MBTA "Transformation" (Green Line, Red Line, & Orange Line Transformation Projects)

Bananarama

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"Park Street and North" - I prefer "eastbound". The way they draw the map makes it seem like the green line is going north to the west as well
It only goes eastbound until north station, and then it does go north west. Is that the section you're talking about? (the new extensions?)
 

fattony

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It only goes eastbound until north station, and then it does go north west. Is that the section you're talking about? (the new extensions?)
I think he means that the GL appears to go NW from Kenmore. Of course that is only on the spider map and isn't real. Nothing is perfect, but I think Park St. & North isn't bad. What happened to Inbound/Outbound?
 

jass

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I think he means that the GL appears to go NW from Kenmore. Of course that is only on the spider map and isn't real. Nothing is perfect, but I think Park St. & North isn't bad. What happened to Inbound/Outbound?
Right, directly under the sign that says "north" the map shows the line going north in the outbound direction.

Its poor map design.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think he means that the GL appears to go NW from Kenmore. Of course that is only on the spider map and isn't real. Nothing is perfect, but I think Park St. & North isn't bad. What happened to Inbound/Outbound?
They clearly eliminated the Inbound/Outbound designators in recent years with the new signage and wayfinding standards. Government Center reopened post-renovation in 2016 with the "North Station & North" (which sounds kind of weird) and "Copley & West" designators.

I personally preferred the old system where it would generally use Inbound/Outbound with the terminal and major transfer stations/line centers, i.e. Outbound to Lechmere via North Station (at GC), or Inbound to Forest Hills via Downtown Crossing (at Oak Grove and the other northern stations). It got a little hazy at the core stations where everything was pretty much outbound, but that was mostly covered with the references to the terminals.

The new system is particularly annoying on the Green Line because it's not connected to the map and it's not particularly consistent (that the map's design makes the problem particularly apparent as jass points out is particularly glaring). They clearly re-designated "Eastbound" on the Green Line as "North" at some point, at least for signage purposes (having a railroad that goes west one way and north the other just feels wrong) which introduced this problem to the GL.
 

Bananarama

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Oh I see now. Yeah Inbound/Outbound was pretty clear to me (until around the core...)

But regarding the map itself, after watching the video of previous designer talk through the map's history, and considering just how batshit the general rail layout in this city is, I give them credit for producing something so sensible. A lot of legibility factors and constraints (especially on the GL) so a realistic, geographically accurate depiction just doesn't work.
 

Brattle Loop

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Oh I see now. Yeah Inbound/Outbound was pretty clear to me (until around the core...)

But regarding the map itself, after watching the video of previous designer talk through the map's history, and considering just how batshit the general rail layout in this city is, I give them credit for producing something so sensible. A lot of legibility factors and constraints (especially on the GL) so a realistic, geographically accurate depiction just doesn't work.
Obviously personal aesthetic preference plays a role, but this is one of the things I really despise about the current subway map. There was very little need to add in the geographical features with the harbor/river outlines, but doing so gives the impression of place to stations on the map, which is all well and good for the downtown core where it's not far off, but really problematic for the Green Line where it implies, completely erroneously, that there's an enormous distance between some stations (i.e. Chestnut Hill Ave, Cleveland Circle, and Reservoir) that are very close together, and vice-versa. It's a schematic map that holds itself out as a geographic map, but worse it's one that's partially accurate and partially not as a geographic map.

(The other map pet peeve is where it shows the Green Line crossing under the Orange Line at Haymarket. It might have technically been accurate for a brief period in the 1990s, but it's not accurate now. It doesn't harm wayfinding, but it is a glaring error to anyone who really knows the system.)
 

Bananarama

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Obviously personal aesthetic preference plays a role, but this is one of the things I really despise about the current subway map. There was very little need to add in the geographical features with the harbor/river outlines, but doing so gives the impression of place to stations on the map, which is all well and good for the downtown core where it's not far off, but really problematic for the Green Line where it implies, completely erroneously, that there's an enormous distance between some stations (i.e. Chestnut Hill Ave, Cleveland Circle, and Reservoir) that are very close together, and vice-versa. It's a schematic map that holds itself out as a geographic map, but worse it's one that's partially accurate and partially not as a geographic map.

(The other map pet peeve is where it shows the Green Line crossing under the Orange Line at Haymarket. It might have technically been accurate for a brief period in the 1990s, but it's not accurate now. It doesn't harm wayfinding, but it is a glaring error to anyone who really knows the system.)
The issue is that the GL is so physically large with so many stations (many with long names), and need to be labeled horizontally because the diagonal placement was found to be hard to read by users. And in the end, it ranks 3rd in ridership levels and tourists/visitors are unlikely to need to head out east much further than Kenmore/Fenway anyway - this solution of compressing it with diagonals to focus on the core and closer proximity seems fine to me.

Also the crossing Green and Orange at Haymarket has been fixed! (you can see it in the recent image on the previous page)
 

Brattle Loop

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The issue is that the GL is so physically large with so many stations (many with long names), and need to be labeled horizontally because the diagonal placement was found to be hard to read by users. And in the end, it ranks 3rd in ridership levels and tourists/visitors are unlikely to need to head out east much further than Kenmore/Fenway anyway - this solution of compressing it with diagonals to focus on the core and closer proximity seems fine to me.

Also the crossing Green and Orange at Haymarket has been fixed! (you can see it in the recent image on the previous page)
Indeed it has! I was searching in vain for the crossunder at Haymarket this evening, too 🙃

I (begrudgingly) get why they oriented the GL the way they did on the map, and I wouldn't mind it (beyond bare aesthetic annoyance) if it was a pure schematic map with no geographical features. The fact that it's an unlabled, inaccurate hybrid of the two types (with most of the inaccuracy introduced by the other design requirements of the GL section) is what's so annoying. The original spider map was pure schematic, the current one's predecessor (with the hard to read GL, admittedly) was more geographically accurate. I would personally prefer to jettison the geographical markers rather than have a hybrid that is actively deceptive in being both in different sections with no labels.
 

The EGE

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The NYC Subway map packs 4 times as many stations in, with useful geography, with only a handful of diagonal labels. That's because the MTA only displays it in large format (36x36 or 48x48), whereas the MBTA displays tiny versions that require a much larger typeface.

Purely schematic maps work best with small systems, where the geography can be easily remembered, or with extremely complex systems (Tokyo) where there's simply no room. (And even Tokyo has a few concessions to geography, plus I believe it has good local maps at stations). Even a purely schematic diagram should be factually accurate, and should not mutilate the most basic geometry. There are no excuses for the MBTA map having a 90 degree turn in the nearly-perfectly-straight C Branch, nor for the 66 not being shown as following Huntington Avenue, nor for the 77 being completely backwards relative to the Red Line. Those are errors introduced by a designer who wasn't from the area (not his fault) that weren't corrected by the MBTA (very much their fault).
 

The EGE

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881 (far left) and 871 (center) are both pretty ugly, and even more depressing on the inside.
 

BeyondRevenue

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I mean, I wouldn't 'nuke it' (to loosely paraphrase F-Line for a neighboring building's backside) - though It could be replaced with something much taller, newer, greener, better. I'd prefer if BU went tall on their admin buildings, consolidated space and let some of their free real estate revert to public tax rolls. PILOT programs are public thievery and Boston needs the payday.
 

Jahvon09

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I heard that there was yet another derailment, that this one had occured on the E Line & that it was caused by a skateboard being left on the track. Is there any true to this story?!! :eek:
 
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Brattle Loop

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I heard that there was yet another derailment, this one had occured on the E Line & that it was caused by a skateboard being left on the track. Is there any true to this story?!! :eek:
Apparently yes. It was the center truck of a Type 8 that derailed (shocking, I know) and the T does believe that the skateboard was responsible. One of the stranger incidents I've heard of.
 

Jahvon09

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This is so awful!! It's almost as though someone or something has it in for the MBTA!! Even though I don't like the bad things that happen with them, I would NEVER sabotage them or their equipment!! it causes headaches & delays for everyone! :unsure:
 

Brattle Loop

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This is so awful!! It's almost as though someone or something has it in for the MBTA!! Even though I don't like the bad things that happen with them, I would NEVER sabotage them or their equipment!! it causes headaches & delays for everyone! :unsure:
I haven't seen anything about sabotage other than Reddit speculation. It's of course possible that someone did this maliciously, or as an incredibly ill-conceived "prank", but until informed otherwise it's also entirely possible that something like this could happen completely by accident.
 

Jahvon09

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I haven't seen anything about sabotage other than Reddit speculation. It's of course possible that someone did this maliciously, or as an incredibly ill-conceived "prank", but until informed otherwise it's also entirely possible that something like this could happen completely by accident.
Who in the Sam Hill would purposely leave a skateboard on the tracks?!! Unless it was a malicious act of terrorism? Someone looking to get their kicks in by possibly wanting to see innocent people maimed or killed!! I just can't picture anyone doing this. If I did, I'd alert them to move it. How does anyone drop a skateboard & not hear it hit the ground? Maybe the one who would graffiti a train would probably would cause one to have an accident. :eek:
 

Brattle Loop

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Who in the Sam Hill would purposely leave a skateboard on the tracks?!! Unless it was a malicious act of terrorism? Someone looking to get their kicks in by possibly wanting to see innocent people maimed or killed!! I just can't picture anyone doing this. If I did, I'd alert them to move it. How does anyone drop a skateboard & not hear it hit the ground? Maybe the one who would graffiti a train would probably would cause one to have an accident. :eek:
Lots and lots of reasons I can think of how a skateboard could wind up on the tracks. It was the street running section of the line, stuff winds up on (or stuck in) the tracks, it's theoretically possible for a runaway skateboard to wind up there. It's also entirely possible that some idiot or idiots were skateboarding or doing tricks in the street, maybe even deliberately close to a train, and inadvertently lost a board under the train, just as it's possible that some moron sent one under there to see the train rip it in half when it ran over it, not even thinking about whether it could affect the train. People do really, really stupid stuff disturbingly frequently, often without any significant malice to it. (Not that I'm saying it definitively couldn't have been malicious, because it absolutely could have been.)
 

Wash

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Are there any pictures of a skateboard? Any idea where this rumor started?
 

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