Double-lettered subway signage was used in the NYC Subway until 1985. (via Wikimedia Commons)
Last week we were interested in the 8, 11, and 12 train decals that were spotted in the wild and we stumbled upon some of the double-lettered trains that used to be in the New York City Subway system. The system has a bunch of now defunct subway lines, which include: the AA, BB, CC, EE, GG, HH, JJ, KK, LL, RR, and TT. For the most part, these double-lettered lines are simply predecessors of current subway lines. The Independent Subway System (IND), which was one of three subway systems in NYC that form to make today’s MTA, had the practice of designating local lines with double-lettered signage.
These signs have started cropping up on streets all around Midtown.
What do you do when you are tired of the city lagging behind on a project that ensures the safety of many and can be easily accomplished by the citizens themselves? You forget the city and churn out some long-awaited bike lanes. As the Gothamist reports, members of the advocacy group Right of Way began to create a makeshift bike lane on 6th Avenue (from 42nd Street to Central Park) on Saturday.
We found a curious thing on the New York Transit Museum Facebook page yesterday, a subway sign for an 11 train! Further digging showed that there are signs on the trains that are available just in case, but aren’t actual lines anymore. According to commenters on the Transit Museum Facebook post, the former BMT line used to have 16 numbers. Many have been converted into the letters you’re familiar with today. Zero is also used internally by the MTA to refer to the 42nd Street Shuttle.
The first official bike vending machine for bike repairs on the go 24/7 popped up in Brooklyn back in 2010 but we love the machine at Time’s Up because of how DIY it is! Thanks to Untapped Cities reader Sam Dolgin-Gardner who submitted these photos through our Mailbag. History buffs will note how the vending mechanism is kind of automat like. On the left, a painted sign says the air is free “aire gratis” from the air pumps attached to the machine. Also awesome: the abbreviation for machine to MACHN.
Upon entering the Chambers Street subway station in TriBeCa you might not notice the above mosaic before you. Decades of travel cover the tracks, the floors, and the formerly vivid tiles. Under the layers of grime is a reproduction of King’s College, which later became Columbia University. A Columbia Magazine article by Untapped Cities editor Benjamin Waldman highlights this subway art find and the backstory to Columbia’s history.