It's true that Tom Petty already nailed the experience of pacing endlessly on subway platforms on sweltering, late summer nights with his 1981 classic "The Waiting." But if you ever wanted to try to quantify that pain, then there's a new website just for you: L Degrees, designed by Julian Cole, a site that predicts the daily temperature of platforms on the L Train. And in case you were wondering, the Bedford Avenue stop was supposedly 102 degrees today!
According to Cole, we can thank "heat sink"—when heat is transferred from buildings and pavement outward to cooler areas, like a subway station—for the increased temperatures down below. As for how he is able to come up with the actual degrees, he told us:
Over the past month I have been recording the temperature at the different platforms and the above ground temperature. I came to a fairly accurate system which has allowed me to pull in the localized weather from Yahoo Weather for the different neighborhoods and add a weighting system for the temperature at the platforms.
On the tests that I have been doing it has been accurate to a couple of degrees around 80% of the time. However, like the weather, sometimes there are some things you cant account for that may affect the weather.
Cole is hoping that if the idea takes off, he'll be able to create a site for every platform. But as for why he chose the L Train first: "Anecdotally I have heard many people say that the L line is the the worst in NYC. I was also a big fan of 'Is the L Train Fucked?'"
As for his least favorite stop in the city, and how it inspired him: "The L Train 8th Ave stop is one of the most painful experience you will go through. Aside from the constant stench of urine, the heat that comes from that station is second to none. I wondered one day how bloody hot is it down there? So I decided to do something about it and measure it."