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The Lost Subways of North America

A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present, and What Might Have Been

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 the past, present, and unbuilt urban transit. Through meticulous archival research, cartographer and artist Jake Berman successfully plotted maps of the old train networks covering twenty-three North American metropolises, ranging from New York’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 his essays on each city’s urban development, this book comprises a fascinating look at North American rapid transit systems.

256 pages | 107 color plates | 8 1/2 x 11

Geography: Cartography, Urban Geography

History: Urban History

Transportation: General

Table of Contents

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

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