Excellent piece in Slate about the new street maps which are sprouting up around London (mostly central London at the moment, though also a strong showing in Islington), including this snippet:
People often overestimate the difficulty of walking to nearby locations, taking the familiar tube instead. In recent years, as the tube has become more congested, that’s become a problem. The tube in central London often operates at maximum capacity. At rush hour, the Oxford Circus station—located in a busy shopping district—can get so crowded it will close its doors, waiting to clear passengers from the station before it lets new ones in. As a result, the mayor’s office and Transport for London (the agency that runs the Underground) have been looking for ways to encourage walking in the city. They see Legible London as a step in that direction.
How do the signs work? Slate explains how, including the design philosophy behind them.
I’ve certainly found the signs useful and look forward to more appearing round London, even if they are unlikely to rival this Austrian road sign for sheer information or this Islington sign for its summary of the modern malaise. But let’s hope we don’t end up with problems like this.