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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 08-02-2017, 02:19 PM   #2441
JohnAKeith
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Re: Boston 2024

If anyone still wants to talk about it, I'm curious. The mayor of LA just tweeted this out - it's an image of the proposed public transportation system to be completed by 2028. It's pretty.

How does this compare to Boston / MA in complexity, number of routes & stops, area covered, etc.?

As an opponent, my criticism about comparing this to Boston and "what could've been" is that LA / CA has this in the works already; they aren't using the Olympics (tm) as a way to get things done.



Original (full-sized) image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGPdWYSUMAArJTN.jpg
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #2442
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
How does this compare to Boston / MA in complexity, number of routes & stops, area covered, etc.?
This is the closest visual answer to that question:

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/subway/

IMO, the place where California seems to have Boston beat is that they do these big ballot questions with clear lists of the infrastructure folks are voting on. CA ballot initiatives are crap in general, but this is one place where they help clarify peoples' conception of what capital revenue goes to.

On the other hand, LA's system is new enough (or speculative enough) that I don't think they have a crippling maintenance backlog like the MBTA does. That will come in 20-30 years. LA also has a much friendlier environment for operating vehicles. No snow, no ice, no salt, no major heat or humidity. That lowers their maintenance bills, too.

I wish we could commit the MBTA to a ballot-questioned list of extensions/enhancements like CA does with LA Metro and BART, but I also wish we could stop talking about the extensions we're wasting money on (South Coast Rail, mainly) and focus on fixing what we have.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:48 PM   #2443
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Re: Boston 2024

Only some of those lines will be completed by 2028, for the most part the dashed colored lines (the LAX/Crenshaw Line, the Purple Line extension, the Gold Line extension, the Regional Connector subway through downtown). The light gray lines have some degree of funding from the last 2 large transit ballot measures but also have completion dates into the 2030s and later.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:13 PM   #2444
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
This is the closest visual answer to that question:

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/subway/
Those maps, at least for Boston and L.A., are heavy rail only. In many cases that might be fine, but Boston and L.A. have the two largest light rail systems in the country. In each case, the map significantly understates the total extent and complexity of the system.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:52 PM   #2445
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Re: Boston 2024

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Those maps, at least for Boston and L.A., are heavy rail only. In many cases that might be fine, but Boston and L.A. have the two largest light rail systems in the country. In each case, the map significantly understates the total extent and complexity of the system.
This is true. It's as close as you can get, though.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:52 PM   #2446
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Re: Boston 2024

I was listening to all the call-ins on LA radio yesterday morning on the drive from Malibu to the US Open going on in Huntington Beach, and a poll was talking 80% local support for the project.

Late afternoon, I happened to drive by the Olympic Stadium. It was the first time over this way, and I'd never seen it. The swimming facility is a pretty huge building. Aged, but impressive nevertheless, like the size of TD Garden.

Empirically, I was kind of surprised that it's in such an underdeveloped/aging part of town (close to South Central). Public transportation is poor even with the subway; but with all the new hotels going in Downtown, they're ready to go–then loaded dozens of crap parcels to build near the stadium.

If it was going to be say, 2032, I'd think Boston could pull off a pretty good Olympics. I don't understand why the Walsh Admn couldn't see we're probably 8-12 years behind on the scale of development that would meet the challenge of an Olympiad planning cycle.

Last edited by odurandina; 08-03-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:49 AM   #2447
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Re: Boston 2024

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If it was going to be say, 2032, I'd think Boston could pull off a pretty good Olympics. I don't understand why the Walsh Admn couldn't see we're probably 8-12 years behind on the scale of development that would meet the challenge of an Olympiad planning cycle.
Walsh did. And he dropped support of the bid.

But I also disagree somewhat on the premise of your point and on the premise of the Boston 2024 bid. The fatal flaw wasn't that we needed to build a lot of facilities, the fatal flaw was that Boston 2024 was specifically looking to spend a lot of money building things that otherwise couldn't be justified to be built without the Olympics.

The Olympic movement realizes that they need to stop letting their brand get used and then scapegoated by local cities to justify unnecessary multi billion dollar political spending sprees like the one envisioned by Boston 2024.

And hopefully Massachusetts realizes that every time someone wants to spend a lot of money in the state, that the people lining up with knives to cut "their" piece of that pie are putting investment off and really hurting our competitiveness.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:03 AM   #2448
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Re: Boston 2024

After all the dust settles, and all the blood dries, and all the venom has been spewed, it's still the same old, tired, unanswered question:

How do we get billions of dollars required to upgrade the much-needed infrastructure in the city/metro that will make the Boston a better place for everyone:
* A circumferential transit line
* A red line / blue line connector
* North/South rail link (minus central station)
* Better connectivity to underserved / population-dense areas

At the end of the day, we still have the same old people saying
"No, No, No, No....Not my money, Not my money, Not my money"

So the question still remains - how do we get the money?
I'd pay a tax surcharge, but x% of what I make will get you a traffic light.
We need collective support for costly infrastructure improvements.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:46 AM   #2449
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by bigpicture7 View Post
After all the dust settles, and all the blood dries, and all the venom has been spewed, it's still the same old, tired, unanswered question:

How do we get billions of dollars required to upgrade the much-needed infrastructure in the city/metro that will make the Boston a better place for everyone:
* A circumferential transit line
* A red line / blue line connector
* North/South rail link (minus central station)
* Better connectivity to underserved / population-dense areas
Stop flushing 100's of $billions in "foreign aid" down the toilet to all those shit-hole countries who hate us, and also stop financing the military-industrial complex with stupid wars. Then spend that money on US infrastructure instead.

By the way, I completely agree with your project list.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:37 AM   #2450
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by Charlie_mta View Post
Stop flushing 100's of $billions in "foreign aid" down the toilet to all those shit-hole countries who hate us, and also stop financing the military-industrial complex with stupid wars. Then spend that money on US infrastructure instead.

By the way, I completely agree with your project list.
Well that's loaded as hell... especially for such a fractional part of the U.S. budget...
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:27 PM   #2451
Charlie_mta
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Re: Boston 2024

That was a stupid post of mine. Please accept my apologies for the hateful tone.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:17 AM   #2452
tangent
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Re: Boston 2024

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpicture7 View Post
After all the dust settles, and all the blood dries, and all the venom has been spewed, it's still the same old, tired, unanswered question:

How do we get billions of dollars required to upgrade the much-needed infrastructure in the city/metro that will make the Boston a better place for everyone:
* A circumferential transit line
* A red line / blue line connector
* North/South rail link (minus central station)
* Better connectivity to underserved / population-dense areas

At the end of the day, we still have the same old people saying
"No, No, No, No....Not my money, Not my money, Not my money"

So the question still remains - how do we get the money?
I'd pay a tax surcharge, but x% of what I make will get you a traffic light.
We need collective support for costly infrastructure improvements.
First ... we don't "need" to do anything besides keep existing infrastructure running with maintenance.

The same argument of "induced demand" against investment in car transportation applies to all infrastructure including transit and even water... if you build it, they will come and more people moving around brings with it greater expense and a whole bunch of other expensive problems..

People have adapted to the existing transportation system, settlement patterns are largely established... it is what it is and we could just say enough is enough and accept what-is as the "full build out"

Now if we want to talk about "want", then I think the list is a good one and we should judge the merits of the projects on a cost benefit basis... and perhaps if the "benefit" is an increase in development for its own sake, then we should be taxing new developments at a higher rate in order to pay for transit.

But like the Boston 2024 proposal itself, latching onto "The Olympics" with its 4 weeks of need for transportation and housing surge to somehow justify or accelerate these pet projects is exactly why it was a bad bid.

If they don't pay for themselves by enabling increased economic activity and measurably improving quality of life then don't do them. If they will, then do them.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:39 AM   #2453
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by tangent View Post
First ... we don't "need" to do anything besides keep existing infrastructure running with maintenance.

The same argument of "induced demand" against investment in car transportation applies to all infrastructure including transit
Your opinion may differ, but you are aware that the vast majority of the people reading this forum would be thrilled to increase the use of public transit, correct? I can't figure out if you're being more pedantic or obtuse.

To state the obvious, public transportation uses significantly less energy and space than individuals in cars. More people can move around more quickly and inexpensively. This efficiency is needed to increase density without destroying the city.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:43 AM   #2454
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Re: Boston 2024

^ The city and the region are growing, and it would be good for almost everyone if it continued to do so.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:55 AM   #2455
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Re: Boston 2024

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That was a stupid post of mine. Please accept my apologies for the hateful tone.
Apology accepted.

And for the record, it's like ~$40B ... and like 1/4 of that is support for the Israeli, Iraqi, Egyptian and Afghan militaries..

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...t-foreign-aid/
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:00 AM   #2456
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Re: Boston 2024

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^ The city and the region are growing, and it would be good for almost everyone if it continued to do so.
Yes, and...

To answer tangent's question of what do we "need" requires a unified vision of what Boston should become.

Without that unified vision of what Boston should become, there's no way to answer the question of what we do or don't need.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:20 AM   #2457
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Re: Boston 2024

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People have adapted to the existing transportation system, settlement patterns are largely established... it is what it is and we could just say enough is enough and accept what-is as the "full build out"
When rush hour on 93 south of the city lasts until 11am regularly, then nope, not gonna accept what-is as the full build out.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:31 AM   #2458
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Re: Boston 2024

^ we as a society get to decide what is and isn't acceptable.

Supply and demand works fine for price setting of toothpaste tubes at the supermarket.

When it comes to jobs, families, long-term health of people and ecosystems, the environment,...supply and demand also works, if you're willing to accept a decades-long time horizon where serious casualty happens in the mean time.

Yes, as dominus suggest, we do get to demand that rush "hour" not be 4 hours long. Ya i know the counterargument: "just move elsewhere if you don't like it"...but:

Bargaining is assymetric when it comes to this stuff. I can't just "not buy" my commute on a given morning because my job is not instantly portable, my family not instantly movable. I am indeed at the mercy of my city. These assymetries of bargaining power are exactly how sweatshops exploit labor elsewhere: they put people into asymmetric situations where they have no other near-term choice.

Just like we get to have an opinion on normative things like whether robbery should be illegal...we get to have an opinion on other dimensions of "what Boston should be". But shame on us if we can't unify this vision, at least to consensus-type levels.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #2459
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by CSTH View Post
^ The city and the region are growing, and it would be good for almost everyone if it continued to do so.

How the population grows is more important than whether the population grows... and there should be a limit otherwise it really is zero sum and nobody wins
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:22 AM   #2460
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Re: Boston 2024

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Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
When rush hour on 93 south of the city lasts until 11am regularly, then nope, not gonna accept what-is as the full build out.
93's rush hours can be evidence of a lot of things--growth, success in spreading the peak, or just plain underpricing of road capacity Until there's a price-based mechanism for allocating scarce things (highway capacity) I don't think it evidences much except that we waste a lot of people's time in traffic (or re-arranging their day to avoid traffic) because we're unwilling to price roads.

Stasis is not an option...too risky a knife's edge that too easily falls into decline (Visiting places like Worcester, Springfield, Rochester, Buffallo really drives this home)

But 93 is also a radial commuting route...something that'd be better accommodated by 10~15 minute CR headways at Rush Hour and 20~30 min headways off-peak.
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