Crazy Highway Pitches

Arenacale

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The idea isn't to push all that traffic to Granite Ave, it's to better distribute it to Granite, East Milton, Furnace Book, and Quincy Adams. People use Quincy Shore Dr. and, to a lesser extent, Newport Ave. as de facto highways to cut north quicker instead of getting on further south. You'll have the same number of cars getting on overall by eliminating that onramp, but the chokepoint at Neponset is gone, so they move more freely through there. Plus, now it gives the option of dealing with QSD and Newport being oversized for what they should be.
 

DrFreewind

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The idea isn't to push all that traffic to Granite Ave, it's to better distribute it to Granite, East Milton, Furnace Book, and Quincy Adams. People use Quincy Shore Dr. and, to a lesser extent, Newport Ave. as de facto highways to cut north quicker instead of getting on further south. You'll have the same number of cars getting on overall by eliminating that onramp, but the chokepoint at Neponset is gone, so they move more freely through there. Plus, now it gives the option of dealing with QSD and Newport being oversized for what they should be.
I think there just needs to be a longer single lane on ramp from Neponset to 93N, theres the choke point from where it merges from 2 to 1 lanes, and then there are too many people merging onto 93 only going 20-30 mph causing backups, if we could let people accelerate up to speed there might be a better flow through there... and this is still crazy because it means widening the bridge over the tracks to be able to add jersey barriers or even delineators
 

Siobhán

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My crazy highway pitch is to seize the Central Artery Tunnel and use it for North-South Rail Link tracks instead.

Pros:
- Stations closer to surface
- Easier to build Central Station and connect to Blue Line
- Save on rail service disruptions due to tunnel construction and staging
- Reduced demand from automobiles in downtown Boston

Cons:
- None?
 

Charlie_mta

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My crazy highway pitch is to seize the Central Artery Tunnel and use it for North-South Rail Link tracks instead.

Pros:
- Stations closer to surface
- Easier to build Central Station and connect to Blue Line
- Save on rail service disruptions due to tunnel construction and staging
- Reduced demand from automobiles in downtown Boston

Cons:
- None?
How about converting one of the tunnels to a 4 track rail line, and leave the other tunnel for 2 lanes of traffic each way. Seems like a doable compromise.,
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The CAT is such a roller coaster that only subway cars/trolleys could deal with the grades. Wouldn't work for knitting the north/south commuter rail and intercity systems together.
This is true. NSRL pushes the limits of grading plausibility at the ends, but it'll work because there's only one downgrade and one upgrade in the whole works. The CA/T level is one neverending bunny-hop, because that's all they could physically build. Watch how many tractor-trailers have to downshift inside the tunnel.

We aren't going to shave NSRL costs by trying to "lifehack" it. We know damn well already what builds would and would not work. The troubleshooting work is all on the advocacy and political side, not engineering.
 

C-Town_Jeff

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Put Route 1 underground from City Square in Charlestown to Spruce Street in Chelsea. Connect Chelsea street back to Chelsea with a draw bridge over the mystic and include bike and bus only lanes.

Aside: I was in the Navy Yard the other day and had a couple (obviously from another country) ask how to walk to Chelsea and they pointed at the Tobin Bridge. My only response was "can't be done" and walked away.
 

mass88

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Completely rebuild the Southeast Expressway with a two-level setup. Ground level would be 4 full travel lanes in each direction with a full shoulder on each side, each direction. In the middle would be two full travel lanes with full should in each direction - this would be a tolled express lane inbound. Underground, you would have two full travel lanes, with a full shoulder in each direction and this would be a tolled express lane out bound. You'd also have space for dedicated tracks for the red line to allow express trains to run into SS and avoid North Quincy, JFK/Umass and the crawl that exists for the stretch from Savin Hill through the tunnel to Andrew.

Roughly around Neponset Circle, you would have a dedicated airport tunnel built that would be fully submerged and have 3 full travel lanes in each direction, with full shoulders on both sides, both directions. Tunnel would run under the harbor.

This isn't really a crazy pitch, but completely expand and rebuild the 93/95 interchanges in Canton and Woburn, the 93/24 interchange in Randolph, the 90/95 interchange in Weston, the 95/3 interchange in Burlington, the 495/95 interchange in Mansfield and the 495/90 interchange in Hopkinton. Widen route 3 to 3 full travel lanes, plus shoulders, from Derby Street all the way down to the Cape.
 

jklo

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You'd also have space for dedicated tracks for the red line to allow express trains to run into SS and avoid North Quincy, JFK/Umass and the crawl that exists for the stretch from Savin Hill through the tunnel to Andrew.
The Old Colony line is more or less this now.
 

bakgwailo

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The idea isn't to push all that traffic to Granite Ave, it's to better distribute it to Granite, East Milton, Furnace Book, and Quincy Adams. People use Quincy Shore Dr. and, to a lesser extent, Newport Ave. as de facto highways to cut north quicker instead of getting on further south. You'll have the same number of cars getting on overall by eliminating that onramp, but the chokepoint at Neponset is gone, so they move more freely through there. Plus, now it gives the option of dealing with QSD and Newport being oversized for what they should be.
I mean, again, I don't see how all the traffic currently going to Neponset Circle and Granite Ave can route via only Granite Ave - that is going to rid lock so badly up to Adams Corner/203 for Dot traffic onto 93. The draw bridge at Granite Ave also can cause tons of issues/traffic at all hours. Exit 11b also gets insanely backed up in the afternoon even without the bridge, and pushing the Exit 12 traffic to it would be... not ideal. Maybe redo Neponset Circle so Neponset Circle only connects straight into Morrissey, with 203 connecting to 93 via fly over and merges into Morrissey. Dot/Mattapan/etc traffic onto 12, Quincy/Milton/etc traffic onto 11. Agree the Freeport entrance should go, though. I would also say anything here would have to predicate on Kosciuszko Circle and... make that not Kosciuszko Circle.
 

Vagabond

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"Crazy" highway pitch... or what sounds like a totally reasonable one that is back on the table. If you want Rutherford to be a Blvd and not a highway, you have to take highway traffic off of it. Reconnect the Rt 1 stub to 93N. There is a potential option to include a connection to street-level, although that might make an even bigger mess of traffic exiting Boston stuck in the same 93 bottleneck.

 

The EGE

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This stub?

 

stefal

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Does anybody have any recollection of a contest for redesigning the Storrow Drive intersections and 93 on and off-ramps @ Storrow? Recently the topic of how bad that traffic gets came up and someone mentioned they recalled seeing a small section of the Globe during the Big Dig asking for recommendations or announcing a contest of something. I haven't been able to find anything after searching online.
 

Charlie_mta

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Does anybody have any recollection of a contest for redesigning the Storrow Drive intersections and 93 on and off-ramps @ Storrow? Recently the topic of how bad that traffic gets came up and someone mentioned they recalled seeing a small section of the Globe during the Big Dig asking for recommendations or announcing a contest of something. I haven't been able to find anything after searching online.
I wish I had caught that. I would've submitted my idea here for a two-phase signal (black and yellow arrows). It restricts some movements but really cleans up the mess:

 

Vagabond

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This stub?
In your picture, there's actually 2 stubs, one from Rt 1 and one from City Square. The Rt 1 Tobin ramp stub makes more sense (https://goo.gl/maps/KLYsEBiqkiKBhNJD7) since it's direct highway to highway. Having a City Square hub raises a lot more questions about heavy traffic leaving the downtown core entering onto 93 too, but it would be hard not to add that connection since they're adjacent (and used to be connected).
1573480996540.png
 

BostonUrbEx

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Crazy highway pitch: calculate our current general-purpose highway lane miles and pass legislation to freeze it. The only way to add general-purpose highway lane miles would be to either remove them elsewhere, or convert general-purpose lanes elsewhere to HOV lanes.
 

George_Apley

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I heard former Boston City Councilor Tom Keane actually say on Radio Boston on Friday that we should be adding lanes to highways and getting rid of "rarely used bike lanes" to make it easier to drive instead of making it more expensive to drive. I thought, 'glad your only gig is pontificating on the airwaves of WBUR, Tom...'
 

DrFreewind

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been thinking about a rework for exit 29 to ease the congestion on the offramp and the intersection of 28/middlesex ave, and thought about this, although i think this is either something that would work great or make things even worse, no in between.
putting this on crazy pitches just because of the eminent domain with the 99 restaurant and because its somerville
 

MjolnirMan

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In a recent Parcel R-1 Chinatown BPDA zoom community meeting, a large amount of comments, particularly from younger members of the community, called attention to Chinatown's "worst air quality in MA" status.
Highlighting that the burning of fuel produces PM2.5, Kimmell connected the presence of highways to the high levels of PM2.5 in Chinatown. Located next to the Mass Pike and I-93, Chinatown faces constant exposure to vehicle emissions and therefore by extension, PM2.5.
Many community members shared their own personal experiences growing up with asthma and being affected by air quality, and suggested developing more parks or greenspace, which is a nice amenity - however as far as I am aware this would not accomplish the effect that it was implied to do, which is create cleaner air in the neighborhood. The problem is that even if the whole neighborhood was a park, it being bordered by 93 to the East and the Pike to the South means that lovely park would have the worst air quality in the state still.

I know this is ArchBoston, and we all are champing at the bit for Columbus Center redux, sinking more highways, healthy streets, reduced traffic density, replacing with public transit, etc. But we all also know that these projects are fraught with difficulties due to financing construction of the deck to support a building, despite the prime location of the air rights. In the meantime, is there a compelling racial/social/environmental justice argument for implementing a temporary decking of the Pike and some parcels of 93 in absence of active development, to lower community exposure to these PM2.5s until the air rights are utilized? While obviously parks and walkways or community centers or housing are all preferable, I'm just talking here about decking it to stop motor vehicle particulates ASAP.

I've marked parcels in red that would be extremely simple to deck in the short term. Obviously you would also have to engineer air exchange systems and require more than slapping some corrugated steel over it, but these are all the simplest locations to roof. The yellow locations are high-traffic and close to the neighborhood, but more challenging cases to deck.
mass pike.jpg
 
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