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Mapmaker, Mapmaker: Regular Guy Envisions A Better Transit System for L.A.

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How many times have gotten behind the wheel, cursing the fact that if Metro had lines and service to go where you needed it to, you'd be among the ranks of the regular transit users in the city?

Sometimes imagining a better city can help build one. We heard from George McIntire via email, who describes himself as follows:

I have no engineering nor public works experience, I am simply an unemployed recent college grad who loves his city a lot and is embarrassed by its paltry number of hard rail lines and its light rail lines that stop in the sparsest of neighborhoods.

We feel you, George.

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McIntire says he used the current Metro map, adding on the semi-elusive "Subway to the Sea" all the way to, well, the sea. Then he got creative. "I looked for guidance from the rail systems of the Bay Area and Washington DC, both of which I am very familiar with," he explains of his map via email. "I tailored my lines to mimic the form of the freeway and/or major roads and aimed to put stops in the densest neighborhoods/cities both in residents and in jobs."

This is how McIntire's imagined system is set up:

Red Line:
- East-West Branch: Chatsworth-Altadena (new line)
- North-South Branch: North Hollywood-Union Station (original)
Purple Line: Downtown Santa Monica-Covina (new extension east)
Gold Line: Sierra Madre-Atlantic (original)
Olive Line: Granada Hills-Long Beach (new line)
Blue Line: Metro Center-Long Beach (original)
Exposition Line: Metro Center-Santa Monica (planned line)
Black Line: Civic Center-Norma Triangle in Beverly Hills (new line)
Grey Line:
- North Branch: Burbank Airport-Sylmar
- West Branch: Burbank Airport-Chatsworth
- Sylmar/Chatsworth-Union Station (new line)
Green Line: Norwalk-Redondo Beach (original)
Orange Line: Altadena-Downtown Santa Monica (new line) ["I know there's already an Orange line on the Metro but that's nothing more than a glorified bus route," notes McIntire]
Brown Line: Sylmar-LAX (new line)

McIntire is the first to admit he isn't well-versed in the finer points of constructing massive urban transit systems, like how much it costs, or why a given line is more or less feasible. Some of these ideas, though, are positively dreamy, especially the cross-town hauls that connect densely populated (and oft-visited) sections of town, like the imagined Black Line. (We'd love to see another line connect the east and west Valley around its midsection, though; it's a big sprawl between Ventura Boulevard and the upper reach of the 118 Freeway.)

However, considering Metro's way of adopting "ideas" their riders have been railing about about some 15-20 years later with faux wide-eyed optimism (see: Green Line connections to LAX), in the year 2030 or so, maybe Metro will be taking up these ideas with some semblance of earnest. Or not. Still, it's fun to dream, right?

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Let us know if you've made your own L.A. transit system plan or map!