This post is going to make me seem like a Debbie Downer, but I find the fantasy transit maps that individuals publish online to be of a mixed blessing. While they do foster public debate about what our public transit network could be with the right investment and political will, these cartographers rarely justify why the proposed lines appear where they appear.
Don’t get me wrong – I like looking at pretty maps. But, transportation planning is more than just drawling lines on a page. It involves identifying where people are, finding out where they want to go, and designing the most cost-effective ways of getting them there. This is why I try to justify all of my proposals, and why I am calling on fantasy map makers to do the same. I’m not asking for a comprehensive demand study – just a few sentences on why the corridor and terminus was chosen, and why it is better than other proposals.
Without the accompanying justification, I feel that the general public could rally around a proposal which is not supportable, then become cynical when their wishes are not met.