The New Hub Spider Map

Click for the PDF version

That map I posted yesterday?  I slept on it and I realized it was hideous, so I took another whack at the info boxes and I think I’ve come up with a usable final version of the Hub Spider Map.  Since I’ll be in town this week, the map’s going up at the Hub sometime over the next few days.

Since we’ve already discussed spider maps, I’ll leave the general subject out of this post. Suffice it to say that my map shows all the regular bus routes departing from the San Anselmo Hub.  Routes to the Hub are not included, so the 22’s once-per-day meandering north through Mill Valley stays off.  The purpose is to give people an idea of where they can go from the Hub without the clutter of geography.

The principal changes in this map are:

  1. Route start/end markers.  One critique I got from the first map was the difficulty in keeping track of which color corresponds to which line.  To make it easier, I’ve put colored markers with the route number at each endpoint.
  2. Redesigned major stations.  The old map had large, ungainly boxes for the Hub and the San Rafael Transit Center.  To streamline the map, I converted them into elongated versions of other transfer stations elsewhere on the map.
  3. Straightened the angles.  I converted all angles to the standard 45 degrees for the sake of elegance and to make it easier on the eyes.
  4. Removed the regional transit map.  Though I’d like to have the regional transit map available, it needs to be so small on a legal-sized sheet of paper that it become illegible.  Rather than deal with an illegible map, I’ve taken it out entirely.
  5. Reworked the info boxes.  Scheduling, directions to other destinations, and a fare information box have all been added and moved around.  The Financial District map has also moved to give space to the scheduling box.
  6. Removed Muni transfer information.  It cluttered the San Francisco portion of the map too much, and Muni buses typically don’t share stops with GGT anyway.

Though it’s not the best transit map in the world, I’m certainly not a graphic designer.  In all, I feel confident that the map will help riders from the Hub to understand the system better.  I suppose we shall see.

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From the Archives: Crosswalks and Walkability

Tonight, I’m taking a break. I need to pack, and I’ve finally finished my San Anselmo spider map (PDF) in preparation for my trip back home, but I don’t want to leave you hanging. I’ve gone through the archives and found a good piece from last year dealing with crosswalks and walkability in San Anselmo.  I’ll see you at this Thursday’s happy hour.

Dense in the core, sparse on the periphery

Walkability seems to be all the rage these days, and for good reason.  Any merchant will tell you that foot traffic is good for business, and any public health expert will tell you walking is good for your health.  It gets people out of cars for trips of less than a mile and puts people where they can see each other, generating the vibrant sort of street life where friends and acquaintances run into each.  It’s a win for residents, a win for businesses, and a win for the city’s health.

Crosswalks are key to ensuring good walkability.  A road system isn’t much of a road system if you need to drive 15 minutes out of your way to turn, and a sidewalk system isn’t much good if one needs to walk 15 minutes to cross the street.  A good crosswalk will enhance an entire streetscape, making it more inviting to pedestrians and more lively for all users.  In contrast, a streetscape without crosswalks can be dangerous.  If crosswalks are far enough apart, the two halves of the street will be cut off from each other, dramatically reducing the walkability of the area.

Read the rest…

Mid-Week Links: Cheers!

The Second The Greater Marin Happy Hour

Cheers to transit!

Good news everyone!  The second The Greater Marin Happy Hour will be held next Thursday at San Rafael Joe’s – no more 29 bus madness (sadness?) and the ferry like last time. With GGT on Google Maps, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way, even if you work in Belvedere.  I’ll have some signs out around the bar like last time, but if you can’t find us just email me at theGreaterMarin [at] gmail.com and I’ll try to wave you down.  I hope to see you all there!

Who: You, me, and anyone else you happen to invite (and please do invite people!)
When: Thursday, May 10, 6pm, though you’re absolutely welcome to come late
Where: San Rafael Joe’s, 931 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA

In another bit of blog news, you’ll notice over on the sidebar that I’m open for business as a communications and planning consultant. If you want my brain working for you, get in touch with me at the email address on the right.  I’ll be in the Bay Area from May 10-15 and am perfectly willing to travel as needed.

Right, now that that’s all done with, on to the news of the week.

Marin County

  • Golden Gate Ferry workers went on strike yesterday to protest the slow pace of talks between their union and the transit district. They may call another strike on May 10 if progress remains unacceptably slow. (Chronicle)
  • San Francisco is moving towards a true BRT line on Van Ness, with center-running lanes compatible with existing buses. The line would serve Muni routes 47 and 49, as well as GGT routes 10, 70, 80, 93, and 101. It will be a boon to all riders along the corridor, though if GGT could pick up intra-San Francisco trips it would be even better. (Transbay Blog)
  • The Doyle Drive closure went off without a hitch, and the resulting roadway looks pretty nifty.  I do wonder about the eventual 12-lane configuration – neither the bridge nor the approach can handle so much traffic. (Chronicle, SFist)
  • Larkspur mulls what to do with 2.5 acres of land on the Niven Nursery site. The frontrunner idea is a new library. (IJ)
  • Marin’s population grew 0.7% this past year, rather faster than Plan Bay Area’s 0.2% housing growth prediction. And here I thought we were slow-growth (no I didn’t). (IJ)
  • The West Sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge is finally open again. (GGBHTD)
  • This Friday at 7pm, stop by the Mill Valley Library for a talk by noted urbanist Peter Calthorpe on Mill Valley, urbanism, and the Bay Area’s future. Let me know how it goes. (MVPL)

The Greater Marin

Just across the bridge, San Francisco is doing some truly amazing things to promote a more walkable, livable city.  What lessons can we learn from San Francisco, and how can we apply them to Marin?  Personally, I’d love to see a San Rafael Park(ing) Day. (Streetfilms)

  • While BART is finally coming to San Jose, transportation planners are cutting their own feet out from under themselves by significantly widening two major freeways in Santa Clara, one to 8 lanes and the other to a whopping 12. (Mercury News)
  • Operating costs for High Speed Rail won’t be nearly as high as opponents claim. (Systemic Failure)
  • With more cars came more people dying on the roads, and Europe and the United States took dramatically different paths.  While Europeans got mad at the cars and pushed back in favor of more pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, the United States pushed people out of the way of the cars, razing its city centers for parking and wider roads. (Atlantic Cities)
  • Ever wondered what the view is like from atop Sutro Tower? Now you know. (SFist)