I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

Tallguy

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. You could add a gauntlet track and only make moves at night.
 

Brattle Loop

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. You could add a gauntlet track and only make moves at night.
LRT wheel profiles and RR wheel profiles are different, so they'd have to be completely separate tracks. Is it still a gauntlet track if it's two separate tracks just overlapping? (Question for the philosophers, perhaps?)

Time separation is feasible at least from a regulatory standpoint, they already do it in New Jersey on the River LINE service. I don't know how feasible it would be from an operational standpoint for the GJ (as I recall the FRA requires quite a bit of dead time between the last run on one mode and the first on another just to make absolutely sure the two won't meet) but it's probably not technically precluded (which is a separate discussion from whether or not it makes sense as a proposal, on which I take no particular position).
 

Charlie_mta

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I've mentioned this before but (IMO) the Big Dig was really a real estate project and not a transportation one. Much like this.
I'd say though that the Big Dig did add the Ted Williams tunnel and it's connector highway, plus greatly increased the lanes and capacity of the Central Artery itself. So in that regard it was certainly a transportation project. It was also an urban development project by removing the blight of the elevated highway along it's entire length through Downtown, and opening up land in the Bullfinch Triangle area for new buildings over the expressway tunnels.
 

BeyondRevenue

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I'd say though that the Big Dig did add the Ted Williams tunnel and it's connector highway, plus greatly increased the lanes and capacity of the Central Artery itself. So in that regard it was certainly a transportation project. It was also an urban development project by removing the blight of the elevated highway along it's entire length through Downtown, and opening up land in the Bullfinch Triangle area for new buildings over the expressway tunnels.
Exactly. I always want to punch knee-jerk Big Dig detractors who forget the massive amount water, sewer, power and telecommunications centralization, upgrade and improvement that happened as well. If you just take retooling Charlestown's City Square and connecting that to the Tobin? The Zakim? All highways north of Andrew Square to 90? Yeah, and some parks, too. Landfill capping. Sinking the Green line underground from Haymarket to Science Park? We deserved it ...and most of the money stayed here in Boston. We'd been paying out to pave the rest of the country for years with nothing coming back. #donorstates.

So I guess in a roundabout, all-in way that made for some valuable real estate.
 

bigpicture7

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In an ideal world, the expansive mutual benefits from infrastructure projects like this (and the Big Dig) make it hard (impossible) to distinguish whom is actually benefitting "most."
 

donkeybutlers

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I think the Blue Line, if extended down the river bank, would have long since peeled away from Storrow/Soldiers' Field Road by the time it reached the Pike, where this project is. That said, Storrow-reduction with Blue Line to Kenmore as a trade-in is still worthwhile as a project (just a topic for a different thread).
The park could still stretch here though so they Don't need to build even more into the river this is so much paved land right next to the Charles, I wish there were less space dedicated to cars here.
 

Brattle Loop

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The park could still stretch here though so they Don't need to build even more into the river this is so much paved land right next to the Charles, I wish there were less space dedicated to cars here.
Unfortunately lane reductions (at least on the Pike) were probably never going to be acceptable to the people in charge of approving this particular project.
 

jklo

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did add the Ted Williams tunnel and it's connector highway
If you go back to the TWT, they did end up gutting the Silver Line. Harvard seems to want passenger service on the GJ but they could give up on it and the extra platform at West Station could easily be VEd.
 

bigpicture7

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If you go back to the TWT, they did end up gutting the Silver Line. Harvard seems to want passenger service on the GJ but they could give up on it and the extra platform at West Station could easily be VEd.
I agree that without some activism pushing on this, GJ passenger service is far from a done deal. However, not only should Harvard want it (and obviously Harvard is more directly involved in this project), but MIT definitely should as well. Commuters coming in on the Worcester line would have a dramatically shorter trip with a single transfer to Mass Ave/Kendall via the GJ. MIT could add to the pressure on the state (and on Harvard) by agreeing to contribute their own funds toward some of the Cambridge platforms/stations...especially the one at Broadway that would presumably be under one of their own buildings. MIT pressuring Harvard might actually move the needle a bit more here.
 

Brattle Loop

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I agree that without some activism pushing on this, GJ passenger service is far from a done deal. However, not only should Harvard want it (and obviously Harvard is more directly involved in this project), but MIT definitely should as well. Commuters coming in on the Worcester line would have a dramatically shorter trip with a single transfer to Mass Ave/Kendall via the GJ. MIT could add to the pressure on the state (and on Harvard) by agreeing to contribute their own funds toward some of the Cambridge platforms/stations...especially the one at Broadway that would presumably be under one of their own buildings. MIT pressuring Harvard might actually move the needle a bit more here.
I'm not disagreeing as such, though I do question the economic case for either institution contributing their own money. Obviously they can if they want to, but whether that's good value for money (for them or for the state) will obviously turn to some extent on how useful the service is. I don't recall if there's ever been a clear statement of the maximum frequencies that the GJ can support on RR mode (whether as a shuttle to West Station, re-routed Worcester Line trains, or a mix of both) but it could well be the case that the frequencies will be insufficient to generate ridership sufficient to justify the expense of upgrading the line and building the stations.

Actually, now that I say that, I think it'd be a perfect opportunity for Harvard and/or MIT to fund a study to answer these questions.
 

bigpicture7

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I'm not disagreeing as such, though I do question the economic case for either institution contributing their own money. Obviously they can if they want to, but whether that's good value for money (for them or for the state) will obviously turn to some extent on how useful the service is. I don't recall if there's ever been a clear statement of the maximum frequencies that the GJ can support on RR mode (whether as a shuttle to West Station, re-routed Worcester Line trains, or a mix of both) but it could well be the case that the frequencies will be insufficient to generate ridership sufficient to justify the expense of upgrading the line and building the stations.

Actually, now that I say that, I think it'd be a perfect opportunity for Harvard and/or MIT to fund a study to answer these questions.
Yeah, I did not mean to absolve the gov't/MBTA from being the primary funders/sponsors of this project. What was on my mind was MGH's cooperation regarding Red-Blue connector and their associated contribution to station construction under one of their new buildings. MIT's got a similar thing going on where the GJ crosses Broadway and passes beneath the Brian/Cog Sciences Bldg. To the extent that these big institutions have buildings and interests literally and figuratively intersect with the project, it is beneficial when they contribute and are activists for moving the project forward. MIT is already committed to funding the Grand Junction path segment from Mass Ave to Mem Drive (an offset from the Volpe Project, I believe); for instance, can this be done with advance prep for dual tracking/etc?
 

shmessy

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…….Side Note: for those of us who frequently watch the GJ equipment ferrying, which (at least pre-pandemic), was several times a day...the heavy equipment grade crossings are, ummm, a bit non-traditional: train slows to a near-idle, guy jumps out into the middle of traffic to try to stop the cars, train huffs and puffs across the street, guy jumps back onboard and train speeds up again. Fascinating how they get away with that in fairly busy Cambridge traffic. I suppose the fact that the trains are going about 2 miles an hour make it reasonably safe. There are also non-gated signal bells, but the pedestrians with headphones can't hear those and, since there are no gates, cars try to sneak through, which I presume is a main reason why the guy jumps off to help usher the train through.
It’s incredible and pathetic that THAT event happens daily in the most technologically innovative city on earth……::
 

shmessy

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For perspective on that one time spend of $14.8 billion 20 years ago...
View attachment 17539
Seems like we're really cheap with that in mind. I'm just asking for 8 or so (because Arup's numbers are wrong)
Im more than sick of the idiot Luddites who complain about the Big Dig. That one project is the reason Boston is a world class city today that can compete with any city on earth for the economy of the future. Without it, Greater Boston would have slid back precipitously.

These types of projects ( hello, NSRL) produce many multiples of revenue ANNUALLY into the future.
 

shmessy

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I'd say though that the Big Dig did add the Ted Williams tunnel and it's connector highway, plus greatly increased the lanes and capacity of the Central Artery itself. So in that regard it was certainly a transportation project. It was also an urban development project by removing the blight of the elevated highway along it's entire length through Downtown, and opening up land in the Bullfinch Triangle area for new buildings over the expressway tunnels.
…… but it’s greatest long term effect was economic and real estate development. Seaport, North Point, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Charlestown ( The emerging MysticRiviera) —- none of these happen without The Big Dig. Without it, we would have seen a continuation of the financial and human talent migration we saw in the 1970s and 80sfrom our economy and universities to Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. The Bid Dig effectively turned off that spigot and put Boston into play as the best option for the talent and companies to stay.

I remember the 1970s and 1980s - Boston was bleeding companies and recent graduates. We were slowly drifting towards Clevelandhood. The Big Dig is the greatest single catalyst for Boston in over a century.

The same myopic single focus on transport and ignoring of the much longer term real estate and economic benefits is holding back the NSRL. A rising tide lifts all economic boats - especially closer to the rising tide. If Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, NH experience (as opposed to Nasheville or Greensboro) historic transformations due to single seat connections to DC/Philly/NY that willinevitably be just one of many benefits to the GreaterBoston.
 
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Charlie_mta

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…… but it’s greatest long term effect was economic and real estate development. Seaport, North Point, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Charlestown ( The emerging MysticRiviera) —- none of these happen without The Big Dig. Without it, we would have seen a continuation of the financial and human talent migration we saw in the 1970s and 80sfrom our economy and universities to Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. The Bid Dig effectively turned off that spigot and put Boston into play as the best option for the talent and companies to stay.

I remember the 1970s and 1980s - Boston was bleeding companies and recent graduates. We were slowly drifting towards Clevelandhood. The Big Dig is the greatest single catalyst for Boston in over a century.

The same myopic single focus on transport and ignoring of the much longer term real estate and economic benefits is holding back the NSRL. A rising tide lifts all economic boats - especially closer to the rising tide. If Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, NH experience (as opposed to Nasheville or Greensboro) historic transformations due to single seat connections to DC/Philly/NY that willinevitably be just one of many benefits to the GreaterBoston.
I totally agree. I just didn't want the transportation component to be completely dismissed, as it is quite a big plus.
 

Brattle Loop

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It’s incredible and pathetic that THAT event happens daily in the most technologically innovative city on earth……::
Which event? The people with the headphones, or the trains crossing at un-gated crossings? In the latter case, it's not as if it even needs an innovative solution. Crossing gates exist for a reason. GJ doesn't have sufficient traffic over it to justify the expense, at least that what it seems like the reasoning it.
 

shmessy

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Which event? The people with the headphones, or the trains crossing at un-gated crossings? In the latter case, it's not as if it even needs an innovative solution. Crossing gates exist for a reason. GJ doesn't have sufficient traffic over it to justify the expense, at least that what it seems like the reasoning it.
Ummmmm…..the train personnel jumping out in the middle of the street to stop traffic then jumping back on the train once it has crossed the street doesn’t seem too advanced….. but, hey, that’s just me.
 

reno

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It’s incredible and pathetic that THAT event happens daily in the most technologically innovative city on earth……::
There are a examples on the internet of pedestrians, cars, and trucks going around under and through crossing gates in front of, and (unbelievable but true) through the middle of moving trains, what kind of technology in Cambridge prevents this idiotic behavior?
 

jklo

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There are a examples on the internet of pedestrians, cars, and trucks going around under and through crossing gates in front of, and (unbelievable but true) through the middle of moving trains, what kind of technology in Cambridge prevents this idiotic behavior?
Putting gates in is definately something they will need to do for passenger service.
 

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