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Old 11-18-2018, 08:19 PM   #1461
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

It looks like Cleveland Circle to Kenmore is 18 minutes whereas Reservoir to Kenmore is only 14 minutes. But with transit signal priority and stop consolidation, could that difference be reduced?

If it were possible to build a C-D connector on Strathmore Rd to connect into the yard and redirect revenue trains to Reservoir Station instead of Cleveland Circle, perhaps all the C branch trains could go out to Needham without Needham increasing the number of branches in the system.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:18 PM   #1462
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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It looks like Cleveland Circle to Kenmore is 18 minutes whereas Reservoir to Kenmore is only 14 minutes. But with transit signal priority and stop consolidation, could that difference be reduced?

If it were possible to build a C-D connector on Strathmore Rd to connect into the yard and redirect revenue trains to Reservoir Station instead of Cleveland Circle, perhaps all the C branch trains could go out to Needham without Needham increasing the number of branches in the system.
Strathmore is a very narrow residential street inappropriate for use as a trolley connector, so unfortunately there isn't a mechanism for that.

The C can absolutely run faster with signal priority. Brookline installed smart signals all up/down Beacon with the intention that the T was going to hook up trolley detectors to enable the priority, but they haven't done so yet. The 2 stops ripest for consolidation are Brandon Hall and Dean Rd. BH is far too close to Fairbanks St. and Summit Ave.; Dean Rd. suffers on ridership from being too close to Beaconsfield on the D. That reduces the branch to a taut 11 stops, same as the E.

The D is well under-capacity once you make it outside of the subway, so there's no need to attempt to route a slow line like the C all the way to Needham. When the time comes it'll just be "D1"/"D2" branches or something like that.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:57 AM   #1463
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Strathmore is a very narrow residential street inappropriate for use as a trolley connector, so unfortunately there isn't a mechanism for that.

The C can absolutely run faster with signal priority. Brookline installed smart signals all up/down Beacon with the intention that the T was going to hook up trolley detectors to enable the priority, but they haven't done so yet. The 2 stops ripest for consolidation are Brandon Hall and Dean Rd. BH is far too close to Fairbanks St. and Summit Ave.; Dean Rd. suffers on ridership from being too close to Beaconsfield on the D. That reduces the branch to a taut 11 stops, same as the E.

The D is well under-capacity once you make it outside of the subway, so there's no need to attempt to route a slow line like the C all the way to Needham. When the time comes it'll just be "D1"/"D2" branches or something like that.
I agree on Brandon Hall but not Dean, which seems well-placed at a major intersection. How about Hawes Street? That stop always P'd me off.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:02 AM   #1464
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I agree on Brandon Hall but not Dean, which seems well-placed at a major intersection. How about Hawes Street? That stop always P'd me off.
Would create an overspacing situation between St. Mary's and Kent, which won't go over well on a stretch of Beacon with lots of senior housing. Frustrating, yes, because both Hawes and Kent have low ridership...but unless you've got a planning integrity-of-concept to go 'severe' on C consolidation there's probably not enough reason to trade barbs with local pols on consolidation there. The C doesn't need pruning nearly as much as the B.

Dean is a legit ridership crater with only 70% of adjacent Englewood's and and 59% of adjacent Tappan's boardings. That's indicative of a problem, and zapping it wouldn't upset stop spacing.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:45 AM   #1465
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

In that case, some wayfinding signs at the Dean intersection would be useful, to point people towards the D line.

I used to live there and thought it would be amazing if they had a digital countdown at the C line Dean stop for both the C and D trains so you could optimize your choice of lines. Obviously wishful thinking.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:02 PM   #1466
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Alternately. . .

There is one scenario where you can push to be 'severe' with C stop consolidation, get rid of Hawes + Brandon Hall + Dean Rd., and make it stick.

IF Comm Ave. reconstruction Phase III from Packards to Warren re-does the B reservation with a Blandford-style turnback yard past Harvard Ave. to do supplemental peak short-turns on the inner half of the B, you could be left with a scenario where:
  • Service is densest Harvard Ave.-inbound on the B.
  • Service is less-dense up the hill.
  • BC might need some supplemental service routed from the C during hours Harvard Ave. turns are in effect to bolster service and leave the only longer-headway segment between Griggs and Chiswick where demand is lower.
In that case, you'd flip the Chestnut Hill Ave. platforms to the west side of the intersection so they're accessible from any line (and probably relocate South St. out to Foster St. so it's a more effectively spaced).


Then, deletion of 3 C stops + all the travel time savings of signal priority on Beacon should allow for a +3 stop extension past Cleveland Circle to Chestnut Hill Ave., South/Foster, and BC tucked within same-or-better travel time as today's trip to Cleveland Circle.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:15 PM   #1467
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

@Redline to Blueline

paging F-Line.... http://www.archboston.org/community/...&postcount=134

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Blue-Red Line connector to Charles MGH is short sighted.

Only a couple of problems. 1- You sometimes have to let train, after train, after train, go by on the Red Line if trying to board anywhere after Harvard Station. Meaning by Central and Kendall the trains are overstuffed. So good luck getting the Red Line at Kendall to get to Charles MGH to transfer to the Blue. MIT is still be ~ a mile away from the Blue Line. Better to just walk in that blizzard across the bridge to get the Blue Line home above the cold water rather than wait half an hour to try to get on the Red Line to go one stop. (It's like the Downtown Crossing to State Street connection issue all over again 50 years from now.)

2- The Urban Link that is proposed to go down the Grand Junction Rail line still won't connect with the Red Line nor the Blue Lines directly as planned. Hence it might make more sense to have the Blue Line tunnel under the Charles and land on the Cambridge side of the river....
What about the Blue Line heading up under Storrow then splitting off at Mass Ave into 2 branches (Allston branch possibly terminating at BU or West Station, and the Mass Ave branch terminating in Belmont Ctr).

i wonder why the Blue Line never reached the Red Line some time between 1924 and 1970....
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:27 AM   #1468
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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@Redline to Blueline

paging F-Line.... http://www.archboston.org/community/...&postcount=134



What about the Blue Line heading up under Storrow then splitting off at Mass Ave into 2 branches (Allston branch possibly terminating at BU or West Station, and the Mass Ave branch terminating in Belmont Ctr).

i wonder why the Blue Line never reached the Red Line some time between 1924 and 1970....
I think the original plan was to route it into Park St at some point, but, that didn't happen (obviously). I also thought the best routing for it is down Storrow (giving Storrow a diet), and out through Kenmore and have it take over the D line.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:03 AM   #1469
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I think the original plan was to route it into Park St at some point, but, that didn't happen (obviously). I also thought the best routing for it is down Storrow (giving Storrow a diet), and out through Kenmore and have it take over the D line.
The Park St. routing was pre-Pike days when it was going to take 2 tracks of the 4-track B&A and go to Riverside. That's no longer possible. Storrow trade-in to a Kenmore superstation is the most logical routing after Charles since the tail tracks at Charles enable it. There really isn't a good place to continue it after Kenmore at this time, though the tail tracks there would point at Brookline Ave. in reach of banging a right under the B&A to future-proof all 100-year possibilities.

The D needs to be able to accommodate the Needham Branch commuter rail replacement with grade crossings, which you can't do with heavy rail. The D also lacks Blue's Eastie-Revere-Lynn density which would load-imbalance the line, with any branching that far out doing further harm. And changing it to Blue would prevent any union of two LRT halves of the Urban Ring from meeting at Kenmore (NW quadrant a run-thru from BU Bridge via an extended B subway and the SW quadrant @ Kenmore loop from the D and Brookline Village via either surface or hookup from an extended E subway). That radial transfer-heavier future at Kenmore more than justifies the fast, high-capacity Blue pipe to downtown to take a load off Green for audience repurposement, but it does prioritize staying hands-off from the D because it must stick to LRT in order to tie those services together.

I don't know if that leaves much else at this time other than Kenmore, since the West Station area would already be pretty crowded with infrastructure. I also don't think crossing the river is going to be the least bit cost-effective in a sea level rise era where the Charles Basin water table is going to be harder to control and waterproof, so Ari Osevit's blog entry that a Charles-Kendall extension to the Volpe basement must...be...so (to say nothing of the difficulty of tunneling under a completed Volpe) doesn't make a lot of practical sense either.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:43 PM   #1470
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I'm wondering if extending the Blue Line three stops past Kenmore to have it serve Fenway, Longwood, and Brookline Village might make sense if that was done in conjunction with both a C-D and a D-E connector. Perhaps C would then run all the way out to Needham; people living near Riverside, Woodland, Waban, Eliot, Beaconfield and Brookline Hills would lose their one seat ride to Park St, with D running from Riverside to Brookline Village and then continuing across the D-E connector to Huntington Ave, then continuing to Ruggles St, the Ruggles Orange Line station, Melnea Cass Blvd, Washington St, South Station, Courthouse, WTC, Silver Line Way, and Flynn Cruiseport.

If we could find an acceptable way to build that Blue Line extension and those C-D and D-E connectors and did this reroute, it would mean we'd just have the B, C to Needham, and E branches going through Park St and Government Center, which would free up a schedule slot at those core stations for F to Dudley.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:01 PM   #1471
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Strathmore is a very narrow residential street inappropriate for use as a trolley connector, so unfortunately there isn't a mechanism for that.
What if the relevant part of Strathmore was pedestrianized with a single bidirectional track down the middle? On the portion of Strathmore which is south of Beacon and perpendicular to Beacon, there don't seem to be any driveways other than the Green line yard, the alley, and the driveway directly across the street from the alley that's parallel to Beacon and about 135' away from Beacon, so the main loss would be the on street parking and possibly delivery access. It might be possible to widen the sidewalks next to the track so that delivery vehicles could use the sidewalk space as a woonerf.

If there's only one train every 6 minutes in each direction, a single bidirectional track isn't ideal, but the process of entering and leaving the single track bottleneck would likely take each train a lot less than three minutes (a bit like how the SL3 bus tolerates a narrow section under a bridge where opposite direction buses cannot pass each other).

The Beacon to Strathmore curve would be improved if the tracks traded places with the median parking on Beacon just east of Strathmore.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:59 PM   #1472
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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What if the relevant part of Strathmore was pedestrianized with a single bidirectional track down the middle? On the portion of Strathmore which is south of Beacon and perpendicular to Beacon, there don't seem to be any driveways other than the Green line yard, the alley, and the driveway directly across the street from the alley that's parallel to Beacon and about 135' away from Beacon, so the main loss would be the on street parking and possibly delivery access. It might be possible to widen the sidewalks next to the track so that delivery vehicles could use the sidewalk space as a woonerf.

If there's only one train every 6 minutes in each direction, a single bidirectional track isn't ideal, but the process of entering and leaving the single track bottleneck would likely take each train a lot less than three minutes (a bit like how the SL3 bus tolerates a narrow section under a bridge where opposite direction buses cannot pass each other).

The Beacon to Strathmore curve would be improved if the tracks traded places with the median parking on Beacon just east of Strathmore.
Uhh...do you see all the schoolkids massed up on the very narrow sidewalk in the Street View pic of Strathmore? Such a constrained and highly residential one-way is a very inappropriate spot to put a yard track. Residents would complain loudly, and I'd fully agree with their objections too. It's not a safe place for that.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:24 PM   #1473
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I'm wondering if extending the Blue Line three stops past Kenmore to have it serve Fenway, Longwood, and Brookline Village might make sense if that was done in conjunction with both a C-D and a D-E connector. Perhaps C would then run all the way out to Needham; people living near Riverside, Woodland, Waban, Eliot, Beaconfield and Brookline Hills would lose their one seat ride to Park St, with D running from Riverside to Brookline Village and then continuing across the D-E connector to Huntington Ave, then continuing to Ruggles St, the Ruggles Orange Line station, Melnea Cass Blvd, Washington St, South Station, Courthouse, WTC, Silver Line Way, and Flynn Cruiseport.

If we could find an acceptable way to build that Blue Line extension and those C-D and D-E connectors and did this reroute, it would mean we'd just have the B, C to Needham, and E branches going through Park St and Government Center, which would free up a schedule slot at those core stations for F to Dudley.
Nobody is running the C out to Needham. Never. The D is much faster than the C with more native capacity to give. It would be completely counterintuitive to take the slower and more congested line to run out to 128 instead.

Cannibalizing those first 3 stops is also going to maim Urban Ring connectivity, because you won't be able to have the north half and south half touch cross-platform at Kenmore. And you're just stubbing out Blue there; it's got nowhere further to go for all the mess it makes of the GL's connectivity.

If you are going to take over the D with Blue...you're taking over all of it to Riverside, foregoing the Needham Branch, and conceding that SW quadrant Urban Ring is going to be BRT down Brookline Ave. into Kenmore and not LRT (this may be the case anyway given lack of suitable ROW). But...all told that's a pretty compelling argument for NOT changing modes on the D.


Keep in mind, the tail tracks are pointing up Brookline Ave. You can amass the money to build a 1.4 mi. subway up the street, or bang a right under the B&A and weave some path into Allston. All 100-year possibilities are covered should the Storrow trade-in put BL Charles-Kenmore on the table sooner. There isn't an obvious choice for where to take it further...including Allston where Harvard's yet to fill in all development and where we've yet to exploit Regional Rail and bus revamps as first-gear transit improvements. But that's the thing about 100-year considerations...it's there for the taking if/when the need clearly arises. There's no gun to anyone's head to throw crap at the wall trying to exit the city stage-left because of artificial pressure to build a thing for building things' sake. If there's no non-problematic way of plowing Blue past Kenmore that doesn't worsen other people's transit and no compelling reason why one of the lesser catchments past Kenmore is a must-have for it...then don't go past Kenmore!

Past-Kenmore is beyond the scope of what transit trade-in would be put on the table as a condition of tearing down Storrow, so let's not worry about that. Worry about the if/when of us reaching critical mass on tearing down Storrow...and then be ready to pounce on the advocacy when BL-Kenmore is the likely terms of engagement.
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:50 PM   #1474
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

This one is a little different, and Iím almost tempted to make a dedicated thread. Anyway, what is the feasibility of expanding Bostonís system of pedestrian skyways? At the moment, thereís pretty much just the Westin-Copley-Pru system (with a connecting tunnel to Back Bay Station). Are there any other parts of Boston that could use such skyways?
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:30 AM   #1475
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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This one is a little different, and Iím almost tempted to make a dedicated thread. Anyway, what is the feasibility of expanding Bostonís system of pedestrian skyways? At the moment, thereís pretty much just the Westin-Copley-Pru system (with a connecting tunnel to Back Bay Station). Are there any other parts of Boston that could use such skyways?
Oh god, if they would only start filling up the Pike air rights parcels you could very easily have the whole Pru complex skyways go all the way to Albany St., effectively doubling in size.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:43 AM   #1476
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I think the options are either completely deck over these places and put a city on top of it as was done for the blocks north of Grand Central in New York, or we just have to admit that they are largely no go areas.

Pedestrian skyways are an obsolete urban concept, dating from when we believed that the street level was to be reserved for cars coming and going at 30+ mph from the suburbs (because no rich or nice people actually lived in the city they just worked there).

Skyways suck life from street level retail and give everybody about half as many customers as they actually need.

Long pedestrian overpasses generally fail because either they end up windswept and creepy or a gerbil tube and creepy.

Short spans with multiple modes and street-level activation like retail or as we see on the highline in New York, can work.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:07 AM   #1477
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

There was a proposal in the mid-90s to replace Fenway Park and also build a football stadium over the pike between Kenmore and Mass Ave, along with an expanded Hynes Convention Center (also on air rights). Among other features was a network of enclosed walkways making it possible to walk from Kenmore all the way to Back Bay station without ever being outside. It would have included access points throughout the complex.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:16 AM   #1478
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I think the options are either completely deck over these places and put a city on top of it as was done for the blocks north of Grand Central in New York, or we just have to admit that they are largely no go areas.

Pedestrian skyways are an obsolete urban concept, dating from when we believed that the street level was to be reserved for cars coming and going at 30+ mph from the suburbs (because no rich or nice people actually lived in the city they just worked there).

Skyways suck life from street level retail and give everybody about half as many customers as they actually need.

Long pedestrian overpasses generally fail because either they end up windswept and creepy or a gerbil tube and creepy.

Short spans with multiple modes and street-level activation like retail or as we see on the highline in New York, can work.
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