archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Development Projects

Development Projects New urban and/or architectural developments in Boston metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-13-2006, 09:45 PM   #1
xec
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 346
Renaissance Seaport Hotel



Some pics taken on 6/12. Late in the day so the quality is poor.








A shindig was in progress celebrating the opening of a restaurant. It was actually pleasant to walk around the area. The architecture is banal but with people and activity it's not completely the center of attention. As a backdrop it's less offensive than when there was nothing around to distract from its monolithic bulk.


Seaport Blvd is starting to look like a real street.
xec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2006, 09:59 PM   #2
lexicon506
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 474
^if only the streets were half that size....
lexicon506 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2006, 10:09 PM   #3
tocoto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 331
Wide streets don't kill a city per se. DC has lots of wide streets but they are punctuated with circles, small parks and monumnets. The buildings are generally short letting in light, and there are plenty of small businesses along the streets. The seaport has short enough buildings that the wide streets could work if the buildings are porous and there are plently of businesses and residents so it's lively. It's far from perfect down there but it still might be pretty nice in 5 or 10 years.
tocoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2006, 11:14 PM   #4
Waldorf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 536
First pic:

The Manulife building looks amazing in that light.

Noticed the modern street lights...goes well in the area.

Last pic: I don't mind wide streets either, they can work. One question, why don't they paint the lane lines? I've noticed this on Cambridge St in Allston, stretches of Mass Ave in Cambridge and Arlington. What's the deal? (and don't tell me it's because of the plowing and salt). No wonder we are all such bad drivers.
Waldorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
chumbolly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenZen
One question, why don't they paint the lane lines? I've noticed this on Cambridge St in Allston, stretches of Mass Ave in Cambridge and Arlington. What's the deal? (and don't tell me it's because of the plowing and salt). No wonder we are all such bad drivers.
I may be totally wrong on this point, but I think that the no-lines thing is a new traffic calming technique. It definitely slows down traffic in Arlington because people don't know where the hell to drive.
chumbolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 10:43 AM   #6
Waldorf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 536
^ are you serious?
Waldorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 10:53 AM   #7
callahan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 139
I think the wide streets work well in that area. They tend to distinguish it from the rest of the city, whic, in my opinion, is not such a bad thing. Don't get me wrong. I think Boston is generally a beautiful city. But it's nice to go into different neighborhoods and get a different feeling. This, being the newest most updated area should feel more contemporary.
callahan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 11:37 AM   #8
statler
Moderator
 
statler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Approaching a City
Posts: 7,541
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenZen
^ are you serious?
There are better sources but this was the first thing came up on a quick google search:
Quote:
Reversing decades of conventional wisdom on traffic engineering, Hamilton-Baillie argues that the key to improving both safety and vehicular capacity is to remove traffic lights and other controls, such as stop signs and the white and yellow lines dividing streets into lanes. Without any clear right-of-way, he says, motorists are forced to slow down to safer speeds, make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, and decide among themselves when it is safe to proceed.
Link
statler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 02:17 PM   #9
PerfectHandle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 218
Whenever street lights go off, everyone gets all cautious. It's wild.
PerfectHandle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 02:39 PM   #10
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
The intersection of Brighton Avenue and Comm. Ave. used to have this system, and it worked pretty well. I don't know why the city gave up on it and installed a traffic light a few years ago.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 03:39 PM   #11
quadratdackel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Back Bay, Boston
Posts: 145
Wow, positive comments and optimism about the Waterfront. I have been gone for a while.

...I prefer the narrower streets. The DC comparison's a good one. I don't like DC streets as much in part because they're so wide. I feel drivers are much more hostile towards pedestrians, like pedestrians have no right to be crossing their streets, whereas in Boston pedestrians are more respected. That said, I can appreciate having some diversity in our neighborhoods, and certainly the Waterfront will do that. One of my favorite parts of Boston is how quickly and radically neighborhoods change (such as skyscrapers next to brownstones in Back Bay etc), and this will add a new dimension to that. Now if only they'd hurry up and build the neighborhood out...
quadratdackel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 09:45 PM   #12
DudeUrSistersHot
banished
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by chumbolly
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenZen
One question, why don't they paint the lane lines? I've noticed this on Cambridge St in Allston, stretches of Mass Ave in Cambridge and Arlington. What's the deal? (and don't tell me it's because of the plowing and salt). No wonder we are all such bad drivers.
I may be totally wrong on this point, but I think that the no-lines thing is a new traffic calming technique. It definitely slows down traffic in Arlington because people don't know where the hell to drive.
That's like making assault and battery legal because it will make more people be careful.
DudeUrSistersHot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #13
Patrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 3,280
well, actually, its nothing of the sort.

I can see how that would calm traffic. If you're not sure where you have the right to be, you feel less inclined to exercise your ownership over a particular lane or sphere of travel (in my mind that is the biggest underlying factor of road rage).

nothing has been made 'legal.'

when something is clearly spelled out, like traffic lines indicate clearly where one is allowed to be, then it is easy to know what you can and cannot get away with, and so people are more likely to engage in behavior they know they are likely to get away with. but by erasing the lines, people question who has the right of way, etc, and are thus less sure of their own actions and less likely to be angered when someone does something stupid (because in the end they are not sure if its a result of their own mistake). i think chumbolly is on to something.
__________________
I like urbanism, big and small, near and far.
Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2006, 08:04 PM   #14
lexicon506
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 474
In my experience driving around Boston, it seems like people don't really notice that there are lanes in the road. So I say if people are only going to use lanes as guidelines, what's the point in spending money to draw them?
lexicon506 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 12:11 PM   #15
Waldorf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 536
I think they would stay in their own lanes if the lanes were consistently and clearly marked.

I'll give you an example: there are no lane markings on Harvard Ave at the intersection of Comm Ave. This presents a problem because Harvard Ave is wide enough to accommodate three lanes of traffic at the intersection. This is fine except that half the time nobody knows which lane is the through lane.

So what you have is three lanes of cars all trying to go straight and trying to merge into one - some drivers floor it while others come to a complete stop in the middle of the trolley tracks. Chaos ensues, tempers flare.

This is why Boston DPW needs to stop being lazy and do some real work. Paint the damn lines, fix the street lights and make real repairs to those holes that Nstar likes to make.

Now, getting back to the to the waterfront. I think we should have a narrower street here. One lane of traffic in each direction. Talk about simplicity!
Waldorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 12:23 PM   #16
bosdevelopment
Senior Member
 
bosdevelopment's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Brookline
Posts: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenZen
I think they would stay in their own lanes if the lanes were consistently and clearly marked.

I'll give you an example: there are no lane markings on Harvard Ave at the intersection of Comm Ave. This presents a problem because Harvard Ave is wide enough to accommodate three lanes of traffic at the intersection. This is fine except that half the time nobody knows which lane is the through lane.

So what you have is three lanes of cars all trying to go straight and trying to merge into one - some drivers floor it while others come to a complete stop in the middle of the trolley tracks. Chaos ensues, tempers flare.

This is why Boston DPW needs to stop being lazy and do some real work. Paint the damn lines, fix the street lights and make real repairs to those holes that Nstar likes to make.

Now, getting back to the to the waterfront. I think we should have a narrower street here. One lane of traffic in each direction. Talk about simplicity!
This intersection is the bane of my existence. I hit it every morning at around 8:15 and everyone half asleep doesnt know what the hell to do. It would make abundant sense to make lines in this intersection. I'm the type that always pushes to make a new lane and floor it so get the hell out of the way!(I almost hit a biker this morning coincidentally)
bosdevelopment is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 02:16 PM   #17
chumbolly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 336
Sorry to keep off topic, but back to traffic calming -- I remember that in Ablarc's great (lost) essay on the town Prince Charles built, HRH deliberately got rid of raised sidewalks so that cars and people would be sharing the same space. That technique definitely slows cars down, as I've subsequently seen in person in a couple small Swedish villages that were built long before cars were dreamed of. Of course, a village and a city are two different animals, but it is interesting the effect taking away the trappings of demarcated territory has on people, especially drivers. I've always felt people in cars were more likely to be assholey than people on foot because they feel protected in their cars, and thus, licensed to be an ass. Maybe taking away the protections of traffic lanes is just disconcerting enough that it makes people respect the drivers around them. If it works, I'm for it, though only where appropriate.
chumbolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #18
quadratdackel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Back Bay, Boston
Posts: 145
Reminds me of a former econ prof who liked talking about how as car safety features have improved over the years, injury/death of people in cars due to accidents has remained about flat- people just drive riskier, because they (we) have a certain intrinsic tolerance for risk and will push our driving up to it. He then said that if you want to make cars safe, put a big spike sticking out of the steering wheel towards the driver. People in cars would still have the same injury/death rates, but pedestrians/etc would get hurt less because drivers would be highly cautious lest they get bludgeoned. Of course, then driving would suck, but that wasn't the point. (For the record, despite my aversion to the automobile, I am not advocating anything to this effect.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosdevelopment
(I almost hit a biker this morning coincidentally)
Hope it wasn't me. ...Seriously, be careful there. Our lives are in your hands.
quadratdackel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 11:50 PM   #19
tocoto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 331
After 30 + years of driving:

Drinking is the number one bane to safety.

Impatience is next.

Both are more more common among the young by nature.

Lanes help keep traffic organized and that prevents accidents.

Speed kills.

Seat belts are crucial.

My mantra:
Put on the seat belt.
Drive with calm and equanimity
Let the assholes pass

walk or bike when you can.
tocoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2006, 08:26 PM   #20
bosdevelopment
Senior Member
 
bosdevelopment's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Brookline
Posts: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosdevelopment
(I almost hit a biker this morning coincidentally)
Hope it wasn't me. ...Seriously, be careful there. Our lives are in your hands.[/quote]

Bikers are a serious safety issue when driving. I would say that our lives are in each others' hands. If I were to hit and kill a biker who was in the middle of the road the life that I know and enjoy would be over all because some dick thought 117 was the tour de france. I'm sure bikers cause 1000's of accidents a year.
bosdevelopment is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEMA Boston | 399 Congress St. | Seaport statler Development Projects 444 11-20-2018 01:21 PM
Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels) briv Development Projects 3112 08-04-2018 03:58 PM
W Hotel | 100 Stuart St | Theater District pharmerdave Development Projects 1021 05-02-2013 12:34 PM
They got the Seaport right after all. ablarc Design a Better Boston 138 04-25-2009 11:11 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.