If You Were God... Transit & Infrastructure Sandbox

KCasiglio

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This is very much a living document that I'm still moving things around/experimenting with/crayoning after a few beverages, but this is my stab at trying to make an "ambitious but plausible" southern New England

But if I'm going full god crayoning mode, then it's radial lines all over Boston and actual transit systems all over New England mid size cities.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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High Speed rail similar to HS2 in the UK between Boston and Montreal. Not the crazy, round-about existing trackage, but a real high-speed "as direct as possible" alignment. (I know this doesn't make as much sense as the same type of rail alignment to New York City: but hey, it's God talking.) I just think we don't capitalize on our proximity to major cities in Canada like we should. On a good day, I can drive 5 hours to Montreal. The train should be 3 hours or less.
White Mountains. Green Mountains.


At least when God in the mood for MOAR TUNNEL, He doesn't pussy-foot around with crumbly waterlogged Connecticut trap-rock seams like those NEC FUTURE poseurs. Base tunnel or GTFO.:cool:
 

WormtownNative

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I still think it would be trivial enough to zap most of the grade-crossings on Route 2 between 128 and 495.
Add Rt. 146 to that, all the way through Rhode Island.

A few more ideas:

  • Solve the problem of "Is it 290 or 395?" by making it all 290, and extending it to 128 as originally designed
  • Make Rt. 3 a properly designated highway all the way to Manchester

Regarding the ludicrous ideas I proposed....I'm pretty sure I was drinking some optimism kool-aid way back when I designed that map. Dave's map though, holy sh*t that thing is a work of art.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Add Rt. 146 to that, all the way through Rhode Island.
You mean "I-690" once the gaps are filled and the last substandard parts are upgraded.

  • Solve the problem of "Is it 290 or 395?" by making it all 290, and extending it to 128 as originally designed
Problem is 395 (flagrantly illegal number and all) is correctly a north-south highway while who the hell knows what 290 is supposed to be. It's signed east-west, but it's quite clearly a north-south highway until the 190 split and that conflict would've reared itself itself it were correctly extended down the 395 designation.

Better idea: 395 + 290 to Worcester + the full length of 190 all become a contiguous 92-mile "I-290" north-south corridor. "I-490" (a.k.a. "90-to-495 loop") takes up the east-west leg after the downtown Worcester split.

  • Make Rt. 3 a properly designated highway all the way to Manchester
Strip I-293 off the NH 101 loop concurrency and plow it all the way down to 128.


While we're in a renumbering mood. . .

93 & 3
  • I-93 to Sagamore Bridge (technically the bridge itself can be called "TO I-93" with the actual designation starting at the Scenic Hwy. overpass).
  • I-695 takes up the 93 Braintree-Canton rump (delicious re-use of that infamous number)...AND BRING BACK 128 TO BRAINTREE!!!
  • US 3 reverts back to old routing Neponset Circle-south. Route through Boston on Morrissey Blvd. to Columbia Rd., then send up Mass Ave. the whole way to where it meets itself at the Arlington town line, stripping it off the incomprehensible river roads concurrency that illegally changes into MA 3 at BU Bridge.
  • At Cape Cod Canal, instead of having Scenic Hwy. and Sandwich Rd. on each side signed as US 6 / "Alt." US 6...send US 3 down Scenic (current mainline 6) on the mainland side and 6 down Sandwich on the Cape side so they trade places over the Bourne Bridge. Re-badge the MA 28 expressway (grade separated between rotaries) as US 3 to Falmouth, and MA 28A to 28. Send 3 down Woods Hole Rd. to terminate at the ferry. US 3 now fittingly spans the Canadian border @ Pittsburg, NH to the end of civilization @ Woods Hole.

195 & 6
  • I-195 (not an illegal number because it pre-dated the 495 extension that it touches) gets re-designated as a 2-digit "I-82" encompassing US 6 expressway Providence-Johnston, short I-95 concurrency downtown (6/95 interchange streamlined to suit), mainline I-195 to Wareham, and MA 25 to Bourne Bridge (195/495/25 trumpet interchange streamlined to suit).
  • Cape Southside Connector to US 6 built from Bourne flyover. Build 1 new Cape bridge on the reserved MA 25 'middle' ROW carrying 82...Bourne reverts to US 3/US 6 designation, Sagamore stet as "TO I-93". I-82 takes up Mid-Cape Highway upgraded to 4-lane Interstate standards, with Super-Two upgraded to 4 lanes out to Orleans rotary.
  • RIDOT extends it west from the 295 interchange ghost ramps to link with the Scituate Bypass (a.k.a. the one carriageway of I-84 that was built), Bypass doubled-up and grade separated at RI 101 split. Phase II extension to CT state line and I-84 stub built off 395.
  • ConnDOT builds the "Intermodalway" I-384 + HSR extension to Willimantic, then Phase II to Plainfield. I-82 becomes an ~155 mile Hartford-Providence-Fall River-New Bedford-Cape east-west corridor.
  • Re-badge MA/RI 24 on the disconnected Fall River-Newport segment as "I-182".

Others
  • MA 24 becomes "I-895" once the substandard 495-to-140 goes 6-lane at better geometry and the substandard MA 79 split in Fall River gets a major geometric correction.
  • US 44 is completed in Middleboro, becomes "I-493" (a.k.a. "495-to-93"). Signs on 24/895 explicitly name-check "495 South to 493" at the Bridgewater interchange.
  • MA 140 *could* become I-282...but I don't know if it really needs to be spelled out in bright lights.
  • I-391 needs to be changed into a 91-to-Pike connector in Springfield that's busted down into urban boulevard/relocated MA 116 all points past the Pike. Nuke the designation.
  • As discussed earlier, properly infilled MA 2 should become I-491 Cambridge-Greenfield.
  • MA 213 loop is a possible "I-693" spanning 93 and re-badged 293.
  • NH 101 is an "I-493" re-badging. Upgrade the short Super-Two east of 95 so the full expressway ends at US 1.
  • CT 8 should really be "I-284" if the substandard portions in Shelton were brought up to standard and the Waterbury mixmaster interchange were replaced with something sane.
 

Charlie_mta

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If I were God, I'd build a really fantastical tunneling of Fresh Pond Parkway from Alewife to the Mass Pike Allston interchange. I wish I'd kept a copy, but some years ago there was a mapping of this on here by someone, showing very intricate layouts of tunnels and interchanges. The tunnels ran right down the middle of the Charles River from Fresh Pond Parkway to Allston/Mass Pike.
 

Scalziand

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Better idea: 395 + 290 to Worcester + the full length of 190 all become a contiguous 92-mile "I-290" north-south corridor. "I-490" (a.k.a. "90-to-495 loop") takes up the east-west leg after the downtown Worcester split.
Yes.
  • CT 8 should really be "I-284" if the substandard portions in Shelton were brought up to standard and the Waterbury mixmaster interchange were replaced with something sane.
They'd need to fix the narrow and curvy viaducts in Seymour and Naugatuck too. I'm amazed at how they were able to squeeze the existing Seymour viaduct in without too much disruption(not having any shoulders helps!). A new viaduct would have to cross teh river by the Stop and Shop, rejoining at the North Main Street overpass after crossing the river again. Naugatuck has too many damn exits because the highway chopped {North/South} Mainstreetinto a bunch of discontinuous pieces, and each piece needs it's own exit. If more frontage roads were added, half the exits could be removed, giving room for the merge zones to be lengthened, and improve the curve geometry.

Alas, the Mixmaster isn't going anywhere for at least another 20-30 years with the fresh patch job it's currently getting.

At least, could we pretty please have 9 extended using the ALREADY BUILT BRIDGES AND FLYOVERS over I84 to rt4? It would provide a nice back door into the UCONN Health complex. But no, This year the DOT has been 're-landscaping'around the stack, which involves tearing up the grading to the flyover ramps.
 

Wash

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Arlington Heights/Watertown High-Speed line, via the Minuteman Bikeway ROW and the Watertown branch. Stops as follows.

1: Arlington Heights
2: Arlington Center (Underground)
3: Lake Street/East Arlington
4: Alewife (+non revenue trackage to Porter Square GLX extension for car movements)
5: Fresh Pond/Strawberry Hill
6: Mt. Auburn Street
7: Arsinal
8: Watertown (Trolley reservation down Arsinal St)
 

KCasiglio

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Since we're talking CT Highways, re-route I-84 starting in Southington along 691 and 91 until the charter oak bridge. Rename and keep the existing I84 expressway running north until the junction with 72. Tear down everything northeast of that up to the birds nest in East Hartford. Replace it with a boulevard/rail combo connecting with the highland line.

My mixmaster solution? The expressway portion of Rt 8 should end at 84. Everything north of that should be a state road the scale of 6 or 202
 

ulrichomega

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This is very much a living document that I'm still moving things around/experimenting with/crayoning after a few beverages, but this is my stab at trying to make an "ambitious but plausible" southern New England

But if I'm going full god crayoning mode, then it's radial lines all over Boston and actual transit systems all over New England mid size cities.
Cool map, though I'm interested in the radial-route gap between Lawrence and Lowell. I feel like the twin population centers of Lawrence and Haverhill would be great draws on the north end of that route.

I'd also consider adding in some sort of Fall River - Providence connection. There's a few different ways you can get from here to there, from latching onto 195 to reactivating whatever ROW that is that got turned into a bike path. But there's probably a good bit more good a connection there would do than connecting Newport to Boston. I prefer the politically-infeasible Path option, as it hits way more population centers.

  1. Get across the Taunton River somehow. Ideally this would be north of the currently planned Fall River station. The old ROWs that crossed the river have all been blown to bits, unfortunately, so no real good options here.
  2. Latch onto one of the existing power line ROWs. This gets you up and around what Google Maps is calling Oceans Grove.
  3. Continue south of that ROW, leaving around the Touisset Country Club to cross over 103 and attach to the path ROW.
  4. Follow the ROW all the way into East Providence.
  5. From here things get more complicated. Ideally we could reuse the existing rail tunnels, but they don't connect to anything anymore. I think the best approach here is to cannibalize some of the 195 and 95 ROW to get us close to Providence station and then just kind of start waving our hands around to describe how you actually get to Providence station itself. Alternatively you can follow the ROW up through Rumford, reconnect to the NEC and then somehow figure out a scheme to double-back on yourself, but the obvious service-level inhibitors there mean I'd rather just invoke God.
Stations at: Fall River, Oceans Grove/103, Warren, Barrington, Riverside, East Providence, Providence
 

BostonBoy

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And the Lord looked down at the sea of cars, and saw congestion and pollution. And the Lord said "Let there be light, rail! And all the cars became trolleys and interurban light rail was restored.
 

WormtownNative

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..Interesting that when we're Crazy we pitch transit but when we're God which pitch highways. ;)
Hey, I think Dave's map I linked at the start pretty much hit every transit project we want and then some. Now it's just all the highways.

Also, I forgot this earlier: Bury 290 through Worcester. Why? Because why not!
 

Scalziand

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Why not? Because the canal is already buried through there...
 

KCasiglio

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Cool map, though I'm interested in the radial-route gap between Lawrence and Lowell. I feel like the twin population centers of Lawrence and Haverhill would be great draws on the north end of that route.

I'd also consider adding in some sort of Fall River - Providence connection. There's a few different ways you can get from here to there, from latching onto 195 to reactivating whatever ROW that is that got turned into a bike path. But there's probably a good bit more good a connection there would do than connecting Newport to Boston. I prefer the politically-infeasible Path option, as it hits way more population centers.

  1. Get across the Taunton River somehow. Ideally this would be north of the currently planned Fall River station. The old ROWs that crossed the river have all been blown to bits, unfortunately, so no real good options here.
  2. Latch onto one of the existing power line ROWs. This gets you up and around what Google Maps is calling Oceans Grove.
  3. Continue south of that ROW, leaving around the Touisset Country Club to cross over 103 and attach to the path ROW.
  4. Follow the ROW all the way into East Providence.
  5. From here things get more complicated. Ideally we could reuse the existing rail tunnels, but they don't connect to anything anymore. I think the best approach here is to cannibalize some of the 195 and 95 ROW to get us close to Providence station and then just kind of start waving our hands around to describe how you actually get to Providence station itself. Alternatively you can follow the ROW up through Rumford, reconnect to the NEC and then somehow figure out a scheme to double-back on yourself, but the obvious service-level inhibitors there mean I'd rather just invoke God.
Stations at: Fall River, Oceans Grove/103, Warren, Barrington, Riverside, East Providence, Providence
I mean if we're in god thread, then yeah not just providence to fall river but bring it all the way to New Bedford in the south and newburyport in the north.

Some real "not fit for crazy pitches but I would love" action is an intermediate periphery rail ring something to the effect of Greenbush-Brockton-Walpole-Framingham-Concord-Lowell-Salem

Complimented of course by fellow rings roughly along the 128, 495, and "outer gateways" levels
 

Arlington

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This is very much a living document that I'm still moving things around/experimenting with/crayoning after a few beverages, but this is my stab at trying to make an "ambitious but plausible" southern New England

But if I'm going full god crayoning mode, then it's radial lines all over Boston and actual transit systems all over New England mid size cities.
Love it. Small Suggestion: Lowell: have your orange transit line terminate its Broadway end at a CR stop at UMLowell's Riverview Suites
 

jbray

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This is very much a living document that I'm still moving things around/experimenting with/crayoning after a few beverages, but this is my stab at trying to make an "ambitious but plausible" southern New England

But if I'm going full god crayoning mode, then it's radial lines all over Boston and actual transit systems all over New England mid size cities.
Your Green line branch to Medford center is (currently) a waste of resources. Past Assembly, Mystic ave is barren outside of industrial, car dealerships, and some scant food establishments. I get it, because it's a wide open space that gets you to Medford center, but in my opinion, it's no better than the Northern Strand because 50% of its catchment is the river. In this case it would be the highway and the river. According to the better bus data on the 95 bus, there are just 400 riders Mystic ave down into Sullivan.

Now, could the area be redeveloped into a more functional (read: density) main road? Maybe? But that is squarely flood zone on both sides. One could argue that if Wollaston can get the red line, Mystic Ave should be approachable for the Green, but Wollaston was built years ago and the grade separation is above the flood zone. Street running trolley would be different as would developers willing to build into a flood zone given the discussions around climate change.

I would shore up bus service with lanes to boot and leave it at that in perpetuity. Given this is god mode, my solution for Medford center would be to take Fellsway north and then tunnel under the former right of way into Medford center (the branching orange line that people seem to favor).
 

Arlington

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Past Assembly, Mystic ave is barren outside of industrial, car dealerships, and some scant food establishments. ...
Now, could the area be redeveloped into a more functional (read: density) main road? Maybe?
This is the big question. There's a general sense that (current) Mayor Lungo-Kuehn beat (former) Mayor Muccini-Burke because people didn't want "towers" along Mystic Ave (such as they thought Mayor Burke was going to build, even though, really, the "threat" is a series of 40B projects)

Yet Medford is aware that we're about to see a tidal wave of 40B housing (ok, 3 of them, but for sleepy Medford that's (a) considered large and (b) only a small fraction of the number of units we need to provide to have them be "not 40B) unless we do something to build more affordable housing some other way, and either way, Mystic Ave is a vast area that should be taking better advantage of its close-to-downtown location.

As a Medford Resident, I'd ask God to grant us a masterplanned redo of Mystic Ave and MVP that'd come with some kind of multi-modal and streetscape-and-grid-making effort.


* I don't consider 40B a threat, but it seems like a majority of my fellow voters do.
 
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