General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

bakgwailo

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Yes, we should double down on poor naming conventions because we already have Stations named that way.
I didn't advocate for that - just that Newbury West seems fine as it has the location of Newbury Street right in it, and the argument that using Newbury at all is bad because the Green Line runs parallel to it is... silly since there is already a Bolyston St Station without any directional finding at all in its name. Also, I don't see how at the time the station was created that it was poorly named, and, even today is apparent enough of where it is - seems to be apparent enough where the station is for 100 years. Anyways - I think Pike Square works.
 

jbray

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I didn't advocate for that - just that Newbury West seems fine as it has the location of Newbury Street right in it, and the argument that using Newbury at all is bad because the Green Line runs parallel to it is... silly since there is already a Bolyston St Station without any directional finding at all in its name. Also, I don't see how at the time the station was created that it was poorly named, and, even today is apparent enough of where it is - seems to be apparent enough where the station is for 100 years. Anyways - I think Pike Square works.
Apologies there, I had briefly thought your point was contrasting with the one weighlander made about Arlington.

My main point, which sarcasm is terribly woeful as a discussion point is that the MBTA station naming conventions tell new and outside riders nothing about their wayfinding. Stations like Boylston, Assembly, Ruggles and by extension "Newbury" have an imprecise and in some cases, nearly useless wayfinding potential. Simplicity is catchy but also can ruin the point of transportation which is for people to get from point to point. The only reason a Harvard or Assembly works is because of outside knowledge:

"I know Harvard! That must be where the school is."

Is not "That's the Harvard Square station."

It seems like quite a few of you do not remember how awful it was to try and figure out where to go on the T when you first started riding, especially if you weren't told. Does GPS make that easier? Sure. Should we expect people to rely on it? That's the question. From a wayfinding perspective, Berkeley and Newbury (alone) are terrible station names that continue a poor naming convention for the sake of being simple.
 

Equilibria

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That's the question. From a wayfinding perspective, Berkeley and Newbury (alone) are terrible station names that continue a poor naming convention for the sake of being simple.
The reason Berkeley is a bad name is illustrated by the fact that you misspelled it (at least I think you did given the context). The suggested name was "Berklee", which being an institution would have the same function as "Harvard", but which is ruined by the fact that Berkeley Street exists (and is not very close by).

The same does not apply to Newbury. Newbury Street isn't just a cross-street, it's a popular commercial and tourist destination. Granted, Copley and Arlington also provide access to it at different points, but this is the only place that the Green Line directly touches it. A better question would be whether the MBTA wants people to get off here for Newbury Street, given that the station is at the far end of the shopping corridor (and I've advocated for this name in the past).

The real wayfinding problem isn't with the station, it's with the location. This is a no-name square that really should have a name.
 

jbray

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The reason Berkeley is a bad name is illustrated by the fact that you misspelled it (at least I think you did given the context). The suggested name was "Berklee", which being an institution would have the same function as "Harvard", but which is ruined by the fact that Berkeley Street exists (and is not very close by).

The same does not apply to Newbury. Newbury Street isn't just a cross-street, it's a popular commercial and tourist destination. Granted, Copley and Arlington also provide access to it at different points, but this is the only place that the Green Line directly touches it. A better question would be whether the MBTA wants people to get off here for Newbury Street, given that the station is at the far end of the shopping corridor (and I've advocated for this name in the past).

The real wayfinding problem isn't with the station, it's with the location. This is a no-name square that really should have a name.
Caught in the act. I didn't even think to check it.

I think you've illustrated my point though. I am arguing that Harvard is a bad station name because it relies on the renown of the University. In the future, a theoretical West Station may be a better choice to get to pieces of Harvard (the school) than Harvard (the station) would. "Harvard Square" is better for wayfinding. Berklee is spread out over the area, it's not a place.

On top of that, and you alluded to this, Copley is the best station (7/10 times) to access Newbury street for commercial purposes. Presenting this station as the quasi-official Newbury Street station is maybe best compared to Airport station on the blue line and Logan with more connectivity but not quite what the title promises. Newbury West or Newbury at Mass Ave are better names from a wayfinding perspective.*

*Emphasis that this is just one perspective that should be considered for a transportation network.
 

whighlander

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Good Idea -- because until there are papers in play for selling the Hynes -- its entirely a hypothetical discussion
 

Balerion

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Since the recent weekend Orange Line closures between Ruggles and Forest Hills, it seems as though most if not all of the slow orders on the south side of the line have been cleared up. The approach to/from FH is noticeably faster and some crawling through the Ruggles area has gone away.

Still some slow patches north of Wellington, which hopefully will be cleared up later this fall.
 

JeffDowntown

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Countdown timers on the Orange Line were having some serious issues yesterday evening (Saturday).

Oak Grove direction was giving no information on the display panels.

Forest Hills direction was operating sometimes, but then would freeze at a fixed time to next train.

Audible announcements were simply bizarre. They included time to the next train to Government Center (obviously not even served by the Orange Line). Also timing announcements like "trains are running every 12 to 18 minutes. Last train left (insert random stop, not in any order as they are announced) four minutes ago (it was always four minutes ago)."
 

HelloBostonHi

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I know things get odd when they're shuttle busing on the SW corridor which they were doing this weekend (Ruggles to Forest Hills) although that's more off than usual. That does usually impact NB train prediction times though. I'm curious if they have any good plans for the full core shutdown next weekend or if they'll just ditch countdown signs entirely. Not sure they have any previous data to pull on core shutdowns like this, unlike the near weekly SW corridor shutdown and nightly Oak Grove shutdown.
 

Arlington

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Thats not an actual rebuttal, and is really just an ad hominem.
I read MassFiscal's piece. It seemed ad hominem too: that we should picture a Cadillac Bureaucracy and other tax-and-spend villains and think no further.

1) Are there other correlates to high cost-per-mile administration (ike % urban/rural, level of unionization?) that could explain why MA spends so much more than NH or ME on admin?

2) Even if MA's Admin costs are 3x to 5x those of NH & ME, are these admin costs 1% instead of .3% of total infrastructure cost, or 4% vs 1% or 40% vs 10% MassFiscal doesn't say. We're just supposed to recoil at the idea of bureaucrats and stop thinking right there.

3) If you read the underlying study, go to PDF page 16 (page 4 of Part 1) and note that while MA spends a lot, (rating us far down the list (higher numbers) in fiscal matters), we rank #1 on overall low fatality rate on our highways. Maybe we decided we spend near the most on admin because we're working hard on killing the least people? That'd be a discussion worth having.

4) We spend near the most per mile on our network. Is that because we're doing accelerated bridge repair? Maybe?
 
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chmeeee

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I read MassFiscal's piece. It seemed ad hominem too: that we should picture a Cadillac Bureaucracy and other tax-and-spend villains and think no further.

1) Are there other correlates to high cost-per-mile administration (ike % urban/rural, level of unionization?) that could explain why MA spends so much more than NH or ME on admin?

2) Even if MA's costs are 3x to 5x those of NH & ME, are we talking 1% instead of .3% of total infrastructure cost, or 4% vs 1% or 40% vs 10% MassFiscal doesn't say. We're just supposed to recoil at the idea of bureaucrats and stop thinking right there.

3) If you read the underlying study, go to PDF page 16 (page 4 of Part 1) and note that while MA spends a lot, (rating us far down the list (higher numbers) in fiscal matters), we rank #1 on overall fatality rate on our highways. Maybe we decided we spend near the most on admin because we're working hard on killing the least people? That'd be a discussion worth having.

4) We spend near the most per mile on our network. Is that because we're doing accelerated bridge repair? Maybe?
This is all rebutted by one obvious fact that they are very intentionally ignoring: their mile denominator in Mass is very skewed by the fact that we have an unusually low percentage of State roads. Most other states (NH and ME certainly included) have a higher percentage of overall roads under state management. As a result, MassDOT spends a lot of money on local aid, fixing local roads that in other states would be state operated. So when you include the money spent on those roads in the numerator but don't include their length in the denominator, of course you end up with silly ratios.
 

KentXie

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Question, does the MBTA stealthily run less trains on Friday? Or is this one of those times where drivers call out with no reason? This is the timer on a Friday evening rush hour.
 

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HelloBostonHi

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Park St, new LED lighting on left Alewife platform, old lighting on center and other platform. (Photo by the MBTA so its taken in such a way to emphasize the improvement of course but still it's a great improvement)
 

RandomWalk

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I remember when the old lighting on the center platform was brand new. The T never replaces a burnt out bulb. Instead they replace the fixture.
 

bigpicture7

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I remember when the old lighting on the center platform was brand new. The T never replaces a burnt out bulb. Instead they replace the fixture.
You forgot an important piece of this: they usually don't take down the old fixtures. They just keep adding new ones on top of the old ones. As you stare up into station ceilings you can see generations of old fixtures, each with progressively more burnt out bulbs. The dusty old sockets at the very top are probably still electrified, just filled with burnt out bulbs that died in 1952.

Here's my "in fairness" addendum: in the park st. picture, it actually looks like the LEDs are housed in the existing fluorescent fixtures. But such an approach remains an outlier until we see much more of this.
 
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HenryAlan

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Park St, new LED lighting on left Alewife platform, old lighting on center and other platform. (Photo by the MBTA so its taken in such a way to emphasize the improvement of course but still it's a great improvement)
Back Bay CR platforms have received the treatment seen on the left of this picture. It is remarkably nicer than it was before. I don't even see rats down there any more.
 

Arenacale

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Back Bay CR platforms have received the treatment seen on the left of this picture. It is remarkably nicer than it was before. I don't even see rats down there any more.
They've also received a nice coat of paint - black with purple and white accents. The notorious Track 5 area is much nicer than it was previously, far less of a dungeon.

I also noticed new purple trim on the steel columns at Grafton earlier in the week, with the painters tape still on. Small things that make a difference.
 

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