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. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google’s Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

  2. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  3. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  4. Equity

    Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

    Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

  5. A photo of a new apartment building under construction in Boston.
    Equity

    In Massachusetts, a ‘Paper Wall’ of Zoning Is Blocking New Housing

    Despite the area’s progressive politics, NIMBY-minded residents in and around Boston are skilled in keeping multi-family housing at bay.

×