Anthony Denaro was on the L train, about to transfer to the J to get to Jamaica Center, from where he was planning to board a bus to Queens. During that commute, he found himself staring at the city’s subway map.
Denaro has lived in New York City his whole life; he’d seen this map a million times. But on that night in 2009, he noticed something he hadn’t seen before: a missed opportunity.
The Subway Map. Much discussed, much stared at, much debated and much redesigned. It’s fun, for a certain type of a person, to look at it and to think of the alternatives. Then the thought hit me: If I can transfer to the bus for free, why isn’t there a map that shows where to connect with buses?
Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.