The Lost Subways of North America: A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present, and What Might Have Been

Autor Jake Berman
en Limba Engleză Hardback – 3 noi 2023
A visual exploration of the transit histories of twenty-three US and Canadian cities.
Every driver in North America shares one miserable, soul-sucking universal experience—being stuck in traffic. But things weren’t always like this. Why is it that the mass transit systems of most cities in the United States and Canada are now utterly inadequate?
The Lost Subways of North America offers a new way to consider this eternal question, with a strikingly visual—and fun—journey through past, present, and unbuilt urban transit. Using meticulous archival research, cartographer and artist Jake Berman has successfully plotted maps of old train networks covering twenty-three North American metropolises, ranging from New York City’s Civil War–era plan for a steam-powered subway under Fifth Avenue to the ultramodern automated Vancouver SkyTrain and the thousand-mile electric railway system of pre–World War II Los Angeles. He takes us through colorful maps of old, often forgotten streetcar lines, lost ideas for never-built transit, and modern rail systems—drawing us into the captivating transit histories of US and Canadian cities.
Berman combines vintage styling with modern printing technology to create a sweeping visual history of North American public transit and urban development. With more than one hundred original maps, accompanied by essays on each city’s urban development, this book presents a fascinating look at North American rapid transit systems.
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ISBN-13: 9780226829791
ISBN-10: 0226829790
Pagini: 272
Ilustrații: 107 color plates
Dimensiuni: 216 x 279 x 28 mm
Greutate: 1.29 kg
Ediția:First Edition
Editura: University of Chicago Press
Colecția University of Chicago Press

Notă biografică

Jake Berman is a cartographer, writer, artist, and lawyer. His work has been featured in the New Yorker, Vice, Atlas Obscura, and the Guardian. A native of San Francisco, he now lives in New York City.


A Brief Primer on Transit and Urban Development
1                      Atlanta: The City Too Busy to Hate
2                      Boston: Urban Institutions, Megaprojects, and City Revival
3                      Chicago: The Loop Elevated, Beloved Steel Eyesore
4                      Cincinnati: A Short History of a Never-Used Subway
5                      Cleveland: Transit and the Perils of Waterfront Redevelopment
6                      Dallas: They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To
7                      Detroit: The City-Suburban Rift and the Most Useless Transit System in the World
8                      Houston: The City of Organic Growth
9                      Los Angeles: 72 Suburbs in Search of a City
10                    Miami: Overpromise, Underdeliver
11                    Minneapolis–St. Paul: The Mob Takeover of Twin Cities Rapid Transit
12                    Montreal: The Metro as Showcase Megaproject
13                    New Orleans: How a Big City Grew into a Small Town
14                    New York City: The Tortured History of the Second Avenue Subway
15                    Philadelphia: How Not to Run a Railroad
16                    Pittsburgh: How to Make Buses Work
17                    Richmond: The First Streetcar System
18                    Rochester: The Only City to Open a Subway, Then Close It
19                    San Francisco: The View from Geary Street
20                    Seattle: Consensus through Exhaustion
21                    Toronto: Subway Line as Political Football
22                    Vancouver: An Exceptional Elevated
23                    Washington, DC: The Freeway Revolt and the Creation of Metro
Further Reading
List of Archives Used


"Cartographer Berman’s comprehensive debut succinctly recounts the histories of 23 public mass transit systems built by American cities in the 20th century. . . . For each city, Berman provides his own exquisitely illustrated maps of past, existing, and proposed transit systems. The result is a valuable resource for transit enthusiasts."

“Effectively illustrated with past and current system maps, this collection offers fresh insights into how large cities can—or don’t—work.”

"In addition to commenting on contemporary situations, Berman’s book is also a rewarding look into the history that informs our contemporary transit mess. For instance, he does an apt job of retelling the oft-told defeat of Los Angeles’s streetcar system by freeway – including a strange moment in which an LA monorail almost took hold. This retelling makes for the perfect prologue to Berman’s discussion of LA’s decades-long pursuit of a viable light rail system, which continues to this day."

“If your daily life, too, is governed by the whims of your local subway, this book is for you. Cartographer Jake Berman uncovers the ghosts of bygone transit systems and incomplete transportation plans of 23 cities across North America. The maps appear alongside explanations of the systemic inequities that permanently altered the transportation systems we still use today. Also, you may finally get an answer as to why your subway is consistently 20 minutes late.”

"Using meticulous archival research, the cartographer and artist has successfully plotted maps of old train networks covering 23 North American metropolises."

“Berman’s lively history of American subway debates takes us beyond the usual nostalgia of so much writing on the topic. It helps us to see how our ancestors’ values and motivations created the infrastructure we have and gives us the courage to make better choices now.”

“Berman’s comprehensive research and accessible writing style make for easy reading, and his complementary text greatly assists the reader in comprehending each locale’s unique situation. It is as much a critique of the rise and fall of industrial cities as it is a history of failed transit schemes, for which it should become recommended reading for anyone interested in the effects of unbridled capitalism, corrupt politics, and big egos on North American daily life.”

“Berman’s many exceptional maps are provocations worth thousands of words each, conveying a history of relative transportation abundance in the U.S. There is no other book on public transportation like it.”

“A comprehensive and accessible history of a profoundly consequential and underexplored cultural event. It makes you wonder at what was lost.”

“Berman takes us on a whirlwind cartographic and textual tour of urban rail transit’s lost lines and unbuilt extensions. Time and again, American voters and political leaders rejected or abandoned plans to create big, fast, bold transit systems that could compete with automobiles. While we can’t go back and change history, Berman provides a clear vision of just how much was lost.”