South Station Tower | South Station Air Rights | Downtown

HelloBostonHi

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Anyone know why they are allowing so much more room per gate in the bus terminal expansion area? The gate packing density is much lower in the expansion.
The current bus terminal is a chaotic mess of lines at peak times so maybe a bit more space between bays is okay honestly... I'm more interested in why there isn't a nice direct escalator connection from the terminal expansion to the platform level, perhaps even a few escalators...
 

Batmarch

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will someone please post a photo of actual construction or construction staging evidencing that construction has already commenced on this project?
 

citylover94

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The current bus terminal is a chaotic mess of lines at peak times so maybe a bit more space between bays is okay honestly... I'm more interested in why there isn't a nice direct escalator connection from the terminal expansion to the platform level, perhaps even a few escalators...
I believe there is. The diagram below shows a set of stairs and escalators as well as elevators on the South Station end of the bus terminal expansion and the platform level diagram shows stairs and elevators in the same position at the end of some of the tracks that match those.
BusTerminal.png
1581304926654.png
 

JeffDowntown

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Jeff -- Perhaps they have learned from past experience
Could be. I would describe the current packing as crowded, but manageable (from my experience at some peak travel times).

I assume the plan could be to use alternate bays in to old section at off peak times, and only pack every bay during a crush period. It is just that the more open spacing in the new section can never be crush loaded, so that seems like lost flexibility.
 

whighlander

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Could be. I would describe the current packing as crowded, but manageable (from my experience at some peak travel times).

I assume the plan could be to use alternate bays in to old section at off peak times, and only pack every bay during a crush period. It is just that the more open spacing in the new section can never be crush loaded, so that seems like lost flexibility.
Jeff -- I'm guessing that when the original Bus Terminal was being designed -- there was a constraint on the footprint. As a result the design crammed in as many bays as could possibly be needed under the most extreme use requirements.

Subsequently -- the few times that I've ever taken a bus from there -- it was never filled with buses -- but often seemed to be filled with people waiting and boarding

So my guess is that the new expansion is probably built as a hybrid between the old design requirements. some guess at possible new capacity requirements and easier boarding. When the new component is complete they might retrowork some of the old section?
 

Semass

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Will someone please post a photograph evidencing that construction or construction staging has commenced
As of Friday evening, not a thing. They were supposed to have moved the cab stands and installed curb cuts for access. They hadn't even put up signs as of Friday.
 

whighlander

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Will someone please post a photograph evidencing that construction or construction staging has commenced
Batmarch -- I doubt that you will see much for a while -- its all prep work to begin working

from the website

January 30, 2020
Construction Activity Commences on Atlantic Avenue Next Week

Next week, Suffolk Construction, the contractor for the South Station Air Rights Project, will begin establishing a construction zone on Atlantic Avenue. To establish this zone, the contractor will begin making curb cuts along Atlantic Avenue, which will involve temporary travel lane closures during off-peak hours (between 9:30 AM and 3:00 PM). This will be the first activity for Stage 1 of construction for the South Station Air Rights Project.
During the process of making the curb cuts, the contractor will displace the cab parking in the curb cut zones, leaving approximately four spaces at the entrance to the station. This work should take about five days to complete and will not occur over the weekend. After the curb cuts are complete, the cab stand by the Atlantic Avenue entrance to South Station will be split into two areas to accommodate access to the construction zone throughout the project. Signs indicating the new curb use will be posted on Atlantic Avenue.
Access to the South Station train platforms through the Atlantic Avenue entrance will be maintained during construction.
For more information:
The schedule for this infrastructure project is weather dependent and subject to change without notice.
I'm surmising that since the release came out on the last day in Jan and said next week -- that things have begun in the area of Atlantic Ave sidewalk, etc.

The real stuff doesn't really really start until June or so -- but it would be nice to get someone down there from time to time to take some background pix and who knows -- they might hit on something interesting
 

whighlander

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Semass -- from reading the recent documents and presentation materials from the public session -- it seems as the first place to actually see something happening is the creation of construction zones at the edge of Atlantic Ave., edge of Summer St. and in the small nook behind the P.O. next to Track 13

All of the work is at this point going to happen over night -- but you might soon start to see something as a result of the overnight work
 

whighlander

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Here's the update everyone is asking for: Today I was down near there and decided to fork over another T-fare to do a minor walk-about:

I started inside South Station walked out to Atlantic Ave. and then essentially circumnavigated the South Station Complex:
  1. Walked down Atlantic Ave to the Bus Terminal
  2. Entered the walkway to both the Bus Terminal and Track One
  3. Walked back to South Station along Track One
  4. Crossed all of the Tracks to Track Thirteen
  5. Left South Station walking toward the PO
  6. Walked along Dorchester Ave to Summer St [Fidelity aka former Stone and Webster building]
  7. Walked along Summer St. back to the main entrance to South Station
I took a bunch of photos -- some of which are worth a second view.
Summary of my observations:
  1. Trees cut down along Atlantic Ave. -- Cones and barriers put in place but cabs are still stacking along the street as customary
  2. Nothing obvious to me inside the Station or along the Tracks -- [except possibly a construction-like trailer?] -- --perhaps a regular commuter might notice something in my photos
  3. Nothing between South Station and the PO
  4. Some paper signs attached to the permanent signs along Summer St.
DSCN1293.JPG
 

stoweker

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Here's the update everyone is asking for: Today I was down near there and decided to fork over another T-fare to do a minor walk-about:

I started inside South Station walked out to Atlantic Ave. and then essentially circumnavigated the South Station Complex:
  1. Walked down Atlantic Ave to the Bus Terminal
  2. Entered the walkway to both the Bus Terminal and Track One
  3. Walked back to South Station along Track One
  4. Crossed all of the Tracks to Track Thirteen
  5. Left South Station walking toward the PO
  6. Walked along Dorchester Ave to Summer St [Fidelity aka former Stone and Webster building]
  7. Walked along Summer St. back to the main entrance to South Station
I took a bunch of photos -- some of which are worth a second view.
Summary of my observations:
  1. Trees cut down along Atlantic Ave. -- Cones and barriers put in place but cabs are still stacking along the street as customary
  2. Nothing obvious to me inside the Station or along the Tracks -- [except possibly a construction-like trailer?] -- --perhaps a regular commuter might notice something in my photos
  3. Nothing between South Station and the PO
  4. Some paper signs attached to the permanent signs along Summer St.
View attachment 3390
i feel like walking around a critical piece of infrastructure in the city and taking a bunch of photos will get you put on a list somewhere...
 

The EGE

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Welp, guess I'm on a lot of lists then.

In all seriousness, there are ways to do it, and ways not to do it. (I'm also white and appear neutrotypical, and well aware of the privilege those grant here.) For one, you don't take pictures of people, particularly transit personnel, except in tourist areas or where others might likely do so. (Taking a photo of the crowd at Park Street, fine.) For two, unless there's a particularly compelling reason not to, make it extremely obvious that you're taking photos. That says to others "I clearly think it's acceptable to be taking this photo, and I'm not trying to be secretive about it, so you can be sure I don't have bad motives." A friendly wave to the bus/train operator, conductor, etc goes a long way too.

I've taken a lot of photos of potentially sensitive subjects - construction sites, shots down tunnels from the end of platforms, electrical substations, yards, abandoned stuff, bridges, etc. Only a very small number of times has anyone taken exception to it. Once I was on top of a parking garage for a while; the attendant was kind enough to let me stay a few more minutes for the photo when I explained. And when I entered an abandoned tunnel in Clinton, I did get stopped by the local cops and a statie. They were largely concerned about the nearby reservoir, and making sure my companion and I weren't about to graffiti the tunnel.
 

TallIsGood

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You are allowed to take pictures from any publicly accessible place. If you can see it you can photograph it. First Amendment freedom of the press. Through the turnstiles you are subject to MBTA photography rules.
 

Sprngh2o

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Welp, guess I'm on a lot of lists then.

White privilege? Too funny

In all seriousness, there are ways to do it, and ways not to do it. (I'm also white and appear neutrotypical, and well aware of the privilege those grant here.) For one, you don't take pictures of people, particularly transit personnel, except in tourist areas or where others might likely do so. (Taking a photo of the crowd at Park Street, fine.) For two, unless there's a particularly compelling reason not to, make it extremely obvious that you're taking photos. That says to others "I clearly think it's acceptable to be taking this photo, and I'm not trying to be secretive about it, so you can be sure I don't have bad motives." A friendly wave to the bus/train operator, conductor, etc goes a long way too.

I've taken a lot of photos of potentially sensitive subjects - construction sites, shots down tunnels from the end of platforms, electrical substations, yards, abandoned stuff, bridges, etc. Only a very small number of times has anyone taken exception to it. Once I was on top of a parking garage for a while; the attendant was kind enough to let me stay a few more minutes for the photo when I explained. And when I entered an abandoned tunnel in Clinton, I did get stopped by the local cops and a statie. They were largely concerned about the nearby reservoir, and making sure my companion and I weren't about to graffiti the tunnel.
 

jpdivola

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whighlander

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JLL arranges $870 million construction loan for South Station redevelopment - on behalf of Hines, APG Groep NV and Dune Real Estate

Jpdivola -- that seems to make it fairly clear that real work is about to commence

You don't borrow money at the higher rates charged for construction versus permanent mortgage financing unless you are starting to spend real money

You don't need $870M for just cutting down some trees, putting up some cheap printed signs and maybe even renting a lift truck

They'll be buying the steel for the structure that they will be erecting over the next year

from the website:

Beginning in January 2020:
  • Patrons of South Station will notice construction zones being established, however, no significant changes to paths of travel will occur until July 2020.
  • A pedestrian walkway will be opened from Dorchester Avenue to the outdoor concourse area between 245 Summer Street and the US Postal Service building, which will remain throughout the project.
  • The contractor will build accessible ramps leading to the station on Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street that will be in place for the remainder of the project.
 

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