Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Arlington

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I'd love to see 2 free circulator buses pinging back and forth between Kendall and New Lechmere:
C1 = First Street Circulator (with Binney leg)
C3 = Third Street Circulator

For the MBTA, my plan would have only the 88 and 69 terminating at Lechmere

80:
The outer 80 would be retained, but "turn back" after tagging the GLX@College & Red@Davis (doing the busway loop) using its current fleet to double frequency on this "outer" zone.
80 eliminated between College Ave and Lechmere

87:
The 87 would terminate at Union Sq GLX and its current bus allocation would increase service or extend it to Arlington Heights
The inner 87 (Union to Lechmere) would be deleted (in favor of the 88)

88:
Davis to Highland Ridge + OBrien Dash to Lechmere would see increased service
The outer 88 beyond Davis Sq would be deleted (in favor of the 87)
 
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George_Apley

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I only meant truncate, not eliminate the routes entirely. I think the entirety of Somerville and East Cambridge needs a bus re-plan following GLX. I'll grant that bus service between Union and Twin City Plaza is fairly high-value, but commuters will be switching to GL as soon as possible an not riding all the way to Lechmere. I just don't see Lechmere as a bus hub any longer, so the bus loop seems completely backward looking rather than forward. They've had decades to re-plan the bus routes post-GLX and they seem to not have even started.
Agreed that they're gonna need to restructure bus routes post-GLX. Buses like the 86 become more important because they don't simply link Orange and Red, but Orange, GLX-Tufts, GLX-Union, and Red. Cross-Somerville buses are tricky because northeast/southwest roads tend to be narrow and hilly, but a bus connecting Ball Square to Porter via Cedar (and some other pairing) could be good.

That said, I think Lechmere will still have a major role to play, especially because most of the stations of the Tufts branch won't have space to build busways. Tbh, I think that it makes more sense to keep the Lechmere leg of a lot of these bus routes for Twin City traffic, though perhaps at reduced frequencies.

For example, most 87s should probably terminate at Union, but maybe every two buses is an 87A that goes to Lechmere.

88s won't have any better terminus available, so they'll probably all continue to Lechmere. I won't speculate about the 80 because that one's got the most potential to change.

Plus we should consider the potential of new bus service linking Lechmere to Kendall and Lechmere to Assembly. We're still probably going to have at least three bus routes going to Lechmere if not 4+.
 

fattony

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Isn't Lechmere one of the few stations on the line with enough land area to support a large bus loop? A large number of buses terminating at a station takes space, which is lacking along a lot of GLX.
I think you are broadening my point, not refuting it. Union and Washington Street both have or could have had room for more bus accomodations, but they didn't bother to utilize them. They should be the terminals for routes that are primarily GL feeders, not Lechmere.

They doubled down on Lechmere as a bus hub oriented to the west, parallel to and largely (not entirely) redundant with the new train line. They didn't design it as a bus hub oriented north/south, perpendicular to the train line, which would enhance network effects and create a strong connection between the new and existing employment centers.
 

jbray

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Cross-Somerville buses are tricky because northeast/southwest roads tend to be narrow and hilly, but a bus connecting Ball Square to Porter via Cedar (and some other pairing) could be good.
Cedar St and Willow Ave being full one-way pairings into Ball Square is a matter of time and neither are great as alt-direction streets for Bus riders.
 

George_Apley

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Union does/did have room for a bus loop (was it eliminated from the planning?). I don't know that Washington Street/East Somerville does...

I totally get your point that it seems like they didn't plan ahead for reworking the bus network post-GLX. I wonder if it would have made sense to do so though. With a big project like extending the train lines, you don't always have a good idea of how travel patterns will change, emerge, or disappear. The time and money costs of continuing to send buses to Lechmere in the medium-term isn't that bad with the benefit of getting to study ridership changes post-GLX. Also consider the opportunity to add more bus routes out of Lechmere if some existing buses are rerouted/truncated.

I don't mean to give the MBTA and the planners too much benefit of the doubt, but these kinds of changes often take a lot of examination that can't be verified before the extension occurs.
 

Arlington

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If you want a little flavor of "how did this come to be" I'd say that at a public meeting in West Medford in c.2011 ~2014 the GLX planning team was adamant (at least in public) that they weren't going to think about bus reconfig until after they saw how GLX usage patters settled in, and so Lechmere was going to be planned as a full terminus and the others weren't (It at least lent credence to their claim that they were assuming status quo for the buses).

I'd hoped secretly they'd had a plan, but I fear they didn't. The politics of meetings were so crazy: they were already touching enough 3rd, 4th, and 5th rails of Medford politics*--and didn't need to touch another

NIMBYs were still grousing about the I-93 planning process something like 40 years on (they seemed to be sharing grudges that they'd inherited from a grandparent) and every time somebody said "bus" you'd get a bunch of people complaining off-topic about how buses idle at the Salem St yard.

*
3rd: proposing that cars might not be supreme
4th: proposing that outsiders, newcomers, and transit riders might be human
5th: proposing that anything might change
 

whighlander

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Imagine being in one of the richest cities in the richest country in the world and not being able to afford an escalator to a high volume transit station. SAD.

One of the first things you notice when using systems around the world is that escalators are ubiquitous.

In the US, this is only the case in DC.

LA is horrendous where their elevated stations are 20 feet up and it's just stairs.
Jass -- I'd imagine that two of the wealthiest companies in the world [Sanofi & Phillips] which will have major [thousands of employee] operations right next to the new Lechemere could certainly afford doing something for their commuting employees
Let's let the users pay for things like that

All of the T-ophiles though probably not the T-ophants know that most of the people in Massachusetts have at best minimal contact with the T -- even if they live within the T's official catchment
Even the vast majority of people commuting into Cambridge / Boston are drivers, not T-riders -- so you need to put these projects into context
 

FitchburgLine

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Look at the recent photos of the Lechmere station site- the station is so low to the ground that a certain Celtics player will need to duck to avoid the platform. Vertical circulation will be a much smaller problem than I had believed, so elevators for accessibility + stairs for low operating costs is a good choice
 

whighlander

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I can't tell if the last 2 accessibility posts are joking or being horrifyingly serious.:oops:
Let's let the users pay for things like that
F-Line when I said users -- my intent was to expect the reader to connect USERS with Phillips and Sanofi who will undoubtedly provide many of the people using the New Lechmere Station and hence they [Sanofi & Phillips] could build the escalators for all to use for free

So -- I was serious if miss interpreted
 

bigpicture7

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F-Line when I said users -- my intent was to expect the reader to connect USERS with Phillips and Sanofi who will undoubtedly provide many of the people using the New Lechmere Station and hence they [Sanofi & Phillips] could build the escalators for all to use for free

So -- I was serious if miss interpreted
OR, we could use tax dollars to pay for these things, and ensure Phillips and Sanofi pay theirs.
 

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