I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

stick n move

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Just put everything at ground level and put the bike and walking paths on a bridge in the water. That or add some land here. I know environmentalists would s*** a brick. Boston is like 80% fill for gods sake and we really cant add 20’ here to make this project a billion times better for everyone. Ridiculous...

This things going to cost 5x as much because of this and well still end up with some type of viaduct that will fall apart in the future anyways. Not to mention in Boston we build something, then never maintain it until it falls apart, them demo and rebuild. So this wont last as long as even its service life whatever that will be.

It would be in our best interest to build as much at ground level as possible so were not passing a second decade long shit show to our kids.
 
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fattony

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I’m sure there is a short answer for this, but is there a particular reason the pike needs to be 8 lanes? A while ago someone made the observation that the pike will be reduced in capacity for a decade or more for all the various projects along it, including this one. Why not commit to making the reduction permanent? They aren’t going to wait for RUR to make the “temporary” decade long reduction and that traffic going to adjust to the reduced capacity.
 

North Shore

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Just put everything at ground level and put the bike and walking paths on a bridge in the water. That or add some land here. I know environmentalists would s*** a brick. Boston is like 80% fill for gods sake and we really cant add 20’ here to make this project a billion times better for everyone. Ridiculous...

This things going to cost 5x as much because of this and well still end up with some type of viaduct that will fall apart in the future anyways. Not to mention in Boston we build something, then never maintain it until it falls apart, them demo and rebuild. So this wont last as long as even its service life whatever that will be.

It would be in our best interest to build as much at ground level as possible so were not passing a second decade long shit show to our kids.
This is what I've been advocating.

We could take this opportunity to create something architecturally spectacular to cantilever a multi-use pathway out over the riverbank, which undoubtedly would be cheaper to build and maintain than a new viaduct for vehicles. A new viaduct makes zero sense in the regard that it would essentially replace the existing one which goes against one of the main objectives to remove infrastructure and maintenance concerns from this project.
 

BostonBoy

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Put the highway in a tunnel and imagine the possibilities at ground level. There are tunnels under bodies of water all over the world. Tunneling near the Charles should not be a problem.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I’m sure there is a short answer for this, but is there a particular reason the pike needs to be 8 lanes? A while ago someone made the observation that the pike will be reduced in capacity for a decade or more for all the various projects along it, including this one. Why not commit to making the reduction permanent? They aren’t going to wait for RUR to make the “temporary” decade long reduction and that traffic going to adjust to the reduced capacity.
That's going to directly work against anyone's ideas of reclaiming more parkland, because if you don't have an 8-lane Pike between Newton Corner and 93 you can't easily downsize the Charlesgate-Public Gardens midsection of Storrow that truly is redundant to both EB & WB Pike. Public Gardens to Leverett Circle is a unique catchment (and the MA 28 mainline), and River St.-Charlesgate can't easily go because of the lack of appropriate exit sitings in the BU/Kenmore/Fenway areas. Zero-out of SFR through the 'throat' never was realistic because of the that. But if you lane-dropped, you'd inadvertently be KO'ing the much more realistic prospects of a parkway diet on that Copley midsection that is almost wholly induced-demand traffic. The midsection is where the Esplanade acreage and access can expand to its greatest extent if the parkway were busted down to 2-lane park access road someday. The 'throat' is merely fighting for scraps, and the ability to jog without getting soaked by road spray. I doubt the People's Pike folks really want to self-own themselves like that sacrificing the goods on maximal parkland acreage where it most counts over a chintzy 2-lane drop here. It's not like the vistas of the back of Nickerson Field and the loading dock of Agganis Arena are in any way comparable to down by the Lagoon.
 

Rover

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This is the problem when you get citizens groups involved. I'm not saying don't reach out for community input, but generally the professional NIMBY's want you to build the Taj Mahal while at the same time not exposing them to any inconveniences in regards to construction or traffic. This reminds me of the proposals for the Greenway where multiple groups wanted to build massive structures with no realistic expectations or compromise to be found. In the end the simplest designs ended up winning out (grass, gravel and bushes in that case). For the Pike, enough discussions already. The community has had their input, and all we've learned is that they can't find their asses with both hands. A shorter viaduct that hops over the throat with the rail and/or SFR underneath it to create a little more space by the river (that's a sucky jog along that stretch although probably improved now that you're not smelling the trains while you're gasping for air) seems to be the only realistic option.

Also, I understand the desire to get rid of cars and highway capacity. The problem is with the virus I'm not sure how quickly people will want to jump on public transit again. Those trains aren't sanitary even when there's not a pandemic happening. It may be people gravitate back to their cars for the days they're in the office. I'd also point out that if we are to continue with population growth in the metro area, even a higher usage of public transit might not be enough to ease highway traffic.
 

JumboBuc

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That's going to directly work against anyone's ideas of reclaiming more parkland, because if you don't have an 8-lane Pike between Newton Corner and 93 you can't easily downsize the Charlesgate-Public Gardens midsection of Storrow that truly is redundant to both EB & WB Pike. Public Gardens to Leverett Circle is a unique catchment (and the MA 28 mainline), and River St.-Charlesgate can't easily go because of the lack of appropriate exit sitings in the BU/Kenmore/Fenway areas. Zero-out of SFR through the 'throat' never was realistic because of the that. But if you lane-dropped, you'd inadvertently be KO'ing the much more realistic prospects of a parkway diet on that Copley midsection that is almost wholly induced-demand traffic. The midsection is where the Esplanade acreage and access can expand to its greatest extent if the parkway were busted down to 2-lane park access road someday. The 'throat' is merely fighting for scraps, and the ability to jog without getting soaked by road spray. I doubt the People's Pike folks really want to self-own themselves like that sacrificing the goods on maximal parkland acreage where it most counts over a chintzy 2-lane drop here. It's not like the vistas of the back of Nickerson Field and the loading dock of Agganis Arena are in any way comparable to down by the Lagoon.
I get that Storrow from the BU Bridge to Charlesgate serves a real purpose. But what purpose does SFR from River St to the BU Bridge serve?

Tuck SFR to the W of the Doubletree away from the Charles and merge it into the Pike in the Beacon Park interchange redesign. Widen the Pike to 10 lanes there if you have to. Then merge a new Pike off-ramp into Storrow just W of the BU bridge. Drop the Pike width back down to 8 lanes in the process so it can clear under Comm Ave.

So E of the BU Bridge, Storrow and the Pike remain in their current configurations. And N and W of Cambridge / River Streets, SFR and the Pike remain in their current configurations. But between Cambridge / River St. and the BU Bridge, SFR disappears and (if needed) the Pike widens. Now you have 10 lanes through the throat instead of 12, and you can fit it all at grade. You need one flyover to connect Pike E to Storrow E, tucked just below where the Grand Junction crosses SFR today.

Anybody who uses the Pike through the throat to connect from SFR to Storrow (or vice-versa) can miss both the Allston and Brighton toll gantries, so it's a fare-free connection for them. And this configuration also simplifies access to the Pike W from Storrow and to Storrow E from the Pike.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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I get that Storrow from the BU Bridge to Charlesgate serves a real purpose. But what purpose does SFR from River St to the BU Bridge serve?

Tuck SFR to the W of the Doubletree away from the Charles and merge it into the Pike in the Beacon Park interchange redesign. Widen the Pike to 10 lanes there if you have to. Then merge a new Pike off-ramp into Storrow just W of the BU bridge. Drop the Pike width back down to 8 lanes in the process so it can clear under Comm Ave.

So E of the BU Bridge, Storrow and the Pike remain in their current configurations. And N and W of Cambridge / River Streets, SFR and the Pike remain in their current configurations. But between Cambridge / River St. and the BU Bridge, SFR disappears and (if needed) the Pike widens. Now you have 10 lanes through the throat instead of 12, and you can fit it all at grade. You need one flyover to connect Pike E to Storrow E, tucked just below where the Grand Junction crosses SFR today.

Anybody who uses the Pike through the throat to connect from SFR to Storrow (or vice-versa) can miss both the Allston and Brighton toll gantries, so it's a fare-free connection for them. And this configuration also simplifies access to the Pike W from Storrow and to Storrow E from the Pike.
Because it's Pike to Charlesgate...not U. Rd. to Charlesgate. There's no EB exit/entrance potential anywhere between Allston and Copley because of the Worcester Line (and ham-fisted doesn't even begin to describe people's Civil Engineering Strongman crackpot schemes to force-feed them). And staggered WB Pike exits/entrances in that area don't have the space between Mass Ave. and BU Bridge to shiv anything in at acceptable geometry due to adjacent buildings or at acceptable non-carpocalypse spacing to the nearest heavy-loaded traffic lights (i.e. trying to force-fit a WB entrance @ BU Bridge mere feet from the existing surface clusterfuck). And all of the Crazy Pitches that send the Worcester Line on a bunny-hop of rolling duck-under inclines to shiv the space for force-fit EB ramps clobber train performance at boondoggle price, and will never engineer out as reasonable in 3D as they look on someone's 2D map doodles. So it's non-optional that you have to keep SFR intact all the way from the revised Allston exit to the Charlesgate point-of-distribution in both directions, because the alternatives (such that you could even call them realistic) are all shit sandwiches in some substantial form or another for handling their loads. That unfortunately carries over to severely limiting the options right at the throat.

Now, because of availability of staggered Pike WB ramps downtown out to the existing Mass Ave. ones, in a future where the induced-demand Charlesgate-Public Gardens midsection goes away for thru traffic in a parkway diet and/or transit trade-in...you will see substantial load reductions on SFR WB from Charlesgate such that EB vs. WB are distinctly asynchronous-loaded. Enough imbalanced that you can maybe re-manicure the carriageways so heavier-loading SFR EB gets more beneficial breakdown lane feet for better resiliency's sake through all non-pinched areas but you can continue hedging on a breakdown-less WB carriageway because its loads will be lighter (but probably still not light enough to outright lane-drop from 2 x 2 to 2 x 1 lanes). So the parkway will perform much better overall on loading in that future era when all the Copley midsection induced demand gets transferred onto the Pike's 8 Allston-93 lanes (which have a little more slack capacity to give than Newton Corner-Allston). And that in turn opens up lots more impetus west of River St. to lane-diet the 6-lane sprawl + frontages into something a little more tasteful. There just unfortunately isn't a plausible scenario (<-- emphasis "plausible", because all the Kenmore-area Pike ramp schemes rate Crazy on feasibility) where you can get rid of any part of River-to-Charlesgate's 4 travel lanes because of the task-specific loading it has to carry for what the Pike can't in BU/Kenmore/Fenway -distributed traffic. And thus there's no potential lane-reduction help for the 'throat'. You need SFR's 4 total lanes for the Charlesgate connector, and you need the Pike's 8 total lanes if you want any hope of dieting the redundant Storrow midsection. Shorting either right this second for expediency's sake boomerangs immediately back in ones' face as a self-own for future options precluded.


It's unfortunate the debate has gone completely off the rails here that we're stuck in mutually-assured destruction mode on the 'throat' options. If there's any place where compromise is necessary from lack of options, it's here. And IMHO the hyper-focus on the 'throat' decision being the end of the world does the whole project area a disservice...because quite frankly the utter incoherence of the BP street grid + dev plans + West Station designs are going to do a lot more longstanding damage to this project's ceiling than 'throat' options which were Day 1-acknowledged to be constrained. I've said it before...the utter inattention on all sides to the dev accomodations of the main slab is giving me genuine Alewife heebie-jeebies for what "well, it's an offramp. . ." parking and induced-demand -centric hellscape could sprout there if the neighborhood's planning stewards remain this completely disengaged. Regrets are going to run WAAAAAAAAAAAAY deeper on the grid and by West if we fuck the slab up...not in the 'throat'.
 

JumboBuc

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Because it's Pike to Charlesgate...not U. Rd. to Charlesgate.
I don't follow.
There's no EB exit/entrance potential anywhere between Allston and Copley because of the Worcester Line (and ham-fisted doesn't even begin to describe people's Civil Engineering Strongman crackpot schemes to force-feed them). And staggered WB Pike exits/entrances in that area don't have the space between Mass Ave. and BU Bridge to shiv anything in at acceptable geometry due to adjacent buildings or at acceptable non-carpocalypse spacing to the nearest heavy-loaded traffic lights (i.e. trying to force-fit a WB entrance @ BU Bridge mere feet from the existing surface clusterfuck). And all of the Crazy Pitches that send the Worcester Line on a bunny-hop of rolling duck-under inclines to shiv the space for force-fit EB ramps clobber train performance at boondoggle price, and will never engineer out as reasonable in 3D as they look on someone's 2D map doodles. So it's non-optional that you have to keep SFR intact all the way from the revised Allston exit to the Charlesgate point-of-distribution in both directions, because the alternatives (such that you could even call them realistic) are all shit sandwiches in some substantial form or another for handling their loads. That unfortunately carries over to severely limiting the options right at the throat.

Now, because of availability of staggered Pike WB ramps downtown out to the existing Mass Ave. ones, in a future where the induced-demand Charlesgate-Public Gardens midsection goes away for thru traffic in a parkway diet and/or transit trade-in...you will see substantial load reductions on SFR WB from Charlesgate such that EB vs. WB are distinctly asynchronous-loaded. Enough imbalanced that you can maybe re-manicure the carriageways so heavier-loading SFR EB gets more beneficial breakdown lane feet for better resiliency's sake through all non-pinched areas but you can continue hedging on a breakdown-less WB carriageway because its loads will be lighter (but probably still not light enough to outright lane-drop from 2 x 2 to 2 x 1 lanes). So the parkway will perform much better overall on loading in that future era when all the Copley midsection induced demand gets transferred onto the Pike's 8 Allston-93 lanes (which have a little more slack capacity to give than Newton Corner-Allston). And that in turn opens up lots more impetus west of River St. to lane-diet the 6-lane sprawl + frontages into something a little more tasteful. There just unfortunately isn't a plausible scenario (<-- emphasis "plausible", because all the Kenmore-area Pike ramp schemes rate Crazy on feasibility) where you can get rid of any part of River-to-Charlesgate's 4 travel lanes because of the task-specific loading it has to carry for what the Pike can't in BU/Kenmore/Fenway -distributed traffic. And thus there's no potential lane-reduction help for the 'throat'. You need SFR's 4 total lanes for the Charlesgate connector, and you need the Pike's 8 total lanes if you want any hope of dieting the redundant Storrow midsection. Shorting either right this second for expediency's sake boomerangs immediately back in ones' face as a self-own for future options precluded.


It's unfortunate the debate has gone completely off the rails here that we're stuck in mutually-assured destruction mode on the 'throat' options. If there's any place where compromise is necessary from lack of options, it's here. And IMHO the hyper-focus on the 'throat' decision being the end of the world does the whole project area a disservice...because quite frankly the utter incoherence of the BP street grid + dev plans + West Station designs are going to do a lot more longstanding damage to this project's ceiling than 'throat' options which were Day 1-acknowledged to be constrained. I've said it before...the utter inattention on all sides to the dev accomodations of the main slab is giving me genuine Alewife heebie-jeebies for what "well, it's an offramp. . ." parking and induced-demand -centric hellscape could sprout there if the neighborhood's planning stewards remain this completely disengaged. Regrets are going to run WAAAAAAAAAAAAY deeper on the grid and by West if we fuck the slab up...not in the 'throat'.
So what you're saying is there's no room for a Storrow-Pike connection (in place of SFR) W of the BU Bridge? If that's the case, okay, I'll take your word for it. But I'm struggling to see how the majority of your text here has anything to do with that.

For example, SFR between River St and BU Bridge has nothing to do with any hypothetical Pike exits between Mass Ave and BU Bridge (who is talking about these?). What does my question have to do with a "Kenmore-area Pike ramp"? Also, I don't see how SFR has anything to do with distributed traffic in "BU/Kenmore/Fenway" because Storrow -- not SFR -- takes care of that E of the BU Bridge; I'm not proposing touching Storrow anywhere. I'm also not proposing messing with the Pike's 8 lanes E of the BU Bridge, so I also don't see how that's relevant. Same goes for Worcester Line "bunny-hops;" I'm asking about a ramp N of the Worcester Line where space opens up W of the BU bridge.

I know you have a TON of knowledge of the transportation network, but sometimes it'd be helpful if you could put your encyclopedia of knowledge aside and address a specific question on its merits instead of dumping out a whole bucket of info that does not address the question at hand. I'm not trying to be antagonistic or confrontational here, I'm just honestly trying to understand this better.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I don't follow.
You said "BU Bridge" to Charlesgate. That's literally only half the length in question. You need the whole 1.75 miles of SFR from River St. to Charlesgate to have a connection at all. Specificity matters here when we're talking about the 'throat'.

So what you're saying is there's no room for a Storrow-Pike connection (in place of SFR) W of the BU Bridge? If that's the case, okay, I'll take your word for it. But I'm struggling to see how the majority of your text here has anything to do with that.
None whatsoever. See the project slides. The only grid connection between BU and Beacon Park in any way/shape/form is Malvern St., which impossibly tries to squeeze from multiple lanes at West Station to the more-or-less alleyway it still is through BU to Comm Ave. For reasons unknown they didn't even try to pair-match Babcock St., so connectivity to/from West Campus is less-than-useless. No calculable relief whatsoever.

For example, SFR between River St and BU Bridge has nothing to do with any hypothetical Pike exits between Mass Ave and BU Bridge (who is talking about these?). What does my question have to do with a "Kenmore-area Pike ramp"? Also, I don't see how SFR has anything to do with distributed traffic in "BU/Kenmore/Fenway" because Storrow -- not SFR -- takes care of that E of the BU Bridge; I'm not proposing touching Storrow anywhere. I'm also not proposing messing with the Pike's 8 lanes E of the BU Bridge, so I also don't see how that's relevant. Same goes for Worcester Line "bunny-hops;" I'm asking about a ramp N of the Worcester Line where space opens up W of the BU bridge.
Yes it does. Because the lack of "hypothetical" exits between Mass Ave. and Allston means the only means of distributing traffic to BU, Kenmore, and the Fenway remains SFR from River to Charlesgate. If infill Pike exits in this area are woefully impractical to stage, and BU West Campus has near-bupkis for gained connectivity with only narrow Malvern running through...there are zero offsets vs. today. All traffic coming from Pike to BU/Kenmore/Fenway has to continue using SFR as a glorified over-long exit ramp. Therefore there's no lane compacting to be had through the 'throat'.

Compacting the 'throat' is not an option if you can't fish for offsets elsewhere. Per ^above^ there are zero offsets to fish for.

I know you have a TON of knowledge of the transportation network, but sometimes it'd be helpful if you could put your encyclopedia of knowledge aside and address a specific question on its merits instead of dumping out a whole bucket of info that does not address the question at hand. I'm not trying to be antagonistic or confrontational here, I'm just honestly trying to understand this better.
I suggest you try reading the post more carefully than a lightning-speed skim-n'-reply, then, because nothing said in there went to the level of rocket science. If the up-front assumption was that "BU Bridge to Charlesgate" was the only purposeful SFR keep of consequence, then I'm not surprised comprehension got all mangled from there because that literally isn't the half of it. Where--anywhere--in the history of this project has there been proposal renders of direct Pike-to-SFR access ramps somewhere between BU Bridge and River St.? Never...not once. You always got on/off SFR the same place you do today, at River. Everything River to Charlesgate is thus a keep from lack of offsets, and gives you no help at troubleshooting the 'throat' behind Agganis Arena.
 
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Equilibria

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For example, SFR between River St and BU Bridge has nothing to do with any hypothetical Pike exits between Mass Ave and BU Bridge (who is talking about these?). What does my question have to do with a "Kenmore-area Pike ramp"? Also, I don't see how SFR has anything to do with distributed traffic in "BU/Kenmore/Fenway" because Storrow -- not SFR -- takes care of that E of the BU Bridge; I'm not proposing touching Storrow anywhere. I'm also not proposing messing with the Pike's 8 lanes E of the BU Bridge, so I also don't see how that's relevant. Same goes for Worcester Line "bunny-hops;" I'm asking about a ramp N of the Worcester Line where space opens up W of the BU bridge.
I feel the need to point out that the BU Bridge has no intersection or interchange with SFR/Storrow (nor any potential to have one), so it can't be the endpoint of any solution.

The road needs to be addressed in segments between key entry/exit points: Mount Auburn/Cambridge Street, Cambridge Street/Charlesgate, Charlesgate/Public Garden, Public Garden/Charles Circle, Charles Circle/Leverett Circle.
 

JumboBuc

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Okay, this is basically what I'm envisioning / asking about. SFR tucks W of the Doubletree, merges in with the Pike in the new Beacon Park interchange (i.e., what is currently the Cambridge St Interchange), then merges out of the Pike into Storrow just W of the BU Bridge.
I feel the need to point out that the BU Bridge has no intersection or interchange with SFR/Storrow (nor any potential to have one), so it can't be the endpoint of any solution.

The road needs to be addressed in segments between key entry/exit points: Mount Auburn/Cambridge Street, Cambridge Street/Charlesgate, Charlesgate/Public Garden, Public Garden/Charles Circle, Charles Circle/Leverett Circle.
What I am envisioning/asking about does not touch the BU Bridge in any way. I reference the BU Bridge simply a landmark. Any interchange I'm asking about would be W of and below the BU Bridge, and would be between SFR/Storrow and the Pike. The BU Bridge would not be involved in any way. I apologize if this was unclear.
You said "BU Bridge" to Charlesgate. That's literally only half the length in question. You need the whole 1.75 miles of SFR from River St. to Charlesgate to have a connection at all. Specificity matters here when we're talking about the 'throat'.
Re: "specificity matters,"perhaps some of the lack of clarity here is that, in my understanding, the road that runs along the Charles River from underneath the BU Bridge to Charlesgate is not Soldier's Field Road, it is Storrow Drive. So "the whole 1.75 miles of SFR from River St. to Charlesgate" doesn't make a lot of sense to me. In my view SFR ends around the BU Bridge and becomes Storrow Drive. So SFR never reaches Charlesgate. Call this semantics if you want, but I think the lack of common nomenclature makes this confusing.

That I am talking about "only half the length in question" is kind of the entire point of what I'm saying. What I'm envisioning leaves Storrow alone between where it passes under the BU Bridge and where it intersects Charlesgate.
None whatsoever. See the project slides. The only grid connection between BU and Beacon Park in any way/shape/form is Malvern St., which impossibly tries to squeeze from multiple lanes at West Station to the more-or-less alleyway it still is through BU to Comm Ave. For reasons unknown they didn't even try to pair-match Babcock St., so connectivity to/from West Campus is less-than-useless. No calculable relief whatsoever.
I'm also not asking about a "grid connection between BU and Beacon Park;" I envision no more connection between the grid and the Pike than exists now, or whatever is determined for the future. In what I am envisioning, SFR around Cambridge St would be routed onto the Pike in the same place where Cambridge St interchanges with the Pike now. And Storrow would interchange with the Pike just W of the BU Bridge, but this isn't really "grid."
Yes it does. Because the lack of "hypothetical" exits between Mass Ave. and Allston means the only means of distributing traffic to BU, Kenmore, and the Fenway remains SFR from River to Charlesgate. If infill Pike exits in this area are woefully impractical to stage, and BU West Campus has near-bupkis for gained connectivity with only narrow Malvern running through...there are zero offsets vs. today. All traffic coming from Pike to BU/Kenmore/Fenway has to continue using SFR as a glorified over-long exit ramp. Therefore there's no lane compacting to be had through the 'throat'.

Compacting the 'throat' is not an option if you can't fish for offsets elsewhere. Per ^above^ there are zero offsets to fish for.
Again, in my understanding the road from River St to under the BU Bridge is SFR, but the road from under the BU Bridge to Charlesgate is Storrow Drive. And in what I am envisioning, Storrow Drive remains untouched. All of the access points from Storrow Drive to "BU, Kenmore, and the Fenway" remain.

I have no stance on BU West Campus connectivity. What I am envisioning doesn't affect that.
I suggest you try reading the post more carefully than a lightning-speed skim-n'-reply, then, because nothing said in there went to the level of rocket science. If the up-front assumption was that "BU Bridge to Charlesgate" was the only purposeful SFR keep of consequence, then I'm not surprised comprehension got all mangled from there because that literally isn't the half of it. Where--anywhere--in the history of this project has there been proposal renders of direct Pike-to-SFR access ramps somewhere between BU Bridge and River St.? Never...not once. You always got on/off SFR the same place you do today, at River. Everything River to Charlesgate is thus a keep from lack of offsets, and gives you no help at troubleshooting the 'throat' behind Agganis Arena.
I read it pretty carefully. And for all the reasons spelled out above, I still don't see how you're addressing my question. And the link at the top of this post is a prior graphic from ~6 years ago that I just found that's envisioning something very close to what I am.

There's probably a whole bunch of good reasons why what I am envisioning won't work. And if there's no space, fine. I get that. I just don't see how all the counterpoints being put forward in response to my question actually address it, and I'm trying to understand.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Okay, this is basically what I'm envisioning / asking about. SFR tucks W of the Doubletree, merges in with the Pike in the new Beacon Park interchange (i.e., what is currently the Cambridge St Interchange), then merges out of the Pike into Storrow just W of the BU Bridge.
That was never an officially-considered alternative. I've never seen that before; was that ever an officially-presented counterpoint, or is it just an individual's crayon-job? What's the context there? Too many of the key features on there like a "Super Pleasant St." required to make any of it work simply don't have extant opportunities in the real world. There was a dizzying buttload of officially-considered Alts. throughout the project's history, and none of them resembled this one that's apparently date-stamped 6 years ago.

OK...right there the assumptions are way, way askew from what the actual project is tackling. If these are the leading assumptions, of course it's going to get lost from there. That render isn't a starting point for addressing ANY of the issues we're talking about.

What I am envisioning/asking about does not touch the BU Bridge in any way. I reference the BU Bridge simply a landmark. Any interchange I'm asking about would be W of and below the BU Bridge, and would be between SFR/Storrow and the Pike. The BU Bridge would not be involved in any way. I apologize if this was unclear.
And thus it matters the world what it is you are "envisioning"...an actual counter-proposal from long ago that was vetted at least in quick passing by MassDOT, or an Internet crayon doodle? Where did it come from? We're way too far along in project comment to be debating eye-of-beholder crayon doodles or brand new never-before-seen by project staff outside submissions. Like it or not, the only path forward here is going to be a hashing out of the most recent 'official' Alts or some combination of them...not rebooting it from scratch. None of which feature anything remotely in function like the "Super Pleasant Street" that this render is wholly dependent on for doing its thing. This isn't relevant to the decision that has to be made right now to get the project unstuck.

Re: "specificity matters,"perhaps some of the lack of clarity here is that, in my understanding, the road that runs along the Charles River from underneath the BU Bridge to Charlesgate is not Soldier's Field Road, it is Storrow Drive. So "the whole 1.75 miles of SFR from River St. to Charlesgate" doesn't make a lot of sense to me. In my view SFR ends around the BU Bridge and becomes Storrow Drive. So SFR never reaches Charlesgate. Call this semantics if you want, but I think the lack of common nomenclature makes this confusing.
Fair point. But in public vernacular the names are used interchangeably. MassHighway's own signage uses it interchangeably. Various maps draw the demarcation point in different places because of conflicting public info on where the name change is. Yes, it's confusing. But lack of specificity there is what we deal with.

That's not the same as lack of specificity about what Alts. are even under consideration. It is crystal clear on the MassDOT Alts. that River St.-Charlesgate--all of it--is still the load-bearing connector because there is no insertion of new or diverted access points anywhere in-between River and BU Bridge giving the corridor a different segmenting. This new non-official render you're linking to, on the other hand, makes a completely different set of assumptions.

Yes...you have to be specific that you're talking about an "off-board" Alt. Because that makes no sense in context of the current-events stalemate boiling down to breakdown in consensus over the MassDOT-supplied Alts. It's crystal-clear what basis we're trying to hash through to find something usable in the last State-circulated round of Alts. It's not clear at all where this new one you linked even came from.

That I am talking about "only half the length in question" is kind of the entire point of what I'm saying. What I'm envisioning leaves Storrow alone between where it passes under the BU Bridge and where it intersects Charlesgate.
See all above. Right now...the way this project is hung up...the debate is constrained to hashing out some solution by poring over the most-recent round(s) of MassDOT Alts., because we're already years late on shovel-ready and it's a crisis. The project is not at a stalemate because the barn door hasn't been reopened to anything-goes new crayon doodles or Alts. that may have been very briefly reviewed and rejected in excess of a half-decade ago. That's a fundamental misunderstanding of what the right-this-second action plan is. We're not trying to build a more-perfect 'throat' by resetting the canvas to blank. We're trying to get something, anything done out of the Alts. that have survived the gauntlet for public scrutiny this far.

If the lineage of your linked render does not trace to something VERY recent that was state-vetted, then it's not relevant. Put it in Crazy Transit Pitches instead, because that's not the decision State + People's Pike are trying to make today.

I'm also not asking about a "grid connection between BU and Beacon Park;" I envision no more connection between the grid and the Pike than exists now, or whatever is determined for the future. In what I am envisioning, SFR around Cambridge St would be routed onto the Pike in the same place where Cambridge St interchanges with the Pike now. And Storrow would interchange with the Pike just W of the BU Bridge, but this isn't really "grid."

Again, in my understanding the road from River St to under the BU Bridge is SFR, but the road from under the BU Bridge to Charlesgate is Storrow Drive. And in what I am envisioning, Storrow Drive remains untouched. All of the access points from Storrow Drive to "BU, Kenmore, and the Fenway" remain.

I have no stance on BU West Campus connectivity. What I am envisioning doesn't affect that.
See all above. You're envisioning something so many stages past the point of the actual project taking new/rehashed solicitations that it's irrelevant to current decision-making. That's the point of confusion, in a nutshell.

I read it pretty carefully. And for all the reasons spelled out above, I still don't see how you're addressing my question. And the link at the top of this post is a prior graphic from ~6 years ago that I just found that's envisioning something very close to what I am.
And again...not reading carefully enough if all of this is predicated on an out-of-left-field set of assumptions that are not in any way/shape/form under evaluation today by the official parties for resolving the 'throat' stalemate. It could look 'totes awesomesauce on a 2D render, but the fact that it's nowhere near resembling any of the recent-consideration Alts. means it's completely irrelevant to resolving the stalemate. Nobody on aB made those rules; that's simply the decision we've got in real life for getting something done after so much time has now been wasted. We don't want this to sail straight into farce like Hartford's Aetna Viaduct where the structure has to light $$$ on fire for couple more rounds of 5-year patch repairs because we're incapable of making up our minds. We need to get this show on the road. That means the time for blank-canvas reconsideration has loooooooong since passed.
 

Charlie_mta

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Okay, this is basically what I'm envisioning / asking about. SFR tucks W of the Doubletree, merges in with the Pike in the new Beacon Park interchange (i.e., what is currently the Cambridge St Interchange), then merges out of the Pike into Storrow just W of the BU Bridge.
There are two major deal-killers with this concept:

1. The merge length between the SFR/Pike on/off ramps is too short. Undoable. Also, that suburban spaghetti interchange below Cambridge Street takes up a lot of space and ruins the proposed grid of streets and blocks in the new development area;

2. The exit from the Pike EB to SFR EB immediately dives down to go under the very low clearance Grand Junction RR overpass. A truck or bus would inevitably, on many occasions, take that exit by mistake and get slammed by the low RR overpass. No matter how many signs and warning lights, etc are put there, it will still happen anyway.

It's dangerous and it screws up the new development blocks between Cambridge Street and the Pike. No thanks,
 

Equilibria

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There are two major deal-killers with this concept:

1. The merge length between the SFR/Pike on/off ramps is too short. Undoable. Also, that suburban spaghetti interchange below Cambridge Street takes up a lot of space and ruins the proposed grid of streets and blocks in the new development area;

2. The exit from the Pike EB to SFR EB immediately dives down to go under the very low clearance Grand Junction RR overpass. A truck or bus would inevitably, on many occasions, take that exit by mistake and get slammed by the low RR overpass. No matter how many signs and warning lights, etc are put there, it will still happen anyway.

It's dangerous and it screws up the new development blocks between Cambridge Street and the Pike. No thanks,
As a big proponent of both this design and the aB-based effort that produced it in 2013-2014 (Dave printed it out onto a posterboard and brought it to meetings with us there in person - I know Ari Ofsevit spent a lot of time looking at it), I think it's striking how much MassDOT's decision to go with an urban interchange really moved the conversation forward. Dave's concept (which drew from ideas and tweaks contributed by lots of us) was far, far better than the rebuilt high-speed ramps MassDOT had proposed up that point, but yes, the spaghetti is a little jarring to see as "progressive" today.

That said, the idea of having SFR merge into the Turnpike and Storrow merge back out still makes more conceptual sense than the realistic designs that keep SFR/Storrow as a parallel, disconnected trunk.
 

Charlie_mta

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That said, the idea of having SFR merge into the Turnpike and Storrow merge back out still makes more conceptual sense than the realistic designs that keep SFR/Storrow as a parallel, disconnected trunk.
SFR is a car-only road whereas the Mass Pike is trucks, buses and cars. A direct off-ramp connector from the Mass Pike to SFR would be a safety problem.
 

cden4

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Just make I-90 6 lanes instead of 8 lanes through the throat and you can fit everything at the surface quite easily. We're going to be at reduced capacity for 10 years anyway, and the city and region's long-term goals are to reduce the number of cars on the road and shift more people to walking, bicycling, and transit.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Just make I-90 6 lanes instead of 8 lanes through the throat and you can fit everything at the surface quite easily. We're going to be at reduced capacity for 10 years anyway, and the city and region's long-term goals are to reduce the number of cars on the road and shift more people to walking, bicycling, and transit.
But if you ever...ever...want to diet the Pike-redundant Storrow midsection you don't ever short the # of Pike lanes between Allston & 93. And there's waaaaay more meaningful reclaimed park acreage at stake down there.

This is, in a nutshell, the dilemma. Make a short-term decision on the 'throat' now, screw the long-term on the centerpiece Esplanade later.
 

#bancars

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Just make I-90 6 lanes instead of 8 lanes through the throat and you can fit everything at the surface quite easily. We're going to be at reduced capacity for 10 years anyway, and the city and region's long-term goals are to reduce the number of cars on the road and shift more people to walking, bicycling, and transit.
MassDOT officials at the I-90 project task force meeting a few days ago were quite insistent that would NEVER happen. Most of the task for members were at least asking for a cost analysis, since the Pike will shrink to 6 lanes during reconstruction anyway and rebuilding it to 8 lanes in no way aligns with the Commonwealth's purported climate or transportation objectives. But the Secretary is firm on this.
 

Charlie_mta

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MassDOT officials at the I-90 project task force meeting a few days ago were quite insistent that would NEVER happen. Most of the task for members were at least asking for a cost analysis, since the Pike will shrink to 6 lanes during reconstruction anyway and rebuilding it to 8 lanes in no way aligns with the Commonwealth's purported climate or transportation objectives. But the Secretary is firm on this.
Until more transit capacity is built, I don't see reducing lanes on major highways. Build the transit first, then reduce the highways. Otherwise the gridlock will get much worse.
 

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