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Old 04-02-2009, 07:42 PM   #41
BarbaricManchurian
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Originally Posted by czsz View Post
Um, what?

Why?
It kept breaking down, little to no maintanance was performed and the MBTA figured that it was cheaper just to remove it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:44 PM   #42
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

It was privately owned by whoever owns the garage (not by the MBTA), and it was always breaking down. It had two cars, each on its own track. Eventually they decided to just rip the thing out and make it a pedestrian bridge.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:55 PM   #43
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

The first meeting had a very low turnout. The next meeting will be in May. I also believe the state is only committed to studying this project, they are not committed to build it.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:08 AM   #44
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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It was privately owned by whoever owns the garage (not by the MBTA), and it was always breaking down. It had two cars, each on its own track. Eventually they decided to just rip the thing out and make it a pedestrian bridge.
I used to commute in and out of Wellington in 2004-2005 and remember that system quite well. Each car was cable driven and the trip gave you a great view of the Wellington yards.

The two cars used to run simultaneously, one at each end to minimize your wait, but by the end of my job only one car was running at any given time. During non-peak hours, the shuttle ran on call only. When the system would go down, the T often ran a shuttle bus to and from the garage. I don't know how much they charged the garage for this, but you gotta get over that yard somehow and the pedestrian route over the Rt. 16 bridge isn't exactly a straight shot.

The AC in the cars barely worked, and the damn thing was stifling in the summer heat. Also, by the end of the summer the outside of the car would be covered in big black spiders who learned that they could catch a ride on the cars and let their webs run into the flies (the spiders also loved the light fixtures on the Wellington platform so if you're arachnophobic, you may not want to look up on an August night.) I found 'em fascinating, but only since they were on the other side of the glass. You could see people making a pointed effort to look in any other direction.

Frankly removing the people mover and turning it into a pedestrian walkway was probably the best thing they could've done with the bridge.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:39 PM   #45
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

What is this about cars? I think it just needs some moving sidewalks.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:45 PM   #46
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

project seems to be moving forward. The additional entrance should be a plus for the new goverment center garage project.

Web site:
http://www.eot.state.ma.us/redblue/

Beacon Hill Times:
http://www.beaconhilltimes.com/#ST4431
Quote:
Working Group takes another look at proposed Red Line/Blue Line connector by Dan Murphy

The Red Line/Blue Line Project Working Group held its second public meeting last week to discuss a proposed project that would link the MBTA?s Red and Blue Lines via a 1,500-foot connector beneath Cambridge Street.
According to officials from the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), the state agency overseeing the project, the Red Line/Blue Line Connector would extend the Blue Line from Government Center Station to link with the Charles/MGH Station on the Red Line. The Red and Blue Lines are currently the only two lines that don?t intersect within the subway system, and the Blue Line, the system?s shortest line, runs a distance of a little more than seven miles between Bowdoin Station in downtown Boston and Wonderland Station in Revere.
EOT officials said the connector could allow Blue Line passengers to travel more efficiently to Massachusetts General Hospital and Cambridge, as well as provide passengers from the northwest metropolitan area of Greater Boston with a second airport connection and direct access to the Blue Line without making multiple connections. The connector could also clear a layover area for cars at the west end of the Blue Line through the creation of new storage and crossovers for rail vehicles.
Mark Pelletier, vice president of STV Inc. and a consultant for the project, outlined several options for tunnel construction and two mining alternatives, adding that their costs, potential disruption to MBTA service and other possible impacts would be evaluated.
STV, a national engineering, architectural, planning and construction management firm, is currently looking at eight connector designs involving two scenarios ? one anticipating the closure of Bowdoin Station, the other relocation of the station. The two most popular connector options, based on a consensus of the Working Group, will be submitted as part of the Alternative Analysis Report in September, Pelletier said.
Bob O?Brien, a Working Group member and executive director of the Downtown North Association, suggested that connector planning take into account a proposed redesign of Government Center Station that would create an additional entrance and exit near the John F. Kennedy Building on New Sudbury Street, largely eliminating the need for nearby Bowdoin Station.
Scott Peterson of the Central Transportation Planning Staff unveiled the Regional Transportation Demand Model, which will be used to examine Red and Blue Line ridership based on transportation data from 2006 and projections for 2030. Findings from the model would help inform the Alternative Analysis Report and be incorporated into the Draft Environmental Impact Report, due in June of 2010. (The EOT is legally obligated to complete all environmental reviews and a design for the project by Dec. 31, 2011, per a 2006 legal settlement with the Conservation Law Foundation).
Nancy Farrell, the meeting facilitator and manager of public involvement for the Boston public relations firm Regina Villa Associates, said the next Planning Group meetings would be held in July and September. The May 18 Planning Group meeting followed an introductory meeting on March 24.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:15 PM   #47
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

If there is to be an intermediate station, the area around Whole Foods would be more useful than the current Bowdoin site.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:12 AM   #48
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Google Maps says it's .6 miles from the proposed new Gov't Ctr exit in from of the JFK Building to Charles/MGH Station. An intermediary stop would be more hassle/money than it's worth.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:13 PM   #49
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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could allow Blue Line passengers to travel more efficiently to Massachusetts General Hospital and Cambridge, as well as provide passengers from the northwest metropolitan area of Greater Boston with a second airport connection and direct access to the Blue Line
And, can we add, a death knell for the deranged silver line waterfront experiment, its red line-airport connection being its (unspoken?) raison d'etre...
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:24 PM   #50
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

No, because Red->Silver is still one less transfer than Red->Blue->Massport shuttle bus. The Silver Line airport bus is quite convenient for us Cambridge and Somerville folk (and probably also Dorchester and Quincy folk). Not to mention for inter-city bus and commuter rail passengers whose terminal is at South Station.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:49 PM   #51
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

^ Sure. I'm all for an express rapid transit bus to the airport from south station. But using the silver line tunnel? No, especially not once there's a (mostly) direct blue line connection from every line. Run that express bus directly into the Williams tunnel and lay down actual rail in the 5mph bus tunnel.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:12 PM   #52
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

I think there might be landlords fighting this tunnel extension b/c it might lower the water level in that proposed area and expose the wood pilings of some buildings.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:06 AM   #53
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

In the neighborhood meetings I've attended, the Beacon Hill residents have been strongly against the project. I couldn't really understand their aversion, and didn't have the chance to find out more. It could be as much the disruption to daily life. I mean, they just got through a nightmare decade of Cambridge Street renovation, they certainly don't want to start fresh. Beyond that, I think they were just curious if the money was there to pay for it and was there enough ridership to warrant the expense.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #54
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

They should really try to fix Bowdoin (if in part as moving it) rather than close it--more than one headhouse, easy to see, etc.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #55
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Fix it? I think the only reason it's there in the first place is for the turn around. Once Gov't Ctr is reworked it will be pointless. And if the Red Line connection ever gets completed it'll be even more pointless.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:43 AM   #56
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Boston Globe - July 23, 2009
Quote:
State to spend $29m designing a project on hold

By Noah Bierman, Globe Staff | July 23, 2009

The state set aside $29 million last week to design a subway tunnel under downtown Boston that planners concede they cannot afford to build - either now or any time in the next two decades.

But the engineering money is slated to be spent within the next two years, even as other projects are cast aside, because the state made a promise, as part of a Solomon-like legal compromise with environmentalists to mitigate the impact of the Big Dig.

In an era when a plunging economy is prompting state officials? promises ?to get more real?? about planning what they can truly afford, the 0.4-mile tunnel connecting the Red and Blue MBTA lines stands out like a bright orange cone on a highway.

?In this climate, it doesn?t make any sense,?? said Senator Steven A. Baddour, a Methuen Democrat who cochairs the state?s transportation committee. ?The transportation system has enough design documents sitting on shelves collecting dust.??

State transportation managers - who have so far spent $556,708 on the $300 million project - are hardly enthusiastic about having to set aside $29 million for something that may never be built. In response to questions, transportation spokesman Colin Durrant said, ?We?re fulfilling the responsibilities of the legal settlement.?? He did not offer an endorsement of the project, which would extend the Blue Line from Government Center to the Charles/MGH Sta tion on the Red Line.

Even many of the project?s key supporters, who lent a political boost to a settlement three years ago, have become a little less ardent, noting that the economy is forcing tough decisions.

A spokesman for Partners HealthCare, which owns Massachusetts General Hospital and once threatened to sue to have the connector built, said the project is important, but that there might be a ?reason for caution,?? given the state?s poor financial condition. Partners backs the project because it would provide patients and employees easier access to the hospital.

But the Conservation Law Foundation, which orchestrated the settlement, said the state?s commitment to design and engineer the project is a worthwhile first step.

?Obviously, we want to see this project built, but it can?t get there without design and engineering,?? said Noah Chesnin, a foundation spokesman.

As with most transportation discussions in Massachusetts, the connector?s history is intricately woven with the tortured history of the Big Dig.

In 1990, when environmentalists raised the alarm about impact on air quality, the state responded by creating a public transit improvement list, designed to fend off a lawsuit.

Years later, when then-governor Mitt Romney backed away from some of those commitments, including the connector, the foundation sued. The sides renegotiated the list in a 2006 settlement.

At the time, state officials said they did not have the money to build the connector. And they insisted that the added Silver Line bus service from South Station to Logan International Airport made it unnecessary to build an addition to the Blue Line, which also serves the airport.

But environmental groups, joined by North Shore officials and Partners HealthCare, argued that it would provide a crucial link in the subway system, allowing East Boston and North Shore residents better access to jobs and healthcare in Boston and Cambridge.

In the end, the sides did not agree to actually build the project, only that the state would complete design and engineering by 2011. Last year, the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved the new deal, which included other transit commitments, giving it the force of law.

The advocates? strategy is often successful in the transportation world: Keep the project moving forward, spending money along the way, so that it will be ready and there will be a sense of inevitability when more money becomes available.

But it does not always work out that way. A proposed Silver Line bus tunnel along Boylston Street, for example, was recently put on hold indefinitely, even after $46 million was spent on planning.

This year, those involved in drafting Greater Boston?s long-term transportation plan said they wanted a different approach. The federal government had warned the state it would hold up key matching dollars if planners continued to include projects the state could not afford in the 20-year plan. And given the poor economy and Big Dig debt, many involved in writing the plan said they needed to significantly pare down their wish list and begin saying no to more projects.

?I think this is an exception,?? said Marc Draisen, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which plays a key role in helping the state with its long-term plans.

Draisen said the legal commitment, coupled with a real need to disperse congestion in key downtown subway stations, makes the Blue Line-Red Line connector a priority. Draisen argues that the financial picture could change in the next few years, if the economy improves and the state or federal government channels more money toward transit projects.

But for now, the state is not counting on new streams of money. The 20-year planning document approved preliminarily last week sets aside no money to build the tunnel through 2030.

In the meantime, Draisen suggests the state look at alternative solutions to the current plan, in which the Blue Line would meet up with the Red Line. One alternative, Draisen said, is to build a moving sidewalk between the lines that could allow commuters to transfer with less expense.

Another alternative, Baddour said, is to renegotiate the legal settlement. If that happened, some supporters may not argue as strongly as they once did.

Revere Mayor Thomas G. Ambrosino, a longtime advocate whose town sits at the Blue Line?s northern end, said it?s a ?nice project?? that he continues to support.

?Do I think it?s realistic to think that of all the transportation priorities that exist right now, that it?s going to make its way to the top of the list??? he said. ?No.??

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:34 AM   #57
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Quote:
Draisen argues that the financial picture could change in the next few years, if the economy improves and the state or federal government channels more money toward transit projects.
This is exactly why we need to be creating the designs now. The attitude expressed by this article is, We don't have the money now so why bother?

Why bother?! Be cause some day there will be money and we won't have our shit together which will mean that the money will then go to those that do.

The state could not be more short sighted. Getting these projects ready now, when the financial skies are cloudy prepares us for when they are clear.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #58
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

"...$46 million was spent on planning". I cannot fathom on how planning efforts can amount to so much. I am going to assume some ?make ready? construction was involved with this planning effort. The state should be able to get past cost for similar projects or feasibility studies prior to committing to these expensive planning and design efforts that lead no-where.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:11 PM   #59
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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"...$46 million was spent on planning". I cannot fathom on how planning efforts can amount to so much. I am going to assume some ?make ready? construction was involved with this planning effort.
I really don't believe so. The Silver Line project had some test wells drilled and teams of engineers poking around Boylston, Tremont and Essex for a few months, but nothing construction-wise was actually completed or even attempted.

The hilarious and sad thing is it's still not something that could be started in 180 days.

All that work did produce this though
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:22 PM   #60
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

here.

http://www.eot.state.ma.us/redblue/d...tFactSheet.pdf

take a gander.
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