Green Line Reconfiguration

F-Line to Dudley

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A UR question....
So assuming use of the GJ and a Harvard spur, burying the B and a D/E connection at BV, what are the technical issues about connecting the UR by branching off the B just west of Kenmore and connecting with the C/D tunnels underneath and use the loop? I have seen a lot of talk of alternatives that all seem to have fatal flaws, but I have seen little about using the loop. I know that it is not the straightest route in the world, but still faster than the 66, especially with the fresh hell that Harvard will create in Allston.
Kenmore Loop only goes C/D to C/D between the outermost tracks of the station. The B takes the two center tracks. Loop pulls out too close to the platform for there to be new crossovers accessing the loop from the inner B tracks, and the cross-cutting traffic would induce delays.

Structurally, it would be heinously disruptive to try to blow up the loop and reconfigure it for a B-to-D/D-to-B direction, or spread stuff out to try to create a new 'lower' loop underpinning the tunnel just east of the station. Also, a B-to-D loop would be much tighter and slower than the current one, while probably needing to overcompensate for the changed geometry by bulbing-out more under the south side of Kenmore Square (at increased building mitigation risk) rather than staying centered under the Square like the current loop.


Now, UR thru-running loopage might've be a desireable thing if the south half of the Ring were also light rail branching off Longwood or Brookline Village. But the lack of available ROW's south vs. near-perfect string of ROW's north means you're probably just dividing the thing in half as northern LRT and southern BRT out of necessity and changing upstairs/downstairs at Kenmore to get between the NW and SW Ring quadrants. It's the only way to ideally deploy modes, and since a radial line is intrinsically a quick-on/quick-off transfer centric affair there's extremely few people who would be riding it for more than a quadrant at a time...much less riding end-to-end like it's Alewife-Braintree warped into an oval.

For that reason, a hop-across at Kenmore to a Longwood-fetching D satisfies the 66 audience plenty well. In a case like that, existing Kenmore Loop serves up an opportunity to strengthen the transfers. We have our E-to-D surface connection, and its usefulness is primarily going to be peak-period augmentation of Huntington Ave. service like the old days pre-1985 when Heath-Lechmere turns interlined simultaneous with Arborway-Park turns. Only with the connection at Brookline Village you can--instead of short-turning or running west to Reservoir--opt to turn east off of a side platform on Pearl St. onto the inbound D, and loop at Kenmore. Then reverse back to Brookline Village, back onto the connector, and back down Huntington as a regular E. It adds zero new congestion to Kenmore because the loop splits before B/UR and C/D merge onto the 2-track Central Subway mainline. But it does mean that--however much you throttle up/down service levels on that little wraparound--you can guarantee those 66'ers a waiting train to Longwood on nearly every slot.

^Very useful indeed^. This is but one of many things having more interconnects enables.
 

Tallguy

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So, in a post D/E connection world, I see a junction off Huntington to Ruggles completing a north half UR (also assuming that GJ UR is done.) Routing possibilities bounce thou my head,, especially if Needham Branch is a reality by then.
 

Balerion

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Continued from the Regional Rail thread. . .

Since there were a lot of questions about what an LRT conversion of the Grand Junction would look like, I slapped together these crayon drawings.


1. BU + Kenmore hook-in



2. Cambridge (w/differing Kendall station configurations)



3. Somerville



------------------------------

Harvard Branch
Entirely separate-funded build except for West Station stub, which can be folded in with mainline construction to give immediate RER transfer access. Routing through Allston speculative because still not clear where Harvard's set-aside transit reservation through Beacon Park is. Shown here as fully grade-separated with new-construction overpasses only at Western Ave. and (Phase II) N. Harvard. However, future status of ex-CSX freight berth under Cambridge St. re: Mass Pike straightening and future street grid infill @ Beacon Park are unclear. All approximate options for getting across the river into Harvard Sq. are shown: street-running (interim solution), ex- Red Line tunnel, busway.

Revisiting this post from my old bookmarks - do you happen to have the GLX/UR configuration dead-link maps somewhere else?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Revisiting this post from my old bookmarks - do you happen to have the GLX/UR configuration dead-link maps somewhere else?
Crap...no. I unfortunately lost a lot of stuff when Tinypic went tits-up. Unlike Photobucket which is always doing annoying changes to their TOS, Tinypic was set-it-and-forget it for >decade so I didn't notice they were going under until they'd already gone under.


I'll MS Paint a new set at some point. It was a ghetto-fabulous production to begin with, so wouldn't take more than a sloppy 25 minutes to re-create. Remind me if I don't get to it by midweek.
 

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OK...here's the do-over of the Urban Ring LRT ghetto-fabulous MS Paint renders that TinyPic ate. Now 12% less ghetto-fabulous than before because I probably wasn't drunk this time.

Platforms are in yellow. Station egresses are red. Pre-existing vs. new-construction tracks are different shades of green. Inclines are traced on the outside with dashed white lines; overpasses/underpasses traced on outside by solid white lines; air rights overhang limits traced w/ solid yellow lines. Signalized grade crossings are marked with traffic lights giving the happy transit-priority green.

For the love of god, nothing whatsoever is drawn to-scale, and hairs...they'll be split. It's not ghetto-fabulous for nothing. These just cover the gist of it. And no Harvard Branch renders today...you see the arrows pointing to West Station and points beyond + how service can be fileted from any direction. Put 2 and 2 together for now.

--------------------------------------------------

#1. Kenmore to BU East
NOTES: Assume covered-over B reservation becomes extension of Comm Ave. Mall to BU Bridge w/ cycle track on it, pruned intersection cuts, and realigned U-turn cuts. Since Harvard-Kenmore/etc. routings absorb a great deal of 66 ridership, assume that other service augmentations may be in effect such as E-to-D surface connecting trackage to Brookline Village bending supplemental Huntington Ave. service to Kenmore loop to stiffen headways for the Longwood crowd. Assume inbound UR service turns at Park St. or GC. Assume that *separately* there will be future movement to relocate the E away from Copley Jct. and reattach it to Boylston via South End to clear extra bandwidth (not a UR prerequisite, but more for headroom >1 decades in when demand is fully cresting).
URLRT-1.jpg




#2. BU East to BU Bridge & St. Paul St.
NOTES: Choosing here to rebuild the truck-eating Soldiers Field Rd. overpass for a slight track re-angling and to jack it up 1-2 ft. so it doesn't eat so many trucks. Charles rail bridge is stet. This is roughly the straight-ahead view into the hillside portal...it's very shallow under the roadway just clear of the start of the BU Bridge retaining wall. The B tunnel to St. Paul is going to incline down a bit so the UR split can pass right over it, and also so the B can slice under the Pike; fairly steep incline back up to St. Paul portal. Bi-directional wye allows for two 6-min. headway service patterns to be interlain from different directions netting 3-min. headways on all 3 sides of the wye.
URLRT-2.jpg




#3. Cambridgeport and Mass Ave.
NOTES: Mass Ave. crossing eliminated w/ overpass 16 ft. above road level (state highway standard clearance). Steepish inclines on both sides due to shortish distance from MIT power plant overhang on east side (though overhang tall enough that incline can start while still inside) + minimizing visual impact only to length of Metropolitan Warehouse on west side. I went with lower-profile offset platforms here, but there's shitload of available width for doing up the station any which way.
URLRT-3.jpg




#4. Kendall
NOTES: 2 options offered for stations...flanking stops or a combo midpoint stop. Flanking makes for somewhat easier wayfinding to the Red Line station from the Main overhang and makes it mildly easier to time self for the traffic signals, so preference leans to "Option 1". Main & Broadway crossings are un-eliminable but fittable into existing signal phases (please: no Civil Engineering Strongman challenges about tunneling...been there/done that/not interested in re-litigating that boondoggle pitch for a 794th "Yeah, but..." time). Assume that whether stations flanking or combined that Binney St. crossing gets closed to auto traffic and becomes a ped plaza w/ ped-only track crossing.

EDIT: Station under the Main St. overhang measures out to 1100 ft. from the Kendall Red Line entrance, rough match for door-to-door between Copley and Back Bay. If Kendall Center fashioned itself an indoor concourse from the RL headhouse through the buildings to the Ames St. corner (not a big ask) the outdoor walking distance gets cut directly in half. Keep in mind that direct transfer was never studied in any way/shape/form for the UR because this build primarily facilitates radial travel from places apart from linked-Red trips. So that's not a primary share of the (large) patronage going this way, and definitely not a 'missing' feature to worry about because it's chasing smaller returns in the overall pie. (Note that not even Ari O.'s grandiose "Blue to Volpe Basement" scheme ever tried for a direct RL-Kendall tie-in either; Charles MGH does that heavy lifting instead). Believe me...at these ridership levels documented to the nines by a Major Investment Study there is no missing 'feng sui' if Red isn't tied behind prepayment in a bow down the block, and nobody needs to get into a frothing panic proposing $2B tunneling tactical nuclear strikes for a superstation. To the letter of the MIS's extremely well-detailed demand data it will not add enough top-line value to offset the bottom-line cost blowout. Getting off for Kendall-proper from a non-Red series of linked trips is what this thing is for. If you need to do a pick'em of a Green-or-Red trip in the opposite direction, your footsteps on Main's sidewalks will go the block this way or the block that way for making that decision.
URLRT-4.jpg




#5. Cambridge St., Twin City Plaza, and junction w/ Union Branch
NOTES: Assume that Cambridge St. crossing doesn't get eliminated until much later on (if ever) when you've got a budget surplus burning a hole in your pocket. The existing ped signal makes it fittable at-grade w/ low impact, so stick to the budget not perfectionism. Render of the Union Branch junction drawn incoherent-as-fuck by me...actual insertion point is under McGrath overpass where plenty of room (we've debated this ad nauseam before and broken out the tape measure...it fits, it's solid). Pre-existing GLX Brickbottom flyovers capable of fileting service to/from Lechmere or to/from Sullivan. Assume service inbound of Lechmere turns at GC Brattle Loop to stay out of traffic (and the Red transfer @ Park isn't a must-have from whence you just came).
URLRT-5.jpg
 
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Bananarama

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Even though you explained it, I'm still suuuper bummed about no direct green-red link... Can't cram some magic pedestrian tunnel in there?
Speaking from my own desires because I'm in Fenway and detest the trip up to Harvard and Davis.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Even though you explained it, I'm still suuuper bummed about no direct green-red link... Can't cram some magic pedestrian tunnel in there?
Speaking from my own desires because I'm in Fenway and detest the trip up to Harvard and Davis.
Get a concourse to this street corner through the length of the Kendall Center facade (the long brick building...Red headhouse is tucked on the far end) and you've whacked the outdoor distance to a single city block (swing around on Street View...red light in the distance is where the Green station under the overhang is). 600 ft...that's shorter than Cleveland Circle to Reservoir by sidewalk. I don't think you're getting any closer than that in climate control unless Broad Institute across the street wants to trench its lobby over or under Ames St. to hook up with Kendall Center...which is an awfully big longshot for a lot of reasons.


There's a good reason why this thing implants a direct Red Line transfer at Harvard when that leg of the BU Bridge triple-junction is finished. Trips from Kenmore/BU (and doubly so Longwood-via-Kenmore) to outer Red are a genuine pain in the ass because of the downtown congestion, and the trans-Allston routes (66, etc.) are slow as hell and too low-capacity for their demand. The radial UR serves that western half of the corridor quite nicely with new Red-linked trip options, because that's the audience where Red linkage is genuinely higher-demand.

The demand isn't the same at Kendall. One, the Red Line access is already superior here. Trains at Cambridgeport and Mass Ave. aren't going to be slammed by people looking for a one-stop transfer to Red; that's what Central, the 1, and 47 are for. Nobody's going to "backdoor" it from BU to Haymarket this way, either, for the sake of getting a seat. Radials don't have the same butts-parked-in-seat trip durations as linear spine lines do; the Ring MIS is full of info about how this line flushes/reloads itself like a true radial. And Kendall isn't a bus hub of any note; besides the CT2 which this routing outright replaces every Yellow Line route that goes there is a boomerang throw from superior bus terminals @ Harvard or Sullivan-via-Union, where they're going there because everyone is getting off there...not making transfers there. Ditto the public-private shuttles. Ditto all quantified demand for the prior Worcester Line 5-per-peak commuter rail study. Ditto the new demand at their doorstep generated by Red-Blue. Ditto pretty much every extant or studied proposal under the sun with noteable exception of that weak-sauce Grand Junction RUR West-North Station dinky that probably can't make its advertised headways on the RR mode to begin with. Linking Sullivan and Harvard terminals in one flavor of one-seat headways as potentially tight as 6-min is one thing for spanning already massive multimodal transfer stations with easier linked trips...but Kendall lives off the fat of the land in between those two terminals not because it's contributing more of the same trip linking...but rather because that's where trip origins and endings are so superhumanly outsized.

You don't need to span an 1100 ft. gap with build impossibles for this thing to work at absolute top lion's share of where it most matters, because the topmost lion's share of where it most matters does not involve Kendall-linked transfers. While I'm eagerly awaiting the first person who caves to irresistable temptation and rehashes the beaten-to-death Civil Engineering Strongman pitch of un-waterproofable megatunnel because their own sense of completist OCD overrides all fact or reason, the truth is we've got reams of fact and reason backing up why this build slays at what it does and why the chase down a wormhole for somebody's idea of unassailable prepayment superstation 'feng-sui' perfection isn't going to drive its value-for-$$$ anywhere except the gutter.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Now onto the Northeast Quadrant!. . .

As before, rendering accuracy is an ANTI-guarantee with how craptacular these drawings are. Depicts the gist...not the microscopic split hairs.

PRELIM NOTE:
Probable service patterns here are 2 branch schedules (6 min. headways each) interlaid for 3-min. headways on the NE quadrant...possibly more if you can eliminate the last two trafic signal-shared grade crossings (more on that later). Theoretically you can radially thru-route to Kendall & BU-or-Harvard on NW quadrant or straight up Union Sq. Branch, but there's near-0% chance Union/Porter gets any play when NW quadrant has all the demand. IF the subway stays stet, downtown slots loop at Brattle Loop like the NW Ring quadrant. But IF the Green Line-Transitway link has been built replacing unbuilt Silver Line Phase III, thru-route the NE Quadrant to the Seaport. North Shore has limited access to South Station, and since SL3 has such a difficult time making schedule in traffic this probably has to be the drop-in replacement for Chelsea-Seaport. Regardless of longer trip, SL3 can't hack more frequencies and has threadbare troubleshooting options. Honestly, if you can't find 'totes awesome other bus users for the Chelsea transitway to keep it dual-mode you might as well jackhammer up the pavement for a ballasted trackbed, because a wheezing SL3 gets avoided like the plague if vehicles **reliably** are hitting the other direction every 3 mins.


#0. Brickbottom Jct.
NOTES: GLX project does not have up-to-date schematics of the Brickbottom flyovers and carhouse track configuration...only online docs are ooooollllld. So omitting that render rather than take way-off wild guesses. GLX is building for Lechmere<-->carhouse and Union Branch<-->carhouse non-revenue moves on perfect grade separation. So we know you can run Urban Ring Northeast service patterns to/from Lechmere and to/from Urban Ring Northwest with little more than TBD minor/moderate reconfiguration of the carhouse leads...that's not in question. Scope of work is probably going to be most related to switch separation near the carhouse to pry 2 mainline running tracks outside of yard limits so they can be run revenue service.



#1. Brickbottom to Sullivan
NOTES: Pan Am can have storage compensated for loss of (brand new!) Yard 21 with reactivation of Montvale Yard in Winchester on Lowell Line + yard tracks inside Everett Terminal by the gas tanks, such that they have staging areas on either side of Boston plus their normal idling spot behind BET between commuter runs. Didn't even hazard a guess as to what the CR track layout is underneath the 93 decks because it's not important. Didn't hazard a guess as to whether that CR 'superstation' @ Sullivan was buildable. Signal system does a stop-and-protect at BET's lightly-used driveway grade crossing, and any BET or Brickbottom carhouse employees get free-of-charge flag stop there by flashing their T ID at a 1-door platform area. For the installment plan...you can do this part all by its lonesome, stub out on the tail tracks past Sullivan, and immediately extend C Line trains from North Station to here if you want to get your feet wet before crossing the Mystic. Doesn't take much designing or many shovels to get that done quick.
URNE-1.jpg



#2 Sullivan to Assembly
NOTES: (Extra-shitty drawing job here!) Tracks switch from Yard 21 alignment to Mystic-crossing alignment by quick duck-under of OL/CR. Shivved an offset Assembly platform connected behind fare control w/ overpass to south headhouse...maybe 250 ft., not bad at all (looks far more tacked-on in my ugly drawing than it would be in functional real life). UR alignment takes up existing CR Mystic Bridge. System-worst inclines for freight trains give tracks on this 1989-built span extra separation + flanking emergency sidewalks as hedge against engine stalls...features not needed for LRT. Compact tracks, eliminate southerly sidewalk, and trade space savings for a north-facing footpath berth (doesn't matter if Encore goads somebody into building a footbridge sooner...it's free space on this bridge and connects to a set of outdoor faregates @ Assembly so go for it). CR relocates back to its old pre-'89 drawbridge alignment with straighter/shorter fixed bridge with less wicked incline. Bridge swaperoo necessary because RR must be on south side of ROW to feed freight leads @ Everett Jct., and re-using the old drawbridge footings saves money with the shortest-length possible new-build span. Yes, Encore left the old draw span's approach alone and unencroached...it's still T property, not Wynn's.
URNE-2.jpg



#3 Everett
NOTES: (Baaaad drawing job @ Sweetser Circle!) Tracks must switch sides from northerly to southerside side of ROW past Sweetser to get on-alignment for Chelsea. Placement of duck-under locked in to west by curve, to east by underground stream...so placement is more or less accurate. See add'l freight storage tracks inside Terminal as compensation for stealing Pan Am's 2 storage tracks out to 2nd St. More space available amid the gas tanks to further expand yard tracks to compensate for Somerville losses. Note path connectivity...off the repurposed 1989 Mystic Bridge, Northern Strand Trail, in/around/under the rotaries. FOAMER ALERT: Please keep your Saugus Branch LRT branch acid fantasies to yourself...it's out-of-scope for the base build to begin with. If you want to direct-duplicate the Wellington-Malden Orange Line and impale yourself on bugfuck-angle schedule-killing grade crossing hell, knock yourselves out in Crazy Transit Pitches but keep it the hell out of this thread. Ditto anyone with a burning desire to MOAR TUNNEL a spur into dead-center Downtowns Chelsea or Everett for personal 'feng-sui' that will never pass a real-world project scoring.
URNE-3.jpg



#4 Chelsea
NOTES: Mandatory grade crossing eliminations or closures @ 2nd St., 3rd St. (see little red X's indicating closure, Spruce, 6th/Arlington (ped underpass @ station), Cottage St. Everett Ave. needs to be eliminated because it's a carpocalypse with all this train traffic plowing through on 2 (3?) modes, and has easy southern incline room in front Market Basket for a road overpass. But can't be done on north end without severing Vale/Maple intersection and either dead-ending those roads or making them loop around underneath Everett while it's still overpassing. Impacts to couple small busineses (though DoubleTree can live with it). This is all City of Chelsea internal politics; if they know what's good for them, they'll let the state eliminate the crossing. But it's their decision, and their self-destiny to be for it or against it...so can't bake that one into the project prereqs. And I wouldn't recommend trying to, because the tortured debates are worth 5 years in project delays. Either pounce if opportune, or fix it later; it's a car problem, not a service levels problem. Note also...I didn't try to eliminate Eastern Ave. crossing. *May* be doable to do a quick duck-under of Eastern then have tracks incline back up in center of Chelsea St. right before movable span if the Chelsea St. road lanes were reshaped to go "bow-legged" around the incline. Absolute feasiblity guaranteed...but another political shitshow that's other people's horse-trading to secure and can't be baked in as default project assumption. Always fixable later if city/state/Massport are at loggerheads. Eastern Ave. station features a Blandford St.-style pocket yard as feature for short-turning service and staging recovery run-as-directeds around scheduled maritime openings of the bridge. Stuff extra cars there so headways are uninterupted all points westbound during an opening.
URNE-4.jpg


#5 Logan/Eastie
NOTES: 2 fully optional intermediate station sitings offered...pick either/or but not both. Chelsea St. is if you want a catchment a little different from Wood Island duplication, assuming 1A gets some better grade separation around the street grid here and up-and-over access is provided. Bennington is closer to the heart of the action, but is largely duplicating of Wood Island without any plausible ability to integrate the two (600 ft. crow-flies, but multiple grade changes make it a lot more footsteps between stops than it looks in 2D). Neither are knock-socks-off on unique demand, but something should be plugging the gap this side of the river. Eastie Haul Rd. ROW gets its large embankment scooped back (backfill from when this was an under-street freight yard in the 1980's) for traffic separation, along with quick-rising rail overpass where the Haul Rd. dumps out @ Frankfort/Lovell intersection. Note trolley-only turnout signal immediately at end of Chelsea St. bridge span. Note storage yard under the ramp spaghetti @ Logan Station. Note the excellent connectivity with Eastie Greenway. For purposes of the base build we are NOT speculating on whether Massport's going to build a combo SL1/Urban Ring dual-mode transitway to each of the Airport Terminals. That would be nice for sure, but it's beyond-scope of the base build and crosses streams with that whole "Busway" vs. "Automated People Mover" debate. It's doable...just do it separately on Massport's time & dime.
URNE-5.jpg
 
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Deetroyt

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With traffic from NW Quadrant, Union Sq., MVP, and NE Quadrant, will there ever be congestion issues at Lechemere? I know you said some of the Ring trains will skip Lechemere and run thru from one quadrant to another, but that still seems like a lot of traffic for a single island platform.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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With traffic from NW Quadrant, Union Sq., MVP, and NE Quadrant, will there ever be congestion issues at Lechemere? I know you said some of the Ring trains will skip Lechemere and run thru from one quadrant to another, but that still seems like a lot of traffic for a single island platform.
1) It's a big island they're building.

2) If a claustrophobic little closet like Arlington's platforms doesn't choke on 4 branches' worth of scheduling, it's unfathomable that much bigger Lechmere + Science Park ever would.
 

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F-Line: I like your "one intermediate stop" options, both on Galileo way (as the "Kendall") and at Bennington (as the "East Boston") station because both locations have really great walking access.

How about a single Gore St - Cambridge St station instead of the Cambridge St & Twin Cities?

And shifting the Cambridgeport and Mass Ave stations both a little bit eastward, which would serve to fatten their catchments (move them slightly inland)
 

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F-Line: I like your "one intermediate stop" options, both on Galileo way (as the "Kendall") and at Bennington (as the "East Boston") station because both locations have really great walking access.

How about a single Gore St - Cambridge St station instead of the Cambridge St & Twin Cities?
They're spaced pretty far, as TC is shoved in the back to be walkable to McGrath when it gets boulevardized and plug some of the Lechmere-E. Somerville catchment gap. Rear-concourse access to the plaza...you wouldn't be walking the long way to Gore parking lot entrance to shop. Huge Millers River public housing is going to be shorter walk to Cambridge St. So I'd hedge on both. Cambridge St. in particular needs to be dead-centered on the street.

Kendall sitings are jump-ball...I'll side with whatever pick the numbers say is fatter.
 

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Here's best stab at the Harvard Branch.

CAVEAT: Since Harvard U. is opaque-as-fuck about their Beacon Park plans, pretty much any part of the routing between the north approach to West Station and Western Ave. is shiftable by a block or more. Throw that in with what's still being questioned about the Mass Pike realignment and you've got large variance. This part of the alignment required the most guesttimates. Assume that *something* will eventually shake out as an acceptable path, but damned if I know what exactly that'll look like.


#1. West Station
NOTES: This is annotated on top of the latest MassDOT render, with most of their captions greyed out (high-res, so probably need to enlarge). Hedged that the CR layover yard would get zeroed out in the end, since its storage reductions with each successive state render are indicative that Harvard's putting on the squeeze for more real estate and the T really doesn't want this site anyway. West Station is therefore re-packed a little closer to BU with the yard deletion while keeping the same basic layout. Further re-packing is possible if this is the outcome. A much shorter UR platform eats the really dubious extra Grand Junction platform. Track overpass of Pike and incline-down into station are more or less set. Used Stadium Way as the corridor to parallel the transit line with. Note the northbound turn past the West platform. If paying on the installment plan, a West stub-end can be baked into the base build of the NW quadrant. Possible hedge if the street grid to the north is under dispute for longer.
HB-1.jpg


#2. Allston Campus
NOTES: Trajectory to Western Ave. from south can vary by up to 1 E-W block depending on how Harvard lays out Beacon Park. Final config is an under-Charles tunnel direct to Harvard Station. However, that's a very expensive piece that may need to be paid in installments. An interim option is offered to do street-running down North Harvard (ending the otherwise full grade separation) for the first 10 years so the Red + bus hub connection that's critical for this branch can be made. No real worries about traffic loads south of Memorial Dr. light, and so long as headways are given a little slack this can still be the new load-bearing route for reshaping the 66 bus. Short-turn pocket is offered on the streetcar option to throttle service in case traffic's hosed.
HB-2.jpg



#3A Harvard TEMPORARY
NOTES: Dodgiest portion by far, with lots of variables to weigh. Preferred Alt. is the cut-across of JFK Park and splitting of JFK School buildings on a fenced-in reservation. Ped paths in the park reshaped, with a consolidated grade crossing. This skips a brutal all- street-running stretch (Option 2) that I really really don't think will work well. Put a Brattle Sq. intermediate stop at the end of the reservation by the street-facing plaza, which acts as a convenient-enough timing mechanism around the Brattle Sq. light. Demo ugly-ass 2-deck parking garage / rental car annex in front of hotel, then enter bus tunnel for final stop behind fare control and all-important direct Red transfer. Turnback options in bus tunnel are "THAR BE DRAGONS!" Cambridge Common TT loop would be a lousy proposition for trolleys...don't like that one bit. Pocket track for reversing would be moderately ops-awkward, but eminently stageable at the north portal on the incline hillside. Amongst lowest-cost options that's not bad. Also possibility (recommended) to back up limited storage with a Bennett Alley pocket fashioned as an around-the-block loop. Scoping possibilities for trenching an underground loop at the north portal should be explored because buses can make hay with that as well, but understood that options are limited.

Bottom line: some combo in here can work if you're forced onto the installment plan, but it's unsatisfying overall and you must fundraise for the perma-fix. Don't debate this too hard...it's acknowledged up-front that these are bundles of compromises that are wholly temporary.
HB-3a.jpg



#3B Harvard PERMANENT
NOTES: Much cleaner than ^above^ because of course this is the final set-it-and-forget-it configuration. All options use same tunnel alignment from Stadium across river and splitting JFK School buildings. Alts there can either enter abandoned 3-track Red Line tunnel and stub out at an island platform behind the tix windows at bottom of main stairs. Faregates would have to be rearranged in a ring pattern across station to accommodate new wing behind fare control. UR may be a somewhat longish walk ducking around a corner, but not really any worse that bus vs. Red separation. Room in the tunnel before platform for pocket storage. Alt. 2 makes small weave under Hotel parking garage into bus tunnel with flyunder connections...safety plan if there's something wrong with entry into the abandoned RL tunnel. How to turn back at north portal is similar mystery as in #3A requiring extra thought. Try harder for grade separated perma-loop construction if this is what you're choosing.
HB-3b.jpg
 

F-Line to Dudley

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FWIW...all the time spent staring at that MassDOT render of Beacon Park/West just made me more depressed than ever at what a hot mess that whole project has devolved into. I honestly kind of hate myself a little more for even expending the time to delve into it. 😩

[RANT]
Where do I begin:
  • The enormous sprawl of it all.
  • The fact that they inverted the layover yard and West placement to be infinitely more isolating to nearest civilization.
  • The fact that (more recent than this render) they somehow think FOUR platform tracks on CR are going to see any use when nothing on the B&A straight to Back Bay has more than 2, and the Grand Junction's paltry RR capacity won't even cause meets on the third.
  • Those gigantic street grid blocks.
  • Four goddamn travel lanes on nearly every street...six-lane intersections.
  • That it doesn't even pay lip service to traffic-calming Cambridge St. No...we're gonna add-a-lane it with that Cambridge St. South monstrosity!
  • That pornographically oversize busway deck.
  • That there's ONE single thru street to BU...that goes from 4 highway-size lanes to 2 alley-sized lanes. And not a single thought to maybe...just maybe...with that kind of imbalanced loading they should've made a half-hearted attempt to pair off with Babcock.
  • That I have no idea WTF is going on with all that lane capacity slamming into Western at irregular-shape superlinear block spacing. Is that an "I'll finish it later and maybe crayon a cross street when I get to it" placeholder??? What in the hell kind of development is that kind of layout supposed to support?
  • That it's so patently obvious Harvard is going to do jack shit but sit on this moonscape for another 15 years before turning a single shovel.
  • One or two other things I've already forgotten I'm so disgusted.

Just...ugh!...kill it with fire! If the Seaport is a hot neighborhood with way too chunky/sprawly grid that nonetheless clubbed a home run despite way too chunky grid...this starts out 20% more chunky and is squaring up at the plate to sac bunt. And is giving me some genuine Alewife heebie-jeebies for what damage is possible if a completely disengaged planning steward were to fill in those chunky, chunky blocks with bland boxes that say "Well, it's an offramp..." before trailing off. The whole cripple fight over the 'throat' section, parkway stacking, paths, temp bridges over water, and whatnot seems like a distraction from the much bigger existential red flags that are screaming at me this morning about the core build. At least you can say the 'throat' politics are at least functionally-rooted around a basic "X has to fit in X - Y space" debate. I'm really not sure what the hell the 'vision' is with the main canvas...beyond a lackadaisical pivot away from there being much of any core vision at work here. I really, really don't want to grow old watching Beacon Park become "the one that got away" from half-assed execution unmoored in any solid core urban values. But that's exactly what vibe this canvas chunking is powerfully giving off after waaaaay too deep a dive into that render last night.


OK...everybody get their house in order on the 'throat' so some major part of this show can get on the road. The transit lines are at least on coherent trajectory if (i.e. when) the layover gives up the ghost, and West Station is salvageable with all depicted UR provisions fully secured if they do some sane compacting towards BU and reduce the senseless overbuilds. Pike mainline and primary frontages can contour with the post-layover compacting, and they can keep fighting till the cows come home on the street grid while getting the Interstate warzone stitched back together. I dunno...just leave a concrete median that can take amendments in bridge abutment placements for a grid still in planning flux.

The rest...ye gods...just bring in fresh eyes and scrutinize everything on the local grid like it's being scored anew for the first time. Ask basic-ass questions of self: do these streets fucking work (I'm looking at you, incredible lane-dropping Malvern and incredible lane-bloating Cambridge South)? What is a grid that fucking works even supposed to look like with this development? Harvard...can you please give coherently detailed answer for the first time EVER what you actually plan to develop here, the variety therein, and precisely what block sizes are known best-practice fits? We seem to be having some difficulty self-communicating on what layout supports what dev...because you are perpetually mum on what's being devved! And yes...this matters for the UR because what exactly is Lower Allston station serving? Mid-development density and enhanced neighborhood walkup befitting its namesake??? Or a 6-way, 14-lane discombobulated intersection with ped killzone crosswalks???

[/RANT]


OK...thanks for letting me get that out of my system. I feel much better now. Now back to UR nutsy-boltsy talk. . .
 

Charlie_mta

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I like the option of running the Green Line Harvard Sq branch through the existing bus tunnel, shared with buses. I would also extend the Green line along Mass Ave in a center reservation to Porter Square. Plenty of room with 1 lane of traffic each direction. Then demo the small building on the north side of the old Sears building, hang a curving right of Mass Ave there and ramp down the Green Line to the Fitchburg ROW to join the GLX at Union Square station.
 

George_Apley

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I like the option of running the Green Line Harvard Sq branch through the existing bus tunnel, shared with buses. I would also extend the Green line along Mass Ave in a center reservation to Porter Square. Plenty of room with 1 lane of traffic each direction. Then demo the small building on the north side of the old Sears building, hang a curving right of Mass Ave there and ramp down the Green Line to the Fitchburg ROW to join the GLX at Union Square station.
Now that's crazy 😋

I'd hope that Green is able to utilize the old Red Line tunnel and not have to mix with the buses at all. The less mode-mixing and street-running the better. I don't see a need to duplicate rail service and bus service between Harvard and Porter, nor screw up GLX-Porter & beyond by doing a double back from Harvard to Porter to Union.
 

Charlie_mta

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It is pretty redundant along the Harvard to Porter stretch.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Yeah...this thing could be running service patterns straight out from Sullivan because that's a bus megahub pairing (with Kendall mega-destination in the middle) that's hard to span today with linked trips. This needs to be not-brittle on traffic management. The only reason why you'd be able to stage the interim setups with street-running from N. Harvard to Brattle is because it'll be a starter service at that point, the Beacon Park moonscape won't be completely filled out, and headways won't need to be full-blast with x2 interlaid service patterns and can subsist at 6-8 minutes on the branch while still being massive improvement over the 66 et al. There's a pretty firm upper bound of 10-15 years after initiation of service where you simply have to pony up for the cross-Charles tunnel because demand will be cresting for full-on multi-routing overlapping patterns @ 3 min. headway on the branch, and the real estate bonanza will be filled out around the intermediates.
 

Arlington

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I think I prefer the deadend at Harvard Sq, and to spend any additional budget for more GL UR at Longwood.
 

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