Green Line Reconfiguration

The EGE

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Some fiendish Green Line trivia questions for your entertainment/wild guessing (aka, I want to share the weird facts I'm finding). Note that the answers to almost all are available on Wikipedia because of me, so please don't just look them up there. The A Branch and the Arborway section of the E Branch are fair game.

  1. What was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
  2. The Beacon Street line (C Branch) was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be electrified. What was the second, which was completed the same month?
  3. What was the last surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
  4. After the current stop consolidation effort is complete in 2021, the B Branch will have 16 surface stops. How many did it have in 1971?
  5. The GLX will add new stops (not replacements/renovations) to the Green Line for the first time since 1982. What was the last new stop to be added?
  6. The Green Line only crosses the Muddy River once - where the Boylston Street Subway passes under it at Charlesgate. However, pre-Green Line, there was a streetcar line that crossed it three times. What was the route?
  7. All but one surface stop on the D Branch replaced a former commuter rail station - which one? (Bonus: which other stop replaced a station that opened much later than the rest?)
  8. When Lechmere was built in 1922, it was intended to be paired with a similar transfer station on the other end of the subway. Where was that never-built transfer to be?
 

Riverside

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Some fiendish Green Line trivia questions for your entertainment/wild guessing (aka, I want to share the weird facts I'm finding). Note that the answers to almost all are available on Wikipedia because of me, so please don't just look them up there. The A Branch and the Arborway section of the E Branch are fair game.

  1. What was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
  2. The Beacon Street line (C Branch) was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be electrified. What was the second, which was completed the same month?
  3. What was the last surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
  4. After the current stop consolidation effort is complete in 2021, the B Branch will have 16 surface stops. How many did it have in 1971?
  5. The GLX will add new stops (not replacements/renovations) to the Green Line for the first time since 1982. What was the last new stop to be added?
  6. The Green Line only crosses the Muddy River once - where the Boylston Street Subway passes under it at Charlesgate. However, pre-Green Line, there was a streetcar line that crossed it three times. What was the route?
  7. All but one surface stop on the D Branch replaced a former commuter rail station - which one? (Bonus: which other stop replaced a station that opened much later than the rest?)
  8. When Lechmere was built in 1922, it was intended to be paired with a similar transfer station on the other end of the subway. Where was that never-built transfer to be?
1. Logically, I feel like it must be some part of the Highland Branch, but I actually think it may (somehow) be the C Branch.

2. I would assume that it's the B Branch.

3. I think that's Fenway -- all the other stops on the Highland Branch existed when the railroad was there.

4. Ha. No clue. 27?

5. Science Park

6. Would this be the 55?

7. Fenway did not replace a commuter rail station, I think. And I believe that Eliot opened later than the rest?

8. Oh wow, I'd never come across this one before. Pleasant Street and Broadway?

Pretty sure most of my guesses are wrong, but this is fun!
 

F-Line to Dudley

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1. What was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
Had to be a horsecar line. I'm gonna say the E...though could've been the Dudley or Egleston lines as they were all same pre- Civil War era.
2. The Beacon Street line (C Branch) was the first surface section of what became the Green Line to be electrified. What was the second, which was completed the same month?
The A, Union Sq. to Oak Sq. The original C electrification branched Harvard St. to Union Sq., so they built off of it outbound first then inbound.
3. What was the last surface section of what became the Green Line to be opened for rail transit use?
The B. Postdating the subway because Olmstead's Comm Ave. down the hill wasn't finished until 1900-01. Chestnut Hill Ave.-west did have streetcars prior to that.
4. After the current stop consolidation effort is complete in 2021, the B Branch will have 16 surface stops. How many did it have in 1971?
A metric shitton? So many the T fold-out maps didn't bother to list them? So many not even TransitHistory's mega-compendium of service changes tracks that???

It was 22 before the most recent stop consolidation about 18 years ago that's still stickered over on some Type 8 spider maps. And it was way, way more before the middle lanes were added up the hill in the 50's. I have no fricking clue, so I'll wild-guess 27 in '71.
5. The GLX will add new stops (not replacements/renovations) to the Green Line for the first time since 1982. What was the last new stop to be added?
Back of the Useless Fucking Hill
6. The Green Line only crosses the Muddy River once - where the Boylston Street Subway passes under it at Charlesgate. However, pre-Green Line, there was a streetcar line that crossed it three times. What was the route?
55? The bus route doesn't multi-cross it anymore, but Brookline Ave. was a streetcar corridor so it must've run thru on its outbound end instead of dead-end looping in the middle of the Fenway.
7. All but one surface stop on the D Branch replaced a former commuter rail station - which one? (Bonus: which other stop replaced a station that opened much later than the rest?)
Fenway. It was beginning of yard limits for the Trinity Place terminal district so was wall-to-wall tracks with no place to put a platform. And was in kind of an industrial hellhole all points east of Park Drive.

Later-than-rest replacement??? Uh...uh...New Riverside? 1996 relocation of the original LRT station. Which was a replacement for the replacement of the burned-down B&A Riverside depot at the junction with the Worcester Line. Waban-Eliot-Woodland all post-date the non-Fenway intermediates because the Newton Highlands-Riverside 'circuit' junction was built much later than the original Charles River RR (comprising Highland Branch to Newton Highlands + Needham Branch to Needham Jct. + Medfield-Bellingham-Woonsocket), but unlike Riverside they're all still at their original locations.

I'm not sure at all on this, so that's best guess.
8. When Lechmere was built in 1922, it was intended to be paired with a similar transfer station on the other end of the subway. Where was that never-built transfer to be?
Allston, somewhere on the A (Union Sq?).
 

The EGE

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Riverside got 1, 6, and 7a; F-Line got 2, 5, 6, 7a, and 8. Well done both! Some notes:

For 1, the Brookline Branch opened in 1848, followed by the Charles River Branch Railroad as far as Newton Upper Falls in 1852. The first horsecar lines in the region weren't until 1856; the West Roxbury Branch Railroad opened from JP to Roxbury Crossing via South, Center, and what's now Columbus in 1857.

For 6, it was the Ipswich Street line. For most of its lifespan, it ran from Chestnut Hill on Boylston, Brookline, different Boylston, Ipswich, and the second Boylston again.

For 8, the intended location was Linden Street, serving both the A and B branches. A 1926 plan plunked it on Warren Street near Franciscan Children's instead.

3, 4, and 7b are still up for grabs. For 4 it is a known number (someday I'll get Jonathan to add the GL stop changes to the document). For 7b, I'm not talking about the various Riverside relocations (nor Woodland which is a bit away from the former station) - one of the current stop locations was a railroad station opened later than the rest.
 

Riverside

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For 8, the intended location was Linden Street, serving both the A and B branches. A 1926 plan plunked it on Warren Street near Franciscan Children's instead.
I'm sure I've seen a map of the original idea for a Linden Street station, but I can't lay my hands on it now. But I can lay my hands on the 1926 plan's map, which, if it had been enacted, would have majorly shifted the way our system works and eventually evolved -- really interesting to think about.
 

The EGE

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Lacking further guesses, the answers:

3: The section of the E Branch on South Huntington Avenue opened in 1903 - three years after the last segment of the B Branch. The Huntington Avenue segment and the Centre-South segment were originally mostly separate services - mostly Huntington Avenue service went to Brookine Village and beyond - and were slowly combined in the 1920s and 1930s. Heath Street loop didn't exist until 1945, when the single-ended PCCs needed it.

4: The B Branch then had 24 stops. Greycliff, Mount Hood, Summit, and Fordham were closed in 2004. Leamington and Colbourne were combined into Sutherland in 1980. University Road was dropped around 1975 (and Alcorn was moved to Babcock).

Stop spacing at that time was 4.16 miles/24 stops = 915 feet average. The C then had 17 stops for 740 feet average, the inner E had 13 for 685 feet average, and the whole E had a whopping 31 stops for 640 feet average. Current spacing is 18 stops/1220 feet (16/1375 after 2021) for the B, 13 stops/966 feet for the C, and 8 stops/1115 feet for the E. So y'all can stop complaining about the number of B stops - it's actually the widest spacing of the Green Line branches and possibly of all the local surface lines the MBTA runs.

To satisfy my own curiosity, the 2001 plans for Arborway called for 11 new stops (19 total) for the E, which would have been 1015-foot average spacing. Three-stop extension to Hyde Square would be about 1075-foot spacing depending on terminal location. SL Washington Street (south of Tufts Medical) has 9 stops/1030 feet average.

7b: Beaconsfield was an infill, opened around 1906. Henry Whitney (the guy who built the C Branch and electrified the system) had it built to serve his Beaconsfield hotel. It was rustic style, very different from the 1880s-90s Romanesque on the rest of the line.
 

citylover94

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I think part of the issue with stop spacing on the B line is that it is very inconsistent. Some stops are as close as the closest space stops on the other lines and they are concentrated in areas with large numbers of riders which would slow the line down more.

Personally I would like to see stop consolidation on all of the lines. My personal consolidation plan which is probably deeply flawed would look something like this:

B line remove: Allston Street, consolidate BU East and Blanford, and follow the current consolidation plan of babcock/pleasant st combined, St Paul/BU West combined.

C Line remove: Englewood Ave, Tappan St, Fairbanks St, Summit Ave, St Paul St, and Hawes St. This would leave all the stations in the major squares and would increase stop spacing to just under 1,800 feet.

E line remove: Back of the Hill, consolidate Mission Park and Fenwood Rd to a stop near Frawley St and Mission St. This would make Brigham Circle and the LMA stop the closest stops at about 1,000 feet apart.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I think part of the issue with stop spacing on the B line is that it is very inconsistent. Some stops are as close as the closest space stops on the other lines and they are concentrated in areas with large numbers of riders which would slow the line down more.

Personally I would like to see stop consolidation on all of the lines. My personal consolidation plan which is probably deeply flawed would look something like this:

B line remove: Allston Street, consolidate BU East and Blanford, and follow the current consolidation plan of babcock/pleasant st combined, St Paul/BU West combined.

C Line remove: Englewood Ave, Tappan St, Fairbanks St, Summit Ave, St Paul St, and Hawes St. This would leave all the stations in the major squares and would increase stop spacing to just under 1,800 feet.

E line remove: Back of the Hill, consolidate Mission Park and Fenwood Rd to a stop near Frawley St and Mission St. This would make Brigham Circle and the LMA stop the closest stops at about 1,000 feet apart.
There needs to be some clarity on what form Comm Ave. Reconstruction Phase III is going to take before anything is plottable on stop consolidation between Harvard & Warren. We still have no idea if the reservation is moving to the center of the road or if the City intends to cheap out, and without knowing if the road's going to be re-centered we can't even wild-guess what the new order of curb cuts is going to be. I think the T has given up waiting for any clarity from the City on that and is proceeding as if it'll be doodling with Chiswick & Sutherland for GLT platforming compatibility before it lays a finger on Harvard/Griggs/Allston/Warren OB.

In an ideal universe you'd have the reservation centered, a Blandford-style turnback yard beyond Harvard Ave. for precision short-turning the BU crowds, and Griggs/Allston combined at the Long Ave./Redford St. mid-block with the curb cut config reflecting the change. But ultimately we wait for the City to get its finger out of its ass before being able to plan that one.


Can't get too brutal with the C stop eliminations. Remember, that's a very hilly corridor so 2D spacing isn't the whole story. Brandon Hall and Dean Rd. are priority eliminations because Blue Book boardings crater at both immediately tipping off a problem of too-close spacing. Dean intersection could use some prominent signage directing folks to Beaconsfield; I think it's completely lost to those who aren't hyper-locally street smaht just how close the D stop truly is to that intersection. Hawes/Kent are a jump-ball decision...close-spaced, but there's also a lot of seniors living on those blocks. Definitely don't get rid of both; either/or only. Summit, Fairbanks, and Tappen definitely need to be kept for hilly-terrain purposes. In three dimensions the walksheds to the next-nearest are legitimately burdensome with the grades. Englewood has a Blue Book spike in boardings most certainly related to the nearby elementary school & associated playground; besides spacing being A-OK if Dean Rd. is eliminated there's too much evidence of unique catchment there to over-hedge.

Minus Brandon, Dean, and one of the Hawes/Kent pair that's a reasonable 10-stop roster, and also a schedule-absorber if alt-patterned service were to extend over Chestnut Hill Ave. to BC.


On the E...yes, Fenwood and BoTH are so obvious deletions. While I expect that BHA, BDPA, and City Hall would be absolutely/utterly anti-helpful, there is very feasible means of making Mission Park into a full-on reservation platform station by taking the front parking row inside the Mission Park Apts. fence as extra space for Huntington to re- bulb-out. If the roadway averages 85 ft. curb-to-curb in reservation territory with full curbside parking, the same width could be achieved across this whole block by setting the fence back to what's now the centerline of the Mission Park Dr. one-way driveway. A net loss of exactly 23 private spaces that really have no business eating up that much street-facing presentation when they can all easily be re-accommodated around the back of the property. Nor does Mission Park Dr. really need to have a full closed-circuit loop around the front of the complex too. The parking layout of that public housing complex was always mystifying in its inefficiencies. In absolute terms you'd be able to have a fatter, people-friendlier front-facing plaza behind the fence AND give it better transit with 20 ft. donated to the cause for a Huntington re-bulb around a full-ADA reservation Mission Park stop spanning the block. That way trolleys would only be traveling a scant 725 ft. of street-running between the Tremont/Francis and Mission/St. Albans intersections between sections of reservation, the inbound Brigham Circle platform could be moved squared-up to the intersection no longer being needed offset for winter weather short-turns, and Riverway becomes the only ADA-exempted stop left on the roster.

But of course, the provincial City institutions will take one look at a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats proposal like that and screech "TURF WAR!" at the top of its lungs, so we can't have nice or practical things.
 

ErnieAdams

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Hawes/Kent are a jump-ball decision...close-spaced, but there's also a lot of seniors living on those blocks. Definitely don't get rid of both; either/or only.
How about this for a stop elimination in this stretch that could be done for basically nothing other than the cost of more white stickies for the line maps: nix Kent St. outbound and St. Paul St. inbound. You'd be left with Kent inbound and St. Paul outbound, which are on the same block and less than 100 yards apart tip to tip. Call the stop Kent and get rid of the name St. Paul - presumably the B consolidation is also doing this and sticking with BU West, but then any lingering confusion over the two stops once having had the same name will be permanently nuked. Or if you absolutely must, do a slash name and call it Kent St./St. Paul St. like they do down the line for Winchester St./Summit Ave.

ETA: way too many St.'s in that slash name - pass!
 

F-Line to Dudley

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How about this for a stop elimination in this stretch that could be done for basically nothing other than the cost of more white stickies for the line maps: nix Kent St. outbound and St. Paul St. inbound. You'd be left with Kent inbound and St. Paul outbound, which are on the same block and less than 100 yards apart tip to tip. Call the stop Kent and get rid of the name St. Paul - presumably the B consolidation is also doing this and sticking with BU West, but then any lingering confusion over the two stops once having had the same name will be permanently nuked. Or if you absolutely must, do a slash name and call it Kent St./St. Paul St. like they do down the line for Winchester St./Summit Ave.

ETA: way too many St.'s in that slash name - pass!
St. Paul is a must-keep being at base of the hill and having strong ridership (6th out of 13 C stops). I dunno...there's not really a satisfying consolidation choice for Kent/Hawes. You don't want to over-stagger IB/OB as that makes a mess of wayfinding. Kent's way too close to St. Paul but is at a signalized thru intersection with platforms in the ideal-config offset behind each stop line. Hawes is more equitably spaced, but the side street only cuts southbound and the platforms are a less-efficient facing instead of offset...except that offsetting would put OB too close to St. Mary's. They're both similarly shitty on Blue Book boardings. I honestly can't decide. Maybe keep Kent because it's ever-so-mildly easier to dispatch under transit signal priority, but it barely matters so long as one goes and one's a keep. They both suck, but there has to be something spacing St. Mary's and St. Paul in a neighborhood with lots of elderly housing.
 

ErnieAdams

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St. Paul is a must-keep being at base of the hill and having strong ridership (6th out of 13 C stops). I dunno...there's not really a satisfying consolidation choice for Kent/Hawes. You don't want to over-stagger IB/OB as that makes a mess of wayfinding. Kent's way too close to St. Paul but is at a signalized thru intersection with platforms in the ideal-config offset behind each stop line. Hawes is more equitably spaced, but the side street only cuts southbound and the platforms are a less-efficient facing instead of offset...except that offsetting would put OB too close to St. Mary's. They're both similarly shitty on Blue Book boardings. I honestly can't decide. Maybe keep Kent because it's ever-so-mildly easier to dispatch under transit signal priority, but it barely matters so long as one goes and one's a keep. They both suck, but there has to be something spacing St. Mary's and St. Paul in a neighborhood with lots of elderly housing.
If it absolutely has to be one of Kent or Hawes that goes, you nix Hawes for this reason: by now the folks who try to use that stop for the morning rush are probably already used to walking back to Kent or forward to St. Mary's if they actually want to get anywhere inbound. Successfully getting on a train from that platform between 8 and 8:45 requires (or required, before March of course) an insane combination of luck, perseverance, and...is anyone here the right age to remember the show Alex Mack on Nickelodeon? Basically the ability to compact oneself into a viscous yet sentient puddle that occupies less space than a Big Gulp, because that's about all the space available to those riders.
 

jbray

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St. Paul is a must-keep being at base of the hill and having strong ridership (6th out of 13 C stops). I dunno...there's not really a satisfying consolidation choice for Kent/Hawes. You don't want to over-stagger IB/OB as that makes a mess of wayfinding. Kent's way too close to St. Paul but is at a signalized thru intersection with platforms in the ideal-config offset behind each stop line. Hawes is more equitably spaced, but the side street only cuts southbound and the platforms are a less-efficient facing instead of offset...except that offsetting would put OB too close to St. Mary's. They're both similarly shitty on Blue Book boardings. I honestly can't decide. Maybe keep Kent because it's ever-so-mildly easier to dispatch under transit signal priority, but it barely matters so long as one goes and one's a keep. They both suck, but there has to be something spacing St. Mary's and St. Paul in a neighborhood with lots of elderly housing.
I don't know that this solidifies the need to keep St Paul. If you nixed Hawes and St. Paul but kept Kent, how would the walksheds be drastically altered compared to the new Medford branch (considering it's sandwiched between Spring and Winter Hills)? Riders go where it is easiest and an improved C line would be a better draw to ridership. The reality is that St Paul riders who are further afoot, from the station will have a negligible change when choosing from Kent, Coolidge, or even Longwood on the D. Those people will move to one of these stations and have a more efficient ride.

The same is true for Tappen St. A rider from the top of Aspinwall has better access to Washington St and Fairbanks St while a rider coming from the rotary on the other side of Tappen would have a shorter walk than someone coming from Magoun Square to Ball Square or Lowell St stations (both of which are uphill one way).

If we are talking about streamlining the green line branches so that ridership has less choice (a la Beaconsfield over Dean Rd) but had more efficient through-put then the C should either use citylover94's plan but remove Beaconsfield from the D (the density is near Dean Rd) and consolidate Fairbanks and Brandon Hall into a stop directly in the center between them

or

To accommodate current ridership patterns (Per F line): Eliminate Dean, Tappen, consolidate Fairbanks/Brandon Hall, St Paul and Hawes.

For both, I would consider eliminating St Mary's because of how close its catchment would be to Fenway, Kent, and BU Central. The ridership will move to another station if it's close enough (which it is), so using the 2014 blue book to 100% define how a consolidated station set up would work may not be the best practice. The green line is essentially a bus outside of the subway and that is not very efficient, especially when buses exist.

As a footnote, due to the summit path on Corey hill, Washington Street station is closer to the summit than Fairbanks Street (according to the google map tool ((which of course is fraught))).
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Pt. 1. . .

I don't know that this solidifies the need to keep St Paul. If you nixed Hawes and St. Paul but kept Kent, how would the walksheds be drastically altered compared to the new Medford branch (considering it's sandwiched between Spring and Winter Hills)? Riders go where it is easiest and an improved C line would be a better draw to ridership. The reality is that St Paul riders who are further afoot, from the station will have a negligible change when choosing from Kent, Coolidge, or even Longwood on the D. Those people will move to one of these stations and have a more efficient ride.
That's a flat-world, not real-world argument. Stop consolidation doesn't happen in a vacuum by top-down fiat because somebody has a more perfect idea of integrity-of-concept. Much less integrity-of-concept set by new-construction extensions somehow imposing brand new walkshed limiters on legacy services. These are local conditions, with considerable amount of local outreach to make it happen. It took years to get BU's signoff on the latest B consolidation. Town of Brookline gets its seat at the table here, too, like it or not. For their purposes there is no way a proposed St. Paul elimination goes unchallenged, because it is at the base of one of the steepest hills on the system with a pre-existing 1175 ft. walkshed to Coolidge Corner that's already amongst the longest on the C. St. Paul v. Kent/Hawes spacing does not rate as a consideration here; St. Paul v. Coolidge is the sticking point. They can make the argument that the walkshed up/down the hill is too steep to lengthen and that aggregate harm is done to existing riders by attempting to lengthen that walkshed.

No such comparison exists with existing accessibility on GLX's choice of stop spacing, because (1) it's an all-new transit corridor where the only alternative is non-duplicating bus routes of much poorer incumbent service and accessibility levels, and (2) 'flat-world' stop-spacing decisions based on systemic lowest-common-denominators would bloat the cost enough from additional required GLX infill stations around those hills that the thing couldn't be built at all...at net-zero improvement to anyone's service or accessibility. The slate of decision-making around all-new vs. incumbent service could not be any more different, or that specific comparison more spurious.

If you try to eliminate St. Paul, Town of Brookline files an accessibility suit over the three-dimensional walkshed to Coolidge. And they probably prevail, because unchangeable geology makes the sidewalk slope steeper than recommended wheelchair grades. Moreover, when there is a call for data-driven arguments supporting elimination vs. keep...the Blue Book is not going to be kind to the elimination forces. 6th busiest out of 13 C stops, 6.8% of total C boardings, 55% of St. Mary's ridership, 115% of Hawes+Kent's ridership. And at 37th out of 55 total branch stops in boardings, tracing out the demarcation between the upper two-thirds and bottom third of ridership...above the bottom division where virtually all the most oft-cited elimination candidates live. Under no circumstances are you going to be able to trot that data in front of a T Board that counts revenue or trot that in front of a judge hearing the Town's challenge and be able to claim: "Problem."

Elimination will get struck down on the challenge, and you then will have to live with the consequences of choosing too-lofty a threshold for that flat-world reference stop spacing that ignored local politics on legacy services. Because now there's an accessibility precedent for torpedoing elimination attempts on a bunch of other less-controversial candidate consolidations that do indeed slot firmly in the problematic bottom division, and each successive accessibility challenge throws more cold water on the hedging. Incite Brookline into a war over that, and you may find yourself unable to eliminate Kent OR Hawes at the end of the day because of poking the bear too hard over St. Paul and stoking an existential threat to the Town's transit accessibility.

As previously mentioned, there is a glut of elder-care housing around the base of the hill. Those residents will have to be dealt with even on the relatively uncontroversial Kent/Hawes decision, which is why you probably cannot hedge on eliminating both. You can make a rational case, however, that the Town's re-streetscaping of Beacon a decade ago makes the walkshed down there far more aggregately accessible than it traditionally ever was, that the Blue Book cratering of boardings at those two stops does point to a data-packed problem needing correction, and give assurances that the surviving station zooms to the top of the ADA retrofit priority pile. That most rational of sequences becomes functionally impossible if you go guns-blazing at St. Paul first, where the physical accessibility argument over the walkshed to Coolidge is going to be very toothy against you, the utilization data is going to be very toothy against you...and the resulting precedent when it gets rejected is going to be very toothy against you on many, many other elimination candidates. And for what gain? To have put Brookline on such red alert for an existential threat so that it fights EVERYTHING--even Hawes + Kent (nevermind either/or, it's now a battle to keep both)--and wields that toothier gained precedent like a blunt instrument? That's not only going to imperil you across the C, but embolden opposition to making any more B or E cuts as well.

Flat-world vs. real-world arguments. The T is not going to barrel in all strict-constructionist here dumb to the local political tripwires and try to make a high-and-mighty example out of St. Paul consolidation. It will--guaranteed--end very badly for them and end up limiting their future options widely. Rationally they aren't going to go anywhere near that, as odds are wretched that they make out any better than getting sacked for a loss...how big a loss up-for-grabs. No way no how for a stop that doesn't even sniff that bottom-third division of most revenue-rational elimination candidates.

If you want to improve the performance of the C in the real world, start with the eliminations you have a real-world chance of accomplishing via a practical local-political dialogue. There's MINIMUM three in that division, maybe more. But it ain't St. Paul. That integrity-of-concept perfectionism is going to get you nowhere in the real world but both hands legally tied behind your back.

The same is true for Tappen St. A rider from the top of Aspinwall has better access to Washington St and Fairbanks St while a rider coming from the rotary on the other side of Tappen would have a shorter walk than someone coming from Magoun Square to Ball Square or Lowell St stations (both of which are uphill one way).
Again...completely, utterly moot accessibility comparison to be invoking new-construction GLX vs. the legacy C. The C doesn't even run thru onto GLX, so that is not a comparative stop spacing any rider will ever see on the same train to begin with. You're hashing this out with Town of Brookline. The terms are going to have to suit Town of Brookline...starting by not setting such over-the-top targets that it's tantamount to a declaration of hostilities.

There are 15 other branch stops--six of them on the C--with worse ridership than Tappan St. It's 1050 ft. crosswalk-to-crosswalk from Washington Sq. with a pronounced hill in the middle. Its crosswalk is right in front of the corridor's largest supermarket, where disproportionate share of users are carrying heavy items and would have additional hardship taking the hill. Eliminating here severely harms your chances of getting rid of Dean Rd. with its legitimately problematic ridership crater. How are you going to cajole Brookline into going along with that, and not start fighting everything tooth-and-nail? What in the hell systemic performance argument can you rationally make anyway that the C needs to have its roster bludgeoned into the middle-high single digits while the B and E that merge into the exact same subway crowded could never practically go that low?

This shit does not get hashed out on Google Maps. If the logic of this over-aggressive pruning doesn't start making a lick of sense to Brookline's ears, it's going to get hoisted on its own petard in the ensuing challenge.
 

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Pt. 2. . .

jbray said:
If we are talking about streamlining the green line branches so that ridership has less choice (a la Beaconsfield over Dean Rd) but had more efficient through-put then the C should either use citylover94's plan but remove Beaconsfield from the D (the density is near Dean Rd) and consolidate Fairbanks and Brandon Hall into a stop directly in the center between them
Now we're mission-creeping this to the D? When did that start? Where does the D have a pressing performance problem needing eliminations? Look...you can point straight at the Blue Book at Dean Rd. making a giant *splat* sound with boardings that are 30% lower than adjacent Englewood and 40% lower than adjacent Tappan. That's a scream-pitch "Problem!" that Town of Brookline has to acknowledge with fully open eyes. Beaconsfield does 88% of Brookline Hills' boardings...most definitely not a problem...and it still retains 36% of the #6-amongst-branches Reservoir monster. We're totally unmoored from reality now if you think the battlefield with Town of Brookline is going to expand even further to anything-goes when the bases of the hills are the red lines in the sand the first lawsuits get filed over. As before, you are going to lose all leverage to rationalize the Dean Roads of the world that NEED to be rationalized if the opening salvo kicks off going scorched-earth over the whole of Brookline's transit accessibility...way out to the furthest-flung tangents with the absolute weakest ops-streamlining scruples like, now apparently, Beaconsfield?!?

To accommodate current ridership patterns (Per F line): Eliminate Dean, Tappen, consolidate Fairbanks/Brandon Hall, St Paul and Hawes.
Except you're not accommodating current ridership patterns at all because Tappan and St. Paul very explicitly buck the ridership trend at the adjacent stops. Base-of-hill accessibility to the nearest-adjacent stops on other side of the hills drive large increases at those two, as does (in esp. Tappan's case with Star Market and carrying groceries, but also with St. Paul being the outbound walkshed limit for the elderly housing) activities-of-daily-living drivers specific to what those stops serve. The data-driven argument couldn't be any more AGAINST elimination. And since the North Station-terminating C has to swim in traffic with B's, D's, and E's that will never have their branch stop rosters so radically trimmed, there's yet to be a data-driven argument for why a C bludgeoned from 13 to 8 stops is any net improvement for Central Subway performance.

Again...real-world vs. flat-world. How much transit accessibility loss does one town WITH A SAY IN THE MATTER absorb over one's personal aesthetic preference for ideal stop spacing? This hasn't begun to start making itself a self-justifying empirical argument, let alone one with a prayer's chance at political argument.

For both, I would consider eliminating St Mary's because of how close its catchment would be to Fenway, Kent, and BU Central. The ridership will move to another station if it's close enough (which it is), so using the 2014 blue book to 100% define how a consolidated station set up would work may not be the best practice. The green line is essentially a bus outside of the subway and that is not very efficient, especially when buses exist.

As a footnote, due to the summit path on Corey hill, Washington Street station is closer to the summit than Fairbanks Street (according to the google map tool ((which of course is fraught))).
Oh, god...just stop this madness and reconsider from Ground Zero what it is you're asking, who it's serving to what benefit, and how you make it happen in a world where there is no Detached Planning Dictator ruling by fiat over shared-use municipal corridors with 125+ years of incumbent rapid transit service and rather daunting legal maneuvers at their disposal over accessibility loss. This is a step beyond Crazy Transit Pitches and now far into an abyss where "Local government! How does it work?!?!" has ceased to have all meaning.
 

jbray

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F-Line,
No, of course it doesn't happen by fiat, or else we wouldn't have discussions about what is or is not going to happen. There would be no process and we would be told. At the same time, they got rid of the entire trolley network and took away a city's worth of one seat rides to park street, the A line and Arborway-E is dead, they moved the entire southern orange line and never replaced it. These kind of crazy hated things happen. But that said, this is just a mental exercise. F-Line, you don't need to argue that there would not be political will to space out the stations, I 100% AGREE. People want their train station to be at hand and if they have that, they're not going to lose it without a fight. We'd be lucky if they let them consolidate Fairbanks St/Brandon Hall. Even that's a stretch.

The reason I chose to compare the Medford extension to the C was because you were imposing station necessity rules and using surrounding topography as a determining factor of why stations were needed. Throwing out station distances and hills says nothing about the hills that already exist on the system let alone the ones we are adding. Prospect hill to Washington street is above ADA and is even steeper of a grade than Coolidge to St Paul. We can't consider eliminating a station because people would have to walk up a hill but we can easily build 2-3 that require it? I'm also not sure why Coolidge is the prevailing walkshed given that Kent is both closer and at a similar elevation. Coolidge would really only be the better choice from Charles street west and by then, you're beyond the ADA grade concern. Any body complaining about that are already taking that grade to get to St Paul. If you're going to talk about how it adds to the political fight, it's the same: of course it does. No question.

I discarded the blue book argument from the perspective of if the station goes, people will move to the next closest if the general distancing is not dramatic, even with the topography. Would it light fires in town meetings? Yes, it's a non-starter. At some point beyond us, if Boston continues to grow, the B and the C cannot continue to function as they did during the trolley heyday, not without a major assist. Does consolidation start with St Paul? NO. Why would it ever? Why would you assume that consolidation starts with the used transit stations? Half of your argument predicates on us talking about eliminating St Paul tomorrow (<-hyperbole) but that was never the case. It was simply pointed out that geographically, St Paul is poorly spaced. There's a world, and we're probably living in it, where St Paul remains forever.

You bring up a whole host of other valid points. There is some real moon-man talk in looking at St Mary and saying, "Do we need it?" Doesn't mean we can't pose the idea. As for Beaconsfield, I would say that the 40 minute ride from Park to Riverside gets long in the tooth, but that's about it. In the spirit of looking at Dean Rd and saying, "It's too close to another station" you can equally look at Beaconsfield in a less dense area and say the same in reverse. Does it benefit the D? No, not really, not at all. But it's easy to assume that people go to Beaconsfield over Dean Rd because they are getting on a train that will get them to downtown much faster than getting on the C and hitting a station every two and a half blocks. It's the entire reason we're talking about consolidation on the C in the first place. It's a bus on rails.

So, you ask why even cut that harshly into the C? Right now, there isn't much in the way of a good reason. You brought up continuing onto Boston College, which is where my mind went. An 11 stop C line and a 12 stop B line (ending at Chestnut Hill) is more balanced, but it's not a real reason to push forward. It's all food for thought.
 

Deetroyt

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For a Greenline branch into Needham off the D, swallowing Needham commuter rail, would there be a need to build a flying junction from the existing D line where the lines would branch off south of Route 9? Or would traffic be light enough that they could make do with a (presumably less expensive) flat junction? Also would there be some additional stations added that don't currently exist on Commuter Rail line? I'm thinking something like this:
- near Gould St. serving traffic from 95/Highland Ave
- Rosemary St. near the library
- near Oak St./Chestnut intersection serving Beth Israel

Am I missing any? Maaaaybe at Webster rd crossing?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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For a Greenline branch into Needham off the D, swallowing Needham commuter rail, would there be a need to build a flying junction from the existing D line where the lines would branch off south of Route 9? Or would traffic be light enough that they could make do with a (presumably less expensive) flat junction? Also would there be some additional stations added that don't currently exist on Commuter Rail line? I'm thinking something like this:
- near Gould St. serving traffic from 95/Highland Ave
- Rosemary St. near the library
- near Oak St./Chestnut intersection serving Beth Israel

Am I missing any? Maaaaybe at Webster rd crossing?
Flat junction...traffic nowhere near heavy enough.

The officially-proposed stations are (by City of Newton): Avalon @ Newton Highlands (apartment complex), Upper Falls, New England Business Center (Fremont St. right before 128 bridge, connection to circulator shuttle for all NEBC complex down to Kendrick St., including parking garages).

Proposed by City of Needham on other side of 128 it's: Gould/TV Place (primary 128 parking sink + TOD), Needham Heights, Needham Center, Needham Junction (station moved into middle of wye across street)...with associated 59 bus reshaping.


The Avalon one proposed by Newton is the weakest link on the roster, so that one you can debate on the merits. The others are pretty well-established. They're not looking at anything near Rosemary because the lake makes for a slight density cavity and the spacing between Center & Heights is plenty decent. Webster is simply too close to Heights and Gould. If there's any mojo at those spots those would probably be only considered for post-opening infill candidates...not something that would ever be lumped into the base build.
 

Java King

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Flat junction...traffic nowhere near heavy enough.

The officially-proposed stations are (by City of Newton): Avalon @ Newton Highlands (apartment complex), Upper Falls, New England Business Center (Fremont St. right before 128 bridge, connection to circulator shuttle for all NEBC complex down to Kendrick St., including parking garages).
It seems like that massive development by Northland would be the perfect location and NOT Avalon @ Newton Highlands
 

F-Line to Dudley

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It seems like that massive development by Northland would be the perfect location and NOT Avalon @ Newton Highlands
Northland = Upper Falls, as the historic depot is at the Oak St. grade crossing and Northland is on the corner of Oak/Needham 1200 ft. away. That's the closest physical stop location.

As mentioned, the Avalon site (placemarked "Needham St. Station") was the weakest link in the proposed stop roster so unless the TOD on the corridor is so en fuego it merits an inbound spacer that one's almost certainly going to be the first cut.
 

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