Chris Nelson

Baltimore gets an edible fantasy transit system.

There are upwards of 140 Subway sandwich shops in the Baltimore metropolitan region, which is a whole lot more than there are actual subway transit stops (which, as you may recall from that early Subway wallpaper, provided the original inspiration for the franchise). Baltimore today has just one partially underground subway line running from Owings Mills to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Otherwise, the city primarily gets around by car, bus and light rail.

You can image, though, how the ubiquitous sandwich shop might get a transit enthusiast thinking. And so we bring you, thanks to Baltimore resident Chris Nelson, this dream map of a subway system for the region if all its Subway restaurants were actual transit stops:

Nelson runs a well-known site in the city, burgersub.org, that's been plotting regional homicides in the area since 2005 on Google Maps. The Subway/subway project was a bit of a departure. "As far as my thinking," Nelson tells us in an email, "well I like to imagine what my city would be like if I were running all the planning decisions."

His above map was made to resemble this hopeful subway system sketched by the Greater Baltimore Committee as part of its vision for the city in the year 2030. To model something similar in the nexus of sandwich shops, Nelson used every Subway in Baltimore City, and all but two in Baltimore County (the other two, he says, are located in a rural northern part of the county where it obviously wouldn't make sense to run a subway line). There are also some Subways thrown in from Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

You may notice that some of the Subways on Nelson's map are listed by the company as "coming soon." But they're all the same for Nelson's purposes – the point is that the sandwich chain serves pretty much everyone... unlike, too often, public transit.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon

    With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.

  2. Design

    The Curious Politics of a Montreal Mega-Mall

    The car-dependent suburb it’ll be built in wants to greenlight Royalmount against the city government’s wishes but it needs them to pay for the public infrastructure.

  3. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  4. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.

  5. Streets

    10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable

    In Walkable City, Jeff Speck lays out ideas for making communities more hospitable to walkers.