notes.husk.org. scribblings by Paul Mison.

2013-11-24

post/67935675399

photos 08:12:15

I have a Pinterest board for maps and the like. Here are some cross-posts of the Bay Area, from Burrito Justice (x2), Stamen Mapstack, and Nolan Caudill respectively.

2012-04-03

post/20390081930

photos 04:02:15

Produced for the SPUR magazine The Urbanist, two maps of the current and possible future public transport in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Brian Stokle (via).

I’m often a critic of London-style transit maps, even when they’re in London. Unfortunately, I feel the need to do the same here. As with the current BART map, Stokle’s designs don’t pick a set of angles, but instead preserve the rough geography of the Bay Area and then use a series of straight lines which are often parallel to nearby ones, but which bear no relation to others.

Meanwhile, the use of large interchanges makes it far from clear how the Muni streetcar/LRV lines in San Francisco proper interrelate- if you didn’t know how the K, L, and M branch at West Portal, this map isn’t going to tell you. Perhaps that’s OK as a base map for showing expansion, but for an actually usable map, that’s not good.

Speaking of expansion, the use of grey for all existing lines on the future map is a little jarring, but at least I can see why it’s been done that way. On the other hand, giving bus rapid transit schemes such thick lines when the existing Limited routes on the current diagram are almost missable with their thin lines seems odd. I know it’s a relatively cheap way to increase speed and capacity, but do they need that much emphasis? (Outside of SF, it seems that they are depicted more narrowly: look at the 35R from Pleasant Hill to Hacienda at the right of the Future map. Strange.)

That said, there are some elements of the maps that I was going to quibble with, but then decided to praise instead. The outlined boxes for interchanges that “require leaving the station to transfer” actually do a great job of showing how inter-county, inter-agency politics could (can? does?) cripple public transport in the region. Even changing between BART and Muni in the Market Street subway is a minor nightmare.

For all my criticism, I’m glad that there are people trying to fight for decent, joined-up thinking in the field here. I hope that this is a step in the right direction, even if it is flawed.

2012-03-19

post/19584215867

quote 19:58:05
“ More people now travel on railways in Britain than at any time before, including their Victorian-Edwardian heyday. ”
Rowan Moore in The Observer: London King’s Cross concourse -€“ review (via).

2011-07-11

post/7496267149

quote 17:30:00
“ A ticket does not exist to tell you where to go. A ticket exists purely as proof of purchase of a journey to the staff and the ticket barriers. By squeezing all the important stuff that lets it do that into tiny font and removing some of it it totally defeats the object. ”
"Eagle" commenting on the spate of speculative UK rail ticket redesigns at the RailUK Forums.

2010-01-14

post/334543782

photo 20:23:00
"The Schienenzeppelin or rail zeppelin was an experimental railcar which resembles a zeppelin airship in appearance.” I may have posted photos of this thing before, but there’s something about the contrast of the high-tech machine and the old-fashioned clothing on the people waiting for it that’s wonderful. (via, via. Lesson learnt: when you see a historical image on ffffound or a similar design site, always check Wikipedia first; it’s probably from there.)

"The Schienenzeppelin or rail zeppelin was an experimental railcar which resembles a zeppelin airship in appearance.” I may have posted photos of this thing before, but there’s something about the contrast of the high-tech machine and the old-fashioned clothing on the people waiting for it that’s wonderful. (via, via. Lesson learnt: when you see a historical image on ffffound or a similar design site, always check Wikipedia first; it’s probably from there.)

2009-08-05

post/156294731

quote 10:12:07
“ the conventional train services in many European countries are nothing like as good as those on what was British Rail’s InterCity network. We already have four trains per hour between the capital and Birmingham, taking just 90 minutes ”

Christian Wolmar in the Guardian on the new plans¹ for a high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham and beyond.

It’s a good point, and it explains why we’ve been able to make do and mend until now.

¹ Actually, not so much a plan as an announcement of a study, which will report in due course, then go before Parliament. No wonder things feel like they make the news five times before they really happen.

2009-02-02

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photo 20:51:00
 Snow in England  | 				UK news | 				guardian.co.uk

Deserted rail lines in Finsbury Park. Photographer: Miles Willis.
Other good shots in the gallery: Jolly good show, this is war!, Houses of Parliament.

Snow in England | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Deserted rail lines in Finsbury Park. Photographer: Miles Willis.

Other good shots in the gallery: Jolly good show, this is war!Houses of Parliament.

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