Crazy Highway Pitches

kingofsheeba

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
849
Reaction score
1,075
Actually, New England / Massachusetts is in a squabble about routing hydro power transmission lines thru Maine from Quebec. Maybe if there was a combo highway and power lines, people would actually buy into the project more. Keep looking at the big picture ,there is commerce expansion up this way, natural recourses and such. Commonwealth Magazine - energy
Always has been. I think the Northern Maine NIMBYS have always been a separate type of silly. First off, I didn’t know that there were so many folks who live up in Northern Oxford County. Second? Hydroelectricity! I don’t know how else people are going to get renewable energy? This rugged individualism fetish that these Northern Mainers have is silly. It’s also very selective science. Hydroelectricity is proven to be cheap and safe.
 

Stlin

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
462
Reaction score
831
Having very nearly made this mistake today, how crazy would it be to build a couple of public median turn arounds between Exits 10 and 41 on I90? (Old exits 2 & 3, Lee and Westfield.) Given that Blandford recently voted against a local exit, this 30 mile gap is likely to remain, and is ... Not ideal.

Perhaps something like a very deep U, allowing for ample acceleration and deceleration space? Obviously there are extant emergency vehicle only turn arounds, but they're not configured for safety. I suspect they do provide a good sense of where a public one could be built though. While left side exits aren't ideal either, it does avoid any local impact and minimizes costs with zero bridges. They could be unidirectional too; one for West to East reversals near Westfield and the inverse near Lee.
 
Last edited:

BeyondRevenue

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
422
Reaction score
809
Having very nearly made this mistake today, how crazy would it be to build a couple of public median turn arounds between Exits 10 and 41 on I90? (Old exits 2 & 3, Lee and Westfield.) Given that Blandford recently voted against a local exit, this 30 mile gap is likely to remain, and is ... Not ideal.

Perhaps something like a very deep U, allowing for ample acceleration and deceleration space? Obviously there are extant emergency vehicle only turn arounds, but they're not configured for safety. I suspect they do provide a good sense of where a public one could be built though. While left side exits aren't ideal either, it does avoid any local impact and minimizes costs with zero bridges. They could be unidirectional too; one for West to East reversals near Westfield and the inverse near Lee.
Now, Here’s a crazy pitch… the state buys out every homeowner on the attaching roads to move somewhere else, closes the roads, and converts the acreage over to state parks. Then we cease road maintenance. Over a 20 year period I’d bet that would be cheaper than new ramps or at least comparable.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
Now, Here’s a crazy pitch… the state buys out every homeowner on the attaching roads to move somewhere else, closes the roads, and converts the acreage over to state parks. Then we cease road maintenance. Over a 20 year period I’d bet that would be cheaper than new ramps or at least comparable.
I like it. I'd also close the Turnpike, convert it to high speed rail (2 tracks) + commuter rail (2 more tracks), freight tracks as needed, plus a bike path and a pedestrian path. Actually I would do something along those lines with all of the interstates in the US.
 

BeyondRevenue

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
422
Reaction score
809
I like it. I'd also close the Turnpike, convert it to high speed rail (2 tracks) + commuter rail (2 more tracks), freight tracks as needed, plus a bike path and a pedestrian path. Actually I would do something along those lines with all of the interstates in the US.
Okay, maybe add to, not instead of, the Pike. I’m no Putin. It does get me thinking that continuing High Speed Rail on the I-90/Erie Canal corridor would do wonders to revitalize the NY rust belt cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany) They all have decent density and TOD opportunities. Connect to the Berkshires and we have a climate change exit strategy for a lot of people. Let’s spend some munny™!

Munny. Because Money isn’t real©.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
Okay, maybe add to, not instead of, the Pike. I’m no Putin. It does get me thinking that continuing High Speed Rail on the I-90/Erie Canal corridor would do wonders to revitalize the NY rust belt cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany) They all have decent density and TOD opportunities. Connect to the Berkshires and we have a climate change exit strategy for a lot of people. Let’s spend some munny™!

Munny. Because Money isn’t real©.
I agree. I was being a bit fanciful and impractical about converting the interstates to high speed rail. There are more cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation. Also the freedom of people to drive wherever and when ever they want is important.
 
Last edited:

kingofsheeba

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
849
Reaction score
1,075
As Governor I would temporarily reverse the moratorium on new highways and build two underground tunnels connecting Route 2 and Route 3 with I-93. I’d re-designate Routes 2 and 3 as well.

Battle Green Tunnel (Route 3)
Alewife Tunnel (Route 2)


0B7EE074-4311-4780-9CD0-2BF15EC3BF62.jpeg
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
As Governor I would temporarily reverse the moratorium on new highways and build two underground tunnels connecting Route 2 and Route 3 with I-93. I’d re-designate Routes 2 and 3 as well.

Battle Green Tunnel (Route 3)
Alewife Tunnel (Route 2)


View attachment 27366
All tongue-in-cheek aside, the two new radial tunnels would obviously overload I-93 into and through Boston. In the 1960s highway plan for the metro area, the Inner Belt was essential to distribute the traffic from the proposed radial expressways. Once the Inner Belt through Cambridge was cancelled, all the proposed expressways had to be dropped as well, except for I-93 through Somerville and Charlestown.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
3,769
Reaction score
1,392
All tongue-in-cheek aside, the two new radial tunnels would obviously overload I-93 into and through Boston. In the 1960s highway plan for the metro area, the Inner Belt was essential to distribute the traffic from the proposed radial expressways. Once the Inner Belt through Cambridge was cancelled, all the proposed expressways had to be dropped as well, except for I-93 through Somerville and Charlestown.
I wonder how many $Billion in biotech real estate you'd have to take out to build the inner belt today :unsure:
 

kingofsheeba

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
849
Reaction score
1,075
All tongue-in-cheek aside, the two new radial tunnels would obviously overload I-93 into and through Boston. In the 1960s highway plan for the metro area, the Inner Belt was essential to distribute the traffic from the proposed radial expressways. Once the Inner Belt through Cambridge was cancelled, all the proposed expressways had to be dropped as well, except for I-93 through Somerville and Charlestown.
I’d also build T extensions
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
oh, and I’d make these tunnels for EV cars only. No gas vehicles.
If tunnel boring technology advances enough, a system of deep bore auto tunnels like you showed might become feasible. Elon Musk was hyping that a few years ago but it still is a ways off IMO.
 

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
734
Crazy Highway Pitch

Pass a new state funding initiative to deck over a few stretches of highway:
  • Deck over the stretches of the Sumner and Callahan that are exposed in the North End near Cross St. Cover with parkland.
  • Eliminate I-93 Exit 17A
    • Eliminate the Southbound exit and replace that parcel (between North and Clinton) with parkland, stitching together the Greenway.
    • Eliminate the Northbound entrance and replace that parcel (along Cross St) with parkland, stitching together the Greenway.
  • Bury I-93 north of the Zakim Bridge to Exit 21.
    • Replace the stretch between Temple St and Exit 21 with parkland, better connecting the Ten Hills neighborhood and the Mystic River waterfront with the rest of Somerville.
    • Replace the stretch south of Temple St with a mix of transit-oriented development, transit expansion, and parkland. Included in this is a Sullivan Square Superstation (Orange + Commuter Rail) with better connections to the East Somerville side of the tracks.
  • Bury I-93 south to Melnea Cass.
    • Replace the stretch between Melnea Cass and Berkeley St with parkland.
    • Replace the stretch north of Berkeley St with dense development.
  • Deck over the Pike/railroad right-of-way west to Comm Ave, where it is not already decked.
    • A mix of dense development and premier parkland east of St Mary St.
    • Dense, transit-oriented development between St Mary St and Comm Ave
  • Bury I-290 in Worcester from Grafton St to the P&W.
    • Replace with parkland. Worcester Greenway.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
Crazy Highway Pitch

Pass a new state funding initiative to deck over a few stretches of highway:
  • Deck over the stretches of the Sumner and Callahan that are exposed in the North End near Cross St. Cover with parkland.
  • Eliminate I-93 Exit 17A
    • Eliminate the Southbound exit and replace that parcel (between North and Clinton) with parkland, stitching together the Greenway.
    • Eliminate the Northbound entrance and replace that parcel (along Cross St) with parkland, stitching together the Greenway.
  • Bury I-93 north of the Zakim Bridge to Exit 21.
    • Replace the stretch between Temple St and Exit 21 with parkland, better connecting the Ten Hills neighborhood and the Mystic River waterfront with the rest of Somerville.
    • Replace the stretch south of Temple St with a mix of transit-oriented development, transit expansion, and parkland. Included in this is a Sullivan Square Superstation (Orange + Commuter Rail) with better connections to the East Somerville side of the tracks.
  • Bury I-93 south to Melnea Cass.
    • Replace the stretch between Melnea Cass and Berkeley St with parkland.
    • Replace the stretch north of Berkeley St with dense development.
  • Deck over the Pike/railroad right-of-way west to Comm Ave, where it is not already decked.
    • A mix of dense development and premier parkland east of St Mary St.
    • Dense, transit-oriented development between St Mary St and Comm Ave
  • Bury I-290 in Worcester from Grafton St to the P&W.
    • Replace with parkland. Worcester Greenway.
Off the top of my head, I'm guessing a cost of $50 billion. I'd rather have the money spent on transit extensions and improvements. Heck, for $50 billion you could build all the extensions of the BL, OL, and GL discussed on this board.
 

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
734
Off the top of my head, I'm guessing a cost of $50 billion. I'd rather have the money spent on transit extensions and improvements. Heck, for $50 billion you could build all the extensions of the BL, OL, and GL discussed on this board.
This is ‘Crazy’ Highway pitches after all. Unconstrained by budgets lol. Or you can assume that Musk’s Boring Company lived up to the hype and tunneling is now cheaper.

Also, keep in mind that three of the six are significantly more costly than the others. Three of these pitches are relatively cheap.
 
Last edited:

tysmith95

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
2,804
Reaction score
392
As Governor I would temporarily reverse the moratorium on new highways and build two underground tunnels connecting Route 2 and Route 3 with I-93. I’d re-designate Routes 2 and 3 as well.

Battle Green Tunnel (Route 3)
Alewife Tunnel (Route 2)
Ahh, I always thought the central artery was underutilized.
 

luobo

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
26
Reaction score
47
My crazy highway pitch is to close all of the I-93 exits between Sullivan and Mass Ave (except for the Pike and Airport exits).

Morrissey and Rutherford regain some of their past relevance, and the I-93 tunnel becomes a dedicated "downtown bypass" route instead of a "chaotically sprinkle traffic all over downtown" route.

The Greenway would be a lot nicer without all of the on ramps and off ramps!
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
3,131
Reaction score
3,033
My crazy highway pitch is to close all of the I-93 exits between Sullivan and Mass Ave (except for the Pike and Airport exits).

Morrissey and Rutherford regain some of their past relevance, and the I-93 tunnel becomes a dedicated "downtown bypass" route instead of a "chaotically sprinkle traffic all over downtown" route.

The Greenway would be a lot nicer without all of the on ramps and off ramps!
I would want to keep the ramps open for the Tobin Bridge, Storrow Drive, the Summer and Callahan tunnels, I-90, and the Melnea Cass Blvd connector, but the others I could see closing.
 

Top