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Old 04-19-2019, 06:33 AM   #2921
BeeLine
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by Charlie_mta View Post
Is this activity connected to the station construction?

In any case, thanks for the great pics.
The focuse seems to be along the western side of the Zinc and north. Hard to get shots of the area but there is a lot of action north of the Zinc and in the Brickbottom area. (buildings demoed and site prep). Hope this helps.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:16 AM   #2922
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by Charlie_mta View Post
Is this activity connected to the station construction?

In any case, thanks for the great pics.
These are for the piles of the columns supporting the new viaduct. The deepest ones are around 130 feet I believe. Some may be related to the station, but most are for the bridge portion
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:56 PM   #2923
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Cool. Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:33 PM   #2924
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq



Still somewhat shocked that this is happening.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:47 AM   #2925
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Somerville’s getting a brand new bike path with the Green Line extension. Is it wide enough?

Quote:
The Friends of the Somerville Community Path, an advocacy group that has long pushed for its completion, said that will not be enough space for a heavy volume of cyclists connecting between various path networks.

The group has cited federal guidelines that recommend bike paths be wider than 10 feet if they are anticipating more than 300 users during peak hours, or a high volume of pedestrians; paths should be at least 11 feet to allow cyclists to safely pass other users going in the same direction, the guidelines say.

The Friends expect far more riders than that to use the path. And Lynn Weissman, the group’s co-president, said that officials should hew toward the federal recommendations because the project is largely funded by federal grants.
Quote:
“In most areas, a wider path would mean constructing taller [and] stronger retaining walls and thus lead to greater costs,” Verseckes said. “Other portions of the path are carried on an elevated viaduct structure where a wider path would lead directly to a more robust structural design for the viaduct, columns, steel structures, and subsurface foundation elements — all of which would also lead to a more expensive path design.”

He added that in some areas of the planned path, the area is too narrow.

Karl Alexander, a volunteer with the Friends group, said it may make sense to pinch the path’s width in those select areas. But the T shouldn’t skimp on the broader design, he said, because a narrow route could create dangerous conditions for users. Spacing concerns have grown more acute since a 71-year-old man died in a head-on collision with another cyclist on the 12-foot Minuteman path in March, he added.
The idea that we will care about whether this cost $2.3bn or $2.8bn 30 years from now aside, in how many places is it truly too narrow for wider than 10 ft?
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:15 AM   #2926
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Somerville’s getting a brand new bike path with the Green Line extension. Is it wide enough?

The idea that we will care about whether this cost $2.3bn or $2.8bn 30 years from now aside, in how many places is it truly too narrow for wider than 10 ft?

It would be useful to force the state / project manager to release the projected cost for a wider path at the non-pinch points (where it really cant be widened), and compare to cost of current plans.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:36 AM   #2927
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

I walk or bike the 12 foot wide SCP daily. It is tight. There are bikes, peds, dogs (on- and off- leash), children (off-leash), and everything else you can imagine. Passing is always tight, on a bike or even on foot.

A 10 foot path - 5 foot travel lanes - is very small. Considering it will be bounded by a retaining wall and presumably a fence along the rails, that is going to be downright claustrophobic. A person walking with their arms outstretched could touch the retaining wall with one hand and the other could be touching people in the other lane. I cannot imagine anyway that bikes and peds could share that little space.

SCP is probably western Somerville's most treasured public space. This proposal sounds like its going to be a whole different animal. If we are lucky it will be completely utilitarian, but functional. If we aren't, it is going to be downright dangerous. If the pinch points are limited to small stretches I think that is a reasonable compromise to save some money. If the whole thing is like that for miles...
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:45 AM   #2928
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by stevebikes View Post
Somerville’s getting a brand new bike path with the Green Line extension. Is it wide enough?





The idea that we will care about whether this cost $2.3bn or $2.8bn 30 years from now aside, in how many places is it truly too narrow for wider than 10 ft?
I've been seeing a lot of chatter about this issue and it makes me wonder what is typical for other off street bike paths around here. I frequently ride the Laelmont Path (SW Corridor), infrequently the Paul Dudley White, and somewhat frequently the Neponset River path. Are any of these wider than 10 feet? I'd be surprised, but then again, I'm not the best judge of distances.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:56 AM   #2929
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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I've been seeing a lot of chatter about this issue and it makes me wonder what is typical for other off street bike paths around here. I frequently ride the Laelmont Path (SW Corridor), infrequently the Paul Dudley White, and somewhat frequently the Neponset River path. Are any of these wider than 10 feet? I'd be surprised, but then again, I'm not the best judge of distances.
The southwest corridor might be 10 feet, but it has (allegedly) separate bike and ped facilities. Obviously you need a lot more space to mix bikes and peds (because of constant passing) than you need for either individually.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:02 AM   #2930
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

If you do one add on, you gotta do them all. I can see the slippery slope argument. Extending the green line is the point of the project. It might be that bikers need to approach this stretch of the path in a calm manner and not image themselves racing in the Tour de France, complete with the idiotic spandex outfits that make all of them look ridiculous.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:22 AM   #2931
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by fattony View Post
The southwest corridor might be 10 feet, but it has (allegedly) separate bike and ped facilities. Obviously you need a lot more space to mix bikes and peds (because of constant passing) than you need for either individually.
The pedestrians pretty much stick to the bike path, so it is a de facto mixed use path. That said, I think your earlier point about walls is important. I ride right along the edge of most paths, in part to allow room for somebody to pass me while another bike is approaching from the opposite direction. I would ride much closer to center if there were a wall. This might be a location best used at slower speeds, which isn't necessarily a problem, so much as an adjustment for some of us.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:33 AM   #2932
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Yeah, 10 feet of pavement with grass on both sides is much wider in practice than 10 feet of pavement between barriers.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:00 PM   #2933
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

The Minuteman is 12 feet and is too narrow (a cyclist was killed in a head-on collision with another cyclist on it recently), and I expect the SCP will see even heavier traffic. 10 feet between barriers is ridiculous.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #2934
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

This bike path through Somerville is essentially just like the interstate highway system: initially seen as an alternative to local streets, it will end up inducing demand,as people go out of their way to use it for short local trips including dog walking.

Saying that the bike path needs to be wider is a lot like proposing an add-a-lane project on an interstate:the most reasonable thing to expect is that a direct bike path through Somerville will attract more than just local bikers, diverting cyclist-commuters (like me) from Arlington Medford and Lexington off of streets like Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street and on to the path.

The solution is not going to be widening but calming.

And the serious way to address capacity is to make sure that bikes can use any parallel Street with the best example being the grounding of the McGrath highway.

This path will likely be very busy just getting a big chunk of the 50,000 greenline riders per day to and from their local stop (particularly through Gilman Square) on *foot*

Making the path wider is not going to keep cyclists from hitting each other head-on at high speed and killing each other. in fact it will arguably encourage the kind of speeding and passing that will make such collisions more likely and more deadly.

I'd say the design speed for the GLX path should be 7 mph--a good kids, beginners, and local trip speed ( twice as fast as walking; half as fast as a commuter cyclists cruising speed)

Cyclists who want to go fast (averaging 12 mph+) should be encouraged to stay on Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street, where are there will be a mix of 15 to 25 mile an hour general traffic and already exist very nice bike Lanes--pretty much like if you really want to bike fast through Arlington you need to be on Mass Ave and not the Minuteman.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:18 PM   #2935
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
This bike path through Somerville is essentially just like the interstate highway system: initially seen as an alternative to local streets, it will end up inducing demand,as people go out of their way to use it for short local trips including dog walking.

Saying that the bike path needs to be wider is a lot like proposing an add-a-lane project on an interstate:the most reasonable thing to expect is that a direct bike path through Somerville will attract more than just local bikers, diverting cyclist-commuters (like me) from Arlington Medford and Lexington off of streets like Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street and on to the path.

The solution is not going to be widening but calming.

And the serious way to address capacity is to make sure that bikes can use any parallel Street with the best example being the grounding of the McGrath highway.

This path will likely be very busy just getting a big chunk of the 50,000 greenline riders per day to and from their local stop (particularly through Gilman Square) on *foot*

Making the path wider is not going to keep cyclists from hitting each other head-on at high speed and killing each other. in fact it will arguably encourage the kind of speeding and passing that will make such collisions more likely and more deadly.

I'd say the design speed for the GLX path should be 7 mph--a good kids, beginners, and local trip speed ( twice as fast as walking; half as fast as a commuter cyclists cruising speed)

Cyclists who want to go fast (averaging 12 mph+) should be encouraged to stay on Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street, where are there will be a mix of 15 to 25 mile an hour general traffic and already exist very nice bike Lanes--pretty much like if you really want to bike fast through Arlington you need to be on Mass Ave and not the Minuteman.
There are some reasonable points in here, but there is a lot of nonsense too. It is hard to parse. Most significantly, you didn't actually provide any support for why 10 feet of path is sufficient, even for 7mph cycling. Even if you could somehow restrict access to well-behaved pedestrians and cyclists, it isn't enough room for peds and bicycles to mingle. At 10 feet with no shoulder, you have have pick one or the other.

The path IS going to attract walkers and runner and dog walkers and rollerbladers and all the rest. Advocates for the path WANT it to be a resource to the community. Like I said a few posts above, the existing SCP is a public treasure. It is NOT primarily a commuter superhighway. Deliberately designing a poor public space so that nobody uses it is some next-level mental gymnastics. You could run for president with ideas like that.

EDIT: And notably it is called the Somerville Community Path, not the Somerville Bicycle Commuter Path. I say that as a bicycle commuter who will use the SCP as my daily commute.

Last edited by fattony; 05-15-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:22 PM   #2936
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
This bike path through Somerville is essentially just like the interstate highway system: initially seen as an alternative to local streets, it will end up inducing demand,as people go out of their way to use it for short local trips including dog walking.

Saying that the bike path needs to be wider is a lot like proposing an add-a-lane project on an interstate:the most reasonable thing to expect is that a direct bike path through Somerville will attract more than just local bikers, diverting cyclist-commuters (like me) from Arlington Medford and Lexington off of streets like Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street and on to the path.

The solution is not going to be widening but calming.

And the serious way to address capacity is to make sure that bikes can use any parallel Street with the best example being the grounding of the McGrath highway.

This path will likely be very busy just getting a big chunk of the 50,000 greenline riders per day to and from their local stop (particularly through Gilman Square) on *foot*

Making the path wider is not going to keep cyclists from hitting each other head-on at high speed and killing each other. in fact it will arguably encourage the kind of speeding and passing that will make such collisions more likely and more deadly.

I'd say the design speed for the GLX path should be 7 mph--a good kids, beginners, and local trip speed ( twice as fast as walking; half as fast as a commuter cyclists cruising speed)

Cyclists who want to go fast (averaging 12 mph+) should be encouraged to stay on Somerville Ave and Cambridge Street, where are there will be a mix of 15 to 25 mile an hour general traffic and already exist very nice bike Lanes--pretty much like if you really want to bike fast through Arlington you need to be on Mass Ave and not the Minuteman.
7 mph is an 8:35 mile. That's barely moving on a bike, and would even keep a significant share of runners off the path. A 10 foot wide path with a 7 mph speed limit is a sidewalk, not a "bike path."

This post is a great example of why discussion of "induced demand" so often completely misses the point. People gain significant utility from using bike paths, and the more bike paths you build the more utility people get. That's a positive outcome! It should be encouraged and accommodated! I will never understand this point-of-view that sees the very use of a resource as a bad thing that should be avoided.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:45 PM   #2937
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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you didn't actually provide any support for why 10 feet of path is sufficient, even for 7mph cycling. Even if you could somehow restrict access to well-behaved pedestrians and cyclists, it isn't enough room for peds and bicycles to mingle. At 10 feet with no shoulder, you have have pick one or the other.
Ok: I pick walkers because their use and speed are most suited to the path that's actually in the budget. 7mph = jogging, walking, & training wheels. Post a speed limit. Or Declare it to be a sidewalk in the CBD and say "sorry, no bikes on the sidewalk"

The reality is that bike advocates are, in this instance, behaving as badly any anyone who ever thought the solution to traffic was wider highways. All I hear them saying is (1) Mine, Mine, Mine and (2) Spend money on widening until it flows freely. Oh, and do it on a flyover, viaduct, hill-carve, or cantilever. Sheesh.

The interstates were victims of their success...turned out they mostly get used Intrastate. The Minuteman is victim of its success...turns out the inner bits are dominated by dogs on leashes and kids off-leash.

I don't have to defend any width as "sufficient." How many lanes on I-93 through Somerville are "sufficient"?

No matter what the width--3', 6', 9', or 12'-- this path is perfectly situated so as to be "fully used"--just like I-93 at rush hour will always be full (and the Minuteman @ East Arlington is full on nice days)-- but there's only one width currently in the budget.

Describing a 7mph design speed "Deliberately designing a poor public space so that nobody uses it " sounds EXACTLY as ridiculous as motorists complaining that traffic calming and bike lanes are crippling the roads-and thinking of the Commmunity Path as "my commuter bike path" where you have a natural right to go "normal bike speeds" is just as disrespectful of the shared space as a motorist who thinks that because the road goes from here to there that he should be able to traverse it at "normal car speeds"

Somehow we get it when the modes are bike and car, but not when they're ped and bike?
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Last edited by Arlington; 05-15-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:15 PM   #2938
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

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Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
This post is a great example of why discussion of "induced demand" so often completely misses the point. People gain significant utility from using bike paths, and the more bike paths you build the more utility people get. That's a positive outcome! It should be encouraged and accommodated! I will never understand this point-of-view that sees the very use of a resource as a bad thing that should be avoided.
So, when MagicMan wants wider roads as a solution to traffic, you're going to support him because of all the utility people will get?
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:54 PM   #2939
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

But... inducing bike trips is a good thing, as it means people are choosing a bike over personal vehicles or transit, or are choosing a healthy activity (which benefits others as well via lower overall health care costs).

This is the complete opposite of induced demand for motor vehicles, which encourages people to switch from healthier modes of transportation, or to take trips they otherwise wouldn't have made, but with negative repercussions for the community (more traffic, more pollution, no personal health benefits).
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:08 PM   #2940
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Re: Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

I’m sorry, Arlington, but your concerns about induced demand from a bike path is over the top. Transportation related behavior in the greater Boston area is the most abysmal I’ve ever seen anywhere and that goes for drivers, peds, bikers, and T riders. That’s a cultural problem, but it can be fixed with signage and enforcement. Certainly, there’s absolutely no rational argument here to support deliberately keeping the path narrow. I mean, “come on”.

Yes, there are bikers who want every path to be a racing path. That’s a small contingent, but the frustrations here of cyclists are not misplaced. This is a transportation-related path, not just a calm, linear park. I do think there should be enforcement of speeding and aggressive biking (AND of pedestrians who block off the entire path and walk inconsiderately). As many have already pointed out, ten feet and no shoulder is dangerous and it’s going to be dangerous regardless of speed. It’s ridiculous.

I repeat my earlier point that we are lacking the most important piece of information: the figures. What is the actual cost difference between current plans and various options? From what it sounds like, there are some pinch points that are unresolvable, then longer stretches of path retaining wall that could be widened at cost, and finally a viaduct (and Arlington, you are suggesting that it would be ridiculous to build a whole new viaduct, but I do not believe that is what is happening; the viaduct is already going to be built one way or the other, it’s a question of width unless I am mistaken). At any rate, knowing the figures would put all these wish lists into perspective.
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