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This one's for the Valley - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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April 5th, 2010


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03:33 pm - 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.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:bedfull_o_books
Date:April 5th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
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That is so cool. Even better if they actually built it. :-)
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From:pseydtonne
Date:April 5th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I saw the map on the wall at Herrell's when I was up there a couple weeks ago. Thank you for linking to the online version -- man, it would be sweet!
[User Picture]
From:bedfull_o_books
Date:April 5th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
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Wouldn't it though. :-)
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From:dcart
Date:April 5th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
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I want some stupidly easy piece of software that will just let me drag and click my way into building hypothetical transit lines.
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From:mhaille
Date:April 5th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
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Now why would you wanna let anybody from Greenfield out into the big, wide world?
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From:derspatchel
Date:April 5th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
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RELEASE THE FRANKLIN COUNTY
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From:minkrose
Date:April 5th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
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I have that poster! We have it on the wall in our apartment (um, in Boston) to confuse people. It is marvelous. I think a lot of the subway actually follows the bus routes - I assume that's the basis for it, anyway. But I agree with all of your additions!

We bought the poster in Northampton, actually, at Faces. I'm tempted to get another copy and make The Derspatchel Edition.
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From:minkrose
Date:April 6th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
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Here's a picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/minkrose/4495339032/sizes/l/.

It's not quite in focus because I had to hold the camera (indeed, my ghostly hands are visible). But if you look at it on the Original size, you can read most of it fairly well.
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From:alphacygni
Date:April 6th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
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Oh good, I'm glad other people who know the area have seen and nitpicked that map. What perplexes me is wondering where the Amherst College station is that it's three stops east of Pleasant Street? Where on earth are those two intervening stops? A stop at each of the fancy blinking crosswalks? And not going north from UMass is indeed daft. It's probably the heaviest corridor in the bus system.
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From:derspatchel
Date:April 6th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
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Oh, yeah, 116 is criminally underrepresented. Could probably run a North Amherst line right up there, with a spur to Cushman, meeting with the Orange Line and terminating at the Sunderland stop (which by now will exist as Sunderland couldn't ignore how high the property values would soar with so much of a line on their main artery.)

I figured the Amherst College extension would go under Route 9 by Valentine Hall or something. It's a ways down from the common but not yet by the Amtrak overpass.

Oh, and given the needed platform alignments and such, that combined Red/Blue station under Amherst would be a under-common cluster of amazing proportions. Or one big connector like the one from Park Street to Downtown Crossing.
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From:spwebdesign
Date:April 6th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
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Yeah, Valentine is the obvious stop, I think. Alternatives could be down by the gym or by the power plant, near the campus police.
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From:coffeebeanben
Date:April 6th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
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The stop in Whately amuses the hell out of me, given that the town isn't even represented by a zip code distinct from South Deerfield. Where precisely where they put the Whately stop? Surely somewhere on 5 & 10, but not the Diner. Maybe at Christian Lane? Oh, wait.

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From:pseydtonne
Date:April 6th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
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It has to be the diner! All diners need secret subway stops.

Real diners are something I miss now that I'm not in upstate New York. Most diners in Eastern Mass are crappy luncheonettes. The Whately is real, and worth the drive to see the truckers go at the goths.
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From:derspatchel
Date:April 6th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)

EAT GREATLY AT THE WHATELY

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I'd say the Whately stop would be at the Diner. The trains would probably follow 91 from North Hatfield on up, and it would be a logical commuter hub. Sugarloaf is listed as a stop so I guess it'd veer towards the mountain from the diner, then up into the small center of Deerfield proper. There it could terminate, or go a little further up to Yank-Me Candle. Probably wouldn't want to do any major construction near Historic Deerfield, though.

Of course, I wonder how much of this project could ever really come to fruition since there's so much wetlands all around. Then again, if the Fish & Wildlife Dept can have its regional headquarters on protected wetlands...
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From:spwebdesign
Date:April 6th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
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This would have made life so much easier! I especially could have used the Easthampton-to-Amherst College connection!

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