One of the more puzzling things about the Market Frankford Line is the lack of a station between 15th and 30th Street stations. Especially when you consider that today, all of the city’s tallest office buildings are clustered between 17th and 20th Streets, along Market. After all there are 5 stops east of 15th along Market. Then none west of 15th until the the subway crosses under the Schuylkill River to 30th Street.
To understand how this happened, you have to understand the topography of Philadelphia when the El was constructed. The might Pennsylvania Railroad’s Broad Street Station brought passengers from across the region to Philadelphia via a viaduct that ran adjacent to Market Street. The two-story tall viaduct was known as the “Chinese Wall” to locals and with its noisy, smoking trains and dark underpasses, left the area west of Broad as an undesirable address.
I submitted my transit map based on A. Merritt Taylor’s 1913 Future Rapid Transit map to Cameron Booth of Transit Maps fame. Cameron was nice enough to post my map on his website and rated it 3.5 stars. Cameron also offered some pointers for improving the map and you’ll be seeing them soon on this site.
Check out his post here.
Thomson Kao, an urban planning professional created a frequent service map of SEPTA mass transit lines and frequent buses. PlanPhilly interviews Kao who explains the why and the how he made his map.
Check out Kao’s work on his Tumblr.
An Unofficial SEPTA Frequent Service Map
In 1901, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed laws legalizing the formation of companies in Philadelphia for the construction and operation of elevated and underground railroads. The charters provided six subway and elevated lines in the city of Philadelphia. In total, 112 miles of elevated and subway track were approved. At the time the franchises and construction was approved, it was imagined that rapid transit would be a purely private endeavor.
Photo via Connect KOP
A. Merritt Taylor may have predicted and urged a lot of rapid transit buildouts but he never considered “Edge Cities.”
Yesterday, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia presented Connecting with the King, a plan to connect rail transit to King of Prussia. The event took place at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia. The proposed rail extension would add a four-mile extension to the Norristown High Speed Line (built as the Philadelphia and Western Railroad) to King of Prussia.
Yesterday, Congressman Bob Brady, IBEW Local 98 President John Dougherty and a host of other local big shots congregated at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to promote the idea of extending the Broad Street Subway to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It is hardly a new idea. In fact we recently found this 1914 article from the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger where visionary transit director A. Merritt Taylor spoke of a plan to extend the still unbuilt Broad Street Subway into the Navy Yard.