Everett and north metro Boston transit

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,506
Reaction score
5
This is filled with amazing proposals. A lot of low-cost, high-benefit, smart investments that realign/extend/contract/split bus routes where appropriate. In general, I like everything I see here. The short-term highlight is a "Transit Emphasis Corridor" along Broadway:

Broadway Bus Only Lanes

Proposed Improvement:
  • Rush hour/peak direction bus lanes on Broadway (Sweetser Circle to Glendale Square)
  • All day bus lanes on Lower Broadway to Sullivan Square

Benefits:
  • Faster and more reliable service on Broadway
  • Time savings could potentially be re-invested in more frequent service
There are also a lot of interesting proposals for the Silver Line extension to Everett and beyond on the mid/long term.
 

Scalziand

Active Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
463
Reaction score
0
There's also the crackpot proposals, like the Glendale OL spur and Saugus DMU.

I do like the River's Edge OL infill though.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,317
Reaction score
130
This is filled with amazing proposals. A lot of low-cost, high-benefit, smart investments that realign/extend/contract/split bus routes where appropriate. In general, I like everything I see here. The short-term highlight is a "Transit Emphasis Corridor" along Broadway:



There are also a lot of interesting proposals for the Silver Line extension to Everett and beyond on the mid/long term.
It would require some MassHighway improvements to Route 16 first for the nasty queues around the Gateway rotary at peak load...but continuing SL Gateway on-street to Wellington seems like a very high-return project for the money. There's not going to be any continuation of the busway west of the Mall until it's Urban Ring time because of the need to switch sides of the ROW at 2nd with very expensive flyovers, so shooting over to 16 + Wellington may be the best Phase II they can shoot for in the near-term.

While hooking up Everett St. after a loop at the Mall may catch more riders, for keeping travel times tolerable they may want to consider spitting the busway out behind Market Basket onto 3rd, then banging a right onto much lower-volume 2nd to 16 which is 5 fewer traffic lights than Everett Ave. + 16.


Other than that...yes, the town is badly in need of a route overhaul. Sifting through those proposals should net a couple winners, although I fully expect T indifference to leave them at status quo.

Good idea to be pushing hard for the trail extension to Gateway too for completing the connection to the Mystic path system. That opens up everything to the west out to Alewife when the Route 16 bridges are replaced for wider sidewalks. They've got a little bit of a tough solve at Spalding St. under the rotary overpass because the T's ballast pile is mission-critical for commuter rail maintenance and still uses that first 1200 ft. of Saugus Branch track under the bridge. Tight squeeze and a trespassing liability concern.

The crackpot schemes are crackpot...no surprise there.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
3,800
Reaction score
71
Other than that...yes, the town is badly in need of a route overhaul. Sifting through those proposals should net a couple winners, although I fully expect T indifference to leave them at status quo.
I really like the idea of streamlining service on Main St and directing it to Sullivan Sq's Camb/Som bus hub instead of Wellington's "park and ride".

Mostly it reflects the changes that have occurred over the last 10 years in Somerville and Cambridge:
  • as employment centers, they still have same/more service jobs
  • as places to live they are affordable for people in service jobs

So now there are low-moderate wage people who need to commute into Somerville and Cambridge in a way that there weren't (when Everett's current Orange-Line-focused system was designed)
 

Scipio

Active Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
482
Reaction score
0
The Globe has a story on the Everett transit plan that the state has been working on. Some heavy duty recommendations:

■ A new Orange Line Station between the Wellington and Malden Center stops.

■ Bus-only lanes during peak hours on Broadway Street in Everett from Sweetser Circle to Glendale Square, a $1 million project that would convert parking spots into an extra traffic lane a few hours every day. Signals could also give buses priority over regular traffic on congested streets.

■ A $30 million extension of Silver Line bus service through Everett to Malden Center. It could follow Second Street, Broadway, Ferry, and Centre streets.

■ A $7 million to $9 million pedestrian foot bridge over the Malden River between Malden and Medford to give Everett residents better access to a new Orange Line station.

■ A $4 million to $5 million extension of the Northern Strand Community Trail from its current terminus in Everett to a park near Gateway Center in Everett, closer to the casino.
Link: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/02/state-officials-want-new-orange-line-station-malden/VwelsageqNgEMWPGysktjI/story.html
 

tangent

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
1,731
Reaction score
21
All that looks good, except for the high price range on the station ($85 million to $95 million) and the continued lack of a good pedestrian/bike connection across the Mystic between Assembly and the Gateway Center to tie it all together.
 

The EGE

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
669
Reaction score
10
River's Edge might be a worthwhile infill station. Might. But not at that price. Assembly cost $50 million - more than an aboveground station should - and they're claiming this will cost almost twice that. For $90 million, you could extend the Orange Line to Roslindale, or Wyoming Hill, or probably both if you reigned in contractor corruption.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
2,852
Reaction score
29
River's Edge might be a worthwhile infill station. Might. But not at that price. Assembly cost $50 million - more than an aboveground station should - and they're claiming this will cost almost twice that. For $90 million, you could extend the Orange Line to Roslindale, or Wyoming Hill, or probably both if you reigned in contractor corruption.
Agreed, the current density in that light industrial/commercial area is way too low. Unless there are plans to bulldoze the entire area and start over, I don't see how you get to station-worthy density.
 

datadyne007

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
8,770
Reaction score
65
Infill between Wellington & Malden Center has been planned since 1945:

http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=9801

(The present day Orange Line is plan-east on this map. For whatever reason, the Transit Recess Commission loved to turn these maps geographically upside-down.)
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,317
Reaction score
130
If I had to guess the OL station's blowout price tag is partly a function of the amount of retaining wall work they'd have to do to next to the inbound track to buff out the Pearl St.-side embankment for additional room. The disused siding track on the CR has a proposal for refurb into a full-service Haverhill/Reading passing track between 16 and Medford St. That's mandatory for future schedule increases or any hopes of an Indigo-frequency 128 train to Reading. So there'll be no room on the Commercial St. side to shift things over, and all of the space for a regular 2-track island OL station will have to come by eating the 40 ft. buffer on the west side.

Price probably eliminates it from consideration, because I can't possibly see how River's Edge would outrank a Red-Braintree stop on the Dorchester side of the Neponset as easiest-grab infill opportunity now.


Footbridge obviously not going there if the River's Edge price tag throws cold water on that plan. Does it really matter anyway when the new widened 16 bridge 1/2 mile downstream is going to have much better sidewalks, and Medford St. 500 paces from this would-be station exit has a crossing?

Far better deal would be to sit and wait for Pan Am to inevitably abandon the Medford Branch freight spur, which hasn't seen a train since 2010, and target that for a commuter path to River's Edge/Wellington from the adjacent Middlesex Ave. and Fellsway neighborhoods. Those poor saps have extremely poor walking-distance access because of the Wellington Circle carpocalypse. New footbridge over the surface tracks to River's Edge Dr., then Middlesex Ave. crosswalk and existing Fellsway underpass on the ROW to open up all that residential density to a straight, safe shot. Could probably do that for one-quarter the cost of this too-duplicate River's Edge footbridge and draw more total Orange riders from all that Medford density cut off by the W. Circle terrorscape.



Honestly don't know why they're bothering to extend the Silver busway to 2nd, as the short money for the 2-block extension adds next to nothing in schedule efficiency. That $30M would be much better spent doing up Everett Ave. and Chelsea St. for full bus signal priority, ADA bump-outs, and the full slew of Key Bus Route improvements that boost the 110 and 112 in a package with the new silver-paint express bus. If Broadway's getting those fixins' as a separate line item it seems silly to not include the other big leg of the 110/112 and bootstrap Silver onto that instead for max bang-for-buck. What's the difference between a slightly-improved Everett Ave./Chelsea St. and a 2nd St. cutover...4 minutes for 1-2 more stops' ridership? Take the strength-in-numbers package that lifts all boats.
 
Last edited:

sm89

Active Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
860
Reaction score
6
I didn't realize this stuff was really being considered. While I've always felt that the ride between Wellington and Malden was pretty long, I didn't think an infill station was something that was being considered. I'd rather they figure out how to make a ped/bike crossing of the underpass near River's Edge in the meantime (I know the proposals have always been to remove the underpass). It would be a great benefit to connect Highland Ave to Wellington with a mixed use path on the former rail ROW. River's Edge ended up being a suburban office park/residential development, but there is still more to be built. There is also potential for the strip mall across from BJs on Highland Ave. These abutters should be the main backers of an infill station.

I think the bus changes are amazing and I really want them to happen. I feel like it could easily be killed through the typical "study" excuse, meaning "this looks great, but we're already doing a whole network bus route review and will hold off until that is complete" and then years later it dies without anything happening. Everett has made their wishes pretty clear. Let's accommodate them.

Regarding Broadway, while there are bike lanes on both sides, it is SOOO scary to ride there. The traffic is so fast. I'm interested to see how dedicated bus lanes would affect biking. Will the bike lanes be eliminated? Made into a cycle track on one side?
 

cden4

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
1,093
Reaction score
10
The bus lanes would not be in that section. They'd be north of that...
 

curcuas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
286
Reaction score
5
Do we think that if they selected a master developer and rezoned the area around "River's Edge," the station could be built and paid for by the developer? It'd be an interesting test to see if a private sector agent could build transit cheaper than the MBTA...
 

tysmith95

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
2,504
Reaction score
12
Do we think that if they selected a master developer and rezoned the area around "River's Edge," the station could be built and paid for by the developer? It'd be an interesting test to see if a private sector agent could build transit cheaper than the MBTA...
I believe that a chunk of Assembly Station was paid for by the developer of assembly row.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,317
Reaction score
130
Do we think that if they selected a master developer and rezoned the area around "River's Edge," the station could be built and paid for by the developer? It'd be an interesting test to see if a private sector agent could build transit cheaper than the MBTA...
You could...but if the driver for that price is the retaining wall work required to create the width for it that's probably not going to be one of the cost items the private sector would pay for because of all the engagement with other private abutters. The developer fun bux would pay for the station facility, not the land prep. And since this is a pretty small station, there may not be a whole lot of cost offsets to be had just building a smarter headhouse + platform + egress.

$90M just isn't going to get this on anyone's recommended list. They have to present a proposal that's at least a $25-30M lower estimate to even have a starting point for negotiation, because it doesn't take much of a cost overrun to push $90M into 9 figures and blow out the public share of public-private to something approaching the original price tag. If that embankment work sets the outer limits for how much savings a better station facility can serve up, then it's just not going to rate well with other transit improvements.



I get that they're going with the Assembly template here, but Rivers Edge redev ≠ Assembly as a slam-dunk growth prospect. Assembly Row could've been a moderate-or-worse disappointment and still handily packed riders onto that stop. It's just that big. Rivers Edge may need to show more in the on-the-ground results department before anyone's willing to take on a highish cost target for the stop. >$60M is just too big a leap of faith, especially when there's a whole lot of other small-money tweaks in the bag of access tricks (e.g. better ped connections to the river from the Fellsway residential density) that'll keep accelerating the forward momentum around that TOD.

The OL site will always be available; it was available when the extension was studied in the 1940's and 70's; it'll be available for infill studies through the 2040's. So in no way is it a "use it or lose it" thing with any time limit. But the live development is going to have to compel more live transit demand instead of post-redev projections leading it by the nose, because the margins just don't look nearly good enough on this initial stab at the numbers to swallow that price tag in 2016. Do full due diligence on the infill study because cost-benefit can definitely move to much more favorable ground as future redev becomes well-established neighborhood anchor, but Greater Malden should avoid distracting themselves with too much target fixation on this OL infill being The One Big Thing™ to distraction of other meaningfully mundane improvements, or getting too caught up in apples-oranges Assembly comparisons.
 

BostonUrbEx

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
4,257
Reaction score
0
The article in the Globe relevant to all of the above discussion came from the third and final Everett Transit Action Plan meeting. The consultant who seemed to have been behind the River's Edge plan seemed to have no idea of how to actually cobble the thing together. In a span of about three minutes he proposed 1. forcing the abandonment of the Medford Branch (can't do that), 2. getting a developer of Town Line Plaza to fully fund the new station (probably never going to pay it fully, and probably wouldn't be able to pay much at all for the land's size and zoning), and 3. all the focus was on the Malden River pedestrian bridge versus Medford St.

I can definitely see merits for a station here. The distance between Wellington and Malden is longer than between Wellington and Sullivan. There used to be a station here during the B&M railroad days called Edgeworth. This would be the focal point of east Medford, west Everett, and even south Malden. Increased zoning is a must, and the street grid should be looked into. For example, could Avon St or Devir St be punched through the embankment to Commercial St at least as pedestrian-only?

The consultant just seemed a bit of a snake oil salesman. He had some decent ideas, but he was just overselling and oversimplifying.
 

curcuas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
286
Reaction score
5
You could...but if the driver for that price is the retaining wall work required to create the width for it that's probably not going to be one of the cost items the private sector would pay for because of all the engagement with other private abutters. The developer fun bux would pay for the station facility, not the land prep. And since this is a pretty small station, there may not be a whole lot of cost offsets to be had just building a smarter headhouse + platform + egress.
Fair enough - I mostly ask because one of the biggest drivers of transit construction costs in the US is shoddy contracting. This seems like the sort of thing a developer with $$ at stake might be able to get better than the MBTA.
 

tangent

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
1,731
Reaction score
21
Seems like abandoning that branch and leveling/filling in and widening the whole section would be in order versus the higher cost of widening an underutilized overpass.
 

Top