Making things.
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Connecticut Light Rail

I'll be honest - my primary motivation in pursuing this project was my love of transit, maps, and my home state. It's one of those projects that's fun and interesting, but also gives you a chance to imagine for a little while. Right now, Connecticut has some bus systems in and around its major cities and rail lines that primarily serve to move people out of or through the state. But imagine what Connecticut would be like if it had a dedicated rail system to move people around the state? To make it easier to get from one place to another? How much more would we save? How much less would we pollute? And if it were light rail (we are a tiny state after all) and could serve downtowns — how much less reliant on cars would we be? Would we become a state of commuters?

This project also gave me an opportunity to try my hand at the age old mapping challenge of balancing geographic accuracy with an easy and consistent design. My first few drafts sacrificed much in the way of design in order to make it as geographically accurate as possible. The outcome was unlabelled stops, labels going every which way, and interchange systems that were hard to follow.

So back to the drawing board I went. What if I freed myself from the desire to have everything in its place, but instead looked to create a map that was easy to read and understand but still maintained the relative placement of locations? This was like a breath of fresh air — interchanges became clearer and I could have all of the stops read horizontally. That's a huge benefit.

This map was featured on Cameron Booth's fantastic transit map blog.

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 This map gave me a chance to explore how to efficiently convey complex information — by focusing on the end user.

This map gave me a chance to explore how to efficiently convey complex information — by focusing on the end user.

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