MBTA Red Line / Blue Line Connector

tysmith95

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Publishing a project page on their website is a good sign they might actually keep moving

Here's the full report on the concepts: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2021-12/2021-12-01-red-blue-concept-design-report.pdf
I'm disappointed that the street level plans do not have bike lanes.
 

jklo

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Wow, the recommended alternative in that report is cut and cover the whole thing. Maybe this time around the alternative analysis was actually done to select the best alternative instead of sandbagging the whole thing (shocking l know).
Guess that means they actually want to do it?
 

stefal

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lol 2029 like “that’s way too soon never gonna happen” or lol 2029 like “oh my god that’s so long from now”?

I feel like maybe both, somehow…
It'll feel even shorter - they're on board with 100% Cut and Cover, and note they anticipate utility work to take place during design, which should be completing a mere 3 years from this Spring, which could place utility construction in ~2+ years. That will be among the most disruptive moments, followed by the actual cut and cover work, though they mention a lot will go unnoticed using top-down or bottom-up construction.

That, and while unlikely, it could come out shorter or longer when they put it out to bid, though 2029 is likely, for now.

The Longfellow Red Line approach is going to be rehabbed, Cambridge Street is apparently getting some bike lane work, Mass General will be starting their expansion, there's 100+ million marked for reconfiguring Storrow under the Longfellow and revitalizing the Esplanade there (though not final/in a 5-year plan yet), and then Red-Blue will be in the early stages in no time. There's going to be quite a bit of work going on around here for some time.
 

themissinglink

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According to the design report, they're considering (and favoring) storage tracks to the east of the station, as opposed to the previously proposed storage tracks to the west of the station.
The 2010 DEIR and concept design included two tail tracks for train storage, which extended west beyond the station (Figure 5-1). The storage tracks would provide train storage of two 6-car consist trains. No trains could be stored on the tracks during revenue service - for safe braking reasons. Construction of such storage tracks west of the station are problematic from a construction cost and impact perspective, and from a tunnel ventilation and emergency egress perspective.
Potential Storage Track East of Station (Figure 5-2) provides less construction impact and greater operational flexibility.
west storage tracks.PNG

east storage tracks.PNG


They also interestingly considered using soon to be retired Bowdoin loop for storage tracks.
bowdoin storage tracks.PNG

Potential Storage Track at Bowdoin Loop (Figure 5-3) is problematic from operations perspective.
 

Brattle Loop

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According to the design report, they're considering (and favoring) storage tracks to the east of the station, as opposed to the previously proposed storage tracks to the west of the station.



View attachment 19229
View attachment 19230

They also interestingly considered using soon to be retired Bowdoin loop for storage tracks.
View attachment 19231
Just as long as they don't screw up potential provision for future (Riverbank-to-Kenmore?) extensions for no reason...
 

RandomWalk

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In the seemingly preferred alternative, an elevator looks like it is partially obstructing one of the tracks.
 

Charlie_mta

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Just as long as they don't screw up potential provision for future (Riverbank-to-Kenmore?) extensions for no reason...
It would be tight, but I think a future Riverbank extension is still doable. The red lines (by me) represent the tunnels that would be cut-and-cover in the future for the Riverbank extension. In any case, any Red-Blue connector design should be made to include future stubs to the Riverbank extension alignment.

 

Teban54

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It would be tight, but I think a future Riverbank extension is still doable. The red lines (by me) represent the tunnels that would be cut-and-cover in the future for the Riverbank extension. In any case, any Red-Blue connector design should be made to include future stubs to the Riverbank extension alignment.

Is there any point in writing to MBTA to suggest a provision of future extensions in their design? I'm tempted to do that lol. It would be disappointing if RBC proceeds with no consideration of the possible Riverbank extension, which is a very natural one.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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I prefer something closer to 6, through Kendall Sq, Cambridgeport, and then into Allston, then west. We can't use the old Watertown Branch ROW anymore but Watertown and Waltham still exist on a coridor with A LOT of ridership and development potential. The two major bus lines that serve this area go to Harvard so even the number 2 alternative has some viability.
 

themissinglink

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If the Blue Line was extended to Cambridge I had always imagined it being routed up Hampshire Street to Inman Square, and then it would continue up Beacon Street to Porter Square, although I suppose there are many potential routings through Cambridge to be considered.
 

HenryAlan

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I've always pictured a Cambridge Blue Line extension travelling under the Grand Junction ROW, then off to Allston along the Worcester line ROW
 

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