Bowker Overpass replacement?

kenmoreResident

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Ok, I've added Charlie's idea with my refinement (above), and stuck in most of the other stuff I had been talking about earlier. This is what I would put forward to improve Pike access and improve area traffic flow, with the hope that this helps enough that the Bowker could be removed ....

 
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JeffDowntown

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Ok, I've added Charlie's idea with my refinement (above), and stuck in most of the other stuff I had been talking about earlier. This is what I would put forward to improve Pike access and improve area traffic flow, with the hope that this helps enough that the Bowker could be removed ....

This has some really interesting traffic flows, and lots of good ideas -- if they can fit!
 

kenmoreResident

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This has some really interesting traffic flows, and lots of good ideas -- if they can fit!
Thanks Jeff! I appreciate that. 'If they can fit' is of course the big question! The Mass DOT itself is proposing a Pike EB ramp in the same spot as shown here, though implemented in a different manner (i.e. shifting the whole of the Pike onto Newbury), so that implies they think a ramp itself can fit here, even if it is not an ideal location due to limited space.

The other stuff has not been suggested by the DOT in their Pike ramp study ... but I hope that they consider it, if they have not already.
 

Charlie_mta

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Here's my proposal for the north end of the Bowker removal. This new surface branch of the Green Line would run down the center of Storrow Drive, using the space created be reducing Storrow from 3 to 2 lanes each direction. This layout would avoid the need to tunnel under the Fenway, instead having a short tunnel for the Green Line branch to tie directly into the existing turnaround tunnel loop at the Kenmore station.

The Green Line branch would continue on east, using the existing Storrow Drive tunnels at the Hatch Shell. It could keep going up to Leverett Circle, tying into the Green Line there. It would be a relatively cheap way to greatly reduce congestion in the Central Subway.

 

Shepard

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I'm not convinced that it would be a useful GL routing. Why would there be high ridership demand through a branch that strays further from the back bay employment centers and also at the same time misses every downtown transfer?

If this could be BL - more expensive I would guess - I think you'd be making much more of the opportunity.
 
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davem

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I have to agree with Shep, if you're spending this much money either
a) build the D-to-E connector at Brookline Village and connect the Huntington subway to the abandoned part of the Tremont subway, or
b) do this as a Blue Line extension.

Sending the Green Line along the riverbank doesn't make sense for riders coming from All/Bright/Brook. Which is exactly why the Boston Transit Commission nixed that option in favor of the Boylston subway in the first place.
 

whighlander

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Here's my proposal for the north end of the Bowker removal. This n
Charlie -- quite a while ago I proposed something similar except to run the Blue Line down Cambridge St. to a Charles / MGH Under

then Tunnel diagonally under the Back Bay until you hit Commonwealth @ Berkley Station which has 2nd exit @Clarendon

Continue down Commonwealth -- just digging under the Comm Ave Mall Next stop with 1 entrance @ Exeter and one entrance @ Fairfield

Continue to Kenmore Under and then follow the D-line ROW to Riverside
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Riverbank Subway didn't make sense 100 years ago when it was first proposed and it would still be a waste. Not to mention building a rail line along the Esplanade would make heads explode.
 

kenmoreResident

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I put together a YouTube video that, I hope, tries to make a case for Bowker/Pike Ramp alternatives in a bit of a dynamic, entertaining way. Seeing a lot of the ideas were discussed here (and Charlie_mta gets a video credit), I am sharing the link if anyone is interested.

Link to the YouTube video: http://youtu.be/5v5h1SDl2Qc

Or got to youTube.com and search on 'boston armpit'.
The video should be the 1st result returned.

"Boston's 'B.O.' Stinks! Alternatives to the Bowker Overpass"

Presenting options that might allow for the removal of the armpit of Boston, the Bowker Overpass ("The B.O."), stinking up the city by casting its dark shadow over Olmsted's historic Charlesgate Park.

Meanwhile, the MASSDOT Bowker/Ramp study continues.
 
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matredsoxfan

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I put together a YouTube video that, I hope, tries to make a case for Bowker/Pike Ramp alternatives in a bit of a dynamic, entertaining way. Seeing a lot of the ideas were discussed here (and Charlie_mta gets a video credit), I am sharing the link if anyone is interested.

Link to the YouTube video: http://youtu.be/5v5h1SDl2Qc

Or got to youTube.com and search on 'boston armpit'.
The video should be the 1st result returned.

"Boston's 'B.O.' Stinks! Alternatives to the Bowker Overpass"

Presenting options that might allow for the removal of the armpit of Boston, the Bowker Overpass ("The B.O."), stinking up the city by casting its dark shadow over Olmsted's historic Charlesgate Park.

Meanwhile, the MASSDOT Bowker/Ramp study continues.
All pretty good idea until you advocated for lowering the Bowker bridge by 1-3' over the turnpike. Not in a million years will DOT or FHWA agree to a low clearance bridge on a major interstate highway. If anything they will ask for the bridge to be higher (16' is required interstate standard). Storrow does not follow interstate standards but parkway standards which is why bridges can be low clearance (10-11') and lanes can be narrow. I would eliminate a few of those loop ramps though in your proposal. You are making cars do a literal 360 for something that can be done with a simple straight and then left ramp. Don't make it too confusing. You can't make the ramps too tight or there can be a rollover hazard. Also the state will not bypass Ipswich Street anytime soon due to the fact they just replaced the bridge over the River a couple years ago and it has a 75-Year life span.
 

matredsoxfan

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The repair project has begun.

On July 21, 2014, MassDOT will begin construction on the Bowker Overpass Repair project. The project consists of interim repairs to the superstructure and deck of the Bowker Overpass and associated ramps. Accelerated deterioration of the bridge structures requires that these interim repairs be conducted during the preliminary phase of the Bowker Overpass Long Range Planning Study. Repairs will include beam repairs, pin-and-hanger-retrofits, partial deck replacement and partial parapet replacement. These activities are considered necessary to provide safe passage over and under the structures and to avoid unnecessary emergency repairs at inconvenient times.

Construction will begin in the last 2 weeks of July and the first permanent work zone will be established in August. The project will last approximately 18 months and will consist of both daytime and night time work. The scheduled lane restrictions are as follows:

- Between July 21st and August 4th there will be short-term lane restrictions during construction activities, but 4 lanes of traffic will be maintained during peak hours:
o July 21 – July 22: Median demolition
o July 22 - August 4: Night closures for ramp reconstruction
- Starting August 4th, traffic lanes will be reduced from 4 lanes to 3 lanes for the duration of the project, 2 lanes inbound (towards downtown Boston) and 1 lane outbound (towards the Fenway/LMA). Construction will be done in 4 stages, each lasting 4 months long.
 

FK4

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This is Charlesgate not Bowker but the southbound stretch between beacon and comm is three lanes and it’s barely used at all. Could be a simple spot to make more park
 

CajunAsian

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Throwing this over the fence...
Why the addition of an off-ramp off the Pike? Not saying it's a bad idea, just curious about the justification.

I have long been of the opinion that the on-ramp coming off Newbury should be closed, but solely because of the ped/bike safety implications of its existence, not because of anything traffic flow related. I would think moving that on-ramp further down Newbury Ext like you're showing would alleviate queue backups and such (if they do occur, I haven't observed this intersection during the PM peak) and possibly calm down some of the speeding and aggressive maneuvers people make here.
 

Charlie_mta

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It looks like a good concept, except I don't think Newbury Street could be raised up to the east side of the Bowker overpass (in this Google street view from WB Mass Pike), because there's not enough horizontal distance there to make the jump in height. Also. I'd like to see an eastbound on-ramp from the Bowker to the EB Mass Pike. With these ramps to the Mass Pike, maybe Storrow Drive could be permanently eliminated.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Why the addition of an off-ramp off the Pike? Not saying it's a bad idea, just curious about the justification.
Picture a game day at Fenway. Everybody leaving goes inbound on Comm Ave to get to Charlesgate/Storrow, or inbound on Comm to Mass Ave., to Newbury, or outbound on Comm to get to the Pike. It would make sense to put a highway onramp closer to this key problem in the last available place before “The Throat.” Put highway traffic on the the highway. Quickly.
Now that we don’t need massive tollbooth acreage we can make decisions using a Boston interpretation of interstate design standards.
Also, there is an onramp close by at Dartmouth already. The Mass Ave onramp is too close - 5 blocks away - so it makes sense to move it out further.
This would be the first step before covering all of I-90 from Brighton to Eastie to suture up the wound left by the pike and to build a new neighborhood boulevard on top of it running from Boston Landing to the Waterfront.
(Finally, The big government coverup we needed!)
A cynical, primitive, parochialism has crippled us from building the thousands of apartments we could put above the pike.
In my world, it’s Boston for Bostonians. We won’t need a Bowker overpass because the city is rejoined and people know it’s stupid to drive in to town, especially when new trains run everywhere.

Sorry, got a little “Crazy Infrastructure Projects” pitchy there.
 

Blackbird

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Throwing this over the fence...
If you’re going to do this, what would be the impact of going a step further and forcing drivers from Comm onto Beacon to get a whole, nice little park there:

1A593901-56EF-4D6A-BCC6-C2602B3BD559.jpeg


Apologies for the crude edit..
 

vanshnookenraggen

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If you’re going to do this, what would be the impact of going a step further and forcing drivers from Comm onto Beacon to get a whole, nice little park there:

View attachment 23041

Apologies for the crude edit..
Completely unnecessary and would add both more traffic and pollution from idling cars waiting to turn.
 

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