Tag Archives: Washington DC

Again with the NYC! What’s with you people?: “How Your City’s Public Transit Stacks Up”

Don't even count them

Article: How Your City’s Public Transit Stacks Up | FiveThirtyEight.

The author learns what many of us already knew:  NYC, especially in terms of transit use, is so far out of scale with the rest of the country that it’s almost meaningless to include them in studies like this.  I’ve talked about this before.  Just leave NYC out and then you can say something about the rest of … whatever you’re talking about.

“Pedestrian Infrastructure Lacking Ahead Of Saturday’s Silver Line Opening”



Article: Pedestrian Infrastructure Lacking Ahead Of Saturday’s Silver Line Opening – WNYC.

$3 billion for WMATA’s new Silver Line rapid transit, no money for sidewalks.  Brilliant!  Hope there is a car share operation at the new stations so that people can get somewhere.


“The Many Languages of Transit Platform Signs”


Article: The Many Languages of Transit Platform Signs – CityLab.

I’ll stipulate right up front that including the NYCTA in this is silly.  Four hundred and sixty-eight stations on ten lines served by 24 different services is seriously different from any other rapid transit system in the USA.  So just ignore it.

On the subject of WMATA’s DC Metro (which at least has different services running along the same lines going to different termini) I really don’t understand the move towards directional signage.  As the article says, their system isn’t cartesian, it’s more like spaghetti; what does “westbound” even mean?  And when you’re in DC’s CBD, you’re underground anyway.

Seems to me that pointing to a service’s terminal is the simplest way. If a passenger is trying to navigate, they can see where they have to get off (Quincy Center, say) by comparing where they are (Harvard Square) to where they need to be and then following that line to its end to see which direction they need to go based on the terminal.  Yes, this assumes a line chart or map in the station but you have to give a few hints.  So you go to the platform marked “To Braintree” and get on a train that goes to the same place (not on one marked Ashmont!).

Sometimes not enough attention is paid to wayfinding but I don’t see how moving from terminal names to directions is going to help.

Transit nerdery: “Why can’t Metro keep more trains on the Blue Line?”


Article: Ask GGW: Why can’t Metro keep more trains on the Blue Line? – Greater Greater Washington.

Starts as a simple question and goes from there.  Perfect illustration, graphically, of what happens when a line splits or combines which is a theme Jarrett Walker has talked about in the past.