Urban Ring

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,812
Reaction score
629
Translated:
F-Line that wasn't half bad

The really sad part about this whole interchange that we mostly have -- [I don't know how to politely describe it except to bring to you the image of some male dogs and bush] -- when you are in your T and Rail expert mode -- you are really contributing and a lot of us are appreciative

In the interest of increasing the comity of the AB Forum -- I'm willing to try the experiment of severely limiting my [quasi-political] or at sharply least ideological comments -- if you will stick to correcting my factual errors and leave the personal stuff off the forum -- although if you feel obligated to something humorous -- I can take it
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
7,275
Reaction score
1,869
Woops, was just going thru quick to find something to post it in and missed. A mod can move this if theyd like.
 

Deetroyt

Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
384
Reaction score
15
""Connecting the E to D at Brookline Village allows run-thrus from JP to Kenmore, and hopping platforms to quick-transfer from an inbound off BU Bridge to an outbound hitting Longwood, etc. The stuff coming in from the D can use the Kenmore loop to avoid Central Subway congestion while stuff coming in off the Grand Junction or Harvard spur can continue to Downtown and some thru Riverside/Needham trains can be sent down the E to load-balance, So the Ring can still function exactly as intended despite not having a cross-Brookline one-seat if it's divided into halves meeting at a Kenmore superstation.
The Ring can get even higher-capacity if the Huntington Subway is continued to Brookline Village for full grade separation, without over-burdening the Kenmore-Brookline Vill. D segment. You can have your southern Ring route branch off of here and loop at Kenmore for the cross-platform transfer that doesn't foul the Central Subway.
The Ring can get even higher-capacity still if the halves meet at Kenmore and Blue is there as an inbound crowd-swallower for downtown. It'll take so much load off the Central Subway from Kenmore to GC that you can run all kinds of new thru service patterns off the Ring trolley routes.
ALL of these Ring considerations go out the window if Blue swallows D. There'll be a permanent disconnect between halves because that cross-Brookline tunnel is a nonstarter and flood considerations with the Muddy River @ Fenway won't allow for modern construction to quad up the D to Brookline Village so the HRT trains and LRT/Ring trains can share a ROW. That's doubling the size of Boston's most infamous 'storm drain' during a sea level rise era where the Charles Basin and Muddy mouth are way more vulnerable.""


F-line that was copied from your post in the Red/Blue Connector thread. If the Huntington subway was ever extended all the way to Brookline Village, what would become of the E line west/south of Brigham Circle? The reservation ends after that, how would the rest of the line down S. Huntington tie into the subway? Where would a portal be if it did? Could it also still connect to BV?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,189
Reaction score
2,200
You would spur it off "Brookline Village Jct." where Huntington tunnel portal meets the surface D at a bi-directional junction and backtrack on-street to South Huntington. If the E-to-D connector is initially laid on the surface then replaced years later by the full-blown subway, you just keep the surface tracks verbatim and recycle for Heath/Hyde Sq./Forest Hills. The subway will be such a stratospheric schedule improvement and chop-down of the surface running miles that the extra couple blocks of back-tracking won't matter. And you can now alt-route South Huntington from Kenmore.

Space is constrained enough around Riverway in a cut-and-cover Huntington tunnel that any attempt at an underground branch split is going to be a crappy at-grade job like Copley Jct. And of course portal placement is a major problem with S. Huntington's narrowness, requiring tunneling to Heath Loop at too much expense for too little overall branch traffic. Wretched use of steel-and-concrete resources, so take the free throws by surface-branching at BV.



The surface branching at BV can potentially be a big blessing for plotting out a route of the south-half Ring. We know the north half Logan-Lechmere-BU Bridge has dedicated ROW's available, and that a BU Bridge subway extension can complete the north-half circuit into Kenmore in lieu of that unbuildable cross-Brookline tunnel. But the whole of the south half has:

  • ...no dedicated ROW's.
  • ...many extremely narrow streets between Longwood and Ruggles that are abutted to the sidewalk by tall mission-critical hospital buildings, the Wentworth campus, and/or multi-story Mission Hill apartment blocks. Max-brutality tunneling.
  • ...no generally agreed-upon routing in the studies other than "somehow it gets from BU Bridge to Longwood, Ruggles/Dudley, and BMC and somehow it flings off the Melnea Cass/Mass Ave. intersection to hit a Red Line station." Both Phase II/surface and Phase III/tunnel concepts are real fuzzy from that frustrating street grid.
It's not clear a tunnel will ever be physically buildable to the south. Or if it is, it's a multi-decade incremental slog of torture requiring some sort of on-street 'bridge era'. So either way you will be dealing with a quarter-century or more where you have to use BRT or streetcars to fashion a south Ring that joins by north Ring on a transfer. In which case, that Kenmore superstation cross-platform transfer is where it all has to tie together. You either:

  1. Get off the Ring train on the B platform and go upstairs to the busway where a Silver-colored bus behind fare control makes the trip up Brookline Ave. to Longwood-Dudley.
  2. Work the B-to-D cross-platform trolley transfer (same way as described in the post you quoted), hit Longwood off the existing D stop, and spur somewhere out there for the streetcar trip to Ruggles/Dudley.
Total blank canvas for how you think #2 would work. There's no obvious solution because that narrow E-W street grid is such a bitch and using the parkways would take you ridiculously out of the way for including both Longwood and Ruggles.



Only idea I've got for a functional streetcar routing that wouldn't be a half-assed scheduling kludge is:

  1. ...D from Kenmore transfer to BV Jct.
  2. ...grab the existing South Huntington streetcar out of BV Jct. as far as Heath.
  3. ...turn down Heath St.-proper to SW Corridor/Columbus.
  4. ...turn off New Heath St. onto the SW Corridor with a grade-separated reservation along the linear park. Slap more air rights decking atop the NEC from New Heath to Roxbury Xing to accommodate park + trolleys, consider closing Cedar St. overpass for total separation to RX.
  5. ...either:

  • Orange transfer at Roxbury Xing and plunk a reservation on wide Malcolm X Blvd. for hitting Dudley direct (omits Ruggles for the shorter schedule). Total distance from Brookline Vill: 2 miles (+1.5 miles on D from Kenmore).
  • Orange transfers at RX and Ruggles, streetcar down Melnea Cass and Washington for reaching Dudley around the block (hits Ruggles, but more traffic). Possibly reconfig Melnea Cass and its linear park for a trolley reservation (controversial) to limit street-running to just BV-Heath and Washington. Total distance from Brookline Vill: 2-3/4 miles (+1-1/2 on D).
I'm not even going to pretend that's the most logical surface routing or that there aren't 5 others in the same ballpark you could throw at a dartboard. Every LRT or BRT surface route is some sort of ugly hack on that Longwood-Dudley street grid. I just tried to grab as much pre-existing LRT infrastructure as possible with D+E and tried to balance out street-running vs. grade-separation on the schedule by leveraging SW Corridor Park. We can make a whole Crazy South Ring Pitches thread out of this routing challenge.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
5,032
Reaction score
1,508

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,189
Reaction score
2,200
For reference, this is the list of routes originally proposed in the UR Major Investment Study for the street-only Phase I (which is simply the completion of the earlier "Crosstown" network by any other name).

  • CT1 - Central Square (Cambridge) to Andrew Station via Massachusetts Avenue
  • CT2 - Sullivan Square to Ruggles via Union Square (Somerville), Kendall Square and Boston University Bridge
  • CT3 - Longwood Medical Area to Airport Station and terminals via Ruggles, Boston Medical Center, and Ted Williams Tunnel
  • CT4 - Ruggles Station to UMass Boston Campus via Dudley Square and Uphams Corner
  • CT5 - Logan Airport to Sullivan Square via Downtown Chelsea, Wellington, and Assembly Square
  • CT6 - Downtown Chelsea to Kendall/MIT via Community College and Lechmere
  • CT7 - Kendall/MIT to Franklin Park via Mass Ave Bridge, Kenmore, Longwood Medical Area, Ruggles, Dudley, and Grove Hall
  • CT8 - Sullivan Square to Longwood Medical Area via Union Square Somerville, Central Square Cambridge, Cambridgeport, Boston University Bridge, and Fenway Station
  • CT9 - Kenmore to Harvard Square via Commonwealth Ave and Allston
  • CT10 - Kenmore to JFK/UMass via Longwood Medical Area, Ruggles, and Boston Medical Center
  • CT11 - Longwood Medical Area to Fields Corner via Ruggles, Boston Medical Center, and Uphams Corner
  • EC1* - Anderson Regional Transportation Center to MIT at Mass Ave via Sullivan Square, Lechmere, and Kendall
  • EC2* - Riverside to Lechmere via Mass Pike, Central Square, and Kendall
  • EC3* - Natick to Copley Square via Mass Pike
*EC = "Express Commuter"
So this isn't any new idea...looks like they're shooting for some variation on "CT6". We actually should've had this for 25 years by now, since as noted it's just the CTx system built out to completion on the street and not any kind of steel-and-concrete dedicated ROW thingy covered under UR Phase II.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,786
Reaction score
914
Specifically, here are the "urban-ring-ish" pictures from the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group:

LMRWG-Transit-Options-aerial.png


LMRWG-CT4-SSq-Camb-Kenmore-Fig5.png


LMRWG-SLX-Sullivan-Fig8.png
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,189
Reaction score
2,200
Yeah...so nothing new, just an amalgamation of previously-proposed CTx's in one form or another.
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
4,786
Reaction score
914
Tricky part: Revere Beach Pkwy Westbound doesn't actually connect to the Circle at this location (upper left)
RBP passes under the circle here, and there's an eastbound ramp from Northbound 99.
The leg from Westbound RBP to Southbound 99 is missing [unless you slog past the circle and do the loop ramp--do you think that's the plan?]
Either they're going to need a SLX-style "bus gate" on Gladstone St (the barely-visible little street)
OR they're going to need a very strange bus-only ramp (really bad circle conflicts)
OR they'll have to 2nd all the way to Broadway where it'd take a 90deg left onto Broadway
LMRWG-SLX-detail.png
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
529
Reaction score
231
I like a lot of what I see there. Some things could be tweaked (I skimmed the report, but didn't read super carefully, so these may be address somewhere in there):

That corridor into Downtown Boston should terminate at Haymarket, and leverage the bus lane that is (was?) being implemented on North Washington Street. They could then also hook into the Downtown Boston BRT idea that was floated a year ago -- run Silver Line buses all the way from Everett to Seaport.

I'm surprised they don't propose bus lanes on Rutherford Ave -- Lord knows it has enough car lanes already. Perhaps they didn't want to rock the boat, and were simply accepting the Everett bus lanes as fait accompli and moving on.

Also interesting that they are proposing bus service along a third corridor in Charlestown, as opposed to Main St or Bunker Hill Ave -- although I suppose they probably are aiming for that stretch to be non-stop service.

Yay for CT4! (Which probably should be called CT1, since there no longer is a CT1? But I digress.) Interesting that they propose two different alignments through Brickbottom.

I'm sure they have good reasons for including the Orange Line Spur as an analyzed alternative, but hoo boy does that seem far-fetched to me. I know it introduces scope creep, but I would love to see an analysis of an LRT spur along that same corridor, either directly hooked into the Green Line via Sullivan-Lechmere, or with provisions for the same. I did notice that they float the idea of an Orange Line shuttle between Sullivan and Glendale (!) -- if you're going to do that, why not consider an LRT shuttle instead?
 

Hubman

Active Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Messages
667
Reaction score
27
Why are they planning the route through East Cambridge as street-running instead of along the Grand Junction ROW?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,189
Reaction score
2,200
Why are they planning the route through East Cambridge as street-running instead of along the Grand Junction ROW?
Because this isn't the full-on Urban Ring. It's continuation of the Crosstown buses network. Not even the for-real Urban Ring Major Investment Study specced whole-hog dedicated ROW without first establishing a rigorous on-street Crosstown network to address needs while the dedicated ROW was planned out. You need a WHOLE lot of prerequisites settled first before the Grand Junction can be put into design. That can't be done instantaneously. A street-running bus can be implemented immediately.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,582
Reaction score
662
Why are they planning the route through East Cambridge as street-running instead of along the Grand Junction ROW?
The ideas presented in these graphics are for an intermediate step. A true urban ring will definitely use the Grand Junction, but these ideas are really more about some areas outside that corridor.
 

Top