Crazy Transit Pitches

tysmith95

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So, almost-completely render the artery's significant intended function as an arterial road into the city useless? I guess all of the CR stations will sprout expanded parking lots for all the drivers who can't deal with the ludicrous traffic that would result if all those exits got shut. (Not that it wouldn't be nice if they Greenway didn't have quite so many roads running through it.)
I think it's a failure of the 20th century planning to increase highway capacity downtown so that more people drive to downtown Boston which is in no way shape or form equipped to handle traffic.
 

jklo

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I think it's a failure of the 20th century planning to increase highway capacity downtown so that more people drive to downtown Boston which is in no way shape or form equipped to handle traffic.
The Big Dig really isn't an increase in highway capacity. They just shifted it underground.
 

Charlie_mta

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The Big Dig really isn't an increase in highway capacity. They just shifted it underground.
The Big Dig increased capacity by at least 33% (from 6 lanes to 8 lanes) along the Central Artery itself, 133% at the crossing of the Charles River, plus added an entirely new highway from the Mass Pike/Central Artery at Fort Point Channel thru Ted Williams Tunnel to Logan Airport and beyond. All in all it was a huge and transformative increase in capacity.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think it's a failure of the 20th century planning to increase highway capacity downtown so that more people drive to downtown Boston which is in no way shape or form equipped to handle traffic.
Fair enough, as a policy criticism. Whether we consider it flawed or not, they built the highway. It doesn't seem like a good idea to suggest, now, that because we have since become more 'enlightened' about transportation policy choices, that we should choose to simply slash the utility of a heavily-used transportation artery by culling the downtown exits, and dumping all of the traffic that uses them onto local roads even more "in no way shape or form equipped to handle traffic".

Thanks to F-Line for bringing up the grade issue, I had completely forgotten that element in addition to the insufficient height of the tunnel making conversion to RR impossible.
 

bigeman312

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Crazy Transit Pitch playing off-of that Insane Transit Pitch:

Step 1: North-South Rail Link full build.

Step 2: Close some ramps to/from I-93 to decrease traffic downtown:
  • Half of Exit 16A:
    • The (southbound) off-ramp signed as "South Station" that exits onto Purchase Street, just north of Summer Street.
    • The (southbound) on-ramp that enters from the intersection of Purchase & Congress.
    • Expand that section of greenway such that the block bound by Summer, Atlantic, Congress, and Purchase is entirely park land.
    • Put the next section south of Purchase Street and Surface Road onto a road diet, going from three to two general travel lanes, with a seperated cycle track.
    • Eliminate one of the turning lanes from Congress St onto Purchase St / I-93 (on-ramp now gone), replacing it with a seperated cycle track.
  • Part of Exit 16:
    • The (northbound) off-ramps signed as "South Station" that exit onto Lincoln Street and the South Station Access Road.
    • Put Lincoln Street on a road diet between South Station Access Road and Kneeland Street, eliminating one northbound general travel lane, and adding a seperated cycle track.
    • Pedestrianize Lincoln Street between Kneeland and Tufts St, eliminating all automobile traffic on that stretch.
 
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Brattle Loop

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Crazy Transit Pitch playing off-of that Insane Transit Pitch:

Step 1: North-South Rail Link full build.

Step 2: Close some ramps to/from I-93 to decrease traffic downtown:
  • Half of Exit 16A:
    • The (southbound) off-ramp signed as "South Station" that exits onto Purchase Street, just north of Summer Street.
    • The (southbound) on-ramp that enters from the intersection of Purchase & Congress.
    • Expand that section of greenway such that the block bound by Summer, Atlantic, Congress, and Purchase is entirely park land.
    • Put the next section south of Purchase Street and Surface Road onto a road diet, going from three to two general travel lanes, with a seperated cycle track.
    • Eliminate one of the turning lanes from Congress St onto Purchase St / I-93 (on-ramp now gone), replacing it with a seperated cycle track.
  • Part of Exit 16:
    • The (northbound) off-ramps signed as "South Station" that exit onto Lincoln Street and the South Station Access Road.
    • Put Lincoln Street on a road diet between South Station Access Road and Kneeland Street, eliminating one northbound general travel lane, and adding a seperated cycle track.
    • Pedestrianize Lincoln Street between Kneeland and Tufts St, eliminating all automobile traffic on that stretch.
My question is, what happens to the traffic that uses those ramps? Even assuming full NSRL/Regional Rail build and proper subway expansion, absent the kind of political sea change whose native environment is the God Mode thread, cars are still going to run through that tunnel. Simply closing one set of ramps may introduce sufficient extra inconvenience to marginally reduce traffic, but all the traffic that's left still has to go somewhere. It just moves it somewhere else, to add to that place's traffic.

Now, I concede it's possible that in a world where people less belligerently incompetent than Baker & Company were in charge of public transportation, it may well be the case that road traffic volumes have decreased (via mode-shifting) to the point that culling exits from the Artery would work without choking the remaining traffic flow, but, uh, I'll believe it when I see it.
 

bigeman312

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My question is, what happens to the traffic that uses those ramps?
The proposal is to close the most redundant fraction of an exit and build the most transformative mass transit project this region has seen in over a lifetime, if ever.

As for what happens to the trips currently using those ramps, that depends on the trip/person. Some options include: Exit 15B, Exit 16B, Exit 17, the unnumbered Chinatown on-ramp, Commuter Rail to South Station, Amtrak to South Station. Every one of those options is less than a quarter mile from the aforementioned ramps.

I chose the ramps I did because they have the most redundancy with nearby ramps and are steering traffic onto streets that should not give priority to automobiles. This idea that somehow no exit can be eliminated misses the fact that we already see it successfully done locally, domestically, and internationally all the time!

Do we need some automobile access downtown? Of course.

Do we need exits and entrances to the Central Artery Tunnel to/from Downtown Boston? Probably for the time being.

Would our urban core be improved by massively increasing mass transit capacity and slightly limiting the flow of automobiles into our urban core? Of course!
 
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luobo

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On the opposite end of NSRL insanity pitches, how about an NSR-El?

Build a huge ramp up over Ft. point Channel, around South Station, down Congress St (no more parking garage in the way!), Merrimac, and Lomasney (passing directly over the Last Tenement for style points) before starting a descent over Nashua St. and landing near the Bascule Bridge?

I see no problems with this plan.
 

jklo

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plus added an entirely new highway from the Mass Pike/Central Artery at Fort Point Channel thru Ted Williams Tunnel to Logan Airport and beyond. All in all it was a huge and transformative increase in capacity.
I guess. The TWT does divert people South or West of the city from having to take Summer/Callahan (?) to go to the Airport. I have to agree that messing with the Central Artery or the TWT is too crazy for Crazy at this point.

On the opposite end of NSRL insanity pitches, how about an NSR-El?

Build a huge ramp up over Ft. point Channel, around South Station, down Congress St (no more parking garage in the way!), Merrimac, and Lomasney (passing directly over the Last Tenement for style points) before starting a descent over Nashua St. and landing near the Bascule Bridge?

I see no problems with this plan.
Sooo... the Gondolas?
 

Blackbird

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I recently visited the Dallas airport and was REALLY impressed by the elevated people-mover called Skylink.

Anyone know the history of how it was built/financed, and what are the odds we could get something similar at Logan?
 

Charlie_mta

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I recently visited the Dallas airport and was REALLY impressed by the elevated people-mover called Skylink.

Anyone know the history of how it was built/financed, and what are the odds we could get something similar at Logan?
I've been on that one, and I'd like to see a similar elevated system to connect Airport Station, the car rental center, and all the terminals. I recall serious plans to build one about 15 years ago at Logan but it never went ahead.
 

737900er

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I recently visited the Dallas airport and was REALLY impressed by the elevated people-mover called Skylink.

Anyone know the history of how it was built/financed, and what are the odds we could get something similar at Logan?
Before COVID Massport had a proposal to have one that would run landside Rental Car Garage - A - B - C - E - Blue Line with a bridge from the Blue Line to the Economy Garage. We've talked about it in the Logan thread before.

Historically they've been funded by the airports, and there were a lot of rules on how airports could spend their revenue on airport users but those have loosened in recent years.
 

Delvin4519

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Was in the GLX forum about the Medford and Union branches being west of "COPLEY & WEST", and decided, a mirror version of the Green Line to the north (might be slightly cursed, idk). The northern bit is a mirror of the south. Branches should be straightforward.

Also add in a abandoned branch between Medford/Tufts and Malden that is the abandoned "Arborway of the north", add a few grade crossings for cars and pedestrians on the Medford Branch north of the McGrath. The abandoned "A branch of the north" runs from Soldier's Fields via Western Ave, then down Market St. and I-90 to terminate at Newtonville. Add in an abandoned Norh Station Portal than runs to Sullivan (wait a minute, a similar thing existed before).


1667964788281.png
 

Riverside

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Was in the GLX forum about the Medford and Union branches being west of "COPLEY & WEST", and decided, a mirror version of the Green Line to the north (might be slightly cursed, idk). The northern bit is a mirror of the south. Branches should be straightforward.

Also add in a abandoned branch between Medford/Tufts and Malden that is the abandoned "Arborway of the north", add a few grade crossings for cars and pedestrians on the Medford Branch north of the McGrath. The abandoned "A branch of the north" runs from Soldier's Fields via Western Ave, then down Market St. and I-90 to terminate at Newtonville. Add in an abandoned Norh Station Portal than runs to Sullivan (wait a minute, a similar thing existed before).


View attachment 30498
*chef’s kiss*
 

MjolnirMan

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On the opposite end of NSRL insanity pitches, how about an NSR-El?

Build a huge ramp up over Ft. point Channel, around South Station, down Congress St (no more parking garage in the way!), Merrimac, and Lomasney (passing directly over the Last Tenement for style points) before starting a descent over Nashua St. and landing near the Bascule Bridge?

I see no problems with this plan.
This is a ridiculous suggestion. The grade change would either be too steep or require unreasonably long ramps on either end as you outline. The obvious solution is something similar to the Falkirk Wheel, where trains pull into South Station, are lifted on rails to the elevated viaduct above the Greenway, continue to North Station, and are gently lowered again.


In fact, the videogame Fallout 76 uses something similar in their elevated monorail system of West Virginia to account for the steep grade changes in the Allegheny Mountains. (Please disregard that this game takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where the trains no longer run.)

1668176184528.png
 

JeffDowntown

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:rolleyes: Heavy rail running overhead above the Greenway -- sounds so 1950's and Fitzgerald Expressway -- only worse.
 

MjolnirMan

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If viaduct width is a concern, you could take even more inspiration from Fallout, and existing commuter trains could be modified to be dual conventional and overhead monorail like the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn, and switch modes during the transfer (precedent exists at Silver Line Way with the switch from diesel to electric catenary):
1668177234138.png


Of course, technology has improved since 1900, so the support structure could be made thinner and less light-blocking:
1668177306804.png


In fact, this system conceptualized in the 1930s would cast minimal shadows and likely create an extremely high-speed connection. Given advancements in materials science and railgun technology in the last ~100 years, Boston could be the first pilot program for such a train line.
314960778_5474685475961909_3037918940122575939_n.jpg
 
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HenryAlan

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I recently visited the Dallas airport and was REALLY impressed by the elevated people-mover called Skylink.

Anyone know the history of how it was built/financed, and what are the odds we could get something similar at Logan?
I really wish MassPort would dust off the APM plans and get started! On a recent trip, I eyed with envy the system under construction at LAX, and then with even more envy, watched the operating system at SkyHarbor. If they can do it, surely Boston should be able to do it.
 

Aprehensive_Words

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I'm not sure a lot of us spend time talking about construction logistics when making various transit pitches, especially since "crazy" and "god-mode" lets you hand-wave away a lot of things, but for anyone curious about broad-strokes details of how a megaproject comes together in a major city today, the UK's HS2 project is putting out a steady stream of short videos about how they're dealing with nitty-gritty things like spoil as they tunnel through London:
 

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