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Badusername

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the heavily car centric adjacent land uses to much of the corridor don't look like they're disappearing soon.
They definitely won’t if we add more visual barriers like overpasses and noise pollution with high speed traffic. It’s within the walk shed of a transit station. The Station Landing TOD shows that density is viable here if separation is removed. There is an insane amount of space dedicated to retail parking diagonal from Station Landing, the only separation being the intersection.

Maybe a pedestrian overpass would work, but those tend to be incredibly unpleasant. I just don’t see why increased auto capacity should be the priority anywhere that close to a rapid transit station.

If this project can stitch the area northwest of the intersection to Wellington station, the state gets an actual ROI instead of just more expensive auto infrastructure to maintain.
 

Scalziand

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Sweetser Circle at over 500ft is still way larger than a modern roundabout would be, and the splitter islands are also way too big. It's an old school rotary layout which maximizes the design speed- not a good model.
 

BeyondRevenue

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They definitely won’t if we add more visual barriers like overpasses and noise pollution with high speed traffic. It’s within the walk shed of a transit station. The Station Landing TOD shows that density is viable here if separation is removed. There is an insane amount of space dedicated to retail parking diagonal from Station Landing, the only separation being the intersection.

Maybe a pedestrian overpass would work, but those tend to be incredibly unpleasant. I just don’t see why increased auto capacity should be the priority anywhere that close to a rapid transit station.

If this project can stitch the area northwest of the intersection to Wellington station, the state gets an actual ROI instead of just more expensive auto infrastructure to maintain.
Right you are, Badusername!
On balance pedestrian overpasses just don't work (with Charles MGH over Storrow Drive being the extremely costly singular exception). Pedestrian overpasses are usually a sad reminder of our failures to address humanity in our auto-centric craving for faster go-cart tracks... sorry... highways. If you start to really think about why things are built how they are, think of the childish zeal of the original 'parkway' creators and their world fulla new toys! Subsidized suburban houses! Wicked fast giant cars! Cheap drugs! It's almost like... I'm there...

"Nice highway Bill! Our mostly white suburban commuters will love it."
"Thanks, Dave."
"Oooh! That street is plenty wide for my brand new Plymouth Gargantuan SS. Betcha I could take that curve at 75! One thing though... how do you get to the other side of this street from here? Looks.... dangerous?"
"Oh! Crap!"
<< Bill sketches furiously >>
"How about this?"
"Wow, that's ugly as hell and nobody is going use it... but who cares, right? Let's knock off early after lunch... and have a couple of those martinis, as it is the fashion now for us as modern road engineers."
<<Exit, Both Laughing>>

I want us to stop pandering to our collective primitive brain and build better places. We need to undo the loathsome decisions of the past. That means Slowing. The Hell. Down. And being much more thoughtful in our choices. We need to end the 360 degree strip-mall direct access crap. Look at this intersection -- CVS has 2 parking lot entrances less than 200 feet from the corner. Kappy's has FIVE friggin' entrances(!) with 3 directly opening to traffic the Circle! Booze! Now!
Why is traffic slow? Oh, I dunno. Start asking those questions! Figure out how everything around WC got so royally jacked up. If it looks acceptable to you, please seek help. It's all hideous, collecting the worst crap we've collectively swallowed. Like Medford's tumor laden colon.
Bottom line, we have to stop wishing for overpasses, long sweeping corners and gimmicky light-timer-y crap in our cities and large towns. We need to scale back and rebuild dense areas for two legs at 5 mph, not 4 wheels at 65mph. The rotary idea I sketched was methadone for you overpass junkies. If it were up to me I'd give you two lanes in four directions and a single stop light, then I'd let you sort out the stack of bodies and metal, and let you figure out how to get through Medford without going 75 miles an hour.
Could be the martinis talkin'.
 

hipster_garbage

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Wellington Redesign.png

Made a very sloppy render in Illustrator of Wellington Circle overlaid with a Continuous Flow Intersection. A lot of land is opened up on the western side and crossing distances are shortened. There should also be room for bicycle infrastructure, either on road or with a series of paths outside of the roadway. The advantage of this design is that all movements can be accomplished with only two light cycles as opposing directions are able to turn left, straight, and right at the same time. A third light cycle could be added for a long pedestrian scramble phase as well.

Traffic using Middlesex Ave will have to turn onto Fellsway Northbound and do a u-turn further up the road which will then enable it to go west, south, or east. Or it can turn left onto 9th st and then enter the Parkway to head directly west. Alternatively traffic on Middlesex Ave could turn right onto Riverside Ave and then left onto the Fellsway which will enable traffic to travel in all directions.
 

Vagabond

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View attachment 20393
Made a very sloppy render in Illustrator of Wellington Circle overlaid with a Continuous Flow Intersection. A lot of land is opened up on the western side and crossing distances are shortened. There should also be room for bicycle infrastructure, either on road or with a series of paths outside of the roadway. The advantage of this design is that all movements can be accomplished with only two light cycles as opposing directions are able to turn left, straight, and right at the same time. A third light cycle could be added for a long pedestrian scramble phase as well.

Traffic using Middlesex Ave will have to turn onto Fellsway Northbound and do a u-turn further up the road which will then enable it to go west, south, or east. Or it can turn left onto 9th st and then enter the Parkway to head directly west. Alternatively traffic on Middlesex Ave could turn right onto Riverside Ave and then left onto the Fellsway which will enable traffic to travel in all directions.
I like that you've totally reimagined the intersection, and especially that the light cycles could be vastly simplified.

I'm still seeing a LOT of pedestrian issues, and a really dangerous intersection for biking. How do these intersections fare when there is lots of pedestrian traffic, as this space nominally should be as a TOD hub?

While I like it, it just feels like this is better suited for the RT 9 mess than rt 16.
 

RandomWalk

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Part of the issues with this area stem from how Mystic Valley Parkway has been saddled with the usage of Route 1 in Saugus. As a parkway, it should really be less overbuilt.

A bold approach would involve dropping it to two lane carriage ways, with short turning lanes where absolutely necessary. Drop the design speed too. Make use of the stretches of regained right of way to add non-motorized infrastructure. Reduce the curb cuts, which would likely require back of lot collectors.

Of course Wynn would probably pitch a bling-laden fit about how folks can’t get to their tables.
 

hipster_garbage

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I like that you've totally reimagined the intersection, and especially that the light cycles could be vastly simplified.

I'm still seeing a LOT of pedestrian issues, and a really dangerous intersection for biking. How do these intersections fare when there is lots of pedestrian traffic, as this space nominally should be as a TOD hub?

While I like it, it just feels like this is better suited for the RT 9 mess than rt 16.
I'm not sure about how they fare when built next to a transit station. My render also isn't as good as it could have been. Looking at it again there doesn't need to be any crosswalks cutting across the displaced left turn roads, the sidewalk can just follow along the outside. Also, all of the roads in general could be only a few feet apart with just some curbing/concrete between the roads, reducing the number of crossings and distances overall, as well as the size of the intersection itself.

Here is an example of a two-legged version of this intersection in Colorado Springs that also has bicycle accommodations. Since 3/5 of the roads going into Wellington Circle now have some form of bike lanes and the western approach of Mystic Valley has lots of mixed use paths running alongside it in the Mystic River Reservation, I think it would make sense to have both on and off road accommodation here. Also for Wellington I would get rid of the channelized right turns to make pedestrian access safer and easier and slow vehicle traffic down. Most of these intersections feature slip lanes but there's no need for them to exist in this case.
 

BeyondRevenue

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I'm not sure about how they fare when built next to a transit station. My render also isn't as good as it could have been. Looking at it again there doesn't need to be any crosswalks cutting across the displaced left turn roads, the sidewalk can just follow along the outside. Also, all of the roads in general could be only a few feet apart with just some curbing/concrete between the roads, reducing the number of crossings and distances overall, as well as the size of the intersection itself.

Here is an example of a two-legged version of this intersection in Colorado Springs that also has bicycle accommodations. Since 3/5 of the roads going into Wellington Circle now have some form of bike lanes and the western approach of Mystic Valley has lots of mixed use paths running alongside it in the Mystic River Reservation, I think it would make sense to have both on and off road accommodation here. Also for Wellington I would get rid of the channelized right turns to make pedestrian access safer and easier and slow vehicle traffic down. Most of these intersections feature slip lanes but there's no need for them to exist in this case.
I would love to get some usage data on that Colorado intersection.
I honestly think the car problem is too many lanes approaching and people getting very testy about not being in pole position at the light because they had to go through a monkey knife fight to get where they were.
The real present design problem at the East and West sides is 6 lanes of seething tempers (when stopped), Thunderdome (green light pops) or WhiteKnuckle Light Speed if you enter with local traffic. North has same rules but with the 4 on 4 chaos mode enabled South is just 4 crowded lanes.
Too many choices. As Vinjamin Diesel would remind us, it's too fast and too furious.

As for peds and bikes? I would move them out of the intersection altogether. Set crosswalks starting at the 200' out mark. I'd cut width back to two lane parkways each way, berm the sides out, plant a ton of trees and use every traffic calming paint trick I could find. That would drop speeds down to the mid 30s without ever having to put up a speed limit sign. Also part of the grand plan is making other connections so people aren't forced to use these two roads. A two lane bridges connecting Assembly Square to The Gateway Center, beef up Riverside to join Third Street and maybe build a crossing to Rivers Edge and a bridge to River Green in Malden. RiverSideEdgeGreen Street. There are a lot of other smaller solutions adjacent to the WC that could make it all work better and smarter for everybody.

Tough love time: Just because a couple people work in Arlington and live in MetroSaugus, should I have to pay for their crappy life choices and reward them with a fast shortcut. No! Move to Arlington.
 

RandomWalk

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The problems revolve around I-93 and its exits. There are too many of them in close proximity to the parkway and to each other. They need to do what they did with the Big Dig and rationalize them.

I realize that this whole discussion has devolved into either crazy or reasonable transportation pitches. Mods may want to relocate it.
 

stick n move

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Idk where to put this but HELL fkn YES!

New State Rule Would Force Suburbs to Legalize Thousands of New Apartments Near T Stops



“The Baker administration is gearing up to implement a new law that could force suburbs in the MBTA service area to reform zoning laws and legalize the construction of tens or even hundreds of thousands of new homes near MBTA stations across eastern Massachusetts.”

“A new economic development law, signed by Gov. Baker in January 2021, established a new requirement for municipalities in the MBTA service area to legalize zoning for multifamily development. The law states:”

https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/0...ize-thousands-of-new-apartments-near-t-stops/

-This combined with a true electrified regional rail would be an absolute game changer. Then add nsrl and the entire boston metro becomes one giant interconnected hub. The bones are already there, awesome seeing the right steps being taken.
 

Scalziand

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Connecticut tried doing something similar last year with SB1024(failed) and HB1607(passed), which would make multifamily housing as of right within 1/2 mile of transit stations, but the bills got excoriated for overriding local processes. I hope CT can learn from MA on enacting the laws.
 

HenryAlan

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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.
View attachment 20381
The example in Norwood works well for a 100% car only situation. But Wellington needs to work for all types of road users, including not only cars but also pedestrians and bike riders.
 

shmessy

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This has to happen. I grew up in Newton and my family is there and I am struck by how these suburbs really are "Takers" not "Makers" when it comes to smart growth around T stops.

You can't benefit from the common trough (the T) AND hoard the benefit (low density development around the stations).

If you want your station, Newton, Weston, Wellesley, Needham, Ashland, etc.. you're going to have to DESERVE it and not hoard the benefits.
 
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WestMedford

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Here’s the official state website to explain the Housing Choice Act implementation: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/multi-family-zoning-requirement-for-mbta-communities

And here is the minimum number of housing units that must be zoned by MBTA community: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mbta-communities-cohort-designations-and-capacity-calculations/download

There is no doubt in my mind once the affected cities and towns wrap their head around what this means relative to prior practice (i.e BANANA acronym) and the mandated increase from the current housing unit count, there’s going to be incredible outrage over the law’s unit count and density requirements. This will be a long overdue shock to the status quo but I fear the pushback once realized may soften (reduce) the counts and density from the initial proposal. I foresee some communities (looking at you Lynnfield) might just decide to opt out and forego the state grant money vs zoning what is required under the law. Hopefully these programs the state will withhold from non-compliant communities will be enough to force them to comply with the law and upzone accordingly.

Either way, all these communities proximate to MBTA services should be contributing to the use and cost of them by providing for adequate housing unit count and density and it’s about time the state stepped in to force that.
 

kingofsheeba

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Here’s the official state website to explain the Housing Choice Act implementation: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/multi-family-zoning-requirement-for-mbta-communities

And here is the minimum number of housing units that must be zoned by MBTA community: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mbta-communities-cohort-designations-and-capacity-calculations/download

There is no doubt in my mind once the affected cities and towns wrap their head around what this means relative to prior practice (i.e BANANA acronym) and the mandated increase from the current housing unit count, there’s going to be incredible outrage over the law’s unit count and density requirements. This will be a long overdue shock to the status quo but I fear the pushback once realized may soften (reduce) the counts and density from the initial proposal. I foresee some communities (looking at you Lynnfield) might just decide to opt out and forego the state grant money vs zoning what is required under the law. Hopefully these programs the state will withhold from non-compliant communities will be enough to force them to comply with the law and upzone accordingly.

Either way, all these communities proximate to MBTA services should be contributing to the use and cost of them by providing for adequate housing unit count and density and it’s about time the state stepped in to force that.
So, what you’re saying is that the Cantons and Westwoods will put up a fight for a little bit before reality sets in?
 

stick n move

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Here’s the official state website to explain the Housing Choice Act implementation: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/multi-family-zoning-requirement-for-mbta-communities

And here is the minimum number of housing units that must be zoned by MBTA community: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mbta-communities-cohort-designations-and-capacity-calculations/download

There is no doubt in my mind once the affected cities and towns wrap their head around what this means relative to prior practice (i.e BANANA acronym) and the mandated increase from the current housing unit count, there’s going to be incredible outrage over the law’s unit count and density requirements. This will be a long overdue shock to the status quo but I fear the pushback once realized may soften (reduce) the counts and density from the initial proposal. I foresee some communities (looking at you Lynnfield) might just decide to opt out and forego the state grant money vs zoning what is required under the law. Hopefully these programs the state will withhold from non-compliant communities will be enough to force them to comply with the law and upzone accordingly.

Either way, all these communities proximate to MBTA services should be contributing to the use and cost of them by providing for adequate housing unit count and density and it’s about time the state stepped in to force that.
What they need to do in this situation is make it so the commuter rail no longer stops at your towns station if your town refuses. Dont wanna play, thats fine, the t will just blow right by and stop somewhere that does.
 

ctsketch

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This video is pure '90s glory:

Honestly the area inside a highway ramp with direct freight sidings and close access to a deepwater pier is pretty much the socially-optimal location for an urban concrete mixing facility.

🌹 archBoston is a hoot, though.
Ah I did work on that site a couple years ago
 

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