Ming the Mechanic:
Imaginary L.A. subway map

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Imaginary L.A. subway map2007-05-27 01:49
15 comments
picture
by Flemming Funch

Wow, I wish it really were like that when I lived in Los Angeles. Would have made the city feel completely different. Here you find the bigger version. If you're not familar with L.A., it is not like that at all, it is an elaborate imaginary exercise. L.A. does have a subway, but for most people in the city, it isn't very relevant, because most people live nowhere near a station. I've never even taken a ride on it. I wanted to, I meant to, but strangely didn't get around to it, because there was nothing really useful I could do with it, and it would take a bit of travel to get to a station. Now, if it had been like on the map, I can right away see how I would have used it. For years I commuted from close to where that Verdugo Rd station would be to 7th street in downtown. Took about an hour to get home on the bumper to bumper freeway.

The funny thing is that Los Angeles used to have an electrical rail system very much like the imaginary one. Or, rather, that's not funny at all, it is rather tragic. Take a look at the Red Car line that existed in the early 1900s. You can read its story on Wikipedia. There were various reasons for its demise, including that it didn't work very well and was in need of serious modernization. But a greatly contributing factor was the well-known conspiracy between General Motors and Standard Oil, forming a company that bought up rail lines in order to shut them down and replace them with cars and busses.

(Via BoingBoing)

Now, looking at the current Mass Transit System for Los Angeles, I notice there are new developments since I moved. Like a fast bus line through San Fernando Valley where I lived. But the Map is still very unimpressive compared with cities that have a good mass transit system. Somehow it doesn't feel like a very relevant system. And, wow, while I lived in L.A. I was under the firm belief that there was a subway from downtown to Santa Monica along Wilshire, and I just realize that it never was finished. Strange. I clearly remember when they were working on it, and there's even been movies about it, and it doesn't even exist. Some polical maneuvering held up the funding for it and it was never completed.




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15 comments

27 May 2007 @ 17:46 by mi shi @70.1.70.156 : re do URL for full Imaginary map
where is large complete versio nof imaginary map?
thanks  



27 May 2007 @ 18:07 by ming : Real map
Oh, I messed up the URL for the big imaginary one a bit. It is here.

As to the real map of the LA metro system, it is below. Some of it is buses and not subway.
 



28 May 2007 @ 05:20 by a-d : Who in their right Mind
would ever take the Underground in LA???... anymore than in San Francisco -if there were one! All those -possible- earthquakes!... No, you couldn't pay me! ; )
Loma Prieta Earthquake and a full packed (50.000) Stadium; Candlestick Park BADLY shaking!...
Thousands of people MUST have had their Guardian Angels with them, all Angels working OVERTIME together keeping the place from crumbling all together!... Did you ever see the pics of the damage on Candlestick?
If Stockholm, Paris, London were as susceptible to earthquakes as Ca Coast, I don't think nearly as many people would use them as frequently as they do now.
Then again.... I know, tens of thousands use the Tunnel (under the English Channel) daily!... Once was enough for me! : )Still relieved that I made it safely outta there! hehehehe... : ).Though... I have to admit; LA is dangerous both below the ground and above!... *!*  



31 May 2007 @ 15:20 by mx @82.48.80.22 : would have loved it!!
Wow, it has Verdugo on it (Tujunga). Would have loved and used it for many years to go to work at UCLA (via Wilshire/Cienega), especially if they would have a Starbucks at the latter. I can see myself sip a huge cappucino while waiting for the connection, instead of crawling along on the 405.... see [link] ... nostalgic moments, nevertheless... ;-)  


6 Jun 2007 @ 23:21 by Danny Caudillo @24.165.93.108 : Couldnt Agree More...
Hey Flemming, long time no chat. It is funny you mention that new bus system in the Valley. It pretty much runs along Oxnard following that old railroad system. Biggest waste of money. It takes you from Warner Center/Promonade Mall all the way to North Hollywood's subway station. It takes, on average, about an hour or so to make the entire trip. Hmmmmm, does that seem to save time, not really. I could hop on the 101 and make the same distance in the same amount of time, and probably save more money ( =. I miss France, it just all seems to make sense out there ( =.  


7 Jun 2007 @ 01:15 by ming : Transport
An hour?! Yeah, that makes it kind of ridiculous. On the pictures it looks like some highspeed streamlined kind of thing.

We miss you too, Danny, so come back some time! We live in a more green area now, on top of a hill. And we'll have a local metro station at the end of the month when the new line opens.

Oh, and you too Max. Just take the imaginary underground train with an expresso.  



7 Jun 2007 @ 01:39 by ming : Earthquakes
A-d, incidentally my buddy Danny there and I lived right in the middle of the red dot on all the maps one saw in the news in the 1994 Northridge quake. In our zip code it was measured at 8.3. It was an experience alright. But I must admit that I actually miss earthquakes a bit. They sort of keep you in touch with the earth. And the danger is not particularly in neither the highrises or in subways. Getting a bookcase in your head is more likely. And some guardian angels come in handy. That night Danny's two sisters were sleeping over at our house, and when we all were so violently woken up in the dark at 4:55AM that morning, each of the kids had some heavy object, TV, bookcase, etc, fall down right next to them. And windows were broken, water pipes spurting out water, etc. But nobody got hurt. For that matter, I knew a number of people who's whole house and all their belongings were destroyed. But hardly anybody got hurt. So, it isn't really about finding any safe place in the world, but rather about being somebody who just doesn't get a brick in your head.  


7 Jun 2007 @ 02:33 by bushman : Ya,
I remember my bed dumping me out on the floor, it shook so long, I had time to put on pants and shoes, and get out the front door, to see the sky flashing green, and it was still shaking, lol. Ya, no way Id want to be flying thru a cheep bid concreet and rebar tunnel under LA county. I mean with todays tech, they could have extruded the tunnel out of a long lasting super flexable thick plastic. Id feel safer, and who knows, maybe it could work like the vacuum canister thing at the bank, run off stored tidal activity. I used to live off Allen st in Pasadena, about 3 blocks up from the station. And I do remember when some of the old red line tracks were still in. From South Pasadena where I grew up, a short cut we used to take down to Main st in Alhambra, was an old right of way, that took you right down to where the toys r us and Sears was. We could beat the parents in thier car over there on our bikes, lol. There is also a bike path that runs along the Santa Fe river thru Glendora, that will take you right to the beach, also the Arroyo Seco river will take you down to the LA river, and then the beach, you could easily beat traffic on a bike. There is another dug thru solid rock tunnel that will take you from behind Blair HS in Pasadena/S pas boarder, all the way to JPL/Devils gate Dam. Not that I sugest people use the storm drains to get around, but in a pinch, they will take you anywhere you want to go in LA county. Ah the good ol days of wash riding. :}  


7 Jun 2007 @ 10:57 by ming : Drains
Now I think I should have gone exploring more. I love this kind of hidden infrastructure.  


7 Jun 2007 @ 19:51 by bushman : lol.
You know where the South Pasadena golf corse is? And the Baseball dimonds, there is these 2 storm drains, we named them Pinkys Rear, and the Cannon, you hike up either one of those, and slide down them, the original water slides, easily hit 60mph on your butt. Its the exiting the tunnel that can be painfull, lol.  


7 Jun 2007 @ 22:16 by ming : Stormdrains
Ha, I'll make a point of doing that next time I'm there.  


23 Oct 2009 @ 14:37 by Fred Green @75.14.247.145 : Get It
Wow, let me guess, it "doesn't feel like a very relevant system to me" because you didn't live near it? See, there are other people than YOU in L.A., and many of them take Metrorail everyday. Almost a quarter million boardings a day on the system (actual number of people is less, that is boardings) plus over one million boardings on the buses.

Hey, you want the system to be more relevant to you, why don't you move to the city, and stop living out in the sticks.  



3 Sep 2011 @ 19:16 by Rivka @166.205.136.213 : Earthquakes? Gimme a break.
I've lived in Los Angeles for 20 years now and with all due respect "Fires and earthquakes and floods, oh my!" is such a cop-out, baseless excuse. The entire COUNTRY of Japan has more earthquakes than I've ever lived through in LA, and somehow Tokyo alone manages just fine and perfectly safely with more subway and even Shinkansen lines than most of America. Yes, they're having some trouble now in the North with the nuclear reactor, but 99% of the country's subways are just fine.  


4 Oct 2011 @ 01:41 by Jeigh Neither @50.9.187.180 : Your train has arrived
I believe your mythical train to Culver City is about to open this month. It only goes to Culver City for now, Santa Monica in two years.  


5 Nov 2011 @ 01:01 by ming : Trains
Yeah, it is good to see there's stuff happening with public transportation in L.A. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Rail_(Los_Angeles_County) But it sounds like it would be 2040 before there actually would be a rail line from where I lived (West San Fernando Valley) to the Westside, where I'd often need to go.  


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