Station Landing | Wellington Circle | Medford

ezcheese

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i can't for the life of me think of the name of this project! i haven't been gone _that_ long...

here are the original pics i took of the development last year. does anyone have any recent pics?







































 

JoeGallows

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I think it's called something like "Skyline" at the Station, or at Wellington... I see ads for it all the time on the green and orange lines recently.

I've always wanted to ride that automated tram, though. Do you remember if it goes right inside of Wellington Station?
 

Coyote137

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Station Landing is the name. It's getting pretty damn near completion. Walgreens & Starbucks are already setting up.
 

Waldorf

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Good-bye Trams

T commuters will walk the line

By Phil Santoro | May 18, 2006

There are times, albeit rarely, when commuters get what they wish for.

Here's one for all those Wellington Station MBTA commuters who for many years have put up with the less-than-humane conditions of those ''people movers." They're going away.

An executive at National Development, which owns the two electronic trams that shuttle commuters between the Orange Line station in Medford and the nearby parking garage, says his company is getting rid of the high-maintenance people movers this year and will construct a $3 million enclosed overhead pedestrian walkway, which it hopes to have ready by January.

Shortly after the trams debuted in the early 1990s, commuters who use the garage at Wellington Station, near the city's Malden/Everett line, have complained that the trams are unreliable and inefficient. Commuters are often packed into the trams, which are supposed to hold 15 people. The trams also are supposed to be climate controlled, but users say they are often hot in the summer and cold in the winter. That is, when they run, which isn't regularly.

Ted Tye, managing partner of National Development, which also owns the garage and the adjacent Station Landing residential/retail complex, has said in the past that efforts have been made to repair the people movers, which were designed to carry about 1,000 people a day. But at times it has been difficult to find parts or even a knowledgeable repair person. Often the repairs were short-lived. Tye has been made aware of the problems and said he has tried to do something about them since his company took over ownership a few years ago.

At one point, a Starts & Stops reader, frustrated by her experiences using the trams, suggested they be scrapped and replaced by a much less complicated system -- a walkway. And, based on a survey of commuters at Wellington, that's exactly what Tye is going to do.

''When we surveyed people-mover users and found the vast majority had experienced service problems, we knew that something had to be done," Tye said in a news release. ''We have worked closely with the MBTA to develop a creative solution to a very complex situation."

Tye said in an e-mail that his company surveyed 240 Wellington commuters in 2004; 96 percent said they personally experienced a problem with the trams and 91 percent said they would prefer a walkway.

The 760-foot walkway will be built on the existing tram structure and will resemble walkways found at airports, Tye said. ''We were very limited in terms of the design which could be accommodated by the existing structural system. The skywalk was the best solution to provide reliability and safety for those using the connection to the MBTA."

The construction schedule has been established to minimize inconvenience to commuters, Tye said. Most of the walkway will be built offsite and brought to Wellington Station to be finished. Demolition of the tram system will begin in late summer. The skywalk will be constructed throughout the fall. Beginning in mid-August, the MBTA will provide temporary bus service between the garage and the station. Additional information will be available to commuters several weeks prior to the change in service.

A moving sidewalk will not be part of the walkway because of limitations at the site, Tye said. ''The project needs to be built on the existing structural steel system," he said. ''The current tram is built over an active rail yard in which the train tracks are spaced closely together, limiting the ability to excavate for any new structure. The current structural system was designed and spaced so as not to interfere with the rail yard operation. The new skywalk also needed to be designed to work within the structural design loads that could be accommodated by the existing structure. When calculating such items as weight and wind loads, engineers found that it was impossible to be able to include a moving sidewalk in the project."

At 760 feet, isn't it a long walk? ''Well, it is certainly longer than using the tram," said Tye. ''However, the tram was really designed to work in a southern climate or in an enclosed tunnel. About one-third of the people surveyed had actually been confined at some point in a disabled car. The cars were designed to stop automatically in the event of heavy wind, icing, power surges or outages, and other events. When a problem occurs, the cars stop in place, often in the middle of the tracks.

''When they stop, the Fire Department needs to be called to remove passengers. There have been frequent events of understandably frustrated passengers taking things into their own hands and trying to evacuate the cars in the middle of the tramway. We had a limited number of design alternatives available to fix the situation, and the best way to provide both reliability and safety was the skywalk. It will require the equivalent of walking a couple of city blocks, which is what most people do when they get off the T. Hopefully the safety and reliability benefits will outweigh the walk. While the new walk will be fully handicapped accessible," he said, designated handicapped parking spaces ''are also available adjacent to the platform at Wellington Station."

A moving sidewalk may have made for a more convenient way for commuters to travel between the station and the garage. But there is no guarantee it would be without its own problems. How many times have we encountered nonmoving sidewalks at airports or broken escalators at T stations?

''While no solution is perfect, commuters who have been commenting on this have been heard and substantial effort has gone into designing the system," Tye said. ''I think it will be a great improvement to the station."

Link
 

ezcheese

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station landing! that's it! thanks. it was on the tip of my tongue. it makes sense to get rid of the people movers, although it's kind of fun to ride them when they're working properly. the walkway is a very simply, effective solution.
 

ezcheese

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JoeGallows said:
I think it's called something like "Skyline" at the Station, or at Wellington... I see ads for it all the time on the green and orange lines recently.

I've always wanted to ride that automated tram, though. Do you remember if it goes right inside of Wellington Station?
yeah, it lets you out inside wellington station.
 

ckb

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Those people movers do seem silly, but it seems like a cheap attempt to just build a long walkway and not be creative about how to install a moving walkway. But I suppose walking beats getting stuck in the cramped little booth!
 

Ron Newman

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Krispy Kreme klosed last year. Will it be demolished as part of this development?
 

ezcheese

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Ron Newman said:
Krispy Kreme klosed last year. Will it be demolished as part of this development?
really? it must have closed right after i moved back to nc. i got some coffee and donuts there in late november/early december if i remember correctly. kk is a sad state of affairs, but hopefully they will start to get things turned around now that they have a new guy at the helm.
 

philip

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It is closed and a Kellys Roast Beef is moving in. Even better as far as I'm concerned. Kellys is the bomb after a nite out w/ a little buzz on!!!
 

TheBostonian

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I paid a visit to Station Landing a couple weeks ago and was disappointed. As a transit oriented development it has shortcomings. The new enclosed pedestrian walkway to Wellington was still incomplete, so you have to wait for a few minutes for a shuttle that takes a very roundabout route to the new development. The new walkway surely will help and I think it is open now. But even so, pedestrians have to enter a parking garage to access the foot bridge.

Station Landing fails as New Urbanism. It is almost entirely disconnected from its surroundings. You can't directly cross route 16 or 28. Crossing involves traversing parking lots (some with plans to be built upon, others a permanent part of the project) and navigating the pedestrian-unfriendly traffic disaster that is the intersection between 16 and 28. But that is the nature of the area. Employees of the Mellon building across the "street" from the Orange Line ride a shuttle to get there. The retail is all chains, though some that I like (Qdoba and Quiznos) and some that are practical (24-hour Wallgreens). Residents of the apartments will surely enjoy the convenience of the amenities below them. But they won't be taking a stroll beyond the project, unless they cross over to the river parkland for a jog.

I don't know why the intersection of 28 and 16 is as complicated as it is. Why can't it be a simple 4-way intersection? Maybe Middlesex Ave. doesn't have to feed directly into the intersection:

 

TheBostonian

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It could even be configured in a way that creates parcels that could be sold to fund the changes. If the new parcels were developed in a way similar to station landing, then you'd have something still far from ideal, but much closer to a real neighborhood.

 

Ron Newman

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I'm going to guess that the intersection takes up this much space because it was originally a rotary (hence 'Wellington Circle'), but I don't have any old pictures or maps to back this up. Anyone know for sure?
 
I

IMAngry

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I don't remember ...

Can't remember the "Circle" ... but I do remember there used to be a IHOP there, not too long ago (late 80's?).
 

Ron Newman

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Also used to have Howard Johnson's (now the site of CVS) and Bickford's (torn down for Krispy Kreme, which then closed)
 

statler

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I think the 'circle' is still there. It's just a bit odd shaped with some cross streets cut through it and some traffic lights added.
 

PlanBoston

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The intersection is certainly a big limitation for this project. If it were more of a conventional intersection, the project would feel much more connected to its surroundings.

Although this project isn't perfect in a "New Urbanest" sense, it is far better than conventional development patterns and new trends like lifestyle centers. An attempt has been made to integrate retail, residential, transit, etc. and create an urban neighborhood feel. While this is not a complete neighborhood and is disconnected from its surroundings, it illustrates how mixed use development can be successful. I would rather see developers attempt mixed use projects and get it 80% right, as opposed to sticking with the status-quo of big box retail and stand alone apartment buildings. Let's hope other developers use this as a model from which to improve.
 

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