DART (Old Detroit Metro)

This is a page hosting my very first attempt at a fantasy transit map. Since this map was linked by other sites on the web, I thought I’d give it a home despite how primitive it looks to me these days. Enjoy!


From the original piece I wrote about it:

“There’s a well-established tradition on urbanist blogs like Greater Greater Washington of offering up “fantasy maps,” maps of the Metro system as we wish it were or as we hope it might one day be. Most focus on adding a new line or showing improved service patterns, while others get more ambitious with multiple lines and even multiple forms of transit on the same map. I thought it’d be fun to go all out on this: a complete fantasy map for the historically largest US city without rail mass transit of any kind, Detroit.

Obviously this is pure fantasy in the strongest sense, but I thought it would be fun to think of it as a specific what-if. The closest Detroit ever came to building a subway was during its initial boom in the 1910s and 1920s, which would have given it a roughly Boston or New York-era subway system. (There’s a nice history here if you have JSTOR access.) In this case, though, I decided to imagine a system built at about the same time as cities like Washington, San Francisco and Atlanta in the 1960s and 1970s, perhaps in some alternate universe where one of Detroit’s seven Olympic bids came through and the city built the core lines in preparation. This lets me ignore pre-freeway Detroit and keep more of the Washington Metro style that I’m familiar with. At the same time, it’s a bit of a compromise since I don’t have any 1960s maps of Detroit and I’m not intimately familiar with the city, so the station locations and names reflect the best I had to go on from Google Maps in 2012. Places where there are no houses or businesses often got skipped, even though they may have been thriving in the 1960s and would have warranted a station at that time.”