New infrastructure bill

Tallguy

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A bare bones OL to WRox could be done for$70-80 M
 

Arlington

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I’d focus on things that have been studied, and ensuring regional distribution.

Accelerated Bridge Repair, everywhere.

Mass Central Rail Trail; Lots of little town center safe routes

I-90 throat & West Station prep.
128-93 Woburn
? Southside?

Berkshires: Bus facilities, Berkshire Flyer. Springfield rail;
Worcester: Union Station; EW Rail and Heart to Hub
Haverhill rail layover
Lowell-Nashua layover
Providence Stoughton substation, layover and electric rolling stock

Red Blue Connector.
SLG Chelsea-Sullivan
GLX to Rt 16
 

MrDee12345

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I think it would be a waste of money turning the silver line into a trolley-type light rail system. The buses work fine and they're more versatile than putting another trolley on fixed tracks.

What I do think they should spend some of the money on is a Silver line tunnel. That way people from Roxbury can get all the way to the airport or Chelsea without having to go into South Station and changing busses.
 

themissinglink

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I think it would be a waste of money turning the silver line into a trolley-type light rail system. The buses work fine and they're more versatile than putting another trolley on fixed tracks.
I've got to really disagree with you there. The Silver Line is substandard transit and isn't adequate for the areas it serves.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think it would be a waste of money turning the silver line into a trolley-type light rail system. The buses work fine and they're more versatile than putting another trolley on fixed tracks.

What I do think they should spend some of the money on is a Silver line tunnel. That way people from Roxbury can get all the way to the airport or Chelsea without having to go into South Station and changing busses.
The buses, lacking a fixed guideway, are slower than LRVs would be; they are also not as long (and as high-capacity) as LRVs could be. There's nothing that would prohibit the T from running mixed LRVs and buses in the Silver Line Transitway; the presumptive Green Line branch would serve the Seaport area and relieve congestion on the SL1 and SL3 (which currently have to serve as a big chunk of the Seaport transit service along with serving Logan and Chelsea; the SL1 in particular conflicts because of all the luggage the airport passengers tend to have).

They were supposed to build a tunnel connecting the Silver Line Washington Street to the Transitway, as a result of them shotgun-marrying the Elevated replacement on Washington Street with Seaport/Logan transit. That project, Silver Line Phase III, collapsed under its own weight due to extreme cost blowout in the projections and the Feds refusing to fund it on that basis. It was, essentially, a political decision with no meaningful basis in demand to link Washington Street and Airport/Seaport. The Green Line Reconfiguration thread has considerable discussion on this, and a number of members here prefer a Green Line branch using the disused portion of the Tremont Street Subway extending to the Transitway (generally with another Green Line branch replacing the Silver Line on Washington Street, in which case there would be a simple transfer to go from Nubian Square to the Seaport, but also direct inside-fare-control transfers to the rest of the Green Line and all of the HRT lines).
 

W-4

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For road infrastructure, I hope they redo the 93 128 interchange in Woburn/Reading. That's the worst highway interchange in the state, way too much traffic for the current design.
It's not even the volume of traffic that's the issue. In fact, we should probably avoid inducing new demand.

It's the safety that's absolutely horrific. Nowhere else is traffic so slow yet so white-knuckled. Way too much weaving is required on such a short stretch of road.
 

RandomWalk

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Some of this is a case of “build it and they will come”: If the transit is there, transit and density friendly folks will move there, which will generate more demand.
 

jbray

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In the case of Needham, the first mile requires all new double track, and the afore-mentioned 2nd span across the Charles. Then, a mile of rehabilitation of old track and a 2nd new track alongside, and the bridge across 128.
The bridge estimates are based on research into several comparable projects in Mass. in the last several years. The new track cost is based on the Franklin DT project, although costs should be lower as there is no traffic on these sections right now.
The section between NH and NC are double tracked and that leaves one mile of 2nd track to NJ. Add signalling and catenary.
I am not including any new fleet costs or a new yard, which would be nice but Riversides facilities are not far away or you COULD use the existing layover facilities.
There's a post from F-Line somewhere talking about the different types of track needed for LRT vs the Commuter rail. You would have to replace it all, but at least the ROW is there.
First aB post so let’s give it a go.
Extending the OL to Needham makes no sense to me. Needham neither has the density to support or justify heavy rail investment and operations nor does the town (emphasis on town) want it.
To resolve:
  1. Branch GL off D to Needham Center (eliminating Junction and Hersey), keeping Needham Heights and new infill stops at Rt. 128 (if possible given Charles River and highway proximity) and Newton Upper Falls.
  2. Extend OL to new station at VFW Parkway and consolidate existing stops at Highland and Roslindale.
  3. Create mixed use path along now disused Needham Branch ROW from new VFW station over Rt 128 west to Millis with branch to new GL terminus at Needham Center. Removes diesel engines and noise pollution from Cutler Park Reservation.
First off, welcome! Second, I think you and @Tallguy are on the same page here, he's just talking about how off the estimate Newton provided is. Tallguy can correct me if I'm wrong.
Honestly, I don’t think Needham deserves any new rail investment given their lack of density or support for any increased development whatsoever. Not an anti-Needham thing, just feel that way about any new fixed rail investment made by MBTA: should be to areas that have existing density to support or approved development plans (such as Newton Upper Falls) or zoning changes in effects to encourage such. Could rattle off several metro Boston cities (emphasis on city) more deserving of fixed rail investment and operations given this criteria. But to contribute to the perpetual Needham branch hypothetical, my two cents.
Some of this is a case of “build it and they will come”: If the transit is there, transit and density friendly folks will move there, which will generate more demand.
Case and point is Alewife prior to the Northwest Extension of the Red line:
 

Tallguy

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There's a post from F-Line somewhere talking about the different types of track needed for LRT vs the Commuter rail. You would have to replace it all, but at least the ROW is there.

First off, welcome! Second, I think you and @Tallguy are on the same page here, he's just talking about how off the estimate Newton provided is. Tallguy can correct me if I'm wrong.


Case and point is Alewife prior to the Northwest Extension of the Red line:
You are not wrong. The case for extension to the Junction is weaker than the more northerly portion but the additional cost is fairly minimal, as the bridges are 2/3rds of the price.
And rail profile can be reground. Witness Track 61s repurposing for RL testing
 

bigeman312

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You made a couple of posts similar to this back in July with a map picture to prove your point. The archboston search function was down and google was doing its .org issue, but I hunted down that Alewife post from F-Line above to point out how similar the density looked to your map picture trying to prove they didn't need a station. By the time I found it, the conversation had moved on. I don't agree with the perspective because of the additional complexity (cost and disruption) of making an infill. Better to plan it out for cheaper and let the neighborhoods fill in around it. It wouldn't be more than one or two stations anyway.
Plagiarized myself. Guilty! To be clear, I believe we mostly agree with each other, just with a slight difference on how development and transit expansion should be linked. I am not arguing against transit, rather I am arguing for density to accompany said transit.

Proper planning includes both transit and development. I would love to see more coupling of these two entities. Identify developable lots and up-zone with transit expansion.

Instead, what we get is a false dichotomy between extending transit to an area that doesn’t warrant it and hoping the development follows. Unfortunately, this can be derailed by NIMBYs, zoning, and excessive regulation. OR not extending transit at all, which leaves a missed opportunity.
 
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reno

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You are not wrong. The case for extension to the Junction is weaker than the more northerly portion but the additional cost is fairly minimal, as the bridges are 2/3rds of the price.
And rail profile can be reground. Witness Track 61s repurposing for RL testing
Track 61 was not reground. The entire roadbed, drainage, 3rd rail powering and installation, ties and rail were replaced brand new for $32 million to accommodate MBTA Red Line trains.
 

Arlington

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Cross posting to both Infrastructure Bill and Logan threads:

Apparently there is $244m for Massachusetts airports, per Sen Markey. Let us know if you see further details. Also his press release is good summary of Mass’ allocation

 

stellarfun

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Globe article, little new news
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/11...es-have-ideas-how-spend-it/?p1=HP_TrendingBar

But this with respect to more money for climate change
But members of Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation said their work is far from over, and underscored the need to pass Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which would spend $1.75 trillion over 10 years to improve the social safety net and further address climate change.
BBBA has $550 billion for climate change initiatives.
 

BeyondRevenue

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The current inflationary environment is definitely hurting the chances of that bill passing.
Spend $2 trillion on the GWOT to make warlords in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq crazy rich with nothing to show for it = No inflationary pressure
Spend half of that domestically over 10 years on stuff we're going to use every day forever = WHEEEOOOOWHEEEEOOO WHEEEOOOO Inflation alarm!
Christ, I'm sick of economic fear baiting. Bonds are cheap and the fed is happy to issue them. We need to do this or we will screw ourselves. This is basic Keynesian economics. Or if you like to keep the ol' 'balance the checkbook' mindset that has been fed to us since the 80s, there's an easy way to fix it: Tax the people at the top in keeping with their actual wealth. Or at least at the same rate that I am. You know, like before the 80s when we ran up $4.5 Trillion in 8 years on weapons systems and planes we didn't need!
We have been brainwashed into hopelessness. We need to relearn the lessons of how to build and maintain society. Or if you're really ready to try something new, read up on this wackadoody stuff!
 

Brattle Loop

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Spend $2 trillion on the GWOT to make warlords in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq crazy rich with nothing to show for it = No inflationary pressure
Spend half of that domestically over 10 years on stuff we're going to use every day forever = WHEEEOOOOWHEEEEOOO WHEEEOOOO Inflation alarm!
Christ, I'm sick of economic fear baiting. Bonds are cheap and the fed is happy to issue them. We need to do this or we will screw ourselves. This is basic Keynesian economics. Or if you like to keep the ol' 'balance the checkbook' mindset that has been fed to us since the 80s, there's an easy way to fix it: Tax the people at the top in keeping with their actual wealth. Or at least at the same rate that I am. You know, like before the 80s when we ran up $4.5 Trillion in 8 years on weapons systems and planes we didn't need!
We have been brainwashed into hopelessness. We need to relearn the lessons of how to build and maintain society. Or if you're really ready to try something new, read up on this wackadoody stuff!
No, no, no, don't go trying to make economic arguments, that's just not fair. :)

There are two elements; the actual economic arguments, and the political arguments, which may be, and frequently are, completely divorced from reality.

It won't be inflation, or the "inflationary environment" that kills the bill if it indeed dies. It will be political maneuvering from rank hypocrites who don't care a bit about what the actual economic reality is, only what the perception of things is. It will be because a senator or two finds "inflation" a useful reason to oppose something they're not wild about, because it is entirely possible to mitigate the inflationary effects of policies if you want to do so. (The one caveat is that if you're potentially adding to inflation, you should factor that into the cost-benefit analysis, but that assumes rational rather than cynical political analysis, and that assumption is rarely justified when it comes to Congress.) It's the same with the hand-wringing about costs and deficits when it comes to social spending that disappears whenever the Pentagon wants to blow something up or the rich want more tax cuts.
 

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