MBTA Bus & BRT

real_EthanHunt

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Riverside

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The English Fact Sheet reviewing the alternatives is here: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2022-09/2022-09-26-english-alternatives-analysis-v_2.pdf

There are some interesting ideas in here. I remain astounded that alternatives featuring extended mixed-traffic-running remain under consideration.

To be quite honest, I believe that is disingenuous for a public presentation like this: SL3 does not run in mixed traffic, charges a rapid transit fare (I believe), and is branded as rapid transit; mixed-traffic-running is antithetical to all of that. It would not be unreasonable for a member of the riding public to hear that SL3 is being extended, see that an extension to Everett is proposed, and conclude that the experience through Everett would be simliar to the current ride through Chelsea. The public should not be asked to do a cost/benefit analysis of the fine print of a proposal like this; they should be able to look at a map and be able to say, "Yes, that would help me go where I need to go," or "No, that doesn't go where I need to go."

(I suspect many riders are indeed savvy enough at this point to recognize the implications of mixed-traffic-running, but again I believe that it should not be encumbent on the public to have a honed BS meter on these topics.)

That said, most alternatives require minimal mixed-traffic-running: Alts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7:

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I think all of these proposals have merit. I think I like Alternatives 3 and 7 the best: extend the busways to Sullivan Square (and maybe beyond), and either through-run SL3 buses all the way, or add on a layer-on service to increase frequencies within Chelsea. (Though I do wonder whether this analysis is rolling-stock-neutral, or otherwise accounts for increased rolling stock needs.)

We can get double-bang-for-buck with Alts 3 & 7: those bus lanes on Lower Broadway and the Alford Bridge can be additionally used by the 104 and 109 (which hopefully will also get bus lanes extended all the way up Broadway in addition, separate from the SLX project). With those speed and reliability improvements, one or both of the 104/109 could be extended south of Sullivan, to Kendall, downtown, or both. That would cover most of the benefits offered by Alts 4, 5, and 6.

(Obligatory plug: if we keep building BRT, we should start differentiating services; a new radial service to Everett -- such as an improved 104/109 with extension south of Sullivan -- could be given a new identity, as I describe at great length here.)
 

RandomWalk

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The Kendall alternatives routing via East Somerville Station and Lechmere feel convoluted. I would rather see them route via Union Square and Prospect St to Broadway.
 

stick n move

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Eyes On the Street: Huntington Avenue’s Bus and Bike Lane Gets Some Color


Just over a mile long stretch along Huntington Avenue now features a ruby dedicated bus lane in the southbound direction; about a quarter of the T’s 39 bus route.

The 39 bus route closely parallels the Orange Line service area, extending from Forest Hills to Back Bay and connecting Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill and the Longwood Medical Area in between. Many people traveling between these neighborhoods used this key bus route as a travel alternative during the Orange Line’s 30-day shutdown which ended earlier this month.
https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/0...on-avenues-bus-and-bike-lane-gets-some-color/
 

Riverside

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A revised map for the Better Bus Project's Bus Redesign Network is coming in advance of a public meeting on November 2.

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You are subscribed to Better Bus Project updates from the MBTA.

We’re pleased to announce the next public meeting for the Bus Network Redesign on Wednesday, November 2 at 6:00 PM.

Since releasing the draft map in May 2022, we have received over 20,000 comments. We have reviewed these comments and are evaluating potential changes to the draft network based on this feedback. At this meeting the project team will present a revised network and answer questions about it. You can visit the event page here. The updated map will be available in advance of the meeting.
 

Riverside

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aycaramba

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Bus lane with cones apparently happening on Brookline Ave - anyone seen it in action?

Yes it's long past time for something like this in Longwood and I hope it's permanent, but as can be seen in the twitter pictures above it has resulted in even longer car lines. Of course this is confounded by the D branch closure which has in itself worsened car traffic, and should (theoretically) cause more people to consider public transit. But Longwood seems to be one of those areas where car demand is relatively inelastic due to myriad reasons. I'm glad Longwood is a point of emphasis in the ongoing bus redesign project! And I think the entire area is in deep need of rethinking how road space is allocated. Lots of interest in bikes and lots of nearby bikable areas, but the bike lanes especially on Longwood Ave are mostly a joke.
 

HenryAlan

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Yeah, I noticed the really bad congestion in the car lanes, too. Some of that may be correctible with re-timing the intersection signals. But ultimately, it always comes back to the fact that Boston does not have enough room to accommodate a car based transpiration model. More people need to ride transit, which means converting more of our limited spatial resources to that purpose. Far better that buses have unimpeded access.
 

737900er

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Random rant of the day:

When Harvard-Alewife is being bustituted the shuttles use the upper busway. As a result, all the buses that typically board in the upper busway board where the 77 and 96 typically board (i.e. 71, 73, 74, 75, 78, 86 get moved). For some odd reason, there are no signs or Alerts about this practice, just one of those things you have to know.
 

HenryAlan

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That's too bad about the 39, I thought the re-routing would be a good expansion of Longwood area service and make for better connections between JP and more parts of the city. But what I really take issue with, is the framing of the changes by the article headline and body. They strongly imply that the T was forced to undo all the preceding work, whereas that was actually always part of the plan -- throw up some ideas, take feedback, then see what sticks and what doesn't.
 

Riverside

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That's too bad about the 39, I thought the re-routing would be a good expansion of Longwood area service and make for better connections between JP and more parts of the city. But what I really take issue with, is the framing of the changes by the article headline and body. They strongly imply that the T was forced to undo all the preceding work, whereas that was actually always part of the plan -- throw up some ideas, take feedback, then see what sticks and what doesn't.
It sounds like they may have found another way to achieve that goal, which seems reasonable to me. The T39 was bold and innovative, and emblematic of several design philosophies applied in this process. But, it was very long, and disrupted one of the strongest transit corridors in the city. Reasonable to adjust it.

I’m excited to see this new round of revisions!
 

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