[CANCELED] Summer St. Gondola

DominusNovus

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There other option - buses in a bus lane, or even a surface trolley, would be:

- cheaper to build
- cheaper to operate and maintain
- faster
- higher capacity
- more reliable
- less distruptive to public space

Whether the gondola is 'BAD' some abstract sense is sort of beside the point.

And the point is that it is much, much 'WORSE'
As the options are not mutually exclusive, and a gondola is by its definition not disruptive, I still have to disagree. I’d like to push back on a bus lane along this route, in particular. Due to the presence of the BCEC, there’s loads of rideshare vehicles and taxis in the area, which would not mesh well with losing a lane to buses (at best, the uber and taxi drivers would just use the bus lane like it was a normal lane).
 

CSTH

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As the options are not mutually exclusive, and a gondola is by its definition not disruptive, I still have to disagree. I’d like to push back on a bus lane along this route, in particular. Due to the presence of the BCEC, there’s loads of rideshare vehicles and taxis in the area, which would not mesh well with losing a lane to buses (at best, the uber and taxi drivers would just use the bus lane like it was a normal lane).
I don't share your assumptions / premises.

I dont think we need to make our transit investment choices in way that mazimizes the convenience of Uber passengers.

And I don't think we need to tolerate people parking in a bus lane.

And I dont think we need to design future infrastructure in a way that accomodates the status quo.

...In other words - let's stipulate instead that the problem is that the ROW should be used by buses and or LRVs, in way that does not 'mesh well' with losing a lane to Uber passengers....

(Plus if there's no gondola stop at the convention center then WTF)

And the issue isn't so much whether a gondola is disruptive, the issue is whether its a good use of money (Though I do think the stations would end up being really problematic for the street level)
 

jass

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It seems to me that most of the fo us is on how other options are better, and less on how a gondola would be bad. It would take up so little actual real estate that I really steuggle to understand the opposition.
Its a visceral reaction due to the fact that none exist in the USA, and USA is best, so clearly if the USA doesnt have it, it must be bad.

Another reminder than instead of expanding their Monorai,l Disney is building out a full aerial gondola system to transport people between their hotels and resorts. It is being done very quickly for a lower cost.

And theres no where on earth that is flatter and has more space for buses than Orlando.
 

CSTH

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Its a visceral reaction due to the fact that none exist in the USA, and USA is best, so clearly if the USA doesnt have it, it must be bad.
Well, other people may be thinking that way, but I'm not. I just don't think its the right mode for the route.

And, FWIW, I think that the gondola proposal is symptomatic of an approach to transit that's premised on never taking an inch of space away from private cars. Which I think is a hugely wasteful paradigm.

So - if you stipulate that you need to move 4000 people per hour and you can't takeaway an inch of road, then by all means build a gondola, its a great solution for that problem. But that's an arbitrary restriction....
 

Arlington

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One, frequent, well-patronized mode is better than two that split the traffic and run at lower frequencies.

The rule in the airline biz is: don't overfly your own hub.

Eg Service from Back Bay to Black Falcon should stop at Copley, Prudential, Chinatown, South Station, Boston Wharf Co., BCEC, and 1 more before it gets to BF. That kind of demand let's you lay on full size buses, maybe with all-door boarding and 5 min interval service. Way more useful and city-integrating than any gondola flying over.

And way better at handling "convention keynote" events where 2000 conventioners need to arrive in a 30 minute window.
 

JeffDowntown

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One, frequent, well-patronized mode is better than two that split the traffic and run at lower frequencies.

The rule in the airline biz is: don't overfly your own hub.

Eg Service from Back Bay to Black Falcon should stop at Copley, Prudential, Chinatown, South Station, Boston Wharf Co., BCEC, and 1 more before it gets to BF. That kind of demand let's you lay on full size buses, maybe with all-door boarding and 5 min interval service. Way more useful and city-integrating than any gondola flying over.

And way better at handling "convention keynote" events where 2000 conventioners need to arrive in a 30 minute window.
In addition, using a current mode of public transit avoids the cost and challenges of spinning up yet another type of infrastructure that requires maintenance, maintenance buildings and skilled workers who are unique to the transit mode.

We already have way too much fragmentation in our transit modes in Boston (Commuter Rail, 3 types of heavy rail trains, light rail, PCC, diesel buses, dual mode buses, trackless trolleys, ferries....) All this fragmentation yields complexity, cost and poor maintenance (as witnessed by the abysmal state of the T).

The absolute last thing we need is yet another transit mode!
 

jass

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In addition, using a current mode of public transit avoids the cost and challenges of spinning up yet another type of infrastructure that requires maintenance, maintenance buildings and skilled workers who are unique to the transit mode.

We already have way too much fragmentation in our transit modes in Boston (Commuter Rail, 3 types of heavy rail trains, light rail, PCC, diesel buses, dual mode buses, trackless trolleys, ferries....) All this fragmentation yields complexity, cost and poor maintenance (as witnessed by the abysmal state of the T).

The absolute last thing we need is yet another transit mode!
The maintenance thing is a very good point, but its important to conduct a cost-benefit analysis.

Not all modes are equal. Providing actually useful bus service would require exclusive bus lanes. Doing so has a cost. Do the beenfits of being 100% grade separated outweigh those costs?
 

CSTH

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Do the benefits of being 100% grade separated outweigh those costs?
There's only one 4-way intersection on the entire proposed route, because Summer St. itself is grade separated from secondary roads for much of the way.
 

DominusNovus

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I don't share your assumptions / premises.

I dont think we need to make our transit investment choices in way that mazimizes the convenience of Uber passengers.

And I don't think we need to tolerate people parking in a bus lane.

And I dont think we need to design future infrastructure in a way that accomodates the status quo.

...In other words - let's stipulate instead that the problem is that the ROW should be used by buses and or LRVs, in way that does not 'mesh well' with losing a lane to Uber passengers....

(Plus if there's no gondola stop at the convention center then WTF)

And the issue isn't so much whether a gondola is disruptive, the issue is whether its a good use of money (Though I do think the stations would end up being really problematic for the street level)
I hope you don’t mind me lasering in on one point, but since you’re the one that raised the issue of disruptiveness, in your prior post, I think it is valid to reach a conclusion. More specifically, I think that a gondola is inherently less disruptive, during construction and operation, than anything else, other than a subway that is built with a tbm. Turning a lane for general traffic into a buslane will disrupt traffic patterns, same goes for a trolley.
 

fattony

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I hope you don’t mind me lasering in on one point, but since you’re the one that raised the issue of disruptiveness, in your prior post, I think it is valid to reach a conclusion. More specifically, I think that a gondola is inherently less disruptive, during construction and operation, than anything else, other than a subway that is built with a tbm. Turning a lane for general traffic into a buslane will disrupt traffic patterns, same goes for a trolley.
Arial gondolas have large stations, roughly the size of an elevated train station minus the platform. Look at the Charles/MGH headhouse for a rough size comparison. Consider plopping that down adjacent to South Station and at each desired destination. Not exactly unobtrusive.

You can't have a gondola with both high ridership and small stations. Passengers have to queue up to achieve high ridership.
 

Charlie_mta

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The one place a gondola might make sense is between Chelsea and Charlestown, immediately to the east of the Tobin Bridge (as someone said already).

Summer Street is not a good candidate, for all the reasons stated in the many posts above.
 

TheRifleman

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This sounds really stupid in my opinion. A Gondola hanging from a building to slide through the Seaport?
 

stick n move

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The opportunity we are missing is to run a bus in a reserved lane across flat and preexisting bridges & streets (Summer, Congress, Seaport)

Aerial gondolas are really more appropriate where you don't have a street you can run a bus on.

The BBC article only has real examples that fit one of two use cases:
- Hilltop-to-Valley (OHSU from waterfront light rail to hilltop campus), and all those Colombia & Caracas examples.
- Leaping over a River (Roosevelt Island to 2nd Ave) and the London Olympics example

Neither of which applies to the Seaport.

A much better analogy for "where they work" would be from Chelsea to North Station alongside the Tobin, or up to the top of Orient Heights from the Blue Line.

Other than that Boston has lots of busway-ready streets that all they need is some paint, shelters, and political will to take a lane from cars.
Great idea with Charlestown and Chelsea. We all know these arent moving huge amounts of people but 20,000/day is pretty good. This could be a good suppliment to the silver line which is hampered as well by how many cars you can have together at once. This could be a good addition for taking some stress off the system. Doesnt make a ton of sense going straight down summer st. In the Seaport. Crossing the Charles, going up a hill in Charlestown, no good route for any buss/train, cutting across Charlestown and going over the Mystic to Chelsea honestly in this case looks like a great idea.
 

cbrett

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You know how when you go skiing, you take a bus from the parking lot to the lodge and then a gondola from the lodge to the top of the mountain? Why isn't there a gondola from the parking lot to the lodge? Because you don't use something expensive and unreliable when you can use a bus. Why don't you take a bus to the top of mountain? Because it would take an unacceptably long time up a zillion switchbacks for the bus to get to the top of the mountain.

Gondolas only exist to surmount physical obstacles. There is no physical impediment to using buses on Summer Street. Ergo, a gondola is a poor choice for Summer Street.

This is the best analogy I've seen to explain this, thank you
 

Charlie_mta

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Great idea with Charlestown and Chelsea. We all know these arent moving huge amounts of people but 20,000/day is pretty good. This could be a good suppliment to the silver line which is hampered as well by how many cars you can have together at once. This could be a good addition for taking some stress off the system. Doesnt make a ton of sense going straight down summer st. In the Seaport. Crossing the Charles, going up a hill in Charlestown, no good route for any buss/train, cutting across Charlestown and going over the Mystic to Chelsea honestly in this case looks like a great idea.
I'm thinking of a gondola route that would start at the Community College Orange Line station, go through City Square with a stop there, continue along Chelsea Street, cross over to Chelsea and end at the new BRT station/commuter rail station. It would serve and connect two under-served communities.
 

stick n move

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Yea tbh thats a great idea and in that case actually makes a lot of sense and is definitely by far the cheapest option.
 

JumboBuc

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