I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

F-Line to Dudley

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You could do Green GJ but not CR.
Yep. Water mitigation + 1.5% max RR grades making the inclines up/down super long in length. The total project area would have to dramatically increase in size because of the distended inclines, and that chews extra $$$ like a drunken sailor. Not only for the extra complexity of tunnel cuts & waterproofing, but all the extra linear acres of surveying/permitting/etc. over larger total project area, which serve little functional purpose except chewing more time and resources in paper busywork. Plus, watch BU start inserting itself into the mix as a pot-stirring political entity of greater consequence the closer that rail incline gets to the Comm Ave. overpass. They don't really have a ton to say about the 'throat' so long as that fight is all to their backs behind the Agganis Arena loading dock with their retaining wall to the tracks being untouched by it all. Different story altogether when you're popping headache meds at their unsolicited "Why don't we try building a midair-suspended back porch off the CFA building over your lovely new tunnel incline?" renders.

Right now, mercifully, BU isn't all that featured a player until the 'throat' stuff is done and it's back to troubleshooting the nonsensical street layout over the slab and the inverted West Station positioning that's inexplicably isolating from their campus.
 

Tallguy

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GJs future is GL. You can bridge Mass Ave but Main St area is a nightmare. What sucks is that the GL Union Sq tracks are on the wrong side.
 

Equilibria

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Its coming down to the point where theyre going to have to go “hey whats that over there” and when theyre looking add 20’ to the bank of the charles... boom Every. Single. Problem. Solved. Then when they go “hey, but it thought...” everyone just plays along and says na its always been like that idk what your talking about. As long as everyone agrees then its good. At this point this is the only option..
That's right, but you'll never get NEPA or MEPA permits.
 

stick n move

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How much would the fine be? Maybe just widen it, pay the fine, then refuse to undo it and then build the throat.
 

The EGE

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How much capacity do the fourth lanes on the Pike even add? Given :
  • the number of highway widenings that have proven utterly ineffective due to induced demand
  • that nearly every connecting highway and surface street is equally clogged at rush hour
  • the current lack of real shoulders
  • the frequency with which drivers merge across multiple lanes
I'm willing to bet that you could maintain the exact same throughput with three lanes (and a real shoulder except at the throat) as the existing configuration.
 

George_Apley

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I'm still seeing a lot of "cut a lane" comments that aren't really reckoning with this:

F-Line to Dudley said:
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.
 

The EGE

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And I repeat: where is the evidence that cutting a lane is actually going to reduce capacity in a way that would preclude future de-Storrowing? If it was currently three lanes but a fourth was proposed, every one of us would be crying bloody murder over induced demand and the unlikelihood of an actual capacity increase.
 

Charlie_mta

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One advantage of dropping a lane each direction on the Pike would be that new on/off ramps along the Pike to the east could be squeezed in a bit better, plus have more room for merge lanes at the new on-ramps, or an auxiliary 4th lane continuing to the next exit. Also shoulders lanes would be created along most of the downsized stretch..
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I'm still seeing a lot of "cut a lane" comments that aren't really reckoning with this:
...and just like that, the comments keep zooming right past. Yup, we're in peak frustration alright.

How much clearer can this be.

1. MassDOT says the terms of resolving the 'throat' stalemate must preserve # of thru lanes.

2. Any and all proposals that try to circumvent with lane reductions get rejected sight-unseen and land on the trash heap.

3. Any parties with a vested interest in resolving the stalemate will thus work within these terms of engagement, lest they just be wasting time/energy/bandwidth debating things that explicitly won't ever merit real-world consideration.


Despite such crystal-fucking-clear directive laying out point-blank terms...peak frustration apparently entails. . .

. . .overtly ignoring that these terms are real and either talking right past them or assailing their validity in order to talk right past them.

You guys realize that we didn't make the decision to hold the 'throat' design fix to those terms, right? Those terms were imposed by the agency that has to fund this because it's WAY too late in the game for navel-gazing and delays have forced this to be a shovel-ready fix. Meaning they have no time to refactor traffic modeling for ultra- long-term and unforeseen consequences, as that would add too many more years to the decision.

Look...it sucks that lane-drops weren't debated more rigorously early on in the project. I get that. But we're far past early on. If the 'throat' stalemate isn't fixed this immediately turns into a Hartford Viaduct trash-salvage job where 8 figures has to be immediately programmed for in-situ patches of the existing shitty viaduct to punt out another decade to argue amongst selves on existential matters. And that accomplishes nothing except making one's own idea of a more-perfect waterfront that much more impossible to ever fund. Because that patch money gets lit on fire for NO lasting purpose except punting for more time to circular-argue, and drains the coffers even for implementing some of the better 'throat' alts. You really will not like the remaining options if stalemate overshoots the time limit for emergency patches. That will not allow time for a more perfect design; it only serves to bankrupt the 'imagination' fund.

This is why the decision is pinned in as "shovel-ready or bust". We can't afford a Hartford-level metastisizing of the stalemate. All of the nice things disappear if that happens, and there will be forever-regrets about the time v. resource squander.

We can either acknowledge that this is the unchangeable bind that constrains the fix options to what they are, or we can let peak frustration facilitate mass denial and squander the time limit for squeezing even the imperfectly nice things out of the fix decision. Pretending we have the terms in front of us to reinvent-from-scratch the lane-drop debate is sticking one's head firmly in the sand at this point.

Talk over it some more to your heart's content if it's THAT impossible to resist the OCD and intensity-of-belief is that hot that the terms the fix is being held to are that no-fair. But do it with eyes wide open on what it actually real-world accomplishes at conversely limiting the options when we run out of time and have a Hartford-like delay quagmire starting to actively suck the resources dry.
 

whighlander

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And I repeat: where is the evidence that cutting a lane is actually going to reduce capacity in a way that would preclude future de-Storrowing? If it was currently three lanes but a fourth was proposed, every one of us would be crying bloody murder over induced demand and the unlikelihood of an actual capacity increase.
EGE -- Induced Demand is "Fake Terminology"
Adding Capacity to a Network improves its performance if only incrementally
Even enhancing one link from a congested node improves overall performance
Greater Boston is a fully congested Network [at least it was at rush hour pre-COVID-19]
 

cden4

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The 4th lane in both directions between Allston and Back Bay really is just an extended on-ramp/off-ramp. Going westbound, the 4th lane is added from the Copley on-ramp and becomes an exit-only lane at the Allston exit. Going eastbound, the 4th lane is added from the Allston on-ramp and becomes exit-only at Copley. So instead of having it continue for that whole length, having 3 lanes in the throat would basically mean that for the middle part, that lane would not be continuous. But already it's very uncommon to have such a long lane that just acts as an auxiliary lane. They'd just be more like regular on-ramps and off-ramps. And in the non-throat sections, you'd have room for real shoulders. You could also create a real acceleration lane westbound at Mass Ave, instead of having it dump you directly into a travel lane.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The 4th lane in both directions between Allston and Back Bay really is just an extended on-ramp/off-ramp. Going westbound, the 4th lane is added from the Copley on-ramp and becomes an exit-only lane at the Allston exit. Going eastbound, the 4th lane is added from the Allston on-ramp and becomes exit-only at Copley. So instead of having it continue for that whole length, having 3 lanes in the throat would basically mean that for the middle part, that lane would not be continuous. But already it's very uncommon to have such a long lane that just acts as an auxiliary lane. They'd just be more like regular on-ramps and off-ramps. And in the non-throat sections, you'd have room for real shoulders.
Which...would...get...immediately thrown in the trash heap. Because lane reductions are no-go for 'throat' troubleshooting consideration.


It's almost as if by just trying to talk past this very real set of ground rules often enough we convince ourselves that we can somehow will those rules into non-existence. Instead of it actually just wasting more time on non-considerations that won't ever bring things closer to a resolution. :unsure:
 

Wash

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Apparently MassDot's plans still involve single-tracking the Worcester like through the project area.
 

cden4

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Which...would...get...immediately thrown in the trash heap. Because lane reductions are no-go for 'throat' troubleshooting consideration.


It's almost as if by just trying to talk past this very real set of ground rules often enough we convince ourselves that we can somehow will those rules into non-existence. Instead of it actually just wasting more time on non-considerations that won't ever bring things closer to a resolution. :unsure:
It's a BS ground rule that MassDOT imposed and no one else agreed to. That's why no matter what alternative they present, people don't like it. We should absolutely keep calling them out on it.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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It's a BS ground rule that MassDOT imposed and no one else agreed to. That's why no matter what alternative they present, people don't like it. We should absolutely keep calling them out on it.
OK...then call them out on it and get the rule changed. First before all else.

Don't keep flinging new proposals out there that simply ignore that the rule ever existed. That's as head-in-sand stupid as flinging out proposals that outright break the law. The rule exists. As long as it exists that's the terms of engagement for finding a fix, and obstinance of that fact accomplishes nothing except wasting giant sums of time and energy talking about things that can't be. Put the energy into getting the rule changed first, so those things you want actually have a mechanism to be. Is there substantial evidence that's being done here by People's Pike??? If you aren't sure...put your attention to the advocacy's performance there first in calling them out, because until it's arm-wrestled into a cut-back we are not pitching anything that solves an actual problem.


I still don't know why this is so difficult to understand. It's a process. Either what you advocate operates within the bounds of the real process as it is (not as we want it to be), or it's living in a fantasy land. It's still a fantasy land if you hate the terms of the process but won't go further than hating-on the process. If the immediate pivot isn't reforming the process to more amenable terms it's accomplishing exactly the same nothing except wasting sums of energy in impotent screaming.

So what do the advocates do to press for a change in process? Somebody take a full-meal stab at answering that question before we self-medicate with any more fantasy renders of stuff unmoored from any process. Difficulty: tick-tock-tick-tock on how many more years of anything--changes in process, build alts within-process, build alts in-total-ignorance-of process--we can circularly-argue before the blowtorch starts lighting MassDOT budget $$$ on fire in in-place temp patch fixes. Either it moves that needle right now on opening up the process, or it's not realistic.
 

jass

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It's a BS ground rule that MassDOT imposed and no one else agreed to. That's why no matter what alternative they present, people don't like it. We should absolutely keep calling them out on it.
F-line seems to believe that MassDOT is God, instead of an agency that works for us.

Don't keep flinging new proposals out there that simply ignore that the rule ever existed.
Bullshit. Showing good renders is how you build support. "Look how great it would be if MassDOT acted like an agency accountable to the public."

accomplishes nothing except wasting giant sums of time
Actually, when the only option MassDOT presents is garbage, wasting time is the solution. It allows the dinosaurs to retire.

I still don't know why this is so difficult to understand.
Completely agree. It's baffling that you keep repeating your same erroneous points. We get it. It's you that's wrong. Now please spare us from another seven paragraphs with bold text and an attempt to end the conversation on your terms and your terms alone.
 
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