Even a fictitious city deserves regular infrastructural upgrades. Although the Simpsons characters haven’t aged a bit since their debut in 1989, the city they inhabit has grown as we've explored its neighborhoods over 25 seasons. This past Sunday’s episode saw the introduction of a wriggly, multicolored system that seems to have all the geometric appeal of a normal network (abstracted à la Vignelli, there is no geographic underlay).
This is not the first transportation overhaul that the STA (Springfield Transit Authority) has implemented, although the last drastic change was way back in a 1993 episode with the introduction of a failed monorail system. Since then, it’s been pretty much all cars and skateboards on the city's streets, and viewers learned that the single sad loop of a subway system in the city was actually abandoned. Poor transportation construction seems to be endemic to Springfield, as the tunnels, although functional, were apparently ruining the underground foundations of buildings.
Images via Transit Maps.
The brand-new system appears much more lively, however, covering spunky new districts like Jerk Circle, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport (last stop on the indigo line). The map also serves as a great nostalgic trip through many of the past episodes, featuring stops that recall the giant magnifying glass that took care of the popsicle-stick skyscraper, the woman’s prison that Marge was sent to for shoplifting, and Springfield Gorge, "the third most beautiful gorge in the state."
Images via Atlantic Cities.
Bart probably won't be putting his skateboard away any time soon, but it will be interesting to see how these fictional sites of comedy and intrigue return in the series. Will Springfield face a familiar future of urban disputes—perhaps sparked by the aesthetic retaliation from the residents of the Ugli district, or maybe the gentrification of Ethnictown?