MBTA Bus & BRT

real_EthanHunt

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There's a missing link for the inbound protected bike lane between D Street and WTC Ave, though. Not sure what the plan is there, but providing a that connection to D Street is important. Hope they can figure something out, maybe similar to between D Street and Pump House Rd.
the Omni site plan, not shown on the roll plan, completes that block on the inbound side.
 

millerm277

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BTD recently launched a project website for Summer Street, from Dot Ave to across the Fort Point Channel. Looks to be another MBTA-coordinated project (similar to the Washington Street bus lanes and the Blue Hill Avenue bus lane concept). The plans are very preliminary, but they are appropriately ambitious for the corridor: https://content.boston.gov/sites/default/files/file/2020/05/Summer St Roll Plan.pdf

On a high level, I appreciate the continuous center running bus lanes, especially through the congested part of the corridor (see: areas with two inbound lanes maintained). Hopefully none of the left-turn movements they're maintain gum up the works too much. Will need to see turning volumes to know how well that can be managed. There's a missing link for the inbound protected bike lane between D Street and WTC Ave, though. Not sure what the plan is there, but providing a that connection to D Street is important. Hope they can figure something out, maybe similar to between D Street and Pump House Rd.
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The block in front of the BCEC concerns me, especially from the perspective of what it's like when it's busy (long-time PAX East attendee).

That area has problems with handling volume as it is whenever there's a sizable event with the heavy pickup/dropoff volume, the underground BCEC garage, and now the new SBWTC garage with an entrance on the WTC Ave bridge.

The EB bike lane on that block with the jog onto the concrete is not going to function anytime there's a large event, there's a wide area of concrete there for a reason, and that reason is that when the convention center is busy it's a sea of people.

Probably more money than anyone wants to spend, but cantilevering the the WB sidewalk/bike path off the bridge/retaining wall for half a block and tapering it back in around West Side Dr would be a nice solution that would probably buy you some room to rethink that EB bike lane and/or add a left-turn lane.
 

jass

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The left turns are definitely concerning.

In Latin America, the land of the center running bus lanes, they simply dont allow it. Want to turn left? Then you turn right and then right and then right again.
 

JeffDowntown

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The left turns are definitely concerning.

In Latin America, the land of the center running bus lanes, they simply dont allow it. Want to turn left? Then you turn right and then right and then right again.
That works when you have a grid.

In Boston, if you turn right, then right, then right, you end up in Cambridge (or New Hampshire).
 

Stlin

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For the new QA bus garage in design... Does anyone know if the T expects to repurpose the existing Lowe's building, or tear it down and rebuild? Being quite new post and beam construction, it's presumably not that hard to add multiple additional roll up drive in doors to the envelope, and use as is. It'll probably compromise efficency, but it's likely faster and a decent layout could help. Not knowing ifs its prestress preform walls or masonry, I would only expect the floors to be an issue; warehouses are usually built to a floor loading between 6-12 kN/m², but I don't know where a Lowe's would be in that universe, or what a bus garage would need to be at. It's also probably not big enough for expansion, though it is massively bigger than the existing Quincy garage.

Also, did the T acquire the whole site? looking at the Quincy GIS, that is one irregular lot, with a healthy chunk of wetlands, and what looks suspiciously like a former RoW for Penn St. Obviously, the neighborhood access to QA from the NW is still probably going to be the bugbear in public meeting.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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For the new QA bus garage in design... Does anyone know if the T expects to repurpose the existing Lowe's building, or tear it down and rebuild? Being quite new post and beam construction, it's presumably not that hard to add multiple additional roll up drive in doors to the envelope, and use as is. It'll probably compromise efficency, but it's likely faster and a decent layout could help. Not knowing ifs its prestress preform walls or masonry, I would only expect the floors to be an issue; warehouses are usually built to a floor loading between 6-12 kN/m², but I don't know where a Lowe's would be in that universe, or what a bus garage would need to be at. It's also probably not big enough for expansion, though it is massively bigger than the existing Quincy garage.

Also, did the T acquire the whole site? looking at the Quincy GIS, that is one irregular lot, with a healthy chunk of wetlands, and what looks suspiciously like a former RoW for Penn St. Obviously, the neighborhood access to QA from the NW is still probably going to be the bugbear in public meeting.
They haven't official-official acquired the parcel yet. It's now at its most precarious planning stage awaiting City sign-off on the acquisition with fingers crossed that the NIMBY's don't prevail.

For that reason there really isn't much of a site plan published, as they have ample reason to keep that close to vest for the time being to avoid waving read meat in front of the NIMBY's on the Council who could very well torpedo this. The lot itself, being a radical change from prior use, is going to be divided very very differently than before. That much is certain. And they won't be modding the existing big-box store structure ham-fistedly for the garage. Your average fly-by-night home improvement big-box is way too skinflint-constructed to bother with that unorthodoxy. Its cinderblock frame is going to meet the wrecking ball first.

Penn St. was indeed a thru street until the Lowes was built circa 2009-2010. The portion south of the Columbia St. split was a glorified industrial driveway, however, so was more or less unmaintained by the City. Reconnection's always a possibility, but that leg was never much missed given its scuzzy/avoidance-worthy prior use.
 

jass

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That works when you have a grid.

In Boston, if you turn right, then right, then right, you end up in Cambridge (or New Hampshire).
As is turns out, the seaport happens to have a pretty decent grid. It's not Southie, but it's certainly not the north end.
 

millerm277

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Obviously, the neighborhood access to QA from the NW is still probably going to be the bugbear in public meeting.
Doesn't seem like too big of a deal to me? Route a boardwalk along the edge of the site/through the wetland area from the town parklet thing on Columbia St over to near the Deco building. Could probably make it look nice and like a modest expansion of their little park.

If people want more access, fixing up the sidewalk and moving the lightposts along the Burgin Pkwy and building an access along the northern edge of the site from Penn St doesn't seem like a big deal either. I suppose walking along a highway isn't some wonderful experience, but neither is walking through a strip mall parking lot.
 

Stlin

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Doesn't seem like too big of a deal to me? Route a boardwalk along the edge of the site/through the wetland area from the town parklet thing on Columbia St over to near the Deco building. Could probably make it look nice and like a modest expansion of their little park.

If people want more access, fixing up the sidewalk and moving the lightposts along the Burgin Pkwy and building an access along the northern edge of the site from Penn St doesn't seem like a big deal either. I suppose walking along a highway isn't some wonderful experience, but neither is walking through a strip mall parking lot.
That's probably true, but it's the constant theme running through any news coverage of this proposed garage. I think for neighbors a pleasant maintained retail parking lot sounds like a better proposition than trusting the T and walking by a industrial site.

That said, this is possibly crazy pitch territory, but is there any reason that the T shouldn't persue a land swap with the Home Depot once it acquires the site? I know the T seems to have already committed to the Lowe's but 15% design is a fairly low bar, and feels like the T can justify purchasing the site, say it's tried, and here's a better option. It's basically identical use for the Lowe's site, which is actually slightly bigger, with a bigger newer building, with much better visibility for retail, about the same parking. A Lowe's and a HD can't be that different really. The current HD site is actually zoned Industrial, owned by HD corporate, so no leasehold issues, and while ~2 acres smaller, has much less wetlands. It's also tucked into a nearly invisible gap between Burgin, the station garage ramps and the tracks. No abutters at all, no ped access considerations, but it has what looks uncommonly like an Old Colony spur. It can't hurt the T to have a healthy chunk of land right next to it's rail RoW.
 
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millerm277

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That's probably true, but it's the constant theme running through any news coverage of this proposed garage. I think for neighbors a pleasant maintained retail parking lot sounds like a better proposition than trusting the T and walking by a industrial site.
I get that my lack of sympathy wouldn't win any points with Quincy-ites, but if you live in that neighborhood and have a problem with industrial operations, I don't understand what planet you were on when you moved in there to begin with.

There's auto body/car repair shops all over the neighborhood, various building/contractor supply firms, the gravestone maker, and a sea of truck and equipment storage for various firms (including a garbage truck firm - I'm sure they smell nice in summer) in the surrounding area. Not exactly some sort of quiet, idyllic backwater.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I get that my lack of sympathy wouldn't win any points with Quincy-ites, but if you live in that neighborhood and have a problem with industrial operations, I don't understand what planet you were on when you moved in there to begin with.

There's auto body/car repair shops all over the neighborhood, various building/contractor supply firms, the gravestone maker, and a sea of truck and equipment storage for various firms (including a garbage truck firm - I'm sure they smell nice in summer) in the surrounding area. Not exactly some sort of quiet, idyllic backwater.
It was literally a blighted block of auto chop shops and half-cocked industrial trucking until 11 years ago. Lowes leveled that whole nasty block of Penn St. in '09, was in-business for less than 8 years...and has now sat abandoned for nearly 3 years. Who could have envisioned in the City's extreme haste to greenlight the bulldozing of over a dozen separate properties that putting 2 identical home improvement big boxes across the street from each other might not look the smartest decision in the world where a cyclical retail economy is under escalating pressure from online sales. WHO KNEW, GODDAMNIT?!?! Before the MBTA showed up igniting a new round of shrieking the property was making news for its nouveau-blight sticking in the Council's craw over becoming every citizen's new favorite illegal trash dumping ground. Nevermind that Lowes to this day is still dutifully paying rent on a 20-year lease, so it'll be handed off without ever becoming a property tax black hole that actually...you know...becomes a real fiscal crisis for the City. No, let's get all hot and bothered about somebody's old piss-stained couch sitting next to the dumpster making for bad neighbors one nanosecond, reach for the smelling salts that an interested occupant won't be prettier to look at the next nanosecond.


You'd have to have some seriously compromised short- and long-term memory to blow a gasket about the 'ambiance' being ruined here. When were the good old days on Penn St., exactly?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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That's probably true, but it's the constant theme running through any news coverage of this proposed garage. I think for neighbors a pleasant maintained retail parking lot sounds like a better proposition than trusting the T and walking by a industrial site.

That said, this is possibly crazy pitch territory, but is there any reason that the T shouldn't persue a land swap with the Home Depot once it acquires the site? I know the T seems to have already committed to the Lowe's but 15% design is a fairly low bar, and feels like the T can justify purchasing the site, say it's tried, and here's a better option. It's basically identical use for the Lowe's site, which is actually slightly bigger, with a bigger newer building, with much better visibility for retail, about the same parking. A Lowe's and a HD can't be that different really. The current HD site is actually zoned Industrial, owned by HD corporate, so no leasehold issues, and while ~2 acres smaller, has much less wetlands. It's also tucked into a nearly invisible gap between Burgin, the station garage ramps and the tracks. No abutters at all, no ped access considerations, but it has what looks uncommonly like an Old Colony spur. It can't hurt the T to have a healthy chunk of land right next to it's rail RoW.
Fun fact...City of Quincy blew up an active rail-served industrial park to build HD and BJ's barely half-dozen years before they signed the permits for fly-by-night Lowes to raze another whole block. Look on Historic Aerials '95 and '02 views; the West Quincy Industrial Track is chock loaded with cars. Now they can't even locate a phone number for the ex- ind. park LLC who owns the track to remind them that they forgot to file for abandonment and the T would really like to know if it can remove their mainline switch at long last. Bet with big-box retail shitting the bed for possibly the last time the City would love to have had that short-attention-span decision back, too.


I agree overall re: Lowes vs. HD sitings. But look at the brainiacs they're dealing with here. It's too big an ask. This is transparently a take-what-you-can-get and don't ever look back kind of transaction, because nothing is safe or sacred as long as the City has a say in the matter. I'm quite sure they'll fuck up sideways the absolute gimme of a residential redev on the old T garage property, too, when that end of the transaction drops in their laps.
 

real_EthanHunt

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public meeting for Washington St BRT next week:
"Following the success of the Northbound Bus Lane on Washington Street, the Boston Transportation Department would like to hear your thoughts on enhancements to the Northbound Bus Lane and a Southbound Bus Lane. "
 

Arlington

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Has anything progressed on this awesome project? (Article and map from December 2019)

Boston Officials Pitch New Bus-Priority Corridor Between North Station and Seaport
The proposed "Center City Link" bus route would build a corridor of bus-priority infrastructure to link North Station, South Station, and the Seaport District.

 

HelloBostonHi

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Has anything progressed on this awesome project? (Article and map from December 2019)

Boston Officials Pitch New Bus-Priority Corridor Between North Station and Seaport
The proposed "Center City Link" bus route would build a corridor of bus-priority infrastructure to link North Station, South Station, and the Seaport District.

There is movement on the South Station to Black Falcon section which I believe has already been discussed on here a few posts back: https://www.boston.gov/departments/transportation/summer-street-multimodal-corridor-improvements
 

stefal

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I know its just a rendering, but that could sure use some greenery... even planters could make it not seem so desolate
 

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