45 p.m. Friday, August 16 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 19, Manhattan-bound Q trains run express from Sheepshead Bay to Kings Highway track due to track panel work at Sheepshead Bay. Note: At all times until December 2013, Manhattan-bound Q platforms at Cortelyou Road, Beverley Road and Parkside Avenue are closed for station component work.


From 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, Forest Hills-71st Avenue-bound R trains run express from Queens Plaza to Forest Hills-71st Avenue due to installation of temporary subway barriers in preparation for the Queens Boulevard interlocking project, replacing and modernizing signals at Union Turnpike, 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue.


From 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, Bay Ridge-bound R trains skip DeKalb Avenue and run express from Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 36th Street due to track tie renewal at Union Street.



5 Responses to “On circular subway maps; weekend service changes”

  1. Bolwerk says:

    I still don’t see what the big problem with the current subway map is. It’s kind of ugly, but it works, probably better than any proposed problem I have seen.

    The problem seems to be more complicated service patterns, not a bad map.

  2. Phantom says:

    This is a solution to a problem that does not exist.

    • SEAN says:

      perhaps, but as a brain exersize it can be quite interesting. Beyond that… I don’t know what other functional use a map like that would have.

  3. John-2 says:

    I don’t have a big problem with this map, in part because the creator doesn’t take himself too seriously. In contrast, Vignelli was/has been very defensive about anyone altering his map’s design due to areas which had/have a dubious relationship to the actual topography. Roberts uses geometry and the subway as a mental exercise in graphic design, not as something that should be the default map option that demands New Yorkers, tourist or others using the subway figure out its idiosyncrasies for themselves.

  4. Nathanael says:

    I think that the reason this particular circle map works as well as it does would become more obvious if someone extended it to include New Jersey-side services.

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