MTA to Change New York’s Subway Map

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By Mike Taylor Comment

mtamap05282010.jpgMichael Grynbaum, the most poetic scribe of subterranean infrastructure since Victor Hugo, reports for The New York Times today that the MTA is changing its subway map:

Next month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will unveil a resized, recolored and simplified edition of the well-known map, its first overhaul in more than a decade.

Manhattan will become taller, bulkier and 30 percent wider, to better display its spaghetti of subway lines. Staten Island, meanwhile, will shrink by half. The spreadsheetlike “service guide,” along the map’s bottom border, will be eliminated, and the other three boroughs will grow to fill the space.

Spaghetti! The guy’s a genius.

Grynbaum also documents the discontent surrounding the old map, which dates back to 1979. The clamor for change has recently made itself manifest in the form of complaints and suggestions by online map enthusiasts and mobile-device application designers. “The authority now concedes that the map became overcrowded,” writes Grynbaum in a dramatic one-sentence paragraph.

There’s also a neat interactive feature showing how the map has changed over time alongside the new design. The map is due for release next month, so there’s plenty of time to get some studying in.