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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #1
stick n move
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South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

I was thinking about how to connect dot ave to the rest of boston in order to make the fort point channel much more accessable and a new spot for development like the seaport waterfront. Even is the usps is taken out you still are going to be stuck going dot ave until you can turn around so it still wont be connected and it will be separated from the rest of the city but the rail lines. I was thinking that is the tracks were sunk like where the hudson yards are going to be built over in new york that would make this a whole new waterfront and a brand new part of the city that is conected. I was thinking the tracks could be sunk and then capped over and the street grid would be extended over it. Also this would allow another bridge to go into southie because that part of southie will be getting developed but it is not served by a bridge. This proposal would be amazing and it would allow people to get onto the fort point channel and back off just by taking the next street down. The buildings on the fort point channel side would be restaurants and bars like the liberty wharf and it would have docks out front and really make the fort point channel a part of the city like it never has been before. I think the biggest positive is that stuart street would be able to bring you all the way from the prudential center to the waterfront and even across the bridge into southie so it wouldnt get dumped off next to south station the way it does now. The scale of the SST is off but its just a rough sketch.

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

The tracks could be decked to allow pedestrian access without so much effort (and somehow encompassing the bus terminal as well).
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

That's 16 or so tracks you'd need to bury, not to mention figuring out what to do with the Bus Terminal. I do like the Kneeland bridge idea though, in theory.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

Te terminal could be moved, and I believe that the fort point channel has no much potential to be the next jewel of the city, and it would make here along with the seaport waterfront and north end all accessable by car, train, and boat.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

The USPS has to go, but the only thing is that even when its gone and the waterfront is developed there is no way to turn around for people going west on dot ave so it will still feel disconnected.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

I don't understand what you mean by "turn around". Once the USPS is gone, Dot Ave can become a regular street with cars, bikes and pedestrians. No need to build any new streets or bridges at all.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

I agree that the channel has massive potential, but improved car access is probably not part of that. Residential and office towers, entertainment, restaurants, retail, pedestrian plazas - everything good about the vision for the Seaport applies here as well. The western and southern sides of the channel already have excellent transit access with SS and Broadway at each end and Chinatown, Tufts, and Boylston <10 minutes walk.

Decking the tracks certainly adds to the developable area, but will be massively expensive. I hate to burst bubbles, but I think there is a lot of lower hanging fruit before that expense makes sense.

A Kneeland pedestrian bridge over the tracks (addition to the bus terminal) and then over the channel could be a nice backbone to a ped/transit friendly channel development.

EDIT: And I'm sure any scheme would involve properly connecting Dot Ave anyway.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

its not all about car roads create paths to walk also, but i agree it would be massively expensive.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

You can't just move south stations tracks down 20 feet. Trains aren't like cars where they can climb a hill no problem. I think the max preferred grade is something like 2%, but usually much less. So its not just all the infrastructure of south station (tracks, platforms, signals, power systems, ventilation) that would have to be buried, but also the five tracks from back bay to south station (perhaps back bay would have to be modified as well), the four track old colony main, the wye to allow old colony trains to get on the B&A and NEC without making a reverse move at South Station, Amtraks maintenance facilities, etc. Most of that being brand new infrastructure as of the big dig. And that's before you figure out how to get under the fort point channel, the buried I-93 ramps, and god knows what else is in that area.

Your idea could still be partially realized, however. You would have to tear apart the back of the bus terminal, but I believe the ~130' or so of space between Atlantic Ave and Track 1 would be enough to have a steep incline to get Kneeland over the tracks. If you start the incline at south street you have more then enough space, but the beautiful building on the corner there would get partially buried. That useless garden/plaza/park thing between south station and atlantic ave is wide enough for a lobby, so one could still build over south station and have the buildings covering the existing tracks still appear to be "at grade" from the street, without actually being so.


Moving the bus terminal is a terrible, terrible idea. It has amazingly direct access to both of our interstates, and unheard of connections to every mode of transportation for the entire region. Moving it would be a crime, and destroy its functionality.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

If anything, the bus terminal needs to be expanded ... which is part of the plan for the South Station Tower if that ever gets built. It's jammed full right now ... not of people, but of buses. There are extra gates where no gate was ever intended to be.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #11
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Re: South Station Dot Ave Proposal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
If anything, the bus terminal needs to be expanded ... which is part of the plan for the South Station Tower if that ever gets built. It's jammed full right now ... not of people, but of buses. There are extra gates where no gate was ever intended to be.
Even without the SST expansion, they could go eastward with a new concourse over the USPS parcel. Or vertical. It always felt weird to me that there was that beautiful rotunda with amenities but only a single concourse with a smattering of gates.
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