Fantasy T maps

dmdogs900

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Can everyone link your google my maps/kml files from crazy transit pitches and reasonable transit pitches.
 
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George_Apley

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Can you clarify what you're asking? You can only link to Google My Maps. Can't embed.
 

dmdogs900

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That’s what I meant, like what everyone does in crazy transit pitches.
 
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George_Apley

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Got ya. I posted the link to mine on page 1 of this thread :)
 
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George_Apley

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Here's a mod crazy map with F-Line's updated RedX concept. Other additions from the earlier map are a reconstituted A-Line to Oak Sq, a GLX to Spaulding, and a SUPER CRAZY Red Line extension from Arlington Heights to 128/2 in Lexington by boring under Arlington Heights to Rt2 and running in the median to the interchange. Pretty sure that's not very feasible from an engineering perspective, but it balanced out the map 🤷

Fantasy Map w/ RedX
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Here's a mod crazy map with F-Line's updated RedX concept. Other additions from the earlier map are a reconstituted A-Line to Oak Sq, a GLX to Spaulding, and a SUPER CRAZY Red Line extension from Arlington Heights to 128/2 in Lexington by boring under Arlington Heights to Rt2 and running in the median to the interchange. Pretty sure that's not very feasible from an engineering perspective, but it balanced out the map 🤷

Fantasy Map w/ RedX
Tough to depict on this map, but at South Station the RL tunnels would probably be running a bit closer so they each grab (at varying depths) one end of the lobby under Dewey Sq. So you'd have kind of a mess of spaghetti strands at Summer St. curve and a weave onto Congress. Check the Congress-alignment NSRL maps for which side of the Federal Reserve that Alt. took for getting onto Congress.

For taking the GLX-Medford route you'd be going along the Fitchburg Line and popping up underneath the GLX junction. Maybe on the surface along the southern property fence of BET if that space (today just scrap piles and portable sheds) hasn't been spoken for by other needs. Widening the Lowell Line embankment isn't feasible because it would sever the freight cutoff track. To reserve adequate space for making the leap under Boston Sand & Gravel to the Fitchburg ROW could have the Red platform at the Community College superstation be staggered Red-just-before-Orange (i.e. Orange's platform is on the NW side of the Gilmore Bridge; Red's can be on the SE side of the bridge).

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Bunch of problems with a Route 2 reach out of Arlington. Not feasibility so much as access and ridership draws. . .

  • There's absolutely nothing there at 128. It's not the dense, rich arrary of office parks at 128/20/117 at the would-be Fitchburg Line superstation in terms of rail, bus (70/70A), and office shuttles.

  • Spring St. has very awkward curb cut layout between the Route 2 exits and the meandering office driveways there. Everything is tucked away behind something, which makes ground-level wayfinding poor. Since this seems to have been purposeful design back in the 70's/80's whenever the majority of those offices were built, it's not an easy fix. The Lexington Jct. station is almost invisible tucked back there. It can't even be reached from 2 WB.

  • Trapelo Rd. is very dense, but from the Lexington side of the city line Spring & Waltham Sts. only have very narrow sidewalks on one side of the street. Trapelo isn't going to be an easy reach on-foot from the Hayden stop. Trapelo's probably always going to be a thoroughfare more easily accessed by bus, so augmenting it with a new route out of Arlington Heights to match with the existing route out of Waltham Ctr. would cover it. Hayden, in addition to its on-foot accessibility challenges, also has a sizeable density cavity to the north. So if the access can't be direct-and-effortless to Trapelo Rd., there's a problem here.

  • Multimodal coattails are limited. It's going to be very hard to draw any buses at 128 with the highway access limitations. It would probably just be a continuation of the biz shuttles from Waltham that originate at the Fitchburg Line superstation via Third/Wyman/Spring. Useful, but hardly essential, to have another transit station anchoring the north end. Waltham St. doesn't have any buses on it south of Mass Ave., so instituting a route out of Hayden just for Trapelo is an awkward use of equipment cycles. Arlmont starts to tap the end of the Alewife buses and the routes hitting Arlington Heights...better, but not exactly killer-feature better. I don't think the ridership on this thing is going to do well if it can't develop much more strength in bus connections. A 128 would-be stop should in theory be the anchor, but Spring St. is just a crappy, crappy location for accessibility and a hard place to try to force-feed routes. The one thing the (harder-to-build) Hanscom/128 route had going for it was a much stronger collection of bus transfers at each intermediate stop (62, 76, LEX 1/2/3/4/5/6, 128 Alewife-Bedford biz shuttle).

  • Lexington and Waltham seemed to choose very different intentional design choices. You've got the more tucked-away driveways on Spring in Lexington vs. the frontages in Waltham, and single-side scrunched sidewalks in Lexington vs. more conventional set-back double-sided in Waltham. This isn't too surprising, as one is an incorporated city and one is a town of very limited density pockets. But it does highlight the access problems of building stations on one side of a city line designed to primarily serve the other. What looks like great street-grid distance on Google turns into something considerably less accessible when sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. have to be considered on municipal streets. Individual fixes can be pursued, but globally you're still going to be contending with different philosophies on pedestrian accommodations that will impact station accessibility.
At the very least, I think this needs some considerable fleshing out and is definiely something you study more after the build to Arlington Heights, and after you recalibrate the bus network to include Arlington Heights terminal. And first goals upon studying are improving the across-city-line access that's presently meandering, and strongly pumping up the multimodal transfers. Since Arlington Heights by its lonesome will enable very robust one-stop-shopping of bus routes current and future, the extension stops on 2 will need to try a lot harder to stimulate multimodal trips. Even though we're not building it, the Hanscom extension's stop locations are indicative of what Yellow Line and shuttle coattails each intermediate needs to be fighting for.
 

Riverside

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Very nice map, George_Apley, am glad someone took the time to sketch out what F-Line outlined in the other thread.

With respect to Red Line via Route 2 -- I think the best approach here would just be an elevated no-stops express straight out to a Park-n-Ride at 128. Handle Arlington and Lexington commuters with a separate tactic (see below), and use the Red Line solely for clearing out suburban/exurban commuters from Route 2. Combine the Park-n-Ride with dedicated bus feeder service to the office parks (and/or something like the LRT George_Apley has outlined under "Other Transit Concepts").

The best corridor for Arlington and Lexington commuters is the Minuteman path. Hits the local town centers along with the various residential outgrowths. It would be the perfect path for the Red Line, if it didn't require tunneling and/or destroying the bikepath to run largely at-grade HRT. I think the best solution is a LRT line along the Minuteman. It'd be tempting to hook it in to a larger Green Line network, but I think it would be better to short-turn most services at Alewife or Porter -- maybe run some peak services through. You would need to keep service very firm and consistent, especially going through Arlington, in order to replace and improve the 77.

This actually dovetails with my other thought on the "Red-X" proposal. While I understand the appeal of routing the new branch to Woburn, I have a slight preference toward sending it to Waltham.

For one thing, I think that an Indigo/RER service is a better alternative for the Lowell Line -- the city of Lowell itself merits high frequency service, particularly since it's currently only a 45-minute trip (and would likely be a bit less post-electrification) and thus is one of the shortest end-to-end trips on the commuter rail. Layer in Haverhill service south of Wilmington, plus some short turns at Woburn, and you have a nice level of service. A full Red Line extension up to Anderson would require adding tracks that I would just as soon devote to mainline rail.

By contrast, on the Fitchburg Line, after 128, there's much less potential for RER. Lowell is 22 miles from Boston; 22 miles out the Fitchburg Line is... Acton. There's no anchor for the service until nearly 40 miles out in Leominster. There's a steep drop-off in ROI for RERification on the Fitchburg after 128, while the ROI is much steadier on the Lowell.

There's also a bit of a density drop-off between Woburn and Medford, though to be fair that is also mirrored a bit in Belmont. But the Fitchburg Line is able to serve downtown Waltham, while the Lowell Line famously misses its town centers including Woburn.

But at a more abstract level, I lean toward a Waltham routing because it allows the two Red branches to intersect again. This "new" Red Line branch would, on the south side, serve as a de facto express service counterpart to the existing service. (Especially if Broadway was eliminated, which I think is worth considering.) Transfers available at JFK/UMass and South Station, and a Waltham route would enable a third transfer node at Porter or Alewife. Between Porter and North Station, there would be at most -- what? -- two intermediate stops? (And again, especially if Community College were eliminated.) So you'd have express service between Porter and Downtown, and between JFK-UMass and Downtown.

Finally, a Waltham routing opens the door to a junction somewhere around Alewife, allowing Route 2/Arlington trains to either travel via North Station (express) or Park (local), and likewise allowing Waltham trains to either travel via North Station (express) or Park (local). This would mirror the same options that would be afforded at JFK-UMass, which opens the door to a range of routing options.

Having an express service also makes it a bit easier to sell an LRT feeder line for Arlington and Lexington. Yes, it's not a two-seat ride, but once you hit Alewife, you can transfer and be in downtown in 10 minutes.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Very nice map, George_Apley, am glad someone took the time to sketch out what F-Line outlined in the other thread.

With respect to Red Line via Route 2 -- I think the best approach here would just be an elevated no-stops express straight out to a Park-n-Ride at 128. Handle Arlington and Lexington commuters with a separate tactic (see below), and use the Red Line solely for clearing out suburban/exurban commuters from Route 2. Combine the Park-n-Ride with dedicated bus feeder service to the office parks (and/or something like the LRT George_Apley has outlined under "Other Transit Concepts").
No-stops express isn't going to float a build. Especially when the actual 128 station appears to be the most problematic part of this routing. It's safe to say nothing is ever going to get greenlit on rapid transit that goes >2 miles between stops. It's antithetical to the mode's advantages, and a seeming admission that the corridor in-question isn't up-to-snuff on stop selection (which may indeed be true here).

The best corridor for Arlington and Lexington commuters is the Minuteman path. Hits the local town centers along with the various residential outgrowths. It would be the perfect path for the Red Line, if it didn't require tunneling and/or destroying the bikepath to run largely at-grade HRT. I think the best solution is a LRT line along the Minuteman. It'd be tempting to hook it in to a larger Green Line network, but I think it would be better to short-turn most services at Alewife or Porter -- maybe run some peak services through. You would need to keep service very firm and consistent, especially going through Arlington, in order to replace and improve the 77.
The Red Line is already angled into Arlington, and would remain in shallow tunnel out to Arlington High School. So there's no question that's the mode choice for Arlington Heights. LRT won't be a choice...just continuation of Red into Lexington. And since the primary opposition to Red into Lexington is the cannibalization of the most scenic part of the Minuteman into a tightly-packed rail-with-trail with no separation, it's not going to matter if it's Red or Green. The problem is still the same.

Now, I think the regional transpo network is going to be missing a limb if we don't eventually get to Hanscom...especially when Purple Line Urban Rail will be reaching 128 in all directions and rapid transit extensions like Orange-Reading doing the same. So we're eventually going to have to come to grips with this. But it's going to be a big ordeal to get through Lexington, while getting to Arlington Heights is not. Going to have to be broken into two separately-mounted phases with an indefinite interim period where Arlington Heights is being used as a springboard for bus connections out to 128.

This actually dovetails with my other thought on the "Red-X" proposal. While I understand the appeal of routing the new branch to Woburn, I have a slight preference toward sending it to Waltham.

For one thing, I think that an Indigo/RER service is a better alternative for the Lowell Line -- the city of Lowell itself merits high frequency service, particularly since it's currently only a 45-minute trip (and would likely be a bit less post-electrification) and thus is one of the shortest end-to-end trips on the commuter rail. Layer in Haverhill service south of Wilmington, plus some short turns at Woburn, and you have a nice level of service. A full Red Line extension up to Anderson would require adding tracks that I would just as soon devote to mainline rail.

By contrast, on the Fitchburg Line, after 128, there's much less potential for RER. Lowell is 22 miles from Boston; 22 miles out the Fitchburg Line is... Acton. There's no anchor for the service until nearly 40 miles out in Leominster. There's a steep drop-off in ROI for RERification on the Fitchburg after 128, while the ROI is much steadier on the Lowell.

There's also a bit of a density drop-off between Woburn and Medford, though to be fair that is also mirrored a bit in Belmont. But the Fitchburg Line is able to serve downtown Waltham, while the Lowell Line famously misses its town centers including Woburn.
The fault with this routing scheme is that Fitchburg has all the tough grade crossings, while Lowell does not. We actually discussed this a few pages ago re: sending Green to Watertown, but the Sherman St. grade crossing being all kinds of awful. The only feasible solution seen in that discussion was separating Green in a steep duck-under but leaving Fitchburg at-grade. While most of the other crossings (Blanchard, Beaver, Elm, Moody, and South) can feasibly be eliminated on HRT, some of them are going to be roller-coaster rides up/down inclines to get out of the way of adjacent bridges. "Technically" feasible, yes...but in an awfully fugly way that's not going to do much for ride comfort. LRT would not have those issues, especially in cases where choosing to engage the crossing may indeed be better than standees hanging on for dear life at another kamikaze dip.

Lowell has a straightforward fix for the West Medford crossing pair once critical mass makes the high cost palatable, and from there it's completely grade separated out to North Chelmsford. There are no special construction considerations out there for HRT, just as Fitchburg offers no special construction considerations for LRT. The choice of modes needs to be flipped for this reason, because the extra hardships to grade-separate the Fitchburg route solely for choice of HRT are not worth the sharply increased price tag.

As for density...there's plenty of it at Winchester Ctr., especially if bus coverage were amplified accordingly. The cavity around Mystic Lakes to Wedgemere isn't indicative of the whole corridor. Unfortunately nothing is going to bring the Woburn Branch back, as it's physically obliterated by new construction. Montvale Ave., however, is as close a walking route as you'll get to downtown, has the equal proximity to Stoneham, has the I-93 access, and has the existing buses plus lots of potential for more (esp. plugging the coverage hole in Stoneham). I don't think the density difference is so head-and-shoulders different as to change the whole mode selection and the need to engage all those crossing expenses.

Keep in mind as well, each leg of the "X" is going to have 3-minute peak headways. That's arguably excessive for a lot of outer stops. What is now the 3-track Alewife yard was built with Lexington in mind as a means of short-turning trains on the center pocket track to throttle down frequencies to the suburbs. Quincy Center's pocket can serve much the same function. So, I suppose, would Codman Yard at Ashmont if service were extended to Mattapan or Hyde Park/Dedham. If there's a dropoff point where headway throttle-down is needed, just do the same at Route 16 or somewhere. It would be entirely consistent with how a suburban-expanded Red Line was supposed to work.

But at a more abstract level, I lean toward a Waltham routing because it allows the two Red branches to intersect again. This "new" Red Line branch would, on the south side, serve as a de facto express service counterpart to the existing service. (Especially if Broadway was eliminated, which I think is worth considering.) Transfers available at JFK/UMass and South Station, and a Waltham route would enable a third transfer node at Porter or Alewife. Between Porter and North Station, there would be at most -- what? -- two intermediate stops? (And again, especially if Community College were eliminated.) So you'd have express service between Porter and Downtown, and between JFK-UMass and Downtown.

Finally, a Waltham routing opens the door to a junction somewhere around Alewife, allowing Route 2/Arlington trains to either travel via North Station (express) or Park (local), and likewise allowing Waltham trains to either travel via North Station (express) or Park (local). This would mirror the same options that would be afforded at JFK-UMass, which opens the door to a range of routing options.
None of this is feasible at all. The Fitchburg ROW is much too far away from the Alewife tunnel. 1500 ft. is roughly closest approach, and on either side of the station the approaches are 2000 ft. away. It's not clear you could even get between the Fitchburg ROW and Alewife Station for a union stop because of all the housing developments and wetlands in-between. And there would be no way to get back on-alignment because the existing tunnel turns steeply into Arlington and any number of CambridgePark buildings would have to get blown up to continue anywhere west.

This isn't feasible at all, and the destruction it would entail in North Cambridge is absolutely untenable. Concession to practicality is necessary here: the legs of the "X" will not ever re-intertwine after diverging.

Having an express service also makes it a bit easier to sell an LRT feeder line for Arlington and Lexington. Yes, it's not a two-seat ride, but once you hit Alewife, you can transfer and be in downtown in 10 minutes.
Moot point because, as above, re-engaging the "X" is physically impossible and Red is the one and only mode capable of going to Arlington due to the infrastructure already present past the Arlington town line from Alewife.
 

jklo

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Wait, Blue to Lynn would mean building new tracks on the marsh? There's no way the Feds would allow that, would they?
 

George_Apley

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Working in Lexington and riding on the Minuteman sure have made me extremely bearish on Red ever getting through town. Aside from the existing experience on the trail, the ROW is very closely buffered by homes all along its length once the trail is past the Waldorf School and especially northwest of Lex Center.

Additionally, there's not an ideal placement for a stop between Arlington Heights and Lexington Center. Maple Street makes the most sense when looking at a map, but practically it has problems with property lines, accessibility, and population density/neighborhood zoning. Lexington Center itself would need to be a subway station (or elevated, I suppose), with the trains going down east of Woburn Street.

Where trains portal up west of the Center is tricky. Revere Street is a frustratingly dense suburban grade-crossing 0.5 miles from the Center. Bedford Street seems like a good place for a stop, with bus service and some small commercial along the corridor, but again, zoning makes it unlikely that the neighborhood will change much from the existing single-family, two-car households that are not going to be using the train in significant numbers.

Honestly, I think the only worthwhile get west of Arlington Heights is a big, fat Park & Ride at Hanscom/128. Lexington Center would get decent ridership, even without a major parking facility, but nothing else on the corridor works without a substantial Park & Ride option. That's why I went hunting for alternative corridors that could accommodate those kinds of big parking facilities that would absorb cars off 128 and 2 before they hit the crunch at Alewife.
 
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vanshnookenraggen

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The only thing that would have really worked for the Arlington-Lexington stretch was a Mattapan style high speed trolley. The Arlington extension was shot down (among many other infamous reasons) because the MBTA wanted to build a giant park-and-ride in Arlington Center which would have been terrible for traffic. AC has the ridership for a proper extension, Arlington Heights maybe not but since it would have been the end of the line there would have been traffic for sure. Lexington, as George mentioned, doesn't really have the density or development potential for heavy rail.

Since commercial flights out of Hanscom were shot down years ago I really don't see that being an ideal terminal location. Burlington is much more important as Rt 3 basically ends there, you have the malls, and legit office parks for reverse peak ridership. The problem is there is no ROW without doing some WMATA style dig through Lexington and IDK if that's really worth the cost without throwing in some super dense TOD like something out of Toronto and I DON'T see Lexington going for that.

Also any alignment that runs along Rt 2 is a fucking terrible idea and should never be taken seriously.

But the truth is nothing is going to be built for a long time. The Minuteman is too popular (rightfully so) and there are just too many more worthy projects out there. Arlington lost it's shot and it's probably fine about it.

Edit: of course I made a map https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QGZDMZRLZbyjsAbpHUwqobz8EVkyJhQS&usp=sharing
 
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jklo

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Also any alignment that runs along Rt 2 is a fucking terrible idea and should never be taken seriously.
The idea in general is to relieve pressure on Alewife, which is a disaster area. Something on/over? Route 2 might be politically easier to get built in theory, since there's so much opposition to even going into Arlington.
 

George_Apley

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The idea in general is to relieve pressure on Alewife, which is a disaster area. Something on/over? Route 2 might be politically easier to get built in theory, since there's so much opposition to even going into Arlington.
I agree with the reasoning. Thing is, you aren't getting up the hill with heavy rail, so the only way to get to Rte 2 corridor is via Arlington. And that's a tricky proposition as F-Line explained.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Wait, Blue to Lynn would mean building new tracks on the marsh? There's no way the Feds would allow that, would they?
Which alternative???

The one the T seemed to prefer earlier, which was an immediate leap-over from Wonderland to the Eastern Route ROW, would have been tough going environmentally. Trestle crossing of the Diamond Creek wetlands, full 1.8 miles of quad-tracking the embankment, a new bridge over the river inlet, and an expensive grade crossing elimination of Oak Island Rd.

Other primary Alt. was, of course, Point of Pines. Water crossing would be behind G.J. Towing on the former Boston & Maine Revere Beach Branch bridge approaches...now anchored by power lines. And the line would immediately merge into a fixed-span 4-track replacement for Saugus Draw next to the Eastern Route.

The split-the-middle Alt. is go to Oak Island St. with an intermediate stop, then curve behind the baseball field to cross 1A and split the heavy truck rental place to reach the Eastern ROW. Makes its leap from ROW-to-ROW free from any wetlands (Oak "Island", of course, being a former Harbor Island), avoids the need to engage the Oak Island Rd. grade crossing on the Eastern, and shortens the embankment widening by 1/2 mile.


Obviously Point of Pines has the greatest ridership potential of any Alternative, though it's going to be expensive on its own. However, the modified Alt. with hop-over at Oak I. has lots of advantages over the Diamond Creek crossing by avoiding a shitton of wetlands and the tight quarters around that grade crossing. It would probably cost less, too. While I'm hoping for a favorable reception from Revere about PoP...practically speaking the Oak I. middle ground is the alt. with the highest probability of getting built due to all it does to correct the wetlands flaws with the Diamond Creek leap.


I don't think the feds would have all that big a problem with the marsh embankment. It was surveyed eons ago by Boston & Maine for widening to 4 tracks, so the embankment's footprint is already nearly that wide. It's the centerline hump that would need to be widened. That can definitely be done without disturbing the environment, and the fact that Blue is an electric service would make that a lot easier. It's mainly a question of how much concrete will have to be poured to frame the footprint they're going to top off. Another thing to consider is that this is a critical transportation asset for flood resiliency. It's very likely the state will be asking for permission to top off the Eastern embankment anyway, even just for the 2 CR tracks. So the project would most certainly be subject to sea level rise and fast-tracking of the embankment work if it is shown that it checks off that resiliency effort.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The only thing that would have really worked for the Arlington-Lexington stretch was a Mattapan style high speed trolley. The Arlington extension was shot down (among many other infamous reasons) because the MBTA wanted to build a giant park-and-ride in Arlington Center which would have been terrible for traffic. AC has the ridership for a proper extension, Arlington Heights maybe not but since it would have been the end of the line there would have been traffic for sure. Lexington, as George mentioned, doesn't really have the density or development potential for heavy rail.

Since commercial flights out of Hanscom were shot down years ago I really don't see that being an ideal terminal location. Burlington is much more important as Rt 3 basically ends there, you have the malls, and legit office parks for reverse peak ridership. The problem is there is no ROW without doing some WMATA style dig through Lexington and IDK if that's really worth the cost without throwing in some super dense TOD like something out of Toronto and I DON'T see Lexington going for that.

Also any alignment that runs along Rt 2 is a fucking terrible idea and should never be taken seriously.

But the truth is nothing is going to be built for a long time. The Minuteman is too popular (rightfully so) and there are just too many more worthy projects out there. Arlington lost it's shot and it's probably fine about it.

Edit: of course I made a map https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QGZDMZRLZbyjsAbpHUwqobz8EVkyJhQS&usp=sharing
The 1945 expansion map had exactly that: a trolley from East Watertown (end of the Red extension) up the Watertown + Lexington Branches to Arlington Heights. Of course, there were still streetcar tracks on the 71 then so it could've tied into the Harvard lines and circulated equipment from the Green Line via Watertown. Post-1958 that was no longer in the cards.

Highly doubt any revisiting of this is going to put any parking in Arlington Center. It's Davis. But they probably saw post-industrial ruins 1975 Davis in AC when they first surveyed it, so in that specific and limited era they might've seen cars as a plus.

Arlington Heights definitely has proper ridership. It's an important bus crossroads, and it would probably absorb some of the Alewife/Route 2 buses. As well as be a more tolerable place to stage Burlington routes than the current near-useless Alewife bus.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Working in Lexington and riding on the Minuteman sure have made me extremely bearish on Red ever getting through town. Aside from the existing experience on the trail, the ROW is very closely buffered by homes all along its length once the trail is past the Waldorf School and especially northwest of Lex Center.

Additionally, there's not an ideal placement for a stop between Arlington Heights and Lexington Center. Maple Street makes the most sense when looking at a map, but practically it's got problems with property lines, accessibility, and population density/neighborhood zoning. Lexington Center itself would need to be a subway station (or elevated, I suppose), with the trains going down east of Woburn Street.

Where trains portal up west of the Center is tricky. Revere Street is a frustratingly dense suburban grade-crossing 0.5 miles from the Center. Bedford Street seems like a good place for a stop, with bus service and some small commercial along the corridor, but again, zoning makes it unlikely that the neighborhood will change much from the existing single-family, two-car households that are not going to be using the train in significant numbers.

Honestly, I think the only worthwhile get west of Arlington Heights is a big, fat Park & Ride at Hanscom/128. Lexington Center would get decent ridership, even without a major parking facility, but nothing else on the corridor works without a substantial Park & Ride option. That's why I went hunting for alternative corridors that could accommodate those kinds of big parking facilities that would absorb cars off 128 and 2 before they hit the crunch at Alewife.
The portal was scheduled to be past Mill St. behind the High School, which only means 1.3 miles of surface running to the storage yard at Arlington Lumber behind the bus station. The ROW is 80 ft. wide from Brigham Sq. Apartments to Brattle Pl. from former freight sidings, and runs along a city park between Washington St. and Forest St. There's maybe 2000 ft. of pinched space where some rearranging or easement-taking from parking lots would be needed to give the trail buffered separation from the above-ground rail line, but for most of the distance to AH the trail can be as leafy and wooded as it is today shifted over several dozen feet. It's remarkably impact-free construction in the end, and an older/wiser Arlington probably isn't going to turn down the offer over any Minuteman concerns.

Lexington...oh boy, polar opposite story.
 

George_Apley

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EDIT: Moving some responses to Crazy Transit

The only thing that would have really worked for the Arlington-Lexington stretch was a Mattapan style high speed trolley. The Arlington extension was shot down (among many other infamous reasons) because the MBTA wanted to build a giant park-and-ride in Arlington Center which would have been terrible for traffic. AC has the ridership for a proper extension, Arlington Heights maybe not but since it would have been the end of the line there would have been traffic for sure. Lexington, as George mentioned, doesn't really have the density or development potential for heavy rail.

Since commercial flights out of Hanscom were shot down years ago I really don't see that being an ideal terminal location. Burlington is much more important as Rt 3 basically ends there, you have the malls, and legit office parks for reverse peak ridership. The problem is there is no ROW without doing some WMATA style dig through Lexington and IDK if that's really worth the cost without throwing in some super dense TOD like something out of Toronto and I DON'T see Lexington going for that.

Also any alignment that runs along Rt 2 is a fucking terrible idea and should never be taken seriously.

But the truth is nothing is going to be built for a long time. The Minuteman is too popular (rightfully so) and there are just too many more worthy projects out there. Arlington lost it's shot and it's probably fine about it.

Edit: of course I made a map https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QGZDMZRLZbyjsAbpHUwqobz8EVkyJhQS&usp=sharing
I disagree that Arlington would rebuff an extension today. It's very different today than 40 years ago and the town knows it's transit starved. I'd expect they'd be down for a +1 to Arlington Center, and then a long negotiation to get it to Heights would follow.

Agree about Lexington and very much do not see good options for a trolley either. Mass Ave/Minuteman is probably the only usable corridor for LRT, and that's a stretch. Lowell is too narrow to accommodate its existing traffic load, let alone a trolley reservation. Hancock/Adams are also unlikely candidates for track in road.

Getting Red to Heights and then beefing up busses into that terminus from Lexington, Bedford, and Burlington is probably the best bet for rail expansion to the northwest.

My Route 2 musing was about getting parking sinks at multiple locations between Arlington Heights and 128, because that's really what the goal of getting Red to 128 is. Getting as many cars off the road before hitting Alewife as possible. Dropping a station at Hanscom has the added bonus of getting some reverse commuters for Lincoln Labs &ct., but the trouble is getting rail there through Lexington.

Unless Red manages to do that and hooks up with the power line ROW to Burlington, that town is never going see rail transit. Burlington's best bet is Red to Arlington Heights, new bus schedules and routes from Burlington to Arlington Heights and Arlington Center, plus new busses from Lowell to Burlington.

Tough to depict on this map, but at South Station the RL tunnels would probably be running a bit closer so they each grab (at varying depths) one end of the lobby under Dewey Sq. So you'd have kind of a mess of spaghetti strands at Summer St. curve and a weave onto Congress. Check the Congress-alignment NSRL maps for which side of the Federal Reserve that Alt. took for getting onto Congress.

For taking the GLX-Medford route you'd be going along the Fitchburg Line and popping up underneath the GLX junction. Maybe on the surface along the southern property fence of BET if that space (today just scrap piles and portable sheds) hasn't been spoken for by other needs. Widening the Lowell Line embankment isn't feasible because it would sever the freight cutoff track. To reserve adequate space for making the leap under Boston Sand & Gravel to the Fitchburg ROW could have the Red platform at the Community College superstation be staggered Red-just-before-Orange (i.e. Orange's platform is on the NW side of the Gilmore Bridge; Red's can be on the SE side of the bridge).
Polished this up best I could.

EDIT: Moving some other discussion about Lexington to Crazy Transit
 

Tallguy

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EDIT: Moving some responses to Crazy Transit



I disagree that Arlington would rebuff an extension today. It's very different today than 40 years ago and the town knows it's transit starved. I'd expect they'd be down for a +1 to Arlington Center, and then a long negotiation to get it to Heights would follow.

Agree about Lexington and very much do not see good options for a trolley either. Mass Ave/Minuteman is probably the only usable corridor for LRT, and that's a stretch. Lowell is too narrow to accommodate its existing traffic load, let alone a trolley reservation. Hancock/Adams are also unlikely candidates for track in road.

Getting Red to Heights and then beefing up busses into that terminus from Lexington, Bedford, and Burlington is probably the best bet for rail expansion to the northwest.

My Route 2 musing was about getting parking sinks at multiple locations between Arlington Heights and 128, because that's really what the goal of getting Red to 128 is. Getting as many cars off the road before hitting Alewife as possible. Dropping a station at Hanscom has the added bonus of getting some reverse commuters for Lincoln Labs &ct., but the trouble is getting rail there through Lexington.

Unless Red manages to do that and hooks up with the power line ROW to Burlington, that town is never going see rail transit. Burlington's best bet is Red to Arlington Heights, new bus schedules and routes from Burlington to Arlington Heights and Arlington Center, plus new busses from Lowell to Burlington.



Polished this up best I could.

EDIT: Moving some other discussion about Lexington to Crazy Transit


Depending on who gets the Type 10 contract, perhaps a RL to the Heights and a single track (with passers at stations) LRT to Bedford with ultracapacitor chargers as to get rid of catenary wires? It might be considered unobtrusive enough but still get the passenger capacity from 128 P&R.
 

tysmith95

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With respect to Red Line via Route 2 -- I think the best approach here would just be an elevated no-stops express straight out to a Park-n-Ride at 128. Handle Arlington and Lexington commuters with a separate tactic (see below), and use the Red Line solely for clearing out suburban/exurban commuters from Route 2. Combine the Park-n-Ride with dedicated bus feeder service to the office parks (and/or something like the LRT George_Apley has outlined under "Other Transit Concepts").
I'm going to disagree with this one. Route 2 in that stretch is pretty traffic free. The only issue is once you get to the alewife area. No point in putting rapid transit out where highway capacity is under utilized.

I think redesigning the alewife garage to improve traffic flow would be a much better use of money than bringing the Red out to 128.
 

CSTH

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Yeah Rt2 from 128 to alewife is always going to be way too big because it was built at 8 lines with the expectation that it would tie into the inner belt etc.

So two of those four lanes could easily be repurposed as bus lanes. Throw a couple park and rides in between there and 128 and you have a good red-feeding BRT system. Could also be extended up 128 from Lexington to Burlington with a new BRT ROW along the powerlines. Then build a huge garage at the end of rt 3 and declare victory.
 

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