I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

BeyondRevenue

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I wonder if it's feasible to turn this entire development into a private-vehicle-free one (kind of like the pedestrianized downtown-crossing plaza), and close the roads to only buses, delivery trucks, and bikes. Or maybe only allow cars on one of the east-west streets. Otherwise this area is going to look like Assembly Square on the day that it is built.
We can only hope that this has has many people using it as Assembly Square does. There are some lessons to be gleaned from that comparison though. I see parallels in how car-centric ASQ is by design since it’s unconnected to anything else but the OL and a couple sporadic bus routes. Despite the best efforts of ped-bike planners it is an island. The Mystic River and 93 are like I90 and Comm Ave. All are to some degrees barriers to entry and shared activities. You cannot readily cross from Somerville proper to ASQ without a serious hike through awful highway carchitecture. There is no crossing the Mystic or Malden rivers from the East and North respectively. Two ways in. And a hike. That’s it. So people drive there. BU and Harvard have to stop their petty turf war and connect themselves. The lack of many crossing opportunities means places like Cambridge and Linden Streets are out of the way necessary pinch points to the North cross if you live at Packards Corner. Cambridge Street is taking ALL the traffic. This whole new Allston Landing/New Harvard development needs to be a Boston peninsula not a private island with a couple bridges connecting it to the mainland. For all Harvard took, BU should get building rights in exchange for encouraging through traffic. This is easily do-able.
 

stellarfun

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Where is Tip O'Neill when you really need him.

Allston still in limbo after feds reject $1.2 billion request to help fund Pike realignment
State, city still looking for ways to pay for huge re-do of the Mass. Pike in Allston.


....the US Department of Transportation just did, by rejecting the city-state request for a “Mega” grant of $1.2 billion, which would have covered 60 percent of the project’s $2 billion price tag.
...
So what went wrong? A spokesperson for US DOT said the federal agency is not yet able to comment on the Mega selection process, because of language that Congress included in its 2021 infrastructure law. It certainly didn’t help Allston’s chances that the new $5 billion program, funded by a section of that law, ended up being uber-competitive — with more than 100 applications jockeying for just over $1 billion in the first of five annual rounds.
 

Equilibria

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Where is Tip O'Neill when you really need him.

Allston still in limbo after feds reject $1.2 billion request to help fund Pike realignment
State, city still looking for ways to pay for huge re-do of the Mass. Pike in Allston.

Bear in mind that this grant program didn't exist until 2021. It's not like they conceived the project assuming they'd get it.

Also important to note, as the Globe does, that they may have not met a shovel-ready requirement on this and expected to lose. They now have a grant application boilerplate that they can get feedback on and apply for 3 more times until they get it.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Yeah. Our project will get beat out by some very long bridge over a very wide river in a red state -- saaaay Nebraska - allowing 20 Cornhuskers per day to motor over to the AM/PM MiniMart and the local pharmacy on the other side.
They fill a Reagan-Era "Thirsty-Two Ouncer" with HFCS-laden Pepsi, then drive 300 feet to get subsidized statins, insulin and test-strips, without a hint of irony crossing their mind.
Their bridge? Same price as our project. Our 'Throat' gets cut because the 'Husker has more electoral pull than us.
Yes. A simple formula to serve the unnamed religion of libertarian obstructionism in service to the unquestioned God, Capitalis.
This is our normal.
In DC, there is an occasionally active party on the center right; a milquetoast chamber of commerce group occasionally cutting emergency repair checks to fix 4 decades of woeful neglect. Band-Aids on Band-Aids.
And there's Right-wing populism, sucking air and logic out of the room and the only song they know is "Screw the libs." Jesus. Freedom. Our way of life. America. Sing along, you know the words. Red state win, blue state lose.

Dance, monkeys, dance!
 

Java King

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Yeah. Our project will get beat out by some very long bridge over a very wide river in a red state -- saaaay Nebraska - allowing 20 Cornhuskers per day to motor over to the AM/PM MiniMart and the local pharmacy on the other side.
They fill a Reagan-Era "Thirsty-Two Ouncer" with HFCS-laden Pepsi, then drive 300 feet to get subsidized statins, insulin and test-strips, without a hint of irony crossing their mind.
Their bridge? Same price as our project. Our 'Throat' gets cut because the 'Husker has more electoral pull than us.
Yes. A simple formula to serve the unnamed religion of libertarian obstructionism in service to the unquestioned God, Capitalis.
This is our normal.
In DC, there is an occasionally active party on the center right; a milquetoast chamber of commerce group occasionally cutting emergency repair checks to fix 4 decades of woeful neglect. Band-Aids on Band-Aids.
And there's Right-wing populism, sucking air and logic out of the room and the only song they know is "Screw the libs." Jesus. Freedom. Our way of life. America. Sing along, you know the words. Red state win, blue state lose.

Dance, monkeys, dance!
I'm taking this all in fun, so no worries. I grew up and went to college in Nebraska, and I'm pretty much the biggest socialist Democrat here in Mass now. LOL Nebraska may not be as red as you think.
 

393b40

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I'm taking this all in fun, so no worries. I grew up and went to college in Nebraska, and I'm pretty much the biggest socialist Democrat here in Mass now. LOL Nebraska may not be as red as you think.
Notice how you don't live in Nebraska anymore tho. Went to school in Nebraska but don't live there anymore isn't a very strong position to argue from that Nebraska is some kind of tolerable place.
 

Java King

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Notice how you don't live in Nebraska anymore tho. Went to school in Nebraska but don't live there anymore isn't a very strong position to argue from that Nebraska is some kind of tolerable place.
Yes, that's an excellent point. I LOVE Mass for everything that Nebraska is not. :) However, I do visit the state quite often as well as many, many other RED states. I find Nebraska to be more progressive than Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and many other states in the southeast. That's just my opinion though. Back to I-90 Improvement now. LOL
 

BeyondRevenue

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I'm taking this all in fun, so no worries. I grew up and went to college in Nebraska, and I'm pretty much the biggest socialist Democrat here in Mass now. LOL Nebraska may not be as red as you think.
Thank you. Omaha is cool. But there are some other places that cross the Platte that... well... aren't. The people aren't so much Red/Blue but purple. The representative body is pandering to the aforementioned who are easily wound up come election day.
 

Roxxma

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Yes, that's an excellent point. I LOVE Mass for everything that Nebraska is not. :) However, I do visit the state quite often as well as many, many other RED states. I find Nebraska to be more progressive than Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and many other states in the southeast. That's just my opinion though. Back to I-90 Improvement now. LOL
My aunt and late uncle were professors at UNO and UNL, respectively (she social work, he plant genetics and biology), and raised their six kids on the eastern edge of Lincoln. On several occasions, I went on "vacation" to Lincoln. I always found Nebraska to be exotic, at least it was to this kid from the suburbs of Boston. My cousins would occasionally take my siblings and me out of the city and to some of the more interesting things that could be found there (limestone caves in the woods, abandoned nuclear missile silos in the middle of soybean fields, etc,), not to mention a trip with my aunt halfway across the state to a tiny but "funky" town in the middle of a cornfield to visit an adoptee that she placed with a family during her social work days. On the flipside, when they were young and would visit us, my father would take my cousins out into the town forest near our house and the cousins would get nervous in the afternoon, hours before sunset, because they couldn't see the horizon in hilly woodsy northeastern Massachusetts, they were certain that it was almost sunset and that they were about to be caught in the woods at night.

The people aren't so much Red/Blue but purple.
My cousin, who was the Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party in the mid 1980s, and still has very strong ties there would wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Over the years I have heard so many really interesting stories from him about the nuanced sense of decency and practicality that is ingrained in the culture there. It would be unfair to paint the political culture there with one color (though I suppose the same case could be made for many places).
 

Equilibria

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My aunt and late uncle were professors at UNO and UNL, respectively (she social work, he plant genetics and biology), and raised their six kids on the eastern edge of Lincoln. On several occasions, I went on "vacation" to Lincoln. I always found Nebraska to be exotic, at least it was to this kid from the suburbs of Boston. My cousins would occasionally take my siblings and me out of the city and to some of the more interesting things that could be found there (limestone caves in the woods, abandoned nuclear missile silos in the middle of soybean fields, etc,), not to mention a trip with my aunt halfway across the state to a tiny but "funky" town in the middle of a cornfield to visit an adoptee that she placed with a family during her social work days. On the flipside, when they were young and would visit us, my father would take my cousins out into the town forest near our house and the cousins would get nervous in the afternoon, hours before sunset, because they couldn't see the horizon in hilly woodsy northeastern Massachusetts, they were certain that it was almost sunset and that they were about to be caught in the woods at night.


My cousin, who was the Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party in the mid 1980s, and still has very strong ties there would wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Over the years I have heard so many really interesting stories from him about the nuanced sense of decency and practicality that is ingrained in the culture there. It would be unfair to paint the political culture there with one color (though I suppose the same case could be made for many places).
I realize this is well off-topic, but I just need to recognize that you probably just became the first person in recorded history to describe Nebraska as "exotic" since 1820:

 

shmessy

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Notice how you don't live in Nebraska anymore tho. Went to school in Nebraska but don't live there anymore isn't a very strong position to argue from that Nebraska is some kind of tolerable place.

I grew up in Newton, went to college in Waltham, have almost 3,000 posts on this website with an unhealthy addiction to reading it.

I have lived in Maryland since 1988.

What's your point?
.
 
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Charlie_mta

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I realize this is well off-topic, but I just need to recognize that you probably just became the first person in recorded history to describe Nebraska as "exotic" since 1820:

I actually like that whole Midwestern area including Nebraska, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. I like the people there and the small towns. Call me provincial or whatever, I don't mind.
 

FK4

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What buses? There's nothing Yellow Line in the area except for the 64 and an ill-advisedly off-course 66/T66 loop. Coach buses sure as hell aren't going to pit-stop this closely in when South Station is plenty well transit-accessible from BU, Harvard, and Allston. If BU is fighting tooth and nail to keep the street grid disconnected from here it's sure as heck not going to bother to run a university shuttle to that stop. So who are those gigantic busways even for?
Can the city just eminent domain the land in babcock and say fuck you, BU? The refusal to allow a desperately needed connection on babcock by BU has made me absolutely despise this university ever since these palms first started being discussed so many years ago. Flow is important to a city. I feel like the need to simply have the psychological knowledge that whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or on foot, you can get from A to B by simply continuing on the street you’re on, is crucial. This whole area suffers because there’s no way to get across the pike and we’re talking about major neighborhoods—BU, Coolidge Corner, Allston. Do your traffic calming if you must, but we need roads, it’s more than just about having a war on auto traffic (which I think is why there hasn’t been as much of an uproar over the BU standing in the way issue here). Babcock is the logical street. One of the worst things about Boston is that major thoroughfares and connector streets just END for no reason other than the neighborhood wanted it that way. And this isn’t the suburbs, this is going to be HUGE life sciences area with major connectivity needs. F Line, is anyone else going to be fighting for this Babcock connection?
 

FK4

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I actually like that whole Midwestern area including Nebraska, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. I like the people there and the small towns. Call me provincial or whatever, I don't mind.
That part of the country is exotic to me and I’ve been calling it that for years — I’ve never been there but it’s the Great Plains states that I most want to visit just to tool around… because I know that they will feel the most different to my northeastern bubble that I’ll find in the USA. So yeah, that’s exotic to me.
 

tangent

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Can the city just eminent domain the land in babcock and say fuck you, BU? The refusal to allow a desperately needed connection on babcock by BU has made me absolutely despise this university ever since these palms first started being discussed so many years ago. Flow is important to a city. I feel like the need to simply have the psychological knowledge that whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or on foot, you can get from A to B by simply continuing on the street you’re on, is crucial. This whole area suffers because there’s no way to get across the pike and we’re talking about major neighborhoods—BU, Coolidge Corner, Allston. Do your traffic calming if you must, but we need roads, it’s more than just about having a war on auto traffic (which I think is why there hasn’t been as much of an uproar over the BU standing in the way issue here). Babcock is the logical street. One of the worst things about Boston is that major thoroughfares and connector streets just END for no reason other than the neighborhood wanted it that way. And this isn’t the suburbs, this is going to be HUGE life sciences area with major connectivity needs. F Line, is anyone else going to be fighting for this Babcock connection?

I look at this entire project as the entire state of Massachusetts and the Federal government being told to go suck on half a billion dollars in debt so that BU can be left untouched. Or alternatively we are paying an extra half billion to preserve a single lane of traffic for a few hundred feet. This project as proposed is rediculous madness.

The money is better spent elsewhere.
 
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HenryAlan

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Can the city just eminent domain the land in babcock and say fuck you, BU? The refusal to allow a desperately needed connection on babcock by BU has made me absolutely despise this university ever since these palms first started being discussed so many years ago. Flow is important to a city. I feel like the need to simply have the psychological knowledge that whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or on foot, you can get from A to B by simply continuing on the street you’re on, is crucial. This whole area suffers because there’s no way to get across the pike and we’re talking about major neighborhoods—BU, Coolidge Corner, Allston. Do your traffic calming if you must, but we need roads, it’s more than just about having a war on auto traffic (which I think is why there hasn’t been as much of an uproar over the BU standing in the way issue here). Babcock is the logical street. One of the worst things about Boston is that major thoroughfares and connector streets just END for no reason other than the neighborhood wanted it that way. And this isn’t the suburbs, this is going to be HUGE life sciences area with major connectivity needs. F Line, is anyone else going to be fighting for this Babcock connection?
When I went to BU, Lower Allston seemed so remote, as to basically not exist in my mental map. And that was explicitly due to the lack of direct connections. I'm still kind of shocked to think it's really only 2/5 of a mile from Walter Brown Arena. Although some off campus students live over there, most consider it too inaccessible, but the reality is that it could be a great BU satellite housing area, but for a Babcock extension.
 
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Koopzilla24

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Take down the plate number of every private vehicle that passes through the West Allston Toll Gantry @ Everett St. a send an equal portion of the bill to their house. Might encourage them to support reducing the Pike to 2 lanes each direction if it costs directly less to them.

On a different more serious note: the city should take advantage of the opportunity to lay new streets from scratch to create a real multi-family mixed-use community centered around a park that’s city subsidized to keep rent comparable to the surrounding Allston-Brighton. As long as they don’t do an Assembly or University Park and call it “Transit Oriented Development”
 

bakgwailo

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On a different more serious note: the city should take advantage of the opportunity to lay new streets from scratch to create a real multi-family mixed-use community centered around a park that’s city subsidized to keep rent comparable to the surrounding Allston-Brighton. As long as they don’t do an Assembly or University Park and call it “Transit Oriented Development”
The city doesn't own the land being redeveloped, Harvard does.
 

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