Can the Charles River be made more navigable?

wicked

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I ask this for commuting purposes. I think the furthest any potential ferry service can go now would be Watertown, so not all that big a market — and that's not accounting for bridge heights. It's a shame because we have a very uncongested thoroughfare that can't be used much beyond the city border.
 

Arlington

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I am skeptical of all water transit
1) your walkshed around any station is a semicircle (the other half being useless “swimshed”).
2) boats tend to be fuel hogs because water is hard to travel in
3) all weather service is hard

I am particularly skeptical of *along* rivers where there’s often a good rail line.
And unlike lower Manhattan we tend not to have useful connections at the waters edge
 

The EGE

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There's almost nowhere on the Charles that isn't either already served by high-quality transit (or would be with improvements to the 1, 47, 70, and 558). I can't imagine any new ferry services in Boston being valuable - we've discussed this before - and certainly not on the Charles.
 

bakgwailo

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I am skeptical of all water transit
1) your walkshed around any station is a semicircle (the other half being useless “swimshed”).
2) boats tend to be fuel hogs because water is hard to travel in
3) all weather service is hard

I am particularly skeptical of *along* rivers where there’s often a good rail line.
And unlike lower Manhattan we tend not to have useful connections at the waters edge
Yeah, the best I could think of would be building a ferry connection at Charles/MGH (especially with the Blue Line coming in) as a good on-the-water hud to feed it. Problem is... there isn't another hub on the river to connect to. The Anderson Memorial Bridge might be a cool stop connecting to Harvard Square/Allston - except the Red Line is already right there and no one in their right mind would switch to a ferry instead of just a few stops to MGH. I guess Watertown Square is really the only one... but is there really that much demand for MGH to Watertown Square? I'd think Watertown would be better served by BRT-esque server to rail stations vs. a ferry. I guess the only thing that I can think of at this point is MGH <-> Microcenter, and only because I have always dreamed about Microcenter being easily accessible from the Red Line.
 
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JeffDowntown

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I am skeptical of all water transit
1) your walkshed around any station is a semicircle (the other half being useless “swimshed”).
2) boats tend to be fuel hogs because water is hard to travel in
3) all weather service is hard

I am particularly skeptical of *along* rivers where there’s often a good rail line.
And unlike lower Manhattan we tend not to have useful connections at the waters edge
Also any water service on the Charles is going to severely speed restricted. The entire Charles below Watertown is a no wake zone, meaning speeds under 5 knots.

There are a lot of non-powered marine users in the Charles, which inherently limits the speed.
 

Arlington

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So, lets put the challenge this way: what if making the Charles River more /transitable/ weren't about boats, but could replace some of the Charles River Roads with transit?

We've talked about:
Green Line on a Reduced Storrow (NS spur to Kenmore)
Kenmore to West Station
West Station to Anderson Bridge
Anderson Bridge to Greenough or Soldiers Field Road
Greenough / SFR to Arsenal St
Arsenal St to SFR/Beacon
SFR/Beacon to Watertown Sq

The interesting thing is that whether you think of these as bus or rail, they *still* have the problem that station walksheds are semicircles and that the river wastes the "swimshed" side
 

bigeman312

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I've long felt that Blue Line to Kenmore should be under Beacon if possible to gain more land in the walkshed and shrink the "swimshed."
 

Brattle Loop

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I've long felt that Blue Line to Kenmore should be under Beacon if possible to gain more land in the walkshed and shrink the "swimshed."
Technically possible? Probably. Economically/politically feasible? Not a chance.

Blue Line to Kenmore via Storrow, taking the existing Storrow eastbound tunnel as part of the project, is mostly disruptive to Storrow itself, which isn't particularly a bad thing, seeing how it's effectively (per F-Line anyway) contingent on a decision to cut down the road anyway. Digging under Beacon is going to be a lot more expensive, technically harder, and considerably more disruptive (we know digging around those buildings can get dicey, fast, and they're constraining both sides of Beacon rather than on only one side on the Storrow side where there's more room to work). Between that fact and the fact that it really doesn't increase the walkshed by that much, it's almost certainly going to lose badly in a cost-benefit analysis.
 

The EGE

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So, lets put the challenge this way: what if making the Charles River more /transitable/ weren't about boats, but could replace some of the Charles River Roads with transit?

We've talked about:
Green Line on a Reduced Storrow (NS spur to Kenmore)
Kenmore to West Station
West Station to Anderson Bridge
Anderson Bridge to Greenough or Soldiers Field Road
Greenough / SFR to Arsenal St
Arsenal St to SFR/Beacon
SFR/Beacon to Watertown Sq

The interesting thing is that whether you think of these as bus or rail, they *still* have the problem that station walksheds are semicircles and that the river wastes the "swimshed" side
From the BU Bridge upriver, the bridges are short enough that you can get a decent walkshed on both sides. I think a Lechmere-Alewife bus via Memorial Drive and Fresh Pond Parkway could be a valuable addition to the network.

1637213364804.png
 

Stlin

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From the BU Bridge upriver, the bridges are short enough that you can get a decent walkshed on both sides. I think a Lechmere-Alewife bus via Memorial Drive and Fresh Pond Parkway could be a valuable addition to the network.

View attachment 18962
I question the viability of having bus stops on fresh pond, itself as that road isn't... Generous in any way, especially with traffic. Also, this area has a lot of routes serving radial routes from Harvard/Central/Kendall, with crossings into AB instead of this circumferential route I feel is what more riders would actually want to do - this would connect them, but so does the red line. Also, East of the the BU bridge you have easy access to B, so I doubt you're capturing any ridership from Boston to lechmere. I will say there are some gaps between routes this would fill, such as Kendall- lechmere, but I don't know if overall the ridership is there.

In general though, I would like to see more convenient transit crossings of the river that are more time competitive with taking Red to Park and Green back out. Don't know if bus lanes are the answer to that or lrt urban ring.
 
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JeffDowntown

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From the BU Bridge upriver, the bridges are short enough that you can get a decent walkshed on both sides. I think a Lechmere-Alewife bus via Memorial Drive and Fresh Pond Parkway could be a valuable addition to the network.

View attachment 18962
Have you ever looked at the size of the travel lanes on Memorial Drive and Fresh Pond Parkway? A bus would have to take both lanes and would wreak havoc with traffic.
 

HenryAlan

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I've long felt that Blue Line to Kenmore should be under Beacon if possible to gain more land in the walkshed and shrink the "swimshed."
I've always seen the Blue Line/river bank extension as an express service from MGH to Kenmore, which gets rid of the walk shed issue altogether. Maybe there could be a station at Mass Ave., to service the 1 bus route and potentially walkers crossing the bridge, but otherwise, any other potential stop is pretty close to the Green Line anyway.
 

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