MBTA Bus & BRT

Riverside

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I wonder if some of it is just simply "the art of the possible" at play. Columbus is consistently 4 (sometimes 6) travel lanes, two parking lanes (plus a decent-sized median in places). Warren starts off as 6-ish lanes near Nubian before tapering down to 4 and then 2 by the time it reaches Blue Hill Avenue.
 

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I don't know how I missed (or forgot?) about this:
2 new miles of "morning inbound rush" direction "temp-to-perm" bus lane on Mystic Ave in Medford coming this fall:

Mystic Ave (MA-38) is something of a "pre-I93" relic in this area, similar to how Rt99 Rutherford Ave is too wide, but Medford disagrees on what the final "road diet" would look like.

Mystic Ave, today, is host only to the 95 Bus from Arl Cen/W.Med to Sullivan via Medford Sq. It was not on the list of corridors that the MBTA identified. But during COVID the 95 has maintained its weekday service levels, and has an increased importance since the 325 Express bus has been suspended due to COVID.

I suspect that Medford took this as a good moment to put Mystic Ave on at least a little bit of a "road diet" and "pro transit" footing, since it is an area ("back of Winter Hill / South Medford") identified for TOD, if it only had good transit.

With the City of Somerville, the City of Medford submitted an application this spring to MassDOT for a “quick build” dedicated bus lane pilot on Mystic Ave., from Main St. in Medford to McGrath Highway in Somerville. Under Medford’s proposal a dedicated bus lane would be available to MBTA buses only, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. “Quick build” projects utilize paint and signage for projects, allowing for quicker implementation and for projects to undergo pilot programs and review prior to deciding whether to make the bus lane permanent. Medford and Somerville share portions of Mystic Ave., with other sections also falling under the purview of MassDOT. Following final plan approval by MassDOT, the bus lane could be painted as early as this fall.

“A dedicated bus lane on such a highly used road that serves not only Medford and Somerville residents, but commuters from surrounding communities, will improve transit access and reliability, provide better connections to regional jobs and healthcare, and will be critical in helping workers and vulnerable populations recover from the economic impact of the pandemic,” Mayor Lungo-Koehn said. “I am, again, thankful to MassDOT for streamlining the grant process to allow projects like these, and other Shared and Complete Streets initiatives, to move forward in the best interests of our communities.”
 

ra84970

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I don't know how I missed (or forgot?) about this:
2 new miles of "morning inbound rush" direction "temp-to-perm" bus lane on Mystic Ave in Medford coming this fall:

Mystic Ave (MA-38) is something of a "pre-I93" relic in this area, similar to how Rt99 Rutherford Ave is too wide, but Medford disagrees on what the final "road diet" would look like.

Mystic Ave, today, is host only to the 95 Bus from Arl Cen/W.Med to Sullivan via Medford Sq. It was not on the list of corridors that the MBTA identified. But during COVID the 95 has maintained its weekday service levels, and has an increased importance since the 325 Express bus has been suspended due to COVID.

I suspect that Medford took this as a good moment to put Mystic Ave on at least a little bit of a "road diet" and "pro transit" footing, since it is an area ("back of Winter Hill / South Medford") identified for TOD, if it only had good transit.
It seems like this is part of the DOT's Covid-19 response shared streets grant program. Wish the 95 had better working day headways all day but this is a surprising win. I'm curious to know how the section closer to McGrath is designed -- if it's converting the parking lane i could see some troubles but if it's taking the general travel lane. Ohhhh!
 

The EGE

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Most of these were already in the works, but MBTA and Cities of Boston, Somerville, Everett, Chelsea to Rapidly Construct 14 Miles of Bus Lanes in Unprecedented Regional Effort to Improve Public Health, Transit Reliability, Multimodal Access in the Wake of COVID-19

Being built this fall or next spring:
  • Columbus Avenue in Boston between Walnut Avenue and Jackson Square Station
  • North Washington Street in Boston from Cross Street to Causeway Street
  • Broadway in Chelsea from City Hall Plaza to 3rd Street
  • Washington Street in Somerville between McGrath Highway and Sullivan Square
  • Sweetser Circle, Main Street near Sweetser Circle, and Broadway from Sweetser Circle to Chelsea Street in Everett
  • Washington Street in Boston to Roslindale from Forest Hills Station to Roslindale Village

Being planned this fall for possible spring installation:
  • Warren Street in Boston between Grove Hall and Nubian Square
  • Malcolm X Boulevard in Boston between Nubian Square and Tremont Street
  • Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street in Boston from Jackson Square Station to Ruggles Station, extending the bus lanes currently under construction
  • Hyde Park Avenue in Boston between Metropolitan Parkway and Forest Hills Station
 

Arlington

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^ It is sweet to see Boston actually starting to move on improving the parts of its bus map that are analogous (in length, ridership, and demographics) to the parts that Chelsea adn Everett have been working on.
 

Arlington

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  • Washington Street in Somerville between McGrath Highway and Sullivan Square
I hadn't seen this one before. This will be really important for bus routes that have the potential to hit both Orange@Sullivan and GLX@East Somerville.

Picture an 86+ from Harvard Sq that used the extra speed to keep going to Everett Square.
Picture ab 95+ from West Medford Sq that used the extra speed to extend from Sullivan to Washington or even Lechmere
 

F-Line to Dudley

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  • Washington Street in Somerville between McGrath Highway and Sullivan Square
I hadn't seen this one before. This will be really important for bus routes that have the potential to hit both Orange@Sullivan and GLX@East Somerville.

Picture an 86+ from Harvard Sq that used the extra speed to keep going to Everett Square.
Picture ab 95+ from West Medford Sq that used the extra speed to extend from Sullivan to Washington or even Lechmere
Washington's needed it for a long time even without that, because Sullivan in the PM rush can easily back it up all the way to the Innerbelt Rd. light. It was bad when I lived in that neighborhood 15 years ago; can't imagine how much worse it's gotten since.
 

The EGE

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According to the MBTA website, that corridor is getting queue jumps at some intersections this fall. Hopefully full lanes will come soon.

My map is as complete as I can get it - let me know if I'm missing anything.
 

Riverside

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According to the MBTA website, that corridor is getting queue jumps at some intersections this fall. Hopefully full lanes will come soon.

My map is as complete as I can get it - let me know if I'm missing anything.
This dovetails with a project I'm working on, and hopefully will be ready to share soon-ish. Stay tuned -- I'll PM you with some more details.
 

Arlington

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The EGE

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how can you capture the "temp-to-perm" and "AM inbound only" lanes that will run for 2 miles on Mystic Ave (but apparently be "painted" this fall) on your maps?
I have my map divided by color depending on when it was/will be installed, and separate items for each direction. Part-time lanes like this one are in lighter colors.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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T + City submit fed grant application for $15M for doing the Blue Hill Ave. ("28X redux") bus lanes. If they receive the fed award (which is open right now) both parties are on the hook for matching $15M of their own for cumulative $30M commitment. And fast-starts construction for '21 by virtue of this being a fast-track federal grant app.


This is considerably less than the $100M that was sought for the original 28X proposal 11 years ago, but that involved frillier BRT features like an impenetrable median that the neighborhood balked at from extremely limited windows of community input. The current slow-cooked City plan with much more agreeable neighborhood impact strips away the Silver Line-Washington -ish aesthetic bloat of the station structures that was hallmark of the 2000's-decade BRT overhype era and doesn't mount the impenetrable barrier that the neighborhood found so objectionable last time. Other than that, I'm not sure what's functionally different about this attempt @ much lower price point vs. the earlier showcase 28X attempt if it includes all the same transit signal prioritization bells and whistles. Most of the fly-by-night 28X docs have long since been excised off the MassDOT site to the Wayback Machine, making head-to-head comparison of top-line bona fides vs. (jarringly different) bottom-line prices harder.
 

Arlington

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I have my map divided by color depending on when it was/will be installed, and separate items for each direction. Part-time lanes like this one are in lighter colors.
FWIW color-choice feedback: maybe it is my monitor, but the yellow part-time lanes are near-invisible (the yellow is too close to the street-White and block-Grey) if you don't know where to look
 

The EGE

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FWIW color-choice feedback: maybe it is my monitor, but the yellow part-time lanes are near-invisible (the yellow is too close to the street-White and block-Grey) if you don't know where to look
Yeah, still trying to figure out what to do there. Google Maps Maker has a very limited color palette.
 

Kinopio

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In Mass you can't issue fines via camera alone. Has to be witnessed by an officer.
Make bus lanes “toll lanes”. Any vehicle that isn’t a bus pays a $100 toll. That’ll keep the bus lane almost entirely empty for buses while bringing in revenue from terrible drivers and/or a few rich assholes who will willingly pay the toll.
 

Arlington

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^ This. Make using the bus lane an expensive purchase decision, not morality, not legality, not risk.

And effectuate the purchase by establishing the factual presence of a licensed automobile had a particular place and time.

Even better: devote revenue to improving Transit along the tolled corridor.
 

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