General MBTA Discussion Thread

Riverside

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I like Berklee! Also like Auditorium, and have long been a fan of Newbury, though I agree that it's possibly a bit confusing. Newbury West could be good, but doesn't particularly sound like other T stations. On the other hand, while certainly new and different, Newbury on Mass is an evocative name and could be good from a redevelopment perspective.

I am not a fan of duplicated station names -- i.e. Massachusetts, Massachusetts Avenue, Mass Ave. It's done in NYC but there's a whole geographical schema that overlays the system and in the mind of pretty much every commuter. Boston almost never does this (Harvard Ave. and Central Ave. notwithstanding) and I don't think this would be a good place to start.

My other idiosyncrasy -- I think the T should adopt the policy of dropping the "Street" or "Square" from the station name, unless it is a minor i.e. street-running stop. So, Harvard, not Harvard Square, Assembly, not Assembly Square. It's shorter, catchier, easier to fit on maps, and builds up this image of what to expect when you get to the station.

This is sorta done already, but I'd love for it to be more deliberate and regular.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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"Massachusetts" was the name from the 1919 opening to opening of the original auditorium. Then it was "Auditorium" to the late-80's.

I guess by historical timelines we're about due for another rebranding.
 

Arlington

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Theres no reason you cant call the station Hynes and then retrofit the intersection/area as "Hynes Square." In ten years, people assume Hynes Station is named after Hynes Square and not the other way around.

I don't know much about Mayor Hynes either than what is on his wikipedia:

But he doesn't seem to have any Yawkey-style controversy in his past.
His grandson and namesake, John B. Hynes III leads BGI (a big player in the Seaport and the deal-doer for the parcel-swap/rebuild move of Our Lady of Good Voyage)
 

Siobhán

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Not sure how I feel about keeping Hynes's name around considering his role in urban renewal and the razing of the West End.
 

dhawkins

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Give the naming rights to who ever builds the deck over the Pike! Or Little Stevie's - the last of the nasty pizza joints in town.
 

whighlander

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Exactly, very confusing.

Most MBTA names are either the intersecting street, or the square they sit on, which in turn are named after some dead dude. In this case, Mass Ave, Boylston, and Newbury and not great names because of the other stations along them.

Kenmore Square was named after Kenmore Station that was named after Kenmore Street.

Theres no reason you cant call the station Hynes and then retrofit the intersection/area as "Hynes Square." In ten years, people assume Hynes Station is named after Hynes Square and not the other way around.

I don't know much about Mayor Hynes either than what is on his wikipedia:

But he doesn't seem to have any Yawkey-style controversy in his past.
Mayor Hynes would not have many fans in what used to be the West End -- he was mayor during a major part of the obliteration era
from the wiki
During his tenure as mayor, he oversaw the opening of the Central Artery elevated highway through the city's waterfront district, as well as the opening of the Freedom Trail, which traces many of Boston's Revolutionary War era landmarks. He was responsible for founding the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which laid the foundation for developments in Boston in the 1950s and beyond including the controversial razing of the West End.
And Hynes was originally a Curley flunkey who temporarily stood-in for Curley when the latter was in the Federal Prison System [as an inmate]

No -- the new name for the Auditorium Station has to be Berklee or perhaps Berklee College
 

Fred R

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Mayor Hynes would not have many fans in what used to be the West End -- he was mayor during a major part of the obliteration era
from the wiki


And Hynes was originally a Curley flunkey who temporarily stood-in for Curley when the latter was in the Federal Prison System [as an inmate]

No -- the new name for the Auditorium Station has to be Berklee or perhaps Berklee College
Berklee is likely to cause confusion with Berkeley Street, particularly since there's a Berkeley Street exit from Arlington Station. Instead, restore the name "Massachusetts" to the GL station. Rename the OL station "St Botolf". Unique, geographically accurate, and it does homage to Boston's original name.
 

Fred R

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Berklee is likely to cause confusion with Berkeley Street, particularly since there's a Berkeley Street exit from Arlington Station. Instead, restore the name "Massachusetts" to the GL station. Rename the OL station "St Botolf". Unique, geographically accurate, and it does homage to Boston's original name.
sorry for the misspelling. It's St Botolph.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Berklee is likely to cause confusion with Berkeley Street, particularly since there's a Berkeley Street exit from Arlington Station. Instead, restore the name "Massachusetts" to the GL station. Rename the OL station "St Botolph". Unique, geographically accurate, and it does homage to Boston's original name.
Yeah except St Botolph St runs parallel to the OL from Back Bay station all the way to and past the current Mass Ave. Also lets not forget Mass Ave (Silver Line station) and Symphony GL which is... also geographically Mass Ave. I like Newbury, no street.
 

bakgwailo

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And Hynes was originally a Curley flunkey who temporarily stood-in for Curley
That is actually a great idea - we don't have any stations named after Mayor Curley, let's just rename it in his honor. Beloved by the people of the city so much he was even able to gain re-election while monetarily incarcerated on fake trumped up Brahmin charges.
 

jklo

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Yeah I think the MBTA is done naming things after people. I think you gotta go with Newbury West.
 

Norval Elliot

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That is actually a great idea - we don't have any stations named after Mayor Curley, let's just rename it in his honor. Beloved by the people of the city so much he was even able to gain re-election while monetarily incarcerated on fake trumped up Brahmin charges.
When the time comes, other stations could be renamed Moe and Larry.
 

bakgwailo

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Yeah I think the MBTA is done naming things after people. I think you gotta go with Newbury West.
In all seriousness, though, I like Newbury West. Auditorium seems fine, too. Back Bay West? Prudential West (rename existing Prudential Center or something)? Mass New?
 

stick n move

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Has there ever been an outer ring proposal for rt 95 to allow transfers between the commuter rail further away from the city and not having to go downtown on every train?
 

George_Apley

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Has there ever been an outer ring proposal for rt 95 to allow transfers between the commuter rail further away from the city and not having to go downtown on every train?
Nope. I have a crazy LRV proposal between the Fitchburg Line in Weston through west Waltham along I-95, through Lexington along the power line ROW to the Burlington Mall, and an even crazier extension to Woburn and the Lowell Line. But IRL finding a rail ROW would be really really tough.

Better to try to get some sort of bus service.
 

jklo

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Has there ever been an outer ring proposal for rt 95 to allow transfers between the commuter rail further away from the city and not having to go downtown on every train?
I don't think it would get much usage.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Has there ever been an outer ring proposal for rt 95 to allow transfers between the commuter rail further away from the city and not having to go downtown on every train?
Close to 50 years ago they *briefly* studied adding a rail median to Route 128 when the highway was being widened to 6 lanes all-around, but it was just a throw-shit-at-the-wall concept that wasn't even fleshed enough to say what mode they'd be choosing and what exactly (other than the generally-accepted rapid transit offsets for planned highway construction) it would interface with. Skin-deep only glance, so it left no mark or lessons on history.

The major problem with attempting this is that the density along 128 isn't a fit for transit. The immediate exits have all the clustered office park density, but between exits the highway is going through Neponset Reservation, Wilson Mountain Reservation, Cutler Park, outer Charles River, Stony Brook Reservoir, the outskirts of Minuteman State Park, and a lot of tall trap rock outcrops....all of which have more resident turkeys than humans. It's very hard to string something coherent together when the density comes on/drops off a table instead of ebbing and flowing in a way that would be amenable to transit. There's no "corridor" per se, just a density cluster built up around an exit that peters out when it hits the nearest geological limit. And since there isn't any sort of contiguous demand corridor, just a lot of last-mile trips from an exit, I can't see how a transit line that has to live 100% on transfers and the density that's immediately adjacent to the transfer stops can survive when there's almost no variety of intermediate stops you could string together for any sort of corridor. So I don't think there's any there there for circumferential transit, even if the spoke lines from Boston built/unbuilt/potential/crazy forced a taming of the car culture at those office parks. Last-mile shuttles are what's needed to the jobs, but they live off the spokes.

The only *possible* exception, and I think the need is a weak one, is shivving tracks along 128 for about 1.7 miles connecting Riverside Jct. on the Worcester Line with the Fitchburg Line as a replacement for the Grand Junction. There is easily room for it through Stony Brook Reservoir by shifting the road a lane over to the westerly side and rebuilding the River St. overpass. Assuming something is baked into the mass rebuild of the Pike/128 interchange you'd have the path reserved through the ramp spaghetti. But, as has been described here before, you don't need a direct replacement for the Grand Junction or the NSRL to take it offline for Urban Ring conversion; south vs. north Commuter Rail equipment independence such that 1-2x daily Grand Junction T/Amtrak moves can shrink to 1-2x weekly over the Worcester-Ayer bypass will do it. There's no freight considerations anymore for routing away from Allston. And the Worcester-North Station study showed little demand outside of hours when Orange/Red were suffering under load, so fixing Orange/Red reliability defrays most of that MetroWest need. I also don't think you're managing a Green Line poke to Waltham out of Riverside on this connector because River Rd. is an extremely weak intermediate catchment making it an extremely off-scale distance for GL stop spacing averages.

So...feasibility is pretty decently established. The need, however?...not at all. That connector would be a proverbial hammer in search of a nail.
 

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