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Old 02-05-2019, 11:35 PM   #2901
ceo
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Well, the original plan was for the extension to go to West Medford, but Medford hated that idea because they hate nice things. In fairness, the other problem was going to be crossing the river, since the bridge is historic and not wide enough.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:50 AM   #2902
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

The opposition for "Phase II" so-to-speak was for an additional infill stop at Winthrop St. to flank the west end of Tufts campus. The Medford residents immediately adjacent to the station site kvetched about it, and it was deleted. In reality it wasn't that big a loss because the stop spacing from College Ave. to 16 merely went from slightly too short to slightly too long...but not off-scale in any meaningful way. The 3 buses on Boston Ave. still give very adequate coverage spanning the stops.

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West Med was deleted way early on. The NIMBY'ism right by the station-proper was mild, but a bunch of hardcores out by Mystic Lakes and Wedgemere piled on the hysteria ("undesireables" blah blah blah) at town meetings and destabilized the whole works. But that was back in the stone age of 2005.

Crossing 16 & the Mystic would've added cost, but the Lowell Line arches could've easily been doubled-up with exact replicas. Bigger operational problems were the grade crossings. Canal St. probably would've needed to be closed because (despite lowish traffic) the sightlines aren't good at all for a 6-min. headway traffic saturation in addition to all future RR traffic increases. That crossing already has quadrant gates and plastic barriers for its relative danger. And the line would've had to stub out prior to the High St. crossing, requiring pretty cramped confines around the platforms, lousy egresses, property taking of the Dunkies parking lot, and residential impacts on Circuit St.

West Med's an easier mount when the time comes to finally grade separate the full RR...which will be a de facto build prerequisite of NSRL if the Lowell Line is expected to pair-match with the NEC to the south, or will be necessary at some point deeper into the RER area as traffic increases get intolerable. Half-undercut/half-overpass @ Canal coming off the Mystic, bottoming out into a full cut @ High. Since the ROW is 4-track width here due to a prehistoric thicket of freight sidings that used to be around Canal, and the West Med CR platforms are basically sitting on those 3rd/4th berths, the cut would be pre-provisioned for an equally grade separated GLX extension side-by-side. You would merely add the Mystic+16 bridges to connect. And possibly re-do 16 Station again up atop the embankment per the original future-proofing plan if now they're set on Phase II scaling back to a barebones ground-level stop.

The only catch with the RR grade separation future-proofing plan is that there would not be enough room to have West Med CR and GLX platforms together down in the cut. The GLX extension would have to eat the commuter rail stop...but that's not a big deal as a lot of ridership is going to migrate down the street from West Med CR to Route 16 GL to begin with and flip the mode shares accordingly. Getting there via the RR cut would also serve up a straight shot to extending the line further to at least the Winchester Ctr. parking lot (furthest you can go without budgeting for a short 1000 ft. subway under the Winch rotary). Path would be clear so long as the same GL-eats-CR platform scenario happened at Wedgemere, so you could think of the more distant-future RR grade separation as loading up for bear for an additional +3 (or +4 if you want a Mystic Lakes spacer) GLX extension for some multimodal goodness.
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