Reasonable Transit Pitches

Tallguy

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I know that RL cars are required to do a radius of 250ft in revenue vs 440ft for the OL, but I can't find data on the BL. It would need a 386 ft radius turn to do it, and at least one building torn down
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I know that RL cars are required to do a radius of 250ft in revenue vs 440ft for the OL, but I can't find data on the BL. It would need a 386 ft radius turn to do it, and at least one building torn down
Since Red-Blue will make it possible to do OL or near-OL train lengths on Blue (pending modification of State St. curve), for future-proofing purposes go with the OL figure.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Are the stations long enough?
The outdoor stations all have room for platform extensions, as the early-2000's renovations anticipated that Red-Blue might happen enabling this scenario. So does Maverick have extra space behind the end walls (GC might too). State would be lengthened in one direction regardless for purposes of easing the curve to enable OL-ish length cars in the first place; that would be the most expensive touch. Aquarium would go on a little further from where they lengthened it in the early-2000's. Some cost involved, but nothing back-breaking.

It would be a large capacity increaser...26% more seats per train if it goes all the way to OL length. That'll more than offset the cost.
 

Teban54

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Speaking with some people in the Boston Transportation Dept, there is a "southwest Boston study" coming which is going to (among other things of course) look at orange line extensions. Alternatives specifically mentioned include the two commonly seen "eat the Needham line" proposals, one to Needham and one stopping at WRox, as well as an alternative that will look at a subway south under Washington Street to a point TBD
Subway under Washington sounds really interesting. Would it be possible to have provisions for branching out near Roslindale, Forest Hills, or somewhere else?
 

HenryAlan

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Alternatives specifically mentioned include the two commonly seen "eat the Needham line" proposals, one to Needham and one stopping at WRox, as well as an alternative that will look at a subway south under Washington Street to a point TBD
I'm intrigued by the idea of a Washington St. subway. Either option brings the OL as far as Roslindale Square, but then after that, I suspect the Washington St. corridor would have higher ridership density with the exception of the Stony Brook reservation. Due to that density gap, it might really be a wash in terms of walkable populations along either ROW. Honestly, both corridors could sustain rapid transit level service. What's really interesting about a Washington St. subway, though, is that it leaves open the possibility of continued Needham ROW service, either via regional rail or by branching the Orange Line after Forest Hills. Either way, the idea represents an actual service expansion, rather than one for one mode replacement. Glad to see it's in the conversation.
 

Stlin

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Count me amongst those intruiged by a Washington St subway through SOWA orange line routing - depending on how far south they take it, it's basically rebuilding the pre-1987 elevated alignment underground.

Either way, I can't really see them going past Melena Cass unless they then go Warren - Blue Hills Ave. And it's verging on crazy pitch territory generally. Alternatively, is it even plausible that they go via Melena Cass and Norfolk to swallow the Readville Line? (And, to be fair, I still think that corridor should be Green)
 

KCasiglio

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Either way, I can't really see them going past Melena Cass unless they then go Warren - Blue Hills Ave. And it's verging on crazy pitch territory generally. Alternatively, is it even plausible that they go via Melena Cass and Norfolk to swallow the Readville Line? (And, to be fair, I still think that corridor should be Green)
I think you're confused, these would be extensions south from Forest Hills, so Washington Street south from there, not eating the current SL4/5.
 

Riverside

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Yeah, I'm sure that this is meant to refer to a subway under Washington St between Forest Hills and Roslindale Village. To me, the question is which of these options is costlier:
  • Option A: Convert Needham Junction to Newton Highlands to surface LRT and convert Forest Hills-West Roxbury to surface HRT, while retiring mainline access
  • Option B: Maintain mainline service (with or without a Green Line extension) and construct a 1-mile long greenfield cut-and-cover subway on a major street containing one of the highest densities of bus traffic in the entire system
Aside from maintaining mainline service, I'm not really sure what benefit the subway would have over an alignment that eats the current mainline ROW? But I guess it's good to do the due diligence and (hopefully) establish which option is indeed the most efficient.
 

Teban54

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Yeah, I'm sure that this is meant to refer to a subway under Washington St between Forest Hills and Roslindale Village. To me, the question is which of these options is costlier:
  • Option A: Convert Needham Junction to Newton Highlands to surface LRT and convert Forest Hills-West Roxbury to surface HRT, while retiring mainline access
  • Option B: Maintain mainline service (with or without a Green Line extension) and construct a 1-mile long greenfield cut-and-cover subway on a major street containing one of the highest densities of bus traffic in the entire system
Aside from maintaining mainline service, I'm not really sure what benefit the subway would have over an alignment that eats the current mainline ROW? But I guess it's good to do the due diligence and (hopefully) establish which option is indeed the most efficient.
One advantage of a Washington St subway is that it does not necessarily have to end at Roslindale nor follow the Needham Line ROW. In particular, this means rapid transit could potentially be brought to Dedham and points beyond.

The problem (aside from NIMBY concerns) is that the Needham ROW still needs some sort of service, as housing density south of Roslindale on the Needham ROW seems higher than Washington St up to Stony Brook Commons. At the very least, some houses near current Needham Line stations will no longer be within walking distance to a Washington St subway.

The abandoned ROW to Dedham via West Roxbury would have been the optimal choice, but...
 
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Stlin

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I think you're confused, these would be extensions south from Forest Hills, so Washington Street south from there, not eating the current SL4/5.
Ah. Yes, that would make a lot more sense in retrospect - I read the thread semi distractedly.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Subwaying under Washington St. makes no sense since Washington and the Needham ROW duplicate themselves to Rozzie Sq. You'd be saving several hundred million dollars just taking the 1-1/4 miles of ROW on the duplicate portion. Also, while the 34's ridership is pretty good (#33 systemwide) and the 34E + 40 also traverse that route out to the city line, the bus ridership doesn't match the combined heft of the 35-36-37 along the Needham ROW + the incidental touches of the 38 and 52. And Stony Brook Reservation creates a bit of a cavity on the only side of Washington that's out of walkshed to the Needham ROW, so it's not like they're tapping anything special at the would-be intermediate stops.

Maybe they were just looking for a placebo alt. to benchmark it against so they could say there were multiple options. But there's really no contest here; the Needham ROW follows the highest density and most trips served hands-down.
 

KCasiglio

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Maybe they were just looking for a placebo alt. to benchmark it against so they could say there were multiple options. But there's really no contest here; the Needham ROW follows the highest density and most trips served hands-down.
Yeah I don’t think we’re going to get any surprises out of this study. When he mentioned it I was surprised and was just told “well tunneling has gotten cheaper so we’re going to take a look at it” and the conversation quickly turned to all the benefits of taking the Needham line slots (and the Franklin line) off the NEC.

If I had to guess, and this is pure speculation, Washington is more likely to get a push for center running bus lanes. The city is really happy with how things are going on Columbus and is very close to announcing a similar project in a different part of the city.
 

Scalziand

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For all we know we'll get a pleasant surprise like the Congress st routing for the NSRL being deemed feasible as an alternative for something else in the future.
 

HenryAlan

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If I had to guess, and this is pure speculation, Washington is more likely to get a push for center running bus lanes. The city is really happy with how things are going on Columbus and is very close to announcing a similar project in a different part of the city.
Would there be room for center running lanes on Washington? Until Washington reaches West Roxbury/Eneking Parkway, it's about 20 feet less wide than Columbus. Hyde Park Ave., on the other hand, would be a perfect candidate for the next center lane buildout.
 

Charlie_mta

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Would there be room for center running lanes on Washington? Until Washington reaches West Roxbury/Eneking Parkway, it's about 20 feet less wide than Columbus. Hyde Park Ave., on the other hand, would be a perfect candidate for the next center lane buildout.
Looking at Google maps aerial view, like you say Washington St is narrow north of W Roxbury Pkwy, with only one lane each way of general traffic, plus parking on both sides. IMO it would be politically difficult to eliminate all the on-street parking in order to fit in the center-running dedicated bus lanes. This seems a fairly typical situation in the Boston area.
 

HenryAlan

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Looking at Google maps aerial view, like you say Washington St is narrow north of W Roxbury Pkwy, with only one lane each way of general traffic, plus parking on both sides. IMO it would be politically difficult to eliminate all the on-street parking in order to fit in the center-running dedicated bus lanes. This seems a fairly typical situation in the Boston area.
Yeah, it was a tough enough sell to do the rush hour lanes, that take away a single lane of parking for a few hours during each commute time. There is no way the neighborhood would go for a complete elimination of parking. Even as a pro-bus lane, pro-bike, anti-free car storage activist, I don't think I'd advocate for it until we are at a different tipping point.
 

737900er

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Looking at Google maps aerial view, like you say Washington St is narrow north of W Roxbury Pkwy, with only one lane each way of general traffic, plus parking on both sides. IMO it would be politically difficult to eliminate all the on-street parking in order to fit in the center-running dedicated bus lanes. This seems a fairly typical situation in the Boston area.
Is this where they have been looking at the left-door buses out of Arborway or is that the 35/36/37 corridor? A reversible peak-direction busway with left doors would mean they would only have to build platforms on one side, although I don't see how that could fit with bike lanes too.
 

Riverside

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Is there any utility to be had in upgrading the East Walpole Industrial Track to provide an additional turnback location to increase frequencies on inner-Franklin/extended-Fairmount? (Providing a location for trains to turn and do their brakechecks etc without blocking the main line.)
 

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