Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
There’s a sort of genre of urbanist creativity out there of fantasy transit maps. These are maps of transit systems that don’t exist and usually aren’t even proposed yet, but rather just express some dream of the creator, often quite epic in scope.
What I find interesting is how much better these often are than actual transit maps or proposals. I noted before how the Cincinnati streetcar people basically don’t even have a decent map of the line. Contrast that with this example that Columbus Underground points us at. If you click the image, you’ll get a high resolution PDF.
Now that’s a pretty slick map. It is, for locals at least, recognizably Columbus. The crisp, modern design, 45 degree angles, and relatively equidistant stations recall the famous London map and others from cities around the world. The idea being to show how Columbus could position itself among these global cities by creating a transit system. You can even buy it as a poster! A nice possible marketing tool.
This map was created by designer Michael Tyznik and is part of his online design portfolio and is reproduced with permission.
People who are pushing actual transit system improvements could learn a lot from these fantasy maps. Coming up with high quality collateral that demonstrates what the end state looks like is important. And if you can make short term progress and update the map to show reality being made, even better. Transit advocates should take note.
Update: Here is a collection of Columbus fantasy transit maps.
Additional fantasy maps some people linked to. Indianapolis:
Cincinnati (printed on a T-shirt):