April 5th, 2010

Tom Lehrer is Smug

This one's for the Valley

And here's a brilliant piece of hypothetical city planning: Transit Authority Figures, a website devoted to creating "Highly Unlikely" light transit maps for communities that don't have them. Including a subway map for the Northampton and Amherst system. Hey, I grew up there! Look at all the familiar places!

The hideous navigation scheme won't let you view a larger version of the picture in its entirety, presumably to keep you from printing copies of your own, but I really liked what I saw.

Since this is the Internet, of course, I can look it over and explain to all the nice people Wot I'd Do Instead. Besides, hypothetical transit is fun!

1. Change Noho to Pleasant Street. No native in their right mind calls Northampton "Noho". That's a name the outsiders brought in. We always used to call it Hamp for short. At any rate, Pleasant Street is pretty much the center of town, so the station name oughta reflect that. Pleasant Street Station has a nice ring to it.

2. Change the Amherst Pleasant Street station to Amherst Center. Northampton's Pleasant Street would trump Amherst's, and besides, there's technically no Pleasant Street in Amherst. It's North Pleasant Street from Amity on up (or is it from Route 9 on up?) and South Pleasant Street below. So it'd be confusing up there. Bring it down!

3. There's a station called Hamp on the Red Line, but judging from the positioning it'd be better suited for Cooley-Dickinson Hospital. They wouldn't not include a hospital stop on that line, as it pretty much runs right up North Elm Street to Florence. The high school would also be on that route, but it's presumably one of the lesser stops.

4. Extend the northern end of the Orange Line just slightly to terminate at Sunderland. Seriously, they brought it all the way to North Hadley through Forty Acres and they can't make it riiight up to Route 116? On the other hand, Sunderland makes serious money from their Route 116 speed traps, especially where you suddenly drop from 55 to 35 by Sugarloaf Frosty. So I could see Sunderland refusing light rail in an iconoclastic Western Massachusetts kind of way.

5. Extend the northern end of the Blue Line past Amherst College to terminate at Echo Hill, thus servicing the fine metropolitan Southeast Street area. You're welcome, Colonial Village.

6. The line through Hatfield is awesome, name it The Awesome Line instead. This suggestion brought to you by Someone Who Used To Live In Hatfield.

7. Extend the Awesome Line all the way up to Greenfield. Not entirely exciting for the poster and would throw the scale off, but that's its logical conclusion.

This is a seriously nifty kind of thing, though, and I'm glad for it.