MBTA Bus & BRT

ra84970

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BRT to 495 on Route 2 would be like the Flatirons Flyer in Denver's RTD or Minneapolis Highway BRT concept (current metro study here: https://metrocouncil.org/Transporta...-Roads/Highway-Transitway-Corridor-Study.aspx) with over the road coaches and dedicated platforms either (1) on on ramps or (2) dedicated in-median stations.

As far as law, anything in here is an authorization (i.e. they are setting the limits of the states bonding ability), it would be up to the Administration to actually follow through and use the bonding limits.

Different from the previous bills, which were authorization and spending bills. A spending bill commits the Commonwealth to specific studies and projects.

Edit: completing with info from MN
 

ceo

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Broadway already has dedicated bus lanes from the top of Winter Hill to Sullivan Station, but most of it from Winter Hill to Arlington is two lanes plus bike lanes. Not sure how you're going to implement any BRT worthy of the name without at least eliminating the bike lanes, and good luck with that.
 

fattony

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Broadway already has dedicated bus lanes from the top of Winter Hill to Sullivan Station, but most of it from Winter Hill to Arlington is two lanes plus bike lanes. Not sure how you're going to implement any BRT worthy of the name without at least eliminating the bike lanes, and good luck with that.
How about eliminating parking? I’m not saying it’s easy, but businesses might not bark too much if they are getting BRT. For example, I suspect being on the MBTA map is more valuable to Teele Square businesses than the parking spaces.
 

George_Apley

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Broadway already has dedicated bus lanes from the top of Winter Hill to Sullivan Station, but most of it from Winter Hill to Arlington is two lanes plus bike lanes. Not sure how you're going to implement any BRT worthy of the name without at least eliminating the bike lanes, and good luck with that.
Most bus lanes are also bike lanes.
 

HenryAlan

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Broadway already has dedicated bus lanes from the top of Winter Hill to Sullivan Station, but most of it from Winter Hill to Arlington is two lanes plus bike lanes. Not sure how you're going to implement any BRT worthy of the name without at least eliminating the bike lanes, and good luck with that.
Many bike riders are okay with shared bus/bike lanes. I ride in them for my commute and I find them preferable to door zone bike lanes.
 

fattony

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Broadway BRT proposed stops (distance from previous stop):
  • Sullivan Square Station (0.0 mi)
  • East Somerville @ Cross St (0.6 mi)
  • Winter Hill @ School/Temple (0.5 mi)
  • Magoun Square (0.6 mi)
  • Ball Square (0.4 mi)
  • Powderhouse @ College Ave (0.4 mi)
  • Teele Square (0.6 mi)
  • Clarendon Hill (0.4 mi)
  • East-ish Arlington @ Everett St or River St (0.5 mi) <<< Really hard to identify a good reason to stop the bus anywhere around here
  • Arlington Center (0.5 mi)
 

Arlington

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Many bike riders are okay with shared bus/bike lanes. I ride in them for my commute and I find them preferable to door zone bike lanes.
Any bus route that is accustomed to driving along side bikes, a bus-bike lane works great. I love going downhill inbound on Broadway at Winter Hill.
 

sm89

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Many bike riders are okay with shared bus/bike lanes. I ride in them for my commute and I find them preferable to door zone bike lanes.
^ I agree with this.

Standard bike lanes along parking can cause a lot of anxiety for riders (or is that just me?). I would much rather have the wide bus lane in this scenario. Sure buses can be scary, but at least you can see/hear them coming. The trade off is, could it have been a better bike lane (separated, sidewalk level, etc) instead of this sort of incremental improvement? I think it really depends on what the long term plan is for this corridor. If it's intended to be a major bike route in the network, you'll want something that is 8-80-year-old friendly or at least not just catered to bike commuters. Either way, I would consider a peak hour parking restriction for a bus/bike lane to be low hanging fruit, at least in the short term.
 

Arlington

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This is a great list for an all-day 89 BRT (and I'd run it to Arlington Heights)
  • East Somerville @ Cross St (0.6 mi)
  • Winter Hill @ School/Temple (0.5 mi)
  • Magoun Square (0.6 mi)
  • Ball Square (0.4 mi)
  • Powderhouse @ College Ave (0.4 mi)
  • Teele Square (0.6 mi)
  • Clarendon Hill (0.4 mi)
  • East-ish Arlington @ Everett St or River St (0.5 mi) <<< Really hard to identify a good reason to stop the bus anywhere around here
  • Arlington Center (0.5 mi)
  • Highland Ave (Stop & SHop + High School)
  • Appleton/Mirak
  • Heights Terminus
They're doing a decent job of adding 2- and 3- story commercial or residential-over-retail in the bit that'd be centered on River St (and also get decent walk access from West Medford at that point
 
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HenryAlan

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If it's intended to be a major bike route in the network, you'll want something that is 8-80-year-old friendly or at least not just catered to bike commuters. Either way, I would consider a peak hour parking restriction for a bus/bike lane to be low hanging fruit, at least in the short term.
Yes, and we should acknowledge here that while many of us consider bus/bike lanes to be safe for our personal use, they are definitely not 8-80 level safe. They are better than a certain type of infrastructure, but they are far from adequate for many of the people we ant to see using bikes.
 

jbray

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Broadway BRT proposed stops (distance from previous stop):
  • Sullivan Square Station (0.0 mi)
  • East Somerville @ Cross St (0.6 mi)
  • Winter Hill @ School/Temple (0.5 mi)
  • Magoun Square (0.6 mi)
  • Ball Square (0.4 mi)
  • Powderhouse @ College Ave (0.4 mi)
  • Teele Square (0.6 mi)
  • Clarendon Hill (0.4 mi)
  • East-ish Arlington @ Everett St or River St (0.5 mi) <<< Really hard to identify a good reason to stop the bus anywhere around here
  • Arlington Center (0.5 mi)
The 89 going through Davis should be permanent as it is a great change. As such, there isn't need for BRT on Broadway between Powderhouse and Teele unless we move the 87 or 88 to Broadway before they get to Davis. Even then, I'd advocate for BRT infrastructure on Holland and College Ave before Broadway
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The 89 going through Davis should be permanent as it is a great change. As such, there isn't need for BRT on Broadway between Powderhouse and Teele unless we move the 87 or 88 to Broadway before they get to Davis. Even then, I'd advocate for BRT infrastructure on Holland and College Ave before Broadway
College Ave.'s going to be a little difficult without banning a few blocks of metered parking in a neighborhood that has kinda too little metered parking to begin with. It's presently not even wide enough to stripe a "Share The Road" bike lane. But they may well have to do that, because way more bus revamping is coming to the area post-GLX and the RL-Davis + GL-College Ave. 'superloop' is ground-zero for all that sweeping change...as it's not hard to envision pingbacks from both stations becoming a feature on many, many future revamped routes (including newly -minted or -reprioritized crosstown routes out of that Greater Davis nerve center that potentially swing substantial ridership heft). Might be a case where turning the bolts on every micro-improvement available within current layout does the job more than bold new stripeage or prominent BRT branding. Signal coordination, some troubleshooting of the traffic pattern chaos at Powder House Rotary (some real timed signals, please, instead of the confusing blinking reds that induce all kinds of stutter-step flow kinks), or some time-of-day left-turn prohibition from side streets if that doesn't raise too huge a stink with the neighborhood. Maybe even just a thorough resurfacing of College Ave. where the pavement's gotten thoroughly chewed by 20 years of potholes and Dig Safe residue such that the surface quality no longer even holds non-faded lane markings year-round; at this point the road is holey enough for that to be an actual performance rather than cosmetic improvement.

Unfortunately Davis busway doesn't have real estate footprint for refashioning into a true in/out loop; it's hemmed in enough to always require a side-street sojurn on one leg. And the metered parking scarcity is legit, since residential permitting is already tapped out on every side street; taking street real estate for quasi-true bus lanes probably isn't practical if it removes that many meters. It may just be casting the widest possible for microscopic tighten-the-bolts touches that accomplish similar streamlining in the aggregate from throwing lots of tiny performance enhancement confetti at the board. The need for that is certainly going to grow uncomfortably real when GLX opens and it becomes clear what kind of Yellow Line spider map reboot is being considered for the North region as direct outflow.
 

jbray

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College Ave.'s going to be a little difficult without banning a few blocks of metered parking in a neighborhood that has kinda too little metered parking to begin with. It's presently not even wide enough to stripe a "Share The Road" bike lane. But they may well have to do that, because way more bus revamping is coming to the area post-GLX and the RL-Davis + GL-College Ave. 'superloop' is ground-zero for all that sweeping change...as it's not hard to envision pingbacks from both stations becoming a feature on many, many future revamped routes (including newly -minted or -reprioritized crosstown routes out of that Greater Davis nerve center that potentially swing substantial ridership heft). Might be a case where turning the bolts on every micro-improvement available within current layout does the job more than bold new stripeage or prominent BRT branding. Signal coordination, some troubleshooting of the traffic pattern chaos at Powder House Rotary (some real timed signals, please, instead of the confusing blinking reds that induce all kinds of stutter-step flow kinks), or some time-of-day left-turn prohibition from side streets if that doesn't raise too huge a stink with the neighborhood. Maybe even just a thorough resurfacing of College Ave. where the pavement's gotten thoroughly chewed by 20 years of potholes and Dig Safe residue such that the surface quality no longer even holds non-faded lane markings year-round; at this point the road is holey enough for that to be an actual performance rather than cosmetic improvement.

Unfortunately Davis busway doesn't have real estate footprint for refashioning into a true in/out loop; it's hemmed in enough to always require a side-street sojurn on one leg. And the metered parking scarcity is legit, since residential permitting is already tapped out on every side street; taking street real estate for quasi-true bus lanes probably isn't practical if it removes that many meters. It may just be casting the widest possible for microscopic tighten-the-bolts touches that accomplish similar streamlining in the aggregate from throwing lots of tiny performance enhancement confetti at the board. The need for that is certainly going to grow uncomfortably real when GLX opens and it becomes clear what kind of Yellow Line spider map reboot is being considered for the North region as direct outflow.
No doubt. One possible way to limit impact on College Ave metered parking would be to have single-side bus lanes in small sections at each end. Specifically, the most tactical Bus lane would be from Chapel street to Davis as it is almost a universal rule that getting off at the Chapel street stop during rush hour and walking to Davis station is faster than riding the bus to the stop proper due to the backup. One helpful piece of future-thinking from Somerville was the parking pass registration ban within a quarter-mile of the station and limitation on the amount of half-mile passes but that will take a generation of turnover to have an impact.
 

fattony

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The 89 going through Davis should be permanent as it is a great change. As such, there isn't need for BRT on Broadway between Powderhouse and Teele unless we move the 87 or 88 to Broadway before they get to Davis. Even then, I'd advocate for BRT infrastructure on Holland and College Ave before Broadway
It is tough to argue with that, except perhaps that the jog down to Davis adds a lot of time to the trip from Winter Hill or GL/Ball to Arlington Center, which is the only significant destination west of Teele. The connection to Davis might be better served by local routes with strategic queue jumping lanes mentioned above. Arlington already has strong connections to Alewife and Porter for RL transfers, I’m not sure what an even stronger connection at Davis (that misses all of Mass Ave in Arlington) adds. Unless you mean the BRT should terminate at Davis?
 

fatnoah

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Arlington already has strong connections to Alewife...
A dedicated lane for the 79/350 buses to get to Alewife would make those connections even better. When I resided in Arlington, I usually avoided either of those routes in favor of the 77, since getting to Porter was time competitive with dealing with the mess of the Rt. 2 / Alewife Brook Parkway intersection. Outbound it's even worse. Walking from Alewife to Mass Ave was almost always faster for me than grabbing either bus. The net result was that I usually made the bus transfer at Porter, despite having to deal with Mass Ave traffic.
 

Arlington

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A dedicated lane for the 79/350 buses to get to Alewife would make those connections even better. When I resided in Arlington, I usually avoided either of those routes in favor of the 77, since getting to Porter was time competitive with dealing with the mess of the Rt. 2 / Alewife Brook Parkway intersection. Outbound it's even worse. Walking from Alewife to Mass Ave was almost always faster for me than grabbing either bus. The net result was that I usually made the bus transfer at Porter, despite having to deal with Mass Ave traffic.
A bus lane along either Rt 2 or the parkway would also be useful for the circumferential squares bus we've often discussed:
Waverly/Belmont Ctr
Alewife (Red)
Mass Ave (77)
Clarendon Hill (87/88/89)
Chapen Ct
Boston Ave (80, 94, GLX-MVP)
Medford Sq (94, 95 etc)
(....to an Orange)
 

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