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Old 07-17-2017, 09:23 AM   #21
Suffolk 83
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Re: Newton Developments

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Same old tired story, neighboring posh burbs fight mixed use developments that contain both market rate and affordable housing, or in many cases, just fight any new multi-family housing. Wellesley has similar objections to multi-family housing being built across from the commuter rail station! This is one of the major causes for the high price of housing in the Boston metro area.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:15 PM   #22
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Re: Newton Developments

Mayor Fuller's RFP for moving/redeveloping the Police Headquarters in West Newton drew - drumroll - ONE RESPONSE! FROM ROBERT KORFF! Not what she was hoping for, but exactly what we should have expected.

Anyway, here's the proposal.

http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/bids...x?blobid=89979

We'll all enjoy debating this for the next 5-10 years.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:41 PM   #23
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Re: Newton Developments

85 units, lowball land offer. Sounds fine.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:46 AM   #24
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Re: Newton Developments

https://vimeo.com/297074259

"Hello Washington Street" conceptual presentation. I'm really liking this guy - he seems genuine and local while still discussing increases of density as desirable. He also does a nice thing by not making any concept drawings "ugly". The assumption is that any of these would look nice, but what do you really want to live with?

The focus on a few key locations that everyone considers unattractive and/or underdeveloped is a good move, too. Takes the focus off of the areas right around peoples homes.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:06 PM   #25
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Re: Newton Developments

Small apartment building next to Newton Centre GL:

http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/file...ocuments/91440
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:31 PM   #26
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Re: Newton Developments

How often does the train go by?*

But seriously, nice infill and this will contribute even more to Union Street's already-lively restaurant scene.

*(citation: )
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:54 PM   #27
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Re: Newton Developments

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Small apartment building next to Newton Centre GL:

http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/file...ocuments/91440
Not that I ever thought this would be happening, but I would always theorize an apartment building in this exact location when I sat in traffic next to it every night a few years ago.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:35 PM   #28
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Re: Newton Developments

A couple of major planning/visioning efforts going on right now -

The folks at Hello Washington Street have been busy. Presentations are below:

http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning...eet_vision.asp

Note specifically the ones on West Newton and Newtonville. I think they've got the right idea with trashing the current road pattern in West Newton, but I'm not sure they have the right new layout. My idea is below (I got inspired):



Blue is commercial, yellow is residential, but it doesn't really matter. The more important benefits are: (A) There is no need whatsoever for both bridges to carry Route 16, so you can calm traffic on one of them; (B) There's room for a WB onramp if you sacrifice the unnecessary two-lane WB exit; (C) You can win over neighbors by rerouting cut-through traffic off of the eastern segment of Webster St.

There's just so much more asphalt in this interchange than it needs. The HWS people recognized that, but they aren't highway designers (then again, neither am I).

Also, the Riverside Visioning Study (which the City forced Mark Development to fund) is holding its first session on Sunday:

http://amysangiolo.com/2019/02/mark-...ioning-begins/
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:52 PM   #29
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Re: Newton Developments

I think pushing Washington Street that far down as you propose gets to far away from the historic center that the study is trying to activate. Also, that area that you propose building over is one of the few industrial areas in West Newton. A lot of small businesses seem to be established in that Border Street area. There was a study a couple years ago regarding making Washington a two way street and introducing a building/ development that would span T so West Newton could have decent station. I didn't realize the station was still a stop that you have to walk over tracks to board/ disembark from the West bound side. I can't believe the new proposal doesn't address the T stop at all.

http://web.mit.edu/11.360/www/WestNe...an2011_all.pdf


I propose a straight run of Washington Street across the Pike and consolidate the Turnpike ramps off to on side.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1h0...vi&usp=sharing
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:48 PM   #30
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Re: Newton Developments

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I think pushing Washington Street that far down as you propose gets to far away from the historic center that the study is trying to activate. Also, that area that you propose building over is one of the few industrial areas in West Newton. A lot of small businesses seem to be established in that Border Street area. There was a study a couple years ago regarding making Washington a two way street and introducing a building/ development that would span T so West Newton could have decent station. I didn't realize the station was still a stop that you have to walk over tracks to board/ disembark from the West bound side. I can't believe the new proposal doesn't address the T stop at all.

http://web.mit.edu/11.360/www/WestNe...an2011_all.pdf


I propose a straight run of Washington Street across the Pike and consolidate the Turnpike ramps off to on side.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1h0...vi&usp=sharing
I hear you on the small businesses, but I think that under a "reclamation" as proposed by HWS they'll go anyway. I tried to put together a plan that keeps the existing bridges, as opposed to building a new diagonal one (the same diagonal concept could and did work at Newton Corner). By pulling Washington Street so far to the west, my hope was that it would run through - and therefore activate - the dead land around the train station while still ultimately reaching the village center. I'm worried that by isolating the ramps as you've done, the area around them is still lost.

Also, the newest plan is this one, and it does address the T station:

http://www.newtonma.gov/civica/fileb...p?BlobID=95030

Last edited by Equilibria; 02-07-2019 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:21 AM   #31
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Re: Newton Developments

This "Hello Washington Street" planning/design firm (Principle?) is doing great work. Thanks for sharing these presentations, Equilibria, I'm enjoying going through them.

The decked park over the Pike would be transformational.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:40 AM   #32
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Re: Newton Developments

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The decked park over the Pike would be transformational.
And prohibitively expense unfortunately.

East Milton sq deck over 93 cost $15M in 1997.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:45 AM   #33
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Re: Newton Developments

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And prohibitively expense unfortunately.

East Milton sq deck over 93 cost $15M in 1997.
In the slide deck they estimate $47M for decking in Newtonville, to be paid for by some form of tax increment financing on surrounding development.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:18 PM   #34
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Re: Newton Developments

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And prohibitively expense unfortunately.

East Milton sq deck over 93 cost $15M in 1997.
And that turned out to be a massive waste of money.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:28 PM   #35
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Re: Newton Developments

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And that turned out to be a massive waste of money.
I'll grant that I've never been there in person, but can you elaborate? It looks nice enough on Streetview.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:06 PM   #36
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Re: Newton Developments

Thank you for the link to the latest presentation. The presentation is great at breaking down "how can we get quality out of developers, let's show them the way". Good stuff. The sketches do begin to indicate a commuter rail platform upgrade but I'm still surprised the station does not appear to be central to the presentation. Development is growing around transit centric areas so I thought there would be more focus of a station upgrade to improve the pedestrian relationship to the village, as in larger apartment buildings near the station, more activity in the squares and court yards with commuters walking to and from the station, activating store fronts along the way, etc.
Developing a building on Washington Street that extends over the tracks would provide shelter from the elements, allow for better lighting and allow for elevator service from the street level. I indicated this potential development in the red footprint on the small parking lot off Washington St. and it works with as a landmark "bookend" to the village before crossing the Turnpike.
I still believe the Turnpike ramps, as big and expansive as they may seem, work well. The last thing you want is to make these ramps shorter and have traffic waiting for you at the top of a ramp. Have you driven up the Watertown exit, 55 mph up to a stop sign? Or queuing in traffic on the exit lane while cars go by at 55 mph? I think the ramps could be seen as properly designed for queuing traffic onto local streets. I hope you consider this factor, but I definitely agree the Turnpike could spend capital on better landscaping around the bowl of the large parking lot. I like your suggested west bound on ramp and I included a possible east bound off ramp exit that dumps into the square.
I read up on the deck over the East Milton, this would be an improvement visually and acoustically, but there is mention of not being able to stay for any significant amount of time in the Milton park due to the amount of car exhaust from the highway. Something to consider. The Ponte Vecchio Bridge -esk
buildings on each side of bridges is great, but developing anything less than 20 floors over the turnpike, the investment math doesn't seem to work.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:26 PM   #37
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Re: Newton Developments

Hello Washington Street is up, and it's pretty ambitious:

http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning...eet_vision.asp

I still like my version of West Newton better than theirs, but since it's just brainstorming I think everyone's on the right track.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:08 PM   #38
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Re: Newton Developments

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The sketches do begin to indicate a commuter rail platform upgrade but I'm still surprised the station does not appear to be central to the presentation.
Probably because the station's characteristics are more or less fixed based on what type of ADA platform design will fit down below street level in the Pike pit: two side platforms or one center island. There isn't really a whole lot the City has to do for that other than thumbs-up/thumbs-down the Preferred Alternative the T shows them. Any which way the station will trade in its stairs for ADA switchback ramps to each platform, with the easterly Washington overpass continuing to be the main entrance.

About the most that's in-play for them is stating a preference for where the #2 entrance goes: does it stay on the westerly Washington overpass like today, or is the platform shifted east so Chestnut St. is the new #2 entrance. Shifted east would be more centralized around walkup and fit a road diet, but would cut the station off from ped access to its parking lot. On the other hand the station lot is only car-accessible in very roundabout fashion via Webster St....nearly easier to reach from Auburndale...so the parking config is arguably not that useful to begin with and wouldn't be all that missed. I guess the question depends on how they rate the redev prospects of the parking lot.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:37 PM   #39
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Re: Newton Developments

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Probably because the station's characteristics are more or less fixed based on what type of ADA platform design will fit down below street level in the Pike pit: two side platforms or one center island. There isn't really a whole lot the City has to do for that other than thumbs-up/thumbs-down the Preferred Alternative the T shows them. Any which way the station will trade in its stairs for ADA switchback ramps to each platform, with the easterly Washington overpass continuing to be the main entrance.
Is an elevator not in play here if the development goes as envisioned?
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #40
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Re: Newton Developments

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Is an elevator not in play here if the development goes as envisioned?
If you mean conflicts with the deck-over or biz-lined bridge concepts: probably not. The stop needs to be ADA'd and platformed for double-track service way sooner than any of those more speculative redev concepts could ever get money lined up, so 'maybes' aren't going to be allowed to interfere with the job at hand. That does NOT in any way stop you from adding elevators later on if hyper-frequent Urban Rail and a reimagined neighborhood make W. Newton a major stop with strong enough farebox recovery to merit adding those extras. It's just nothing to muddy the planning waters with right this moment. Worcester Line traffic management needs to do away with the contraflow running in Newton ASAP in order to run more trains, so there's urgency (a lot more than they're admitting) to get these 3 stops cued up.

It's also probably not necessary in any absolute accessibility sense to do elevators, because they aren't constrained for space on the switchbacks. There wouldn't be anything here like that mess of a rejected Waverley design that required, due to lack of room, ping-ponging down 8 separate switchbacks to get from street to platform. Washington-to-Washington is 800 ft., exact size of a regulation CR platform...so the ramps would have all the room in the world to bulb out on the far sides of each overpass and incline at a rate that won't make someone dizzy turning around. Washington-Chestnut is 950 ft., so one entrance can go on the near side of one overpass and the other entrance can go on the far side of the other overpass. Since the stop is on perfectly tangent track they'd be wise to attempt a center island platform design (12+ ft. wide) instead of two side platforms (6+ ft. each). The switchbacks would have an easier time staying in the same width footprint as the island platform as they climb, in addition to being more compact/less intrusive up at street level and easier to incorporate in any future decking schemes.

Last edited by F-Line to Dudley; 02-12-2019 at 06:23 PM.
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