Crazy Highway Pitches

BeyondRevenue

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I'd prefer a freight and passenger rail line instead of the Atlantic Wall Road. The rail line could have a spur line to the Logan air terminals for freight and passenger access, and tie into rail systems to the south and north. Your proposal looks similar to the 1918 report at https://www.greenribboncommission.o...easibility-of-Harbor-wide-Barriers-Report.pdf.
Why not have both? Did the original barrier plan have transportation or ship dock component? If you move the big shipping out of Chelsea Creek, the area gets a lot nicer for affordable housing and makes a cleaner waterway and greener marshes. One of the many bonuses besides saving $200 billion in flood damage replacement costs. Imagine king tides twice a day without it. If you love Boston you should be advocating for this. If you live on the harbor, in the Neponset, Fore, Charles, Mystic, Weir, or Weymouth Back River watersheds, same deal. Name te price and I'd call it a bargain
 

Stlin

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I'm looking at that, and I can't help but be reminded of the absolutely bonkers, doomed and fatal Reber Plan. Rather than try and exercise "god mode engineering" *just don't build more in floodplains/tidal deltas/etc*.

Post Katrina, one of the biggest missed opportunities was in shrinking New Orleans footprint in unsustainable areas. I think eventually the same is true of winthrop and hull.
 
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vanshnookenraggen

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I love the cognitive dissonance of thinking the Big Dig is a boondoggle that created more traffic and also thinking this was a better alternative.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I love the cognitive dissonance of thinking the Big Dig is a boondoggle that created more traffic and also thinking this was a better alternative.
Also...LOL what kind of hellhole Eastie would be today with a giant-ass expressway massed up against Marginal St. in Jeffries Point and the entire length of Meridian on the west side. It's like if this clip were real life:

 

Charlie_mta

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The Boston Bypass would not have solved traffic problems anyway. I-93 north and south of the Boston Bypass would have been overloaded from traffic coming off of the Boston Bypass, and the Bypass itself would be backed up for miles at both of its ends with traffic waiting to squeeze onto I-93. Not a good plan, even from a traffic loading perspective.
 

Stlin

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Can I assume that never got anything resembling a serious look? Because if it did, I want to read it just to see how thoruoughly it got shot down.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Vincent Zarrilli was a crackpot. He was planning on building an East Coast Embarcadero while the real one in San Francisco was collapsing. So whether Intended or not, the allusion to VZ’s BB in comparison to what I’ve proposed above is taken as a slight. A coastal wall will save hundreds of billions in property damage. The only way we can build something necessary is to put a road on it. So you suck it up and build the thing that is going to save the region.
i just don’t understand how we have collectively lost our bottle when it comes to building anything we actually need! You all would rather imply that anyone living on or near a flood plain deserves to die. That is not kind or realistic. I believe we shouldn’t be shoring up seaside mansions from Cochituate to Cuttyhunk. That would be a bailout for people who built where they built to avoid participating in society. And they’ll be the first ones to get a check.
What I am earnestly and optimistically proposing is a solution to a real problem. I really fear that a very vocal cadre on this forum are belching defeatist, fatalist, and worst of all CHEAP opinions - like Grover Norquist’s spawn in a Boys From Brazil remake where The No-New-Taxes father spawns dozens of like minded children who don’t know what public investment looks like anymore.
Can we save our own asses or stick our heads in the ever eroding sand?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Umm...when it treads the well-trodden ground of a crackpot, be prepared to absorb some slights in the process. Harbor barrier may be necessary, but putting an asphalt monstrosity on top of it still needs to go through community input on all the approach shorelines where it would nuke neighborhoods from orbit. If Zarrilli pigeonholed Eastie as his "Nuclear Whipping Boy" for his scheme, is it not almost equally problematic that a wider-distended swath of Hull, Hingham, parts of Quincy+Weymouth, Winthrop, and Revere are trade-in "Nuclear Whipping Boys"??? Probably as much pain and suffering to be had out there as there as Zarrilli's compacted Chinese Walling of two whole sides of Eastie.

Or maybe all of it is missing that crucial future asses-saving dimension where we try our darndest to take traffic off the roads so we don't need to build more of them?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I'd prefer a freight and passenger rail line instead of the Atlantic Wall Road. The rail line could have a spur line to the Logan air terminals for freight and passenger access, and tie into rail systems to the south and north. Your proposal looks similar to the 1918 report at https://www.greenribboncommission.o...easibility-of-Harbor-wide-Barriers-Report.pdf.
Why, so somebody traveling from Middleboro can take 30 minutes longer to reach Logan than today's SL1 transfer? That's about a 25-mile trip flung off Braintree + Nantasket Junction to Revere with considerable curves. If you went Braintree via NSRL to Chelsea and switched to SL3 it's nearly half that. Literally every two-seat trip via a CBD transfer would be faster. By a lot.

And what freight??? The container port (Southie-Conley) doesn't do volumes high enough for rail, the autoport (Charlestown-Moran) doesn't have rail clearances for the task, there hasn't been fuel terminal rail traffic (Eastie) in 30 years and our last Mayor levied onerous ordinance restrictions on those facilities to directly inhibit it from ever coming back, the aggregates port (Everett) is too acreage-hungry to move out on a Harbor Island, the planned cold storage port (Southie-Marine T.) needs to be where the food distribution network is...mainland..., and the miscellaneous rail port facilities (Quincy) direct-support adjacent mainland functions. What magic pop-up freight volumes are going to appear way out in the Harbor with no room for constructing yard or staging facilities, much less no means for getting said facilities permitted in the middle of a designated National Park? That's a ridiculous expectation.


Harbor barier w/ locks? OK...if that's what saves our asses from being swallowed by the Atlantic in 50 years, sure. But this shotgunning of extremely inconvenient and out-of-the-way transpo infrastructure on top of it in the name of answers begging no question is exactly the kind of mission creep that'll ensure it never ever gets built. I don't know why the shotgunning is being claimed as an efficiency when the routing is anti-efficient and the environmental and community impacts are so punitive for the anti-efficient routing. The transpo shotgun marriage is the entirety of the boondoggle here, not the functional environmental barrier.
 
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BeyondRevenue

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Do you honestly think the same people who sold the Big Dig to us with the promise of a completed North South Rail Link, Blue Red Connector, Green Line Extension and a ton of museums on the surface - only to unapologetically kill all of them — do they actually care about building anything that doesn’t help them drive more places? I don’t own a car but I know what pander politics look like. If it doesn’t have a road it’ll be a tough sell. We get the government we deserve, not the one we need. The one we need would tax the crap out of the rich.
Also, in my experience, Boondoggle is a word Howie Carr, libertarians and cheapskates use to mock and undercut the legitimacy and overwhelming benefit of public investment.
 

George_Apley

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Do you honestly think the same people who sold the Big Dig to us with the promise of a completed North South Rail Link, Blue Red Connector, Green Line Extension and a ton of museums on the surface - only to unapologetically kill all of them — do they actually care about building anything that doesn’t help them drive more places? I don’t own a car but I know what pander politics look like. If it doesn’t have a road it’ll be a tough sell. We get the government we deserve, not the one we need. The one we need would tax the crap out of the rich.
Also, in my experience, Boondoggle is a word Howie Carr, libertarians and cheapskates use to mock and undercut the legitimacy and overwhelming benefit of public investment.
It would get proposed as a turnpike and negotiated down to an access road for maintenance.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Do you honestly think the same people who sold the Big Dig to us with the promise of a completed North South Rail Link, Blue Red Connector, Green Line Extension and a ton of museums on the surface - only to unapologetically kill all of them — do they actually care about building anything that doesn’t help them drive more places? I don’t own a car but I know what pander politics look like. If it doesn’t have a road it’ll be a tough sell. We get the government we deserve, not the one we need. The one we need would tax the crap out of the rich.
Please explain how Extremely Out-of-The Way road that takes 25 miles to go 12 makes any known commute pattern in Metro Boston easier?

Also, in my experience, Boondoggle is a word Howie Carr, libertarians and cheapskates use to mock and undercut the legitimacy and overwhelming benefit of public investment.
Your ad hominem poo-flinging coached around allegation of the same is duly noted. :cautious:
 

BeyondRevenue

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Your ad hominem poo-flinging coached around allegation of the same is duly noted. :cautious:
I was responding in kind. I believe you need to propose ‘Crazy’ things in a forum called ‘Crazy Highway Pitches’. I’m saying you aren’t bringing better solutions or high level observation but you are meticulously collapsing the idea before it’s had a chance to be heard. I want to save my City. I think something that lets the North Shore get to the South shore without going on 93 is a good idea and could be part of this. I think a fuels facility built in the shallows next to a sewage plant is worth exploring. I think environmentalists would be able to object less while their homes and offices are literally inundated with rising tides. I think there is a lot of merit in moving all petro-traffic out of the tunnels and inner harbor. I think Chelsea Creek should be cleaned up and the salt marshes should be grown bigger. I think there should be a moratorium on new coastal development and the insurance companies should be leading the charge by not insuring them. I think we could all benefit from a wider view and to stop dismissing grander - possibly ‘Crazy’ ideas.
I would expect someone to do the old improv ‘Yes and...’ instead of dropping a deuce on a persons ideas because of legal minuteae and technical complications. Get out of the weeds, man! Have some fun with your brain!
As for Boondoggle, I was insulting the word and it’s history and cautioning anyone not to affiliate with the people who use it. To me it’s a dog whistle for short sighted budget cutters and poison to ‘what if’ discussion. If you want use the word please aim it at subsidies for the defense, healthcare, financial or fuels industries.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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It's a "Pitch". The usage case and benefit need to be clearly defined with evidence, not "I thinks..." if people only obeyed one person's every dictate. We have a God Mode thread specifically created for Civil Engineering Strongman Because Reasons excursions. Just because a Crazy pitch has unlimited resources behind it doesn't mean it's free from the burden of self-justification.


  • What commutes does such an extremely time-consuming routing improve? Cite examples.

  • How does it tie into the existing traffic patterns? How does barely functional Braintree Split ever possibly function with a fourth load-bearing leg attached to it? How do 93 North and Route 1 function with the required interchanges?

  • If it's bootstrapping on climate change coping strategies, why are we encouraging still-greater mass proliferation of the same single-occupancy vehicle addiction that helped bring climate change to our doorstep sooner than ever?

  • How are you going to get permitting for such environmentally destructive road infrastructure through a no-foolin' National Park? Explain how putting an environmental irritant like an expressway on top of the sea level barrier doesn't make the EIS'ing job infinitely harder.

  • How are you going to construct giant freight facilities out in said National Park when they require more of the landfilling that has made our City's terra firma so flood-vulnerable in the first place?


These are probative questions about how the whole scheme is supposed to self-justify itself. You can't simply ad hominem and fling ideological epithets around to get out of attempting to answer why this thing should exist. At least attempt to moor this in a reason to exist rooted in evidence beyond personal opinion.
 

BeyondRevenue

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It's a "Pitch". The usage case and benefit need to be clearly defined with evidence, not "I thinks..." if people only obeyed one person's every dictate. We have a God Mode thread specifically created for Civil Engineering Strongman Because Reasons excursions. Just because a Crazy pitch has unlimited resources behind it doesn't mean it's free from the burden of self-justification.

  • What commutes does such an extremely time-consuming routing improve? Cite examples.
Honestly, I would rip out every road trip that can't pay for itself. This one moves a lot of traffic out of the downtown tunnels. Again, Ass-saving sea wall first, two lane road secondary. I want to get highway money if it's there. Anything to get public support behind building the Dutch style wall.
  • How does it tie into the existing traffic patterns? How does barely functional Braintree Split ever possibly function with a fourth load-bearing leg attached to it? How do 93 North and Route 1 function with the required interchanges?
Think 1A and 3A. Nobody ever said expressway. This road takes traffic out of the mix because it connects closer to Plymouth than Quincy, taking traffic away from Route 3.
  • If it's bootstrapping on climate change coping strategies, why are we encouraging still-greater mass proliferation of the same single-occupancy vehicle addiction that helped bring climate change to our doorstep sooner than ever?
I'm acknowledging the stupid we live in. As I stated above, I haven't owned a car in 20 years. I think we should build NSRL first. But I figure if we're building a sea wall to save our butts, we might as well build a road on it to appease the idiots.
  • How are you going to get permitting for such environmentally destructive road infrastructure through a no-foolin' National Park? Explain how putting an environmental irritant like an expressway on top of the sea level barrier doesn't make the EIS'ing job infinitely harder.
There's a damn highway through Yellowstone. Think about it. Realistically, we aren't going to have that park in 50 years.
  • How are you going to construct giant freight facilities out in said National Park when they require more of the landfilling that has made our City's terra firma so flood-vulnerable in the first place?
Giant? The two slip dock build (in Winthrop) is quicker than constanly dredging, maintaining the bridges, hiring the required security, tide timing, tugboats, and all the other headaches of going through the inner harbor to the Mystic Basin and Chelsea Creek.

These are probative questions about how the whole scheme is supposed to self-justify itself. You can't simply ad hominem and fling ideological epithets around to get out of attempting to answer why this thing should exist. At least attempt to moor this in a reason to exist rooted in evidence beyond personal opinion.
Again. The thread is called 'crazy pitches'. You can't just dismiss something out of hand because you can't see how it can be built with the mindset of the last 50 years. Do I need an EIS to post here?

What's your crazy pitch, Slick?
 

Stlin

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Again. The thread is called 'crazy pitches'. You can't just dismiss something out of hand because you can't see how it can be built with the mindset of the last 50 years. Do I need an EIS to post here?

What's your crazy pitch, Slick?
Look... As someone who's had enough ideas shut down, I get where you're coming from. At the same time I think it's incredibly important that we have someone to tell us exactly why, at this moment, in this context, that idea will never work. Sure, no one is perfect. You might call F line a pessimist, and he occasionally gets bogged down in best and ideal, and sometimes can be rather blunt. But he tends to bring up the issues that are real world blockers. Even the best of ideas, all ready to go can run into the messy real world. SL under Essex, for one. Sure, circumstances change, and the future might bring some unforeseen condition that opens the door and prove everyone wrong. But for now, every pitch needs the "These questions need answered," bc the real world isn't a flat map plane - that's the god mode thread.
 
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BeyondRevenue

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I guess we can drown then. My beef is that I’m only hearing problems and no solutions. In 50 years everything we’ve been wheedling and whinging about - whether as God or a crazy person - will be underwater unless we do something major. Ideas anyone?
 

Stlin

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This UMass Boston Report (2018) did a pretty comphrensive dive into this issue, doing an extremely in depth study on the issues with a harbor wall very similar to the one you proposed - without the highway. It goes through each and every major roadblock - ecological, hydrodynamic, cost/benefit analysis etc in building a harbor wall. At the end of the day, it's not a new idea - but it's a solution that brings with it a whole host of new problems. In it is almost every objection you'd have to overcome before a seawall can be built.

It ultimately concludes that layered shore based solutions are the better bet in the short, to medium term. Resilient construction, floodable waterfront parks, temporary barriers etc as described in the nearly equally comphrensive Climate Ready Boston Report (2016), as they'd be needed with or without the wall. I'd personally focus my advocacy efforts in implementing all of that before revisiting the Harbor Wall. Now, I don't disagree that a harbor wall might one day be necessary, but right now, you should do the localized measures first before building the Boston Delta Works - because that won't be finished in time.
 
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