NYC Subway Maps Have a Long History of Including PATH, NJ Waterfront

Subway NY NJ proposes more prominently displaying ‘New York’s second subway”–PATH to New Jersey–on the NYC Subway map, for a better map of transit in the NY & NJ urban core. There’s a precedent for this idea: subway maps in New York City have a long history of including the Hudson Waterfront and subway connections between New York and New Jersey.

Although the Hudson & Manhattan railroad (the precursor to PATH) was still under construction and revenue service wouldn’t begin until 1908, the 1906 Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) map showed the New Jersey waterfront, with Hoboken and Jersey City labeled, and ferry routes connecting NY & NJ:

IRT 1906 subway map

After the IRT, BMT, and Independent Subway System (IND) were consolidated into a single system, the 1944 NYC Board of Transportation map included the Jersey City waterfront, H&M lines labeled “Hudson Tubes (to Newark)”, stations in Manhattan, and Exchange Place station in New Jersey:

1944 board of transportation map

This 1950 NYC Board of Transportation map shows the Hudson & Manhattan railroad and New Jersey waterfront in much the same way as the proposed Subway NY NJ map:

1950 board of transportation map

A 1968 map produced by the Irving Trust Company displayed the PATH Tubes, and stations represented with black dots, but did not include labels containing station names. It also included an unlabeled outline of the Hudson Waterfront:

1968 irving trust map

The 1969 New York City Transit Authority map didn’t show PATH tubes and stations, but did display the Hudson waterfront, labeled “New Jersey”:

1969 nycta map

New Jersey and PATH were excluded from the 1972 map designed by Massimo Vignelli. A small portion of the Hudson Waterfront, labeled “New Jersey” reappeared on the 1979 map, and was on the map as recently as 1987:

1987 MTA Subway Map

Bringing it back, and improving how PATH is represented, will give 1.8 billion annual transit riders a more complete picture of rail rapid transit service in the urban core of New York and New Jersey.

On the SubChat website, Michael549 commented:

The “Subway Map” is not “just the subways”, but an opportunity to provide a means for telling folks how to get about the city. In recent years the MAP has called it, “The Map”. In any case, the “subway map” has for decades been a well used representation of the city. It provides a means for folks to try and figure out where they are, and where they want to go. Which of course has lead to countless arguments about what to include, how to include it or depict it, what not to include, etc. Inside the Transit Museum there are displays about how the “subway map” has changed over the decades. This particular argument is about how to include and depict the PATH system. On one level it is really not that far removed from arguments in the past about what should or should not appear on the maps. Anyone remember past subway maps where only a particular company’s routes were shown on “their maps”- the IND only maps, the IRT only maps, the BMT only maps? Anyone remember the complaints over the shape of Central Park in previous maps? The MAP is not just about the subway, but about the ability to help folks navigate their way around the city – that is the real important goal to not lose sight of.

Hoboken, NJ: Visual Identity, Wayfinding System, and Streetscape Improvements

In 2014, the City of Hoboken hired M Studio, a branding and communications agency, to design a new visual identity for the City. I advised M Studio on identifying elements that define the city, refining design concepts, and creating the identity elements and standards to help Hoboken stand out among cities in the New York & New Jersey urban region.

The visual identity system builds on two of the most recognizable informal identifiers for Hoboken: The rail-spike “H” seen in the PATH subway station and on rail trestles, and the moniker “Mile Square City”. Each has wonderfully unique characteristics. The angled spikes of the “H” are both a throwback to the days when the region’s economy was first being built on the backbone of rail transit, and a nod to the city’s current resurgence based on its proximity to Manhattan by transit. “Mile Square City” is both a descriptor of the city’s size, and a reference to its compact, walkable urban character.

In the new visual identity system, these two well-known icons become the city’s official logo and tagline, along with a set of consistent, thoughtfully-designed branding elements and tools, including maps, kiosks, directional blades for intersections, a color palette, and a font family. Hoboken’s new identity is used throughout the city in a wayfinding system designed by T&M Associates, and funded by an $880,000 federal Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery.


Brand identity is an important placemaking tool for cities to convey their unique and important attributes, and present a consistent, recognizable presence to businesses, residents, and visitors. The development of Hoboken’s identity system around the “H” is similar in concept to visual identities based on iconic symbols associated with other cities, states, and places.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch design firms edenspiekermann and Thonik developed an identity system for Amsterdam based on the iconic Saint Andrew’s Crosses. When the new identity system was revealed, several Dutch media outlets criticized the work as nothing more than a line break for €100,000. Edo van Dijk, co-founder and creative director of edenspiekermann, explained in It’s not the logo how the firm took the 40+ disparate visual systems and assets it encountered at the outset, and developed an identity system based on the iconic logo that could unify dozens of variations created by neighborhoods and municipal entities within the city. The new brand (right) requires less horizontal and vertical space than the previous design (left), removes font size inconsistencies, and provides a consistent space below the “Gemeente Amsterdam” wordmark to accommodate an agency, district, or service name.

Amsterdam's identity system unifies dozens of variations created by neighborhoods and municipal entities within the city.

Amsterdam’s identity system unifies dozens of variations created by neighborhoods and municipal entities within the city.

Porto, Portugal

The identity for Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, draws on the blue and white tile prevalent throughout the city, and uses an interchangeable set of line drawings that can be paired with the wordmark to represent various city agencies and services. The drawings themselves are also used to create striking background patterns for signage and advertising.

Porto Metro and signage with new Porto brand identity.

Porto Metro and signage with new Porto brand identity.

Eindhoven, Netherlands

The identity for Eindhoven, a city in the southern Netherlands, consists of three red zigzag bands that appear crisp, strong, and complementary alongside other brands for businesses, regional and national governments, sports teams, and public transit agencies.

Eindhoven visual identity in various materials and on airport shuttle bus.

Eindhoven visual identity in various materials and on airport shuttle bus.

Colorado, US

A new brand identity for the State of Colorado plays on one of the state’s most recognized natural features: the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. In reviewing the new identity, Brand New editor Armin Vit notes a common criticism of destination and place brands–that they don’t necessarily represent every nuance and detail of the place.

The new logo makes an immediate impact: it’s simple, easy to remember, bold, and it says Colorado right away. Does it encompass all the nuances of the state? No. No single destination logo does that. A lot of the complaints are that the logo looks like a road sign — well, that’s perfect, isn’t it?

Brand Colorado

Citywide Wayfinding and Complete Streets Improvements

Alongside development of the new identity, the City of Hoboken hired T&M Associates to lead a Citywide Wayfinding and Streetscape Revitalization project. Funded by an $880,000 federal Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery, the streetscape improvements will extend along First Street from the western edge of the city at Paterson Avenue to the intersection with Bloomfield Street in the city’s central business district.

Complete Streets design can do much to address the types of street conditions found on Newark and Observer. By appropriately balancing the needs of bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians, a complete street sets better expectations for everyone. Clear markings for travel, turning, and bike lanes help drivers see the street as a shared space. Designated bike lanes provide a safe space for cyclists, and reduce the conflict with pedestrians that happens when unsafe streets force cyclists to use sidewalks. Curb extensions provide extra space for large volumes of pedestrians to wait safely at intersections, reduce the distance for pedestrians to cross streets, and make vehicle turns safer and slower by enforcing a wider turning radius.


Construction documents, used by contractors to guide work during construction, show the streetscape improvement elements planned for each intersection to ensure it meets the needs of a complete group of street users, including pedestrians, cyclists, businesses, and drivers.

Draft map showing locations and sign types for the wayfinding system used throughout the city.

Fitch Ratings: Digital Transformation of a Growing Media Company

Fitch Ratings hired me to lead experience design for fitchratings.com, the Why Forum blog, email campaigns, and social media. I delivered new websites for Fitch’s global businesses, designed a new search experience, started the company’s use of podcasting, and created new tools to package content using editorial features, video, and data visualization. To deliver this strategy, I built a global digital media team, refreshed the visual identity, modernized the technology stack, and created a component-based design system to ensure consistency on a variety of devices and screens.

Visual Identity

To give Fitch Ratings a clear visual identity that could represent the company in a variety of digital applications, especially those where a logotype alone doesn’t work well, I led design of a brand mark that can work equally well alongside the Fitch Ratings logotype, or as a standalone visual mark.

Fitch Ratings Visual Identity

The new brand mark is based on a symbol used to mark Fitch’s 100th anniversary in 2013: a red diamond with the number 100. The centennial anniversary reference was replaced with white lined segments in the lower half of the diamond pointing forward and upward, representing the dynamic growth of the company from a pure credit ratings agency to a financial media company with credit ratings at its core. The color difference between the upper and lower halves of the diamond also represents the up and down movement of credit ratings over time.

The diamond is used in a lockup with the Fitch Ratings logotype in email campaigns, marketing collateral, and key documents like Fitch’s Code of Ethics. On fitchratings.com, the diamond is used as the visual marker for customer account services, including login, personalization, and communication preferences. On Fitch’s social media channels, the diamond is used by itself for profile images that require a square graphic, need to be abstract and simple enough to reduce well for small screen sizes, and appear alongside the company name in text.

Modern Technology Stack & Agile Development Cycle

I instituted agile project management practices and tools, including JIRA, Confluence, and Bamboo, to move from occasional, large releases to a rolling, four-week development, testing, and release cycle. I also led a design and technical overhaul of Fitch’s technology stack that included database migration from Oracle to Mongo DB, new RESTful APIs, new content management tools, and reusable components that give digital editors better tools to package content for a variety of devices and screen sizes.

Component-Based Design System

Throughout the site, information is presented using a layout that’s generously spaced, gracefully responsive to varying screen sizes, and especially easy to use on mobile devices. The header emphasizes navigation, account tools, and search. A single, touch-friendly menu provides an A-Z listing of the market sectors and topics covered by Fitch, which reflects the way our customers have told us they navigate business and market topics. A component-based design system is used to present articles, content streams, and products. These card components are an essential part of the site’s responsive design, and support embedded media, so that video and audio clips, whether hosted on video.fitchratings.com or external platforms like YouTube or SoundCloud, can be played without leaving the page.

Responsive, Media-Rich Articles

These heavily-used ratings announcements, research notes, and financial market commentaries have been redesigned with a responsive layout, improved spacing, fonts optimized for screen reading, and embedded charts and graphs. We’ve also added tools for sharing via email and social media, and streams that display related content, so that these stories function as a stronger gateway to related research, commentary, and ratings.

fitchratings.com - Article

Guided Search

During user research, we heard from customers who thoughts Fitch didn’t have research or commentary on topics of interest, because the research was displayed near the bottom of an overwhelmingly-cluttered page. We built a new search experience that optimizes how different types of results are presented. Research appears first, and other result types are easily accessible from a bar at the top of the page.

Filters were another source of complexity and visual overload, so we made them smarter by showing only the top five in each category by number of results. A person can still access the entire list of filters in a given category, but they choose to do that, rather than having the information presented by default. We also moved the filters to the right side of the page to put the focus on the results themselves.

fitchratings.com - Search

Websites for Fitch’s Worldwide Businesses

To boost visibility of Fitch’s businesses around the world, I led design and development of new websites supporting multiple languages for subsidiaries in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

fitchratings.com - Taiwan

Infographics & Data Visualization

To better present Fitch’s insight on industry trends, I led design and development of new data visualization tools, including an Airport Data Map and US Home Price Heatmap.

 

I also introduced tools for building interactive infographics that can be embedded in editorial features, and shared via social media and email campaigns. For example, US States are Experimenting with Cannabis Legalization presents Fitch’s research into the varying regulatory and tax structures employed by US states. The landing page features an infographic on the status of legalization in all 50 states, along with charts showing revenue growth, tax rates, and market trends in Colorado and Washington, two states that have taken the lead in building legalized, non-medical cannabis markets.

fitchratings.com - Editorial Feature

Attracting Top Talent

To help Fitch compete for top talent, I worked with the Talent Development team to build a new Career & Talent Hub that presents career Openings for experienced professionals, Fitch’s Summer & Associate Analyst programs for current students & recent graduates, and CreditPath, a program designed to help women rejoin the workforce after taking an extended break for family commitments or other personal reasons.

fitchratings.com - Careers

34 St-Hudson Yards: A Look at the 7 Subway Extension to the Far West Side

At the MTA board committee meetings this week, officials showed a preview of the 34 St-Hudson Yards station, due to open later this spring. The station entrance canopy and surrounding park are complete, and the ventilation building will be surrounded by 55 Hudson Yards, a 51-story office tower outlined in yellow. To support the tower, two rows of five caissons are being sunk in the area adjacent to the ventilation building, six of which will be sunk between the two subterranean escalator banks that lead to the station’s mezzanine.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards exterior

The 7 Train extension to Hudson Yards was funded by New York City using bonds backed by future tax revenues from the new Hudson Yards neighborhood.

34 St – Hudson Yards is not the deepest station in the system, but the station’s escalators span an 84-foot vertical drop, longer than any other in the subway system. For comparison, the escalators at Lexington Ave – 53 St station span a 56-foot vertical drop.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards escalators

At the bottom of the 84-foot vertical drop, subway riders reach the 34 St – Hudson Yards mezzanine. Stairways and elevators continue down to platform level.

Just north of the station, this crossover permits trains to switch tracks, which increases capacity, especially during rush periods.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards north crossover

Some southbound trains can terminate on the southbound side of the platform, pick up northbound passengers, then use the crossover to switch to the northbound track and begin runs to Flushing – Main St, while others can use the crossover to switch to the northbound side of the platform, discharge and pick up passengers, and begin runs to Flushing – Main St via the new tunnels connecting the new 34 St – Hudson Yards station with the existing station complex at Times Square – 42 St.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards tunnel

100 Works Designed and Constructed by Women: Built By Women New York City

In 2014, supported by grants from the New York Building Foundation and the New York Council for the Humanities, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation began a project to identify buildings, structures, and built environments in New York City that are designed or constructed by women. The criteria:

The structure or built environment must have a woman who was directly responsible for leading the design (architecture, engineering, or landscape) or who led the construction, either from the development or construction management team. Projects must be completed or have broken ground and located in New York City.

100 Works Designed and Constructed by Women: Built By Women New York City

A jury of eight leading women in architecture, landscape, engineering, design, and planning identified 100 civic, commercial, cultural, institutional, landscape, mixed-use, residential, transportation, and urban design projects, and in December, they published Built By Women New York City (BxW NYC). This is a wonderful celebration of the women who have made New York City what it is today, and the foundation is planning a series of public events to draw greater attention to these important works: Continues…

Hoboken City Council Should Vote Unanimously to Fund Uptown Flood Pump

Update (February 23): The Hoboken City Council voted 7-2 to approve a resolution to issue bonds for the uptown flood pump. Council Members Bhalla, Castellano, Cunningham, Doyle, Giattino, Mello, and Occhipinti voted in favor; Council Members Mason and Russo voted against. The 7-2 margin means the resolution achieved the two-thirds majority necessary to authorize the expenditure, which means the City can move forward with its application for the low-interest loan for the project.

In December, the Hoboken City Council unanimously approved moving forward with construction of a second flood pump in uptown Hoboken. The project would be funded by a bond issuance, the proceeds of which would be used to pay back a low-interest loan provided by the state at a historically low 0.5-0.75% interest rate. In addition, 19% of the loan’s principal would be forgiven at closing using federal Hurricane Sandy recovery funds. The pump would be operated by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) under a 99-year lease from the City.

Last week, a second vote was held on a resolution to authorize and approve the issuance and sale of up to $11,950,000 in general obligation bonds for the project. A two-thirds majority (six votes) is required for the City Council to authorize an expenditure, but the resolution passed by only a 5-2 margin. Of the seven Council Members present (Council Members Occhipinti and Russo were absent), Council Members Bhalla, Cunningham, Doyle, Giattino, and Mello voted in favor, but Council Members Castellano and Mason voted against the resolution. In a statement released after the vote, City Council President Ravi Bhalla said:

Even if the resolution passes eventually, I hope residents do not forget that Mason and Castellano took a stand against providing a sensible flooding solution funded through a low interest loan. I don’t understand how these council members could in good conscience vote against a flooding solution that would improve the lives of so many residents.

Hoboken has an existing outfall pipe that runs along 11th Street and drains stormwater from throughout the northern part of the city into the Hudson River. Significant rain, especially at high tide, overwhelms the stormwater system and impedes drainage to the river. With nowhere else to go, the water backs up and floods streets thoughout uptown Hoboken, threatening homes, businesses, and public spaces, and imposing a significant financial burden in the form of expensive flood insurance.

The planned 11th Street wet weather pump would significantly reduce this flooding by keeping water flowing through the outfall pipes, preventing it from backing up into city streets. Because it would be installed underground along the existing outfall route, it would be nearly invisible except for some above-ground control vault access points. A similar wet weather pump system constructed in 2011 at 99 Observer Highway has already significantly reduced rainstorm-related street flooding in the southern portion of the city.

The product of a close-knit collaboration between CH2M HILL, the Authority, the City of Hoboken, and the New Jersey Transit Authority (NJTA), the Hoboken H1 Screening, Wet Weather Pump Station and Outfall Renewal was designed and constructed to eliminate the combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharge of S/F materials to the Hudson River and to provide southwest Hoboken with protective measures against wet weather street flooding. The capacity of the H1 Pump Station, including the rehabilitated twin 48” outfall pipelines was developed to provide relief from street flooding during a 5-year storm event coincident with a high tide. The Pump Station and twin outfalls structures are located beneath and adjacent to NJTA properties and include an electrical building, screening chamber, pump station, and the final outfalls; these elements were integrated into a compact design solution that demonstrates state-of-the-art civil engineering innovation and environmental compliance.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has called a special meeting Monday, February 23, at 7PM for a new vote on the bond issuance. This is a matter of the utmost importance for Hoboken, and the City Council should vote unanimously to approve it. If you believe uptown Hoboken should be equipped with the same state-of-the-art flood mitigation pump system that has significantly reduced flooding downtown, contact your Council Member and make your voice heard at the special meeting.

Space Under Hoboken’s New 14th Street Viaduct Will Anchor Neighborhood Development

In 2011, Hudson County broke ground on a $55M project to replace the 14th Street Viaduct, an elevated structure connecting Hoboken with the Jersey City Heights and Union City. The original viaduct, completed in 1908, had become structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, and after the 2007 collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Hudson County accelerated plans to replace the aging structure. Major construction of the new viaduct structure and roadway wrapped up in mid-2014:

The new Viaduct is an eight-span, 1177-foot long structure, constructed entirely of multi-steel girders and includes extensive traffic improvements such as modern LED 12-inch traffic signals for the intersections at each end. In terms of total cost, the 14th Street Viaduct replacement was the most expensive—and perhaps the most challenging—local roads project in Hudson County history.

14th Street Viaduct from Parking Structure - 2014

In 2010, Hudson County and the City of Hoboken unveiled plans for public spaces underneath the new viaduct, including multi-use spaces spanning two blocks, a basketball/roller hockey court, and a pocket park surrounded by a children’s playground and dog park.

14th Street Viaduct Park & Sports

Dog Park, Playground, and Sports Court (Photo Credit: City of Hoboken)

14 Street Viaduct Community Spaces

Multi-use Spaces (Photo Credit: City of Hoboken)

Viaduct and Surroundings Before Replacement

14th Street Viaduct, 2010. Photo Credit: Hoboken Journal

14th Street Viaduct & Willow Avenue intersection, before viaduct replacement (Photo Credit: Hoboken Journal)

Pedestrian Conditions Under 14th Street Viaduct at Grand Street, Hoboken, before replacement

Conditions underneath 14th Street Viaduct at Grand St, before replacement (Photo Credit: Hudson County)

Adams Street Underneath 14th Street Viaduct, Hoboken

Adams Street Underneath 14th Street Viaduct, before replacement (Photo Credit: Hudson County)

New Public Space After Viaduct Replacement

Hoboken 14 St Viaduct at Night

New viaduct and public spaces on a recent night, illuminated by newly-installed LED uplighting.

New pedestrian tunnel on Clinton Street underneath the rebuilt viaduct, illuminated by newly-installed LED uplighting.

New pedestrian tunnel on Clinton Street underneath the rebuilt viaduct, illuminated by newly-installed LED uplighting.

<a href="http://hudsontable.com">Hudson Table</a>, a recreational cooking school and event space, opened recently at the corner of 14th and Clinton Streets.

Hudson Table, a recreational cooking school and event space, opened recently at the corner of 14th and Clinton Streets.

It may be hard to imagine in the midst of winter, but by summer, this public space could well rival the waterfront for community activities, and become an anchor for the growing community in northern Hoboken.

PATH Trains to Resume Normal Weekday Service Beginning 5:30AM Wednesday

From Port Authority Media Relations:

Following this morning’s winter storm, the Port Authority announced that PATH will resume its regular weekday service beginning at approximately 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Currently, PATH trains are operating on a weekend schedule with service operating every 15 minutes from Newark to World Trade Center and from Journal Square to 33rd Street via Hoboken. This service will continue until midnight, at which time a normal overnight weekday schedule will resume with trains operating every 35 minutes until the normal rush-hour service begins.

A welcome return. Thanks to all who keep the system running–rain, snow, or shine.

Proposed Overnight PATH Cuts Indefinitely Tabled by Port Authority

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney and New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced today that Port Authority Chairman John Degnan has committed to indefinitely table the proposal eliminate overnight PATH service that was included in a report prepared by Governors’ Christie and Cuomo’s special panel. The move followed strong opposition by local, state, and federal officials, and a unanimous vote by the Hoboken City Council on a resolution opposing service cuts.

In a letter sent to the two state officials after meeting with them on January 13th, Degnan said he had agreed to their request in an earlier meeting to not move forward with any consideration of the proposed cuts, and noted, “the Panel’s suggestion has not even been presented to the board of commissioners.”

Mayors of the two Hudson County cities that would have been affected by the proposed cuts issued statements thanking Degnan for taking the proposal out of consideration. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer:

I thank Chairman Degnan for listening to our voices and for taking the idea of PATH overnight service cuts off the table,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “With 56% of Hoboken residents using public transportation to commute each day – the highest rate not just in the state, but in the nation – the success of our community and region is intrinsically linked to a robust mass transit system. Going forward, we should be focused on ideas to expand, not cut public transportation options within our region.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop:

We want to thank the 20 elected officials that have been a part of this process as well specifically Senator Menendez, Jamie Fox, Speaker Prieto and Senate President Sweeney. Now that [Port Authority Chair John] Degnan has agreed to not cut PATH service, we should start considering the expansion of the service as I think this process has hopefully opened the Port Authority’s eyes to the importance of the service.

Sweeney and Prieto also issued statements thanking Degnan:

Hoboken City Council Votes 8-0 to Approve Resolution Opposing Governors’ PATH Cuts

At its meeting Wednesday night, the Hoboken City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s statement opposing cuts to overnight PATH service, and registering the Council’s opposition to reductions in overnight service. The resolution was sponsored by new Council President Ravi Bhalla, and Council Member Peter Cunningham. Council members Bhalla, Cunningham, Doyle, Giattino, Mason, Mello, Occhipinti, and Russo voted in favor. Council Member Castellano was not present.

Full text of the resolution as passed: Continues…

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