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Badusername

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I disagree with the prevailing sentiment here that an over or underpass is the best solution. Wellington is a chokepoint now, but getting traffic through the intersection faster is just going to offload the congestion elsewhere. The area is served by transit and already has a highway cutting through it, no need to build the parkways into even greater highways than they are now. Instead of an overpass, spend the millions on the Everett Silver Line extension and make one of the branches serve the Wellington T station as per some of the initial plans.
 

DrFreewind

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I disagree with the prevailing sentiment here that an over or underpass is the best solution. Wellington is a chokepoint now, but getting traffic through the intersection faster is just going to offload the congestion elsewhere. The area is served by transit and already has a highway cutting through it, no need to build the parkways into even greater highways than they are now. Instead of an overpass, spend the millions on the Everett Silver Line extension and make one of the branches serve the Wellington T station as per some of the initial plans.
the problem is the traffic cutting across 16 is not from people who could take transit, these are people coming from points north/west and going to the industrial areas in Everett and Chelsea, or even cutting over to the airport to avoid tolls or traffic in the tunnels. They will still need to cross the circle to get to the wellington parking lot to take transit even if the silver line is extended.

the parkway already does a good enough job of cutting off the area from wellington station, and its not going anywhere anytime soon. Minimizing crossing distance seems to be the best case scenario here
 

BeyondRevenue

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I've been thinking about this thread since Friday and how much I despise Wellington Circle.

A few months back I biked through WC Westbound from Sweetser Circle to the Wegmans on bike. First and last time. Dangerously fast for no good reason. Cars race and weave on approach, viciously cutting each other off, only to sit next to each other and wait in the collection of colostomy bags surrounding this traffic tumor. The chaos caused by the traffic lights are the big problem.

Somebody upthread said flow was 9000 cars per hour at its pre-Covid peak? That's 150 cpm. Pretty easy to meet without an overpass.
I'd suggest a wide, smart rotary with dedicated slip lanes. People hate WC because they have to stop at the multiple signals through multiple poorly clocked cycles. It's been horribly overthought and every traffic engineer has only been thinking about throughput at high speeds. I say only concentrate on a reasonable throughput. And slow the hell down.

There are other ways to fix the problem.

Look at the mile around it. What traffic can be rerouted? What feeder streets can be eliminated, slightly widened or moved?

Look at the real source of chaos: Wide competing lanes that bunch at the light. Narrow all approaches - there will be fewer car fights in 2-3 lanes compared to 3-4. This will result in traffic smoothing.

Look at the time of day. Just like the everything else, Inbound is heavy SB in the morning, NB after work. Which means the opposite sides are empty. I can't see MassDOT making the lights work to suit the situation. A smarter rotary would self-throttle.

Look at what's coming. This area is much denser than it used to be and you know more residents are coming. Traffic needs to be coached to treat WC like a road, not a interstate highway. I-93 ends a mile and half away and we should drive that point home.

Don't fool ourselves with sidewalks. This is no place for pedestrians or cyclists. Build infrastrucure away from the intersection to suit the need.

In general if this is done right I can see this as a land giving instead of a land taking. We just have to be thoughtful.

Side note... does anyone remember the civic design book that used an aerial of WC as a poster child for what was wrong with highway design?
 

stick n move

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I like it. Middlesex ave is a pretty busy road. It could also turn the other way to the left and drivers then turn right to go north or go through a light to take a left to go south. It would add another light in short succession after the intersection on the parkway, but with some synched timing it wouldnt be too bad. I kno mass cant do synchronised lights, but if we could it wouldnt be too bad.
 

fatnoah

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They will still need to cross the circle to get to the wellington parking lot to take transit even if the silver line is extended.
The ONLY reason I've ever had to deal with Wellington Circle on a daily basis was to get to/from the Orange line. lt's an active impediment to people who want to take transit.


People hate WC because they have to stop at the multiple signals through multiple poorly clocked cycles.
Another big issues are that you have to have a pre-knowledge of the intersection to choose lanes appropriately to either avoid traffic or to avoid a mandatory turn lane. Most of my near misses in that intersection result from people who (intentionally or unintentionally) have to change lanes as the lane they were in ends up going somewhere they didn't expect.
 

JeffDowntown

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The ONLY reason I've ever had to deal with Wellington Circle on a daily basis was to get to/from the Orange line. lt's an active impediment to people who want to take transit.



Another big issues are that you have to have a pre-knowledge of the intersection to choose lanes appropriately to either avoid traffic or to avoid a mandatory turn lane. Most of my near misses in that intersection result from people who (intentionally or unintentionally) have to change lanes as the lane they were in ends up going somewhere they didn't expect.
I actually find the lane alignment signage at Wellington better than average in MA. I mean you have to be approaching the intersection with a somewhat logical lane position, but my experience is if you are going to the right you need to use right lanes, going to the left you use left lanes, going straight or straight"ish" you use center lanes. It may be a challenge if you don't plan a bit in advance, but the lanes are not illogically configured, and are better marked than most MA intersections.
 

ceo

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Middlesex Ave could easily be truncated north of the intersection, and traffic from it rerouted to Riverside Ave. Then there could be a more simple intersection as shown here:
I think you've hit on the real problem with Wellington Circle, which is that Fellsway (and MVP to a lesser extent) splits into two widely-separated roadways, making the whole thing much more complicated than it has to be. If you make them single roadways it can be a simple (if large) signalized four-way intersection, and Middlesex Ave can be right-angled to join Fellsway on the 9th Ave alignment or MVP on its existing alignment, whichever gives more separation from the main intersection.
 

fatnoah

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It may be a challenge if you don't plan a bit in advance
I think part of the problem is that such planning is either beyond many people or virtually impossible at rush hour.

I do agree that if one keeps their head up and reads the signage, it's possible to identify the correct lane, which is way better than many places where there are not markings or (my favorite) where there are more through lanes going into an intersection than leaving it.
 

BeyondRevenue

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For your consideration...
Wellington.jpg

WIN: Fewer lanes to fight. Traffic keeps moving. Nobody stops moving at all for 20 hours of the day.
LOSS: No more Indy qualifying lap time funzies... it will be slower on approach.
NEED: Some signage to say what lanes to be in... especially the dedicated slip lanes
Key things are limiting stops under 1000 feet away from the center. Sorry Kappy's (although I did give them something of a frontage road). And that whole stupid strip mall at the NW corner? Overshoot and come back.
#notanengineer
 

kingofsheeba

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For your consideration...
View attachment 20372
WIN: Fewer lanes to fight. Traffic keeps moving. Nobody stops moving at all for 20 hours of the day.
LOSS: No more Indy qualifying lap time funzies... it will be slower on approach.
NEED: Some signage to say what lanes to be in... especially the dedicated slip lanes
Key things are limiting stops under 1000 feet away from the center. Sorry Kappy's (although I did give them something of a frontage road). And that whole stupid strip mall at the NW corner? Overshoot and come back.
#notanengineer
Forgive me if I’m dreaming sh*t up but wasn’t there a roundabout three years ago?

Anyways, I worry that would just cause more unnecessary confusion. Overpass is fine.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Bicyclists and pedestrians would be on a suicide mission to make it through the roundabout with that much traffic.
Agreed. It’s a chaotic, suicidal ride right now. I would send my biking brethren elsewhere until we can slow traffic down. Ideally I would set bike lanes away from traffic in dedicated paths. We need to stop treating this like an interstate highway and like a more like a local road.
Sadly, because they know we all loathe ourselves, MassDOT will end up feeding us something monstrously large, lawless and ludicrous, like a Roosevelt Circle, to nudge us toward an early fuel soaked demise.
 

millerm277

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I disagree with the prevailing sentiment here that an over or underpass is the best solution. Wellington is a chokepoint now, but getting traffic through the intersection faster is just going to offload the congestion elsewhere. The area is served by transit and already has a highway cutting through it, no need to build the parkways into even greater highways than they are now. Instead of an overpass, spend the millions on the Everett Silver Line extension and make one of the branches serve the Wellington T station as per some of the initial plans.
Agreed. It’s a chaotic, suicidal ride right now. I would send my biking brethren elsewhere until we can slow traffic down. Ideally I would set bike lanes away from traffic in dedicated paths. We need to stop treating this like an interstate highway and like a more like a local road.
Sadly, because they know we all loathe ourselves, MassDOT will end up feeding us something monstrously large, lawless and ludicrous, like a Roosevelt Circle, to nudge us toward an early fuel soaked demise.
For the alternatively controversial opinion - as far as I'm concerned, that someone named it a "parkway" 80 years ago or whatever instead of a "highway" has no influence on my assessment of what it is/or "should be".

From 1A to Downtown Medford, it looks a lot like a major highway to me, and many of the other intersections on it are grade separated or otherwise have highway-esque design. Not necessarily the ideal, 2022 design standard compliant highway, but a major highway nonetheless.

In a pedestrian (or cyclist) context, I find an over/underpass vastly more pleasant to pass through than a massive intersection. It may break up a neighborhood in terms of feel, but...so does a massive intersection.

I don't think it's particularly realistic to think a small intersection is in the cards here short of a complete redesign and downgrade of the entire surrounding Rt 16 corridor. I don't see any particular reason to think retaining or worsening this bottleneck is somehow going to make it less of a highway, it'll just make it a more bottlenecked highway, and the heavily car centric adjacent land uses to much of the corridor don't look like they're disappearing soon.

-----------

From my perspective, changing it to an over/underpass would at least remove the large barriers to interacting with Station Landing or the parkland from the neighborhood to the N/NE, and would make it possible to have a reasonably friendly cycling connection from the parkland.

On that same note but probably not for this thread - It seems like Middlesex/Highland Ave and Commercial/River's Edge would both be good candidates for adding bicycle infrastructure with few tradeoffs required, with frequently being an overly wide single lane of traffic on most of their lengths, is there any effort to do either?
 

RandomWalk

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An underpass is not going to work here due to the likely nature of the soils so close to the Mystic River and the straightening that happened nearby when I-93 went in. That would leave an overpass, which will wall off the city from the riverfront and vice versa.

Alewife Brook Parkway has similar issues, though it seems to work better from a traffic flow and urban design POV.
 

Plen-T-Pak

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I'm trying hard to keep up with all the great suggestions, so I apologize if this has already been floated. Regarding @Charlie_mta suggestion to change the overpass scheme to an underpass for Rt.16, would it make sense to borrow from Sweetser Circle and simplify the approaches, similar to this example on Rt.1 in Norwood? I find this config works extremely well, although I'm sure the volumes are much higher at Wellington.
1642004753880.png
 

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