Reasonable Transit Pitches

JumboBuc

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I've seen this written down probably in the same places that you have, but I have seen no indication on the ground that this is true. (The same list of infrastructure improvements also includes signalization at Mountfort and Beacon Streets, to have been completed last month...nope, not even started.) Would love to be proven wrong, but as of now the decking ends west of the Lansdowne elevator towers and there hasn't been any visible work taking place at the eastern end of these platforms at any time. It's not until Phase 2 that the deck extends east to Brookline Ave., and I am presuming that that pedestrian connection won't be made before Phase 2 is complete.
No - you're right - my mistake. I was thinking of Beacon St (which Phase I will provide elevator access to, and which connects to Kenmore) not Brookline Ave. Lansdowne connection to Brookline Ave won't come until Phase II.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Infill stop in the C/D tunnel isn't going to be possible at a point where Lansdowne is connectable. The Eversource substation on Beacon right next to the Pike overpass trenches huge bundles of trunk cabling underneath the Pike and Worcester Line here, constraining the tunnel dimensions to the point where the ceiling constriction here is the ruling height limiter for the whole Green Line. The whole wall that faces the Lansdowne side is blocked with wall-to-wall high-voltage lines with no plausible way around sans a mini- Big Dig's worth of excruciating utility relocation. Immediately after those massive cable bundles clear...the cavern for the D tunnel split opens up before Maitland St. and you're out of room before the junction.

This is a very big blocker, unfortunately, as that's the power supply for the whole of the Fenway neighborhood crossing right there and truly prohibitive amount of mission-critical infrastructure to try to move or shove aside. As that would be an extremely sloppy-seconds stop vs. Kenmore-proper and probably very claustrophobic even after the cost-blowout utility relocations, you honestly get better connectivity working the surface egresses from Lansdowne to shorten the walk and maybe weather-protect parts of it under partial canopy.


Keep in mind as well...you build Urban Ring LRT to West Station and you've got your cross-platform transfer to Kenmore-bound trolley all the same at a whole lot higher-leverage and cheaper stop than the Lansdowne force-fit. And if you eventually relocate the E off Copley Jct. you get that same inbound-to-GC transfer at a Back Bay Green/Orange superstation. There are much easier pivots to move on the expansion board to achieve identical functionality, so this proposal really only has value attached to it in a vacuum where you're not planning to do for-real proposed things like the UR or perma-solve western Central Subway chokepoints by reattaching that problem E junction to Boylston/South End instead for future fluidity. The value proposition more or less gets nullified at Lansdowne if you do either of those, and there are a whole slew of other compelling reasons for doing those so I doubt we ever see a universe where the Beacon utility relocation from hell becomes the last/best/only hope for RUR integration.
 
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ErnieAdams

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(The same list of infrastructure improvements also includes signalization at Mountfort and Beacon Streets, to have been completed last month...nope, not even started.)
And on the very day that I decide to come here to complain about this, I notice for the first time that traffic signals are now being installed here. What else should I will into existence?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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^ Could they lower the tunnel floor?
Already was done once for introducing the Boeing LRV's...and possibly a second time to fit all the roof-mount HVAC crap on the Type 7's/8's. GLT *may* be doing further trackbed-shaving games here, as you can conceivably go almost straight to the poured concrete floor by changing the trackbed over from layered ballast + ties + ballast to a short stretch of anchored sleepers. Depends on whether that's a last variable or not for netting all low-floor design within their 'generification' target range...TBD. There isn't, however, intrinsically much play left at that pinch point after so many times going to that well.


Height's more a vehicle-purchase consideration, though. You simply aren't going to have any wall interface with that whole Lansdowne-facing side of the block without a punitive amount of mission-critical utility relocation, and the resulting station space will still be so constrained that it'll be like trying to pack the full force of a Sox after-game crowd inside of another Symphony platform rather than anything resembling a superstation. The fact that the best you can hope for is a minimal little nook of a station when the Sox already intantaneously overwhelm the whole of multi-platfom Kenmore and spacious outdoor Fenway 81 days a year is problematic in itself. And then the value proposition for general commuting really dims with each successive LRT hook-up of adjacent West and Back Bay Stations. It really is a sort of 'vacuum-world' proposal reliant on assumption that the UR never happens--and that Central Subway streamlining never happens while the UR never happens--in order to carve out its primary value proposition. A value proposition which will not be able to keep up in the slightest with the special-event loading that location flings its way.

I really don't see a path forward that gives it any juice. As tortured as we are by all the pervasive can't-do spirit around West, by any empirical measure that UR stub there with its Kenmore routing is still a lot easier to try for than this. And pretty much always will be the easier reach in head-to-head comparison until we actually get off our hands and pick it up.
 

The EGE

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Your catchment would be very small - it's more than a mile walk from downtown East and West Bridgewater, and even with driving their travel times wouldn't be substantially improved versus driving to Campello. I can't see it pulling more than about 100 riders a day. As infills go, it would rank well below Montvale, South Salem, Newton Corner, and North Andover.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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An infill station at East Bridgewater.
There's nothing there...absolutely nothing. And never historically were there any stops between Campello and the old (still standing as a restaurant) Bridgewater Depot at MA 18 few blocks north of the current very well utilized campus stop.

I'm not sure what the audience for this is supposed to be. There doesn't seem to be one.
 

DominusNovus

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There's nothing there...absolutely nothing. And never historically were there any stops between Campello and the old (still standing as a restaurant) Bridgewater Depot at MA 18 few blocks north of the current very well utilized campus stop.

I'm not sure what the audience for this is supposed to be. There doesn't seem to be one.
Would there ever be any use in relocating Bridgwater to the old depot (its a Burger King, which is crazy)? I'm asking on 90% aesthetic grounds.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Would there ever be any use in relocating Bridgwater to the old depot (its a Burger King, which is crazy)? I'm asking on 90% aesthetic grounds.
Probably not. The campus stop has consistently overperformed expectations, and campus shuttles are plentiful. It's also very close by walking distance so not *that* big a difference. Middleboro Line took 2 big station siting risks on restoration: Bridgewater and the M'boro TOD site by 495 instead of the old depot site across from the freight yard. Both decisions turned out to be home runs, while all other stops at their exact historic locations are doing exactly as expected (no pre-'58 stops south of Braintree were otherwise omitted or moved, so Holbrook/Randolph to Campello is the traditional roster).

This is in sharp contrast to Plymouth which arguably has 2 big whiffs on intermediates that relocated from downtowns to parking sinks plus the fucked forked termini. Or Greenbush which is *mostly* the near-traditional lineup but which screwed itself on downtown Hingham with the NIMBY tunnel eating the traditional stop and the adjacents being rough-fitting substitutes.


Agreed...Bridgewater is a Most Magnificent of Burger Kings.(y)
 

Massachoicetts

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Serious Proposition here:
Light Rail from South Station, similar to the Green Line, but offsets on their own streetcar color:

2 Lines:
1a. From South Station, down Tremont, to Colombus ave to Seaver St.... and then off to Blue Hills avenue, stopping somewhere in Roxbury or Matapan.
OR
1b. From South Station, down Washington, to Warren, down to Codman Corner.
AND
2. Extend this from South Station down through Summer Street and eventually L St, and end the line to

The streets are all wide enough and I think that it would benefit the city so much.

Stops:
1. South Boston/Edison Power Plant
2. D Street/BCEC
3. Fort Point
4. South Station
5. Harrison Ave
.. etc, depending on how you trek down Roxbury.
 
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Massachoicetts

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^ probably still need to tie it into the existing green line system for the maintenance and storage yards. Also pretty solidly in crazy territory, no?
Very true, but aren't street car cheaper to maintain then subway cars. And as it goes into 'crazy' territory, the folk here have alternatives to access the downtown job market which in time will reduce crime, increase opportunity, and relieve traffic congestion. It may also spur further construction down through Dot, Rosbury and Mattapan.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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^ probably still need to tie it into the existing green line system for the maintenance and storage yards. Also pretty solidly in crazy territory, no?
Crazy in the sense of being way, way surplus-to-requirement over a proper Green-Transitway build, because Red and Orange platform dwells continue to swell at aggregate decay to headways without a perma-solve for transfer load-spreading. The surface streetcar is useful, but it doesn't substantially address the Park/DTX platform dwell problem that's such a major long-term terror threat.

Now, you can absolutely do Southie streetcars out of the Transitway after you link it to Green. Figure at least 2 service patterns from the north and/or Urban Ring can interline via Boylston to the Transitway for 3 min. peak frequencies at SS. One pattern will replace SL2 on the Design Center loop...maybe with better-manicured side reservation around the block. And one can do City Point via Summer St., with 4-lane Summer re-striped so trolleys stay to the left of the yellow stripe on the bridge in full traffic separation. Would work very well.

But only works well as a proper GL appendage where the streetcar frequencies are of secondary importance to the interlined SS/Seaport frequencies inside the Transitway. Isolated streetcar wouldn't work any better than the original Silver Line City Point shuttle; the connectivity's far too incomplete as a dinky.
 

dhawkins

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The MassDOT and the MBTA have proposed to nullify the commitment to perform final design of the Red Line–Blue Line Connector due to the unaffordability of the construction of the project. Why hasn't the city and state try to entice investment of a blueline tunnel under the Charles to Binney Street to Grand Junction and up to Mass Ave. The investment from some of the world's largest pharmaceutical, life-science labs could only increase their potential land values (if they own it). After Mass Ave the system could extend above ground on the Grand Junction back over the river to West Station. This partnership could keep it relatively reasonable. There is potential room for a small rail yard along Fulkerson Steet.
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F-Line to Dudley

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The MassDOT and the MBTA have proposed to nullify the commitment to perform final design of the Red Line–Blue Line Connector due to the unaffordability of the construction of the project. Why hasn't the city and state try to entice investment of a blueline tunnel under the Charles to Binney Street to Grand Junction and up to Mass Ave. The investment from some of the world's largest pharmaceutical, life-science labs could only increase their potential land values (if they own it). After Mass Ave the system could extend above ground on the Grand Junction back over the river to West Station. This partnership could keep it relatively reasonable. There is potential room for a small rail yard along Fulkerson Steet.
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Because the Grand Junction is not tunnelable. It sits on soft-as-shit Cambridgeport landfill that wasn't filled until 1905-10. The entirety of the ROW west of the Main/Albany intersection to BU Bridge was constructed in 1856 on an earthen embankment hundreds of feet out in the middle of the tidal marsh that flooded with every high tide, with today's Mass Ave. grade crossing on a trestle over an inlet. Sidney St. was the marsh shoreline.



The RR performed the actual landfilling 115 years ago, hauling in the dirt that infilled both sides of it. But because it was the means of construction the roadbed under it was never repacked, and still sits on ultra-porous 1856 marsh embankment designed to let the tides saturate straight through it. The required waterproofing measures for ANY subterranean structure under that now thoroughly dev- pinned-in ROW are going to be the most expensive in Metro Boston. Moreover, the underpinning of the Red Line tunnel on Main...which was constructed on dry ancestral terra firma...creates catastrophic risk of a water breach anywhere on the Grand Junction alignment creating a storm drain effect at the sharply curved incline under Red that is capable of pooling and rising to the Red level and ruining all RL utilities as far out as Harvard. The flood controls required for that incline and underpin of Red are utter blowout-cost and extreme on the level of mechanized complexity for active-pumping way out of a torrent.

I can't imagine how this could possibly be anyone's idea of a rational pivot from the state's reluctance to cut-and-cover 6 stinking blocks of one of the widest urban renewal streets in town...so it's a Crazy Transit Pitch right there even if you can come up with a plausible frequency/capacity pipe for serving eminently plausible demand (and there are no shortage of those). But even the Crazy Pitch dies a hard death in the scruples of what it has to mount in those tunneling conditions.

It utterly amazes me when Urban Ring works just fucking fine as a 100% surface line on that side of the river that the transpo blogosphere intelligencia keeps humping at the leg of the "subway the GJ" fantasy. Most recently exhibited with that so-called famous "expert" (some architect, not even an engineer) who got a private audience with MassDOT during the Pike/temp Charles overpass kerfuffle to waste their time pitching a tunneling of the GJ at BU Bridge to create the Pike construction staging room in lieu of the riverbank lanes. Congratulations, dude whose bio doesn't include any transit lines whatsoever, you're only the latest self-promoter in a long line who's pitched the world's most expensive spigot and made it somebody else's problem to figure out how to turn it off. 🙄

It's not realistic in the slightest. We can waterproof our existing transit lines for sea level rise without busting 7 figures systemwide and safely build NSRL + other consensus-need CBD spines because the project touches to the most flood-prone areas (esp. any/all in the Fort Point vicinity) are single-point or shallow-level by the portals to be stoppable with flood doors in multiples. Or, in the case of a future Storrow trade-in of Blue from Charles to Kenmore...enclosed as a tunnel but sitting semi-above ground level because of the recycling of highway roadpack, readily feasible under purely passive waterproofing. We can mount those kinds of builds without having our engineers' sanity questioned. It is quite another thing to attempt a linear dig through a mile's worth of contiguous ex-marsh sponge soil AND bake in a twisting incline that full mile into it which induces such extremely hard-to-stop breach risk to otherwise high-and-dry preexisting infrastructure (Red). That's like spending a kajillion dollars for Manifest Destiny "because reasons...", then taunting Charles Basin with a "Come at me, bro" on 50-year probabilities for a flood stage the dam would be powerless to even slow. And choose to play with that risk--at that expense--for a build we don't need to at all for serving calculated demand, because the surface Urban Ring on any mode with true rapid transit frequencies has already been thoroughly vetted to handle all foreseeable corridor demand.
 
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dhawkins

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The Silverline tunnel (albeit smaller in nature to a Blue line tunnel system) seems to have been successfully constructed through the South Boston waterfront so it can't be any worse considering similar geological conditions. Also a plus, Cambridge would not have a corrosive saltwater conditions than that of South Boston. Extending down Binney Street would take advantage of an underutilized pedestrian corridor, and is one of the few public ways wide enough to accommodate construction of a new tunnel. This area has been targeted for potential growth, namely the Volpe building area, for many years. Planning public transportation through this area now while there is a little breathing room during the planning stages will go a long way to benefit the very near future. Consideration for transit under the existing redline tunnel pile system has been encountered in a similar condition building the Silverline tunnel under the Russia Wharf building where piles were interrupted by the tunnel. Granted it was a 600 million tunnel for about a 1/4 mile under the Channel, but that is the nature of construction in Boston. And to make a further argument for a tunnel under Broadway, Main Street and Mass Ave; grade crossings would shortchange this area of Cambridge similar to that of D Street in South Boston x3. That one grade crossing on the Silveline at D Street has been a thorn in the side of that entire project. Can you imagine what three major artery crossings would do to the flow of traffic, including pedestrian, to that area of Town? The opportunity to extend the Blue line rapid transit westward has unlimited city growth potential similar to that of the South Boston waterfront.

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HenryAlan

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I've always liked the idea of sending the Blue Line across the river after MGH, then taking the Grand Junction, though I usually have imagined it as an above ground solution. Really, the ROW seems perfect for an elevated HRT line, which would then leave the possibility for also using it for the urban ring. Let the HRT continue out to West Station and Harvard, while the Green Line loops back inbound at the BU bridge.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The Silverline tunnel (albeit smaller in nature to a Blue line tunnel system) seems to have been successfully constructed through the South Boston waterfront so it can't be any worse considering similar geological conditions. Also a plus, Cambridge would not have a corrosive saltwater conditions than that of South Boston. Extending down Binney Street would take advantage of an underutilized pedestrian corridor, and is one of the few public ways wide enough to accommodate construction of a new tunnel. This area has been targeted for potential growth, namely the Volpe building area, for many years. Planning public transportation through this area now while there is a little breathing room during the planning stages will go a long way to benefit the very near future. Consideration for transit under the existing redline tunnel pile system has been encountered in a similar condition building the Silverline tunnel under the Russia Wharf building where piles were interrupted by the tunnel. Granted it was a 600 million tunnel for about a 1/4 mile under the Channel, but that is the nature of construction in Boston. And to make a further argument for a tunnel under Broadway, Main Street and Mass Ave; grade crossings would shortchange this area of Cambridge similar to that of D Street in South Boston x3. That one grade crossing on the Silveline at D Street has been a thorn in the side of that entire project. Can you imagine what three major artery crossings would do to the flow of traffic, including pedestrian, to that area of Town? The opportunity to extend the Blue line rapid transit westward has unlimited city growth potential similar to that of the South Boston waterfront.

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Why is this a more "Reasonable"--because this isn't the Crazy Transit Pitches thread--solution than building the at-grade Urban Ring LRT on the surface at 6- or (if 2 patterns interlain) 3-min headways? How is the studied proposal not enough transit at those service levels, and how is it less "reaonable" when it requires zero tunneling whatsoever in Cambridge...only a very short amount of tunneling between Kenmore and BU on dry ancestral land. You have to differentiate the reasoning between something we've already ballparked at costs (reasonable) and waterproofing (i.e. none whatsoever) vs. the tactical nuclear strike of tunneling under a maximal risk area with maximal-risky alignment. The Silver Line comparison isn't relevant at all because there wasn't a ready-made at-grade solution to the Transitway studied and sitting in a file cabinet over there, but there is here. And two, Silver isn't underpinning other structures on a steep downgrade inviting a risk of runaway "storm drain" like there is here on the Grand Junction draining straight 1 mile into the nerve center of Kendall. This explicitly stakes itself to far greater difficulty and expense in stopping a breach once it's gained momentum, so 1:1 comparison of tunnel construction techniques is irrelevant. It's a blowout because it sets the stakes so much higher to begin with and the level of waterproofing complexity has to rise to match those higher stakes. As I said before, tunneling in the areas of maximal risk is something we've done before and can do again...but the chosen alignments around Ft. Point all share common features at intersecting the flood zone where they have single-point means of stopping a catastrophic breach before it goes systemic. Inviting a linear corridor through a full mile of mush then giving flowing water a major downgrade to exploit at the exact spot where it can breach other tunnels and go systemic is explicitly NOT a situation that the Transitway or CA/T voluntarily invites. So if you're going to go that far above-and-beyond on risk, there better be some cosmically above-and-beyond payoff behind it.

In the absence of any differentiation on what why this...must...be...so means this isn't a ____ Transit Pitch, it's Civil Engineering Strongman competition on how to stage the most difficult thing possible for unlimited money. We're not in the business of doing the most difficult thing possible here to solve a problem because reasons or because personal preference. There's already a build on the shelf here that does everything this states while inviting none of the extra problems...a Transit Pitch if you will. If you're going to propose an alternate, you have to benchmark it against the known thing we've already studied. And this invents so much extra whole-cloth extra complexity for doing the same exact job that I don't think you can split enough hairs between the difference in Blue vs. Green transit levels through the Grand Junction to explain away enough of what the existing UR proposal is supposedly lacking to do this. I mean, Ari Osevit was hawking his "Blue to Volpe Basement" plan hard last year as a Thing Which Must Be...but there were crickets in the blog comments once he was asked to explain what it did different from the UR. That's kind of non-optional for it to be a Transit Pitch.
 
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