Cartographer Andrew Lynch has spent a lot of time looking at the NYC subway system. The CUNY Hunter alum recently perfected the entire system in a series of hypothetical but geographically accurate “Future NYC Subway” maps. But while studying the paths of the city’s most important people mover, Lynch noticed they looked rather lovely, but just too, well, cluttered. From this thought came a series of colorful minimalist subway line posters (h/t CityLab) that Lynch calls “totally accurate, totally useless,” but nice to look at nonetheless.
For most New Yorkers, subway dreams are simple things like trains arriving on time and getting a seat, but cartographer Andrew Lynch has big visions for what could become of NYC’s transit system (h/t Gothamist). In his most recent iteration of the Future NYC Subway map, he “sought to plan out a system expansion which would be as cost effective as possible by addressing current service bottlenecks, train car issues, current ridership and population growth.” This includes: a PATH train to Staten Island: a K line to connect the Brighton Beach Line (B/Q) to the Crosstown (G) at Bedford-Nostrand Avenues; a 10th Avenue L train extension; a majorly enhanced Second Avenue subway; and a Bushwick-Queens line.
Considering it’s taken the city nearly 100 years to get the Second Avenue Subway moving and that the MTA is over its head in debt, we’re not holding our breath that any other major expansion work will take place in the system, but we can all dream, right? Take for instance these new maps created by cartographer Andrew Lynch as part of his Future NYC Subway series. He envisions the G train, which currently only connects Brooklyn and Queens, making two loops into Manhattan — one Downtown and one in Midtown. As Curbed notes, “It’s a slightly convoluted proposal,” but Lynch clearly put a lot of thought into his scheme, even figuring out the tunnels and connection points the train would take.
If there’s one thing most people attribute to Robert Moses it’s highways. The master planner built 13 expressways throughout New York, including the Cross Bronx Expressway, Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the FDR Drive, and the West Side Highway. Love him or hate him, this was a pretty profound feat of urban planning. But had he been granted free rein, Moses would’ve constructed even more highways. The two failed attempts that remain most notorious are the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would’ve cut east-west along the residential areas of Broome Street, as well as a Mid-Manhattan Expressway, a proposed six-lane elevated highway along 30th Street.
After mapping these aforementioned Moses proposals, cartographer Andrew Lynch decided to take his project one step further and create a map series of all the never-built highways in NYC, both from Moses and others.