Melnea Cass Blvd

FK4

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I honestly have no idea why they don't maintain the existing cycle track.

Why is there no need for cycle tracks on both sides? That's like advocating for one way sidewalks.
No it's not... no comparison there. The existing cycle track is two-way. Bike is MUCH faster than feet. There's no need for two way cycle tracks on both sides of any street. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, but completely unnecessary. Certainly not needed here and not worth whatever cost of construction is.

Melnea ALREADY HAS coordinated signals but congestion at either end (the connector and Tremont St) causes them to be much less useful. In the morning you could theoretically travel from the connector to Tremont at 25mph and not get one red light. In the evening it switches to favor the other direction.
I drive on Melnea Cass all the time, including without traffic and driving the speed limit, and these lights are DEFINITELY not coordinated.
 

bakgwailo

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Come on now, you understand how transportation planning works in Massachusetts.

Never future-proof a design if you know that there is a good chance that you (and your buds in the trades) will get to reconstruct it again in a few years. Guaranteed future employment.
I just don't get the neighborhood opposition to it - there is maybe what a block or two at most that abuts onto residential property? I also don't think residential objections to public transportation are really that valid either (see silver line in Chinatown/South End).
 

JeffDowntown

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I just don't get the neighborhood opposition to it - there is maybe what a block or two at most that abuts onto residential property? I also don't think residential objections to public transportation are really that valid either (see silver line in Chinatown/South End).
I am not certain what opposition to the Silver Line in Chinatown/South End you are referring to (and I do community planning in that area).

The only "opposition" I am aware of is related to the transportation bait and switch of fake BRT as opposed to real rail in the corridor.

And the big heavy articulated diesel BRT produce obnoxious noise, fumes and vibration when they start up from a stop, hence at least one stop was moved away from neighborhood businesses that were being affected (it was a real issue, not some faux NIMBY complaint).
 

FK4

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^the destruction for the inner belt ended up causing further withering away of building footprints on both sides of the corridor. MCB remains a very wide Corredor that sunders the neighborhood. I certainly don't blame the neighborhood for a posing any further widening of this road. And, like highways to nowhere, spending millions of dollars to widen this road to accommodate buses merely so they can zip between Albany Street and Tremont does nothing to advance urban ring transit since the ends of MCB have no easy solutions to continue any effective BRT transit. If the city had a real plan to build the urban ring, promises and contracts to do so, this would make more sense. But they don't. And all they're going to do is produce more pavement, spend more money and help very few in the process, all the while claiming some future project that may never happen.
 

cden4

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The biggest opposition is that the current design results in hundreds of mature trees being cut down (they will be replaced, but as we know, a small tree takes a while to get bigger.) If the designers put any thought into it, they could preserve most of these trees and still create a design that achieves all of the goals.
 

FK4

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Yes, but what is the POINT of these changes? What goals do they achieve? I am sure many of those using the tree argument are just using it as a possibly viable argument to stymie the whole thing.

The cycle track is already built, just ignored by the state. The roadway is there. BRT lanes for a quarter mile segment are pointless. There's no need for any redesign in the first place.
 

JeffDowntown

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Yes, but what is the POINT of these changes? What goals do they achieve? I am sure many of those using the tree argument are just using it as a possibly viable argument to stymie the whole thing.

The cycle track is already built, just ignored by the state. The roadway is there. BRT lanes for a quarter mile segment are pointless. There's no need for any redesign in the first place.
I tend to concur. The money needs to go to ongoing maintenance of the green space, cycle track, etc. There needs to be constant mowing and trash pickup (particularly glass) to make the cycle track more usable. Maybe run a mini sweeper over it once a week...

Much better use of the money.
 

cden4

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Yeah I'm not sure what the point of the whole project is...
 

bakgwailo

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I am not certain what opposition to the Silver Line in Chinatown/South End you are referring to (and I do community planning in that area).

The only "opposition" I am aware of is related to the transportation bait and switch of fake BRT as opposed to real rail in the corridor.

And the big heavy articulated diesel BRT produce obnoxious noise, fumes and vibration when they start up from a stop, hence at least one stop was moved away from neighborhood businesses that were being affected (it was a real issue, not some faux NIMBY complaint).
So what I have heard mainly comes from documentaries and various reading, but there was vocal community groups opposed to light rail at the time down Washington St as some didn't want the wires in a historical district, others thought it would completely divide Wahington St into two sides, loss of parking, etc., which all played nicely to Menino (I believe mayor at the time) and the T to push instead 'BRT' - which Dudley fully did not want at all (they even opposed trackless trolleys vs light rail).
 

JeffDowntown

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So what I have heard mainly comes from documentaries and various reading, but there was vocal community groups opposed to light rail at the time down Washington St as some didn't want the wires in a historical district, others thought it would completely divide Wahington St into two sides, loss of parking, etc., which all played nicely to Menino (I believe mayor at the time) and the T to push instead 'BRT' - which Dudley fully did not want at all (they even opposed trackless trolleys vs light rail).
Interesting, I have not heard of this opposition to the light rail option. The only serious opposition I heard was quoted cost (at least 4 x the cost of fake BRT). Also, a big issue was the Feds were promoting BRT and would help fund BRT, but not rail. (Same issue for the Seaport, who also got screwed.)

Also I think the BRT decision predates Menino, I believe it was under Flynn. (Although the mayor has little say in the MBTA decisions.)
 

bakgwailo

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Interesting, I have not heard of this opposition to the light rail option. The only serious opposition I heard was quoted cost (at least 4 x the cost of fake BRT). Also, a big issue was the Feds were promoting BRT and would help fund BRT, but not rail. (Same issue for the Seaport, who also got screwed.)

Also I think the BRT decision predates Menino, I believe it was under Flynn. (Although the mayor has little say in the MBTA decisions.)
I should have wrote 'vocal, but minority of community groups against it' - the majority of South Enders I think wanted it (and really wanted the El gone, too). As for the Mayor - I am not sure, this happened late in the process one the second or third time they tried to submit light rail to the feds who, yet again, laughed at them.

Anyways back to Melnea Cass - I guess I was more saying if we are going to redo the whole thing we should prep it for transit and get moving on the urban ring. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else - what is the point of this project when the existing road/cycle track just needs some TLC. Should put all of these funds into maintence/sprucing up, and whatever is left to fixing Morrissey or somewhere that really needs it.
 

Scipio

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Why Melnea Cass and why now? I suspect it's because the Melnea Cass Reconstruction Project has old federal earmarks sitting around losing purchasing power. They were probably requested back when this was a BRT project.
 

FK4

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Scipio & bak, yes, the real reason is unfortunately that federal dollars are paying for this and I'm sure they will run out soon if not spent... it's sad that this is all it takes for our local government to feel forced to spend money, rather than reevaluating whether the project itself is a good one or not... but, then again, federal money is what pushed the razing of half of Roxbury, the West End, everything else where projects now are, and all the destruction for every interstate built and unbuilt in the area... so...
 

stick n move

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“Activists describe the move an act of environmental racism.”

Arent they trying to improve the road with new cycle tracks etc? Theyre not planning well for future transit, but they never do. I could kind of see the argument if they wanted to cut down the trees to add a barricade down the middle and extra lanes so its a cross city highway. The city fumbles the ball on projects like this in literally every neighborhood.
 

KCasiglio

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“Activists describe the move an act of environmental racism.”

Arent they trying to improve the road with new cycle tracks etc? Theyre not planning well for future transit, but they never do. I could kind of see the argument if they wanted to cut down the trees to add a barricade down the middle and extra lanes so its a cross city highway. The city fumbles the ball on projects like this in literally every neighborhood.
Exactly, and also the plan calls to replace all the trees lost with an equal number of trees iirc

Seems like not dealing with problems like these is more damaging to the community than the temporary loss of canopy but I suppose I'm not a resident.
 

Arlington

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Boston Cyclist Union says keep the trees by threading a 2-way cycle track through the existing trees.

Mature trees are key urban features: shading, quieting, cleaning (the air). In studies they are associated with several percent and increase in property value. (Things like $10000/unit per mature tree)

Racism might be too strong, but a lot of what defines enclaves like Newton, Weston and Winchester is the trees. There's definitely White Privilege / Green Privilege at play here
 

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