Transit Maps I: Montevideo

Stage 1: Cerro to Carrasco
Stage 1: Cerro to Carrasco
Stage 2: Aduana to Punta de Rieles
Stage 2: Aduana to Punta de Rieles
stage_3
Stage 3: Peñarol to Punta Carretas
stage_4
Stage 4: Barrio Sur to Manga
stage_5
Stage 5: Colon to Pocitos
stage_6
Stage 6: Manga to Plaza Independencia (via Malvin Norte and Pocitos)
stage_7
Complete Network Stage 7: Nuevo Paris to Buceo
carrasco
Inset of Carrasco and Malvin
cerro
Inset of Cerro
Inset of Central Montevideo
Inset of Central Montevideo
Inset of Northern Montevideo
Inset of Northern Montevideo
Inset of Outer Montevideo
Inset of Outer Montevideo

General Notes:
-I will restrict transit maps to places I have lived, preferring not to speculate and impose an order on places I am not familiar with. I have made one for Eugene, which I will publish later. And will also make one for West Yorkshire. Perhaps I will do one for Oaxaca. As for Chicago, there is plenty of material on this, and I’m more interested in starting from scratch rather than building off existing systems.
-Pardon the MS Paint. If this becomes a more serious project, I will use actual software.
-This is meant to be a subterranean network, or at least one that where geographic and geologic bridges will be crossed when they are come to. I’ve heard from multiple sources that one reason why a subway has never been built is because Montevideo below ground consists of an inordinate amount of rock, leading to prohibitive construction costs. Thus, in many cases light rail/elevated rail/BRT would make more sense. Montevideo has many avenues (Belloni, Agraciada, Batlle, Artigas) that are cut out for this. And the Intendencia has duly taken note.
-This is a VISION. Not an expectation.

Premise:
-Montevideo is a beautiful, special city with so much potential. Tapping this potential in the sense of city branding, trying to make it “world class”, etc. would likely run counter to the Uruguay’s no frills identity. From an urbanist standpoint, there are two things holding it back: filthy streets, and a lack of coherent transit. Bike lanes are ignored, the only non bus public transit is one train line that runs every 90 minutes, and buses are marked only by the destination, maps are not posted at shelters, stops are not announced, and lanes are shared with all other traffic. Despite this, certain bus companies have inserted TVs inside buses to stream advertisments. It’s a system for people who’ve known it all their life rather than for people needing a service to meet instant demands, and a system that applies technology inefficiently. In sum, transit in Montevideo is typically Uruguayan in accepting pre-existing notions without looking for a system that could open up new and better opportunities.
-With both left and right wing governments acting to improve systems across Latin America, there’s no reason for political stalling.
-A complete transit system will be helpful for Uruguay to secure their (bi)centenary World Cup in 2030 (likely to be co-hosted with Argentina).

Objectives:
-About making the city accessible not just to Montevideanos, but readable to visitors. This means foreigners who want to be comfortable in this beautiful city, and people from the interior to see it as more than simply the city where they have to go to the hospital or to a meeting.
-Montevideo is a city of barrios. Such a network would accentuate the existing character of neighborhoods, give them wider recognition, and increase exchange between them.
-In the spirit of the Frente Amplio’s inclusionist policies, this is a plan, though while having some hub and spoke elements, seeks to leave no neighborhood behind. In deciding what neighborhoods to connect, class-consciousness is very much taken into account. For example, the first line goes from the city’s richest neighborhood to its poorest one catching all kinds of barrios—and opportunities–in between (not unlike Chicago’s Red Line)
-Because seven lines is a massive amount for a city of less than two million, I have proposed the lines in stages in the following order of priority:
Line 1 RED: Cerro to Carrasco (29 stops)
Line 2 BLACK: Aduana to Punta de Rieles (19 stops)
Line 3 CELESTE: Peñarol to Punta Carretas (16 stops)
Line 4 PURPLE: Barrio Sur to Manga (14 stops)
Line 5 GREEN: Colon to Pocitos (16 stops)
Line 6 ORANGE: Plaza Independencia to Manga–via Pocitos and Malvin Norte (19 stops)
Line 7 YELLOW: Nuevo Paris to Buceo (15 stops)

Results:
-Every line connects to every other. (This was not intentional from the outset!)
-Tres Cruces with the Celeste, Black and Green lines is the only station that connects more than two lines. This makes a straight shot in either direction of Bvar. Artigas, and down Av. 18 de Julio. Thus foreigners arriving at Tres Cruces have simple access to the tourist area of Ciudad Vieja, and visitors from the interior have simple access to Ciudad Vieja and Centro which are where most national resources (i.e. government ministries) are that draw them to trips in the capital. Tres Cruces was perfect for its time upon its inception in 1994, but can’t be expected to be the city’s sole terminal for long distance ground transport in the long-term future. Thus it should have a pivotal (no pun intended) role in the intracity transport network, but not an all commanding one, leaving more flexibility for other future hubs.
-Most major football clubs have a stop adjacent to their stadium. Nacional, despite being the nation’s second biggest club do not have a stop, though Parque Central does lie within a ten-minute walk of four different stops. The new Peñarol stadium would be reached by extending the Black Line.

Further Possibilities:
-The Orange Line can be swung around at Piedras Blancas to make a peripheral. Given the geography of the bay, a true circle line wouldn’t make sense. Low density, however likely makes such a periphery to periphery connection untenable.
-A more reasonable peripheral given densities would run from La Teja to Parque Guaraní, touching a number of isolated neighborhoods.
-Commuter Rail. Las Piedras, Pando and Atlantida would be logical termini. Caltieri’s map suggests this, though with different starting points.

Concerns and Questions:
-What sort of vision is this proposing and how serious will it push neighborhood change beyond simply the level of connectivity? In a remarkable ungentrified city, will stops in Barrio Sur, Palermo and Aduana change land prices and business types enough to push out long established residents? Will it attract tourists to neighborhoods besides Ciudad Vieja and Pocitos?
-How do existing governance structures address these concerns? How much is up to the Intendencia, and how much to the respective neighborhoods?

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