Monday, August 25, 2008

NYT - Curious World of the Last Stop

Over the weekend there was a great article in the New York Times which surveys every last stop on all the subway lines in NYC. It is supplemented by a super interesting interactive page featuring maps, photographs, videos, and interviews (see screen shots below). Is it just me or is NYT really taking these interactive features to the next level lately?

Here is some of the text by Andy Newman from the article:

At the city’s often-threadbare fringes, there is an inescapable sense of lonesomeness. There might be a Last Stop Deli, a forlorn bar, a maintenance yard populated mostly by rows of empty trains. There is, surprisingly often, a cemetery.

Yet to visit all the system’s extremities is to see that the last stop is not a single, monolithic place. There are subway lines that end, logically, where the city runs out of land; lines that end, anticlimactically, where builders ran out of money; even a few that fetch up in bustling downtowns of one sort or another. From the marshy lowlands of Tottenville to the lush hills of Riverdale to the ceaseless clangor of Flushing, the end of the line manages to take in the entire breadth of the city beyond Midtown Manhattan.

Photos by Richard Perry via NY Times

I have to mention that some of the photographs remind me of some of the "not last stops" of some of the subway systems in cities like Atlanta, GA, where, particularly on the south side of the city, some of the stations exist in desolation, quarantined from the urban areas they are intended to serve by other infrastructure or vast parking lots catering to that city's culture of auto-mobility.

Below is a diagram I produced last year showing why MARTA stations in the city of Atlanta produce the island effect:

It makes me wonder what Disney could do at these locations?
NY Times article found via Planetizen

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