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Old 12-14-2014, 10:49 PM   #2481
FK4
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

anything other than a subway would RUIN the trail, and thus will never happen. which i agree with.

and a tunnel is neither justifiable nor probably feasible any further than arlington ctr... though that might be an interesting extension, and if the need and will ever arose, a tunnel could be built under mass ave to lex
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:27 AM   #2482
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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anything other than a subway would RUIN the trail, and thus will never happen. which i agree with.

and a tunnel is neither justifiable nor probably feasible any further than arlington ctr... though that might be an interesting extension, and if the need and will ever arose, a tunnel could be built under mass ave to lex
Yea. There's plenty of bedrock past Arlington Center to deep bore vaguely under Mass Ave to get to Heights, or to get to Rte 2. When there's the bedrock to do so, deep bore really expands options because can ignore the streetscape/property lines above.

But as you say, there's currently not enough demand to justify any expansion past Arlington Center. If that changes in the future, the Arlington tail tracks will just need to be futureproof'd to allow extension in desirable directions.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:36 AM   #2483
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

An extension to Arlington Center should include an "East Arlington" stop at Lake Street. That would give it appropriate stop spacing, and East Arlington has (the ability to have) density to support the stop.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:59 AM   #2484
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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An extension to Arlington Center should include an "East Arlington" stop at Lake Street. That would give it appropriate stop spacing, and East Arlington has (the ability to have) density to support the stop.
Yes and no.

Yes, East Arlington great demand node.
Yes, a Capitol Theater stop would would go very well with an "Arlington Center" station being pushed 1/4 mile further out to the Mill St area (in the low/gritty stuff beyond Town Hall) where today there's a lot of junky "Town DPW" stuff (at Grove St) that could get redone, and there are few homeowners today (it is all municipal and commercial)

But I don't see how you can make it all work:
- E. Arl. is too close to Alewife and too hard to "bend" the tunnel over to Mass Ave in time. (the ancient train station was well back from Mass Ave at Orvis Circle (the now obscure terminus of Orvis Rd and not easily densified)
- A split at the Trolley yard (Camb/Som line) would make it easy to get out Mass Ave and line up, but then you'd lose half your frequencies at Alewife.

I think that East Arlington will have to content itself with a bit of a walk or continuing to take the 77 to Porter, and so will folks in Arlington Heights. I think you've got one shot at a station in Arlington before the political consensus forces you to rock-tunnel back to Rt 2 and park-and-ride your way out to 128.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #2485
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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An extension to Arlington Center should include an "East Arlington" stop at Lake Street. That would give it appropriate stop spacing, and East Arlington has (the ability to have) density to support the stop.
My guess is that the community will fight that defiantly. Given the existence of the trail, the lack of bus connections, the distance from Mass Ave, lack of TOD opportunity, and almost guaranteed community opposition, I don't see it as being something that survives the negotiation process.

It would probably be thrown into a study or proposal as something to be bargained away as a concession to the community.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:11 AM   #2486
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Fair points, both of you. For the record, Arlington (the AB user), I was referring to a stop under the Minuteman at Lake Street, not under Mass Ave.

If there was major opposition to the point where it would no longer be worth it to force the issue, I would surely concede. Although, I would definitely like to see it studied and I am not sold on the fact that there would be community opposition today. The times have changed and enough people recognized the inherent jump in property values associated with transit connectivity. I could be wrong, but it would certainly be worth considering.

Arlington: You should create a second account when the town of Arlington is being discussed for my ease
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:16 AM   #2487
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I realize this is crazy at best... but I have always thought that a RL extension beyond Alewife would do more good for the broader region by following the Fitchburg line out to Waltham and beyond to a "Cedarhurst/128" terminus. Crazy, of course because

1) Over much of the route, the RL would need to be buried under the CR
2) Belmont NIMBYs

Still, Waltham would generate many MANY more new rides than Lexington or Burlington, both from the local community and from Park-and-Ride.

Last edited by Shepard; 12-15-2014 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:35 AM   #2488
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I realize this is crazy at best... but I have always thought that a RL extension beyond Alewife would do more good for the broader region by following the Fitchburg line out to Waltham and beyond to a "Cedarhurst/128" terminus
Out thatta way, the solution has to be DMUs on the tracks you have, and it makes pretty sweet service:
- North Station
+ Union Sq
+ (midway between Union/Porter)
- Porter Sq
- Waverly
+ Beaver St Belmont
+ Main St Waltham
+ Double-track between Newton & Elm
- Waltham Common
+ Prospect Street
- Brandeis-Roberts
+ 128 @ US 20 (in Waltham to avoid Weston NIMBYs)

The only point where you get trouble is the single-track stretch through Waltham.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:39 AM   #2489
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Out thatta way, the solution has to be DMUs on the tracks you have, and it makes pretty sweet service:
- North Station
+ Union Sq
+ (midway between Union/Porter)
- Porter Sq
- Waverly
+ Beaver St Belmont
+ Main St Waltham
+ Double-track between Newton & Elm
- Waltham Common
+ Prospect Street
- Brandeis-Roberts
+ 128 @ US 20 (in Waltham to avoid Weston NIMBYs)

The only point where you get trouble is the single-track stretch through Waltham.
Very true - another possibility to bring RT service through Waltham is to divert the Fitchburg CR line away from Waltham center over an abandoned but mostly-intact ROW. Going West, it splits off just around Route 60 south of Bentley, and can be linked back into the Fitchburg mainline (the ROW actually crosses it) just past 128 around the office parks. Not sure how feasible this is.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:05 AM   #2490
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Out thatta way, the solution has to be DMUs on the tracks you have, and it makes pretty sweet service:
- North Station
+ Union Sq
+ (midway between Union/Porter)
- Porter Sq
- Waverly
+ Beaver St Belmont
+ Main St Waltham
+ Double-track between Newton & Elm
- Waltham Common
+ Prospect Street
- Brandeis-Roberts
+ 128 @ US 20 (in Waltham to avoid Weston NIMBYs)

The only point where you get trouble is the single-track stretch through Waltham.
I'd scratch Union and the median between Union and Porter. Save that for future GLX from Union to Porter.

But overall yes. DMU is the best option for service to Waltham in the midterm. If someday, forty years from now, the Belmont NIMBYs have a change of heart, consider Red or Green (requiring, as mentioned, the Fitchburg being booted to the Central RR ROW after Waverley).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Very true - another possibility to bring RT service through Waltham is to divert the Fitchburg CR line away from Waltham center over an abandoned but mostly-intact ROW. Going West, it splits off just around Route 60 south of Bentley, and can be linked back into the Fitchburg mainline (the ROW actually crosses it) just past 128 around the office parks. Not sure how feasible this is.
It's feasible, but there will be Waltham NIMBYs to placate.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #2491
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Reusing the Central Mass ROW is probably a nonstarter. It crosses 117 and Lexington, and Lyman at grade. While that was fine in the days of one daily round trip, it would be a killer with 20+ commuter round trips.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:46 AM   #2492
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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It's feasible, but there will be Waltham NIMBYs to placate.
Frankly, just turning the Mass Central into a proper bike trail would be a huge win and a good collector/distributor of bike-ped access to the infill DMU Stations at 128 and Main St (or Beaver St).

I know that transit pitches are permitted to be Crazy here, but if we hope to see them built they still have to "fit" with the neighbors and the infrastructure.

High-frequency DMU service on the Fitchburg from North Sta to 128 can mix freely with the Fitchburg CR (once the single-track stretch has been fixed), and so there's never a moment you need/want to reactivate the Mass Central. Expensive, but obviously making really good use of the invested $ by using them intensely and providing great, frequent service (like the LIRR, really)

Meanwhile, the Mass Central's future is clearly bike path everywhere, 'cause that's a proven upper-crust, pastoral, quiet mode compatible with going onward through Weston and westward. And it, too, makes a good way to bring cyclists from beyond 128 to a DMU terminus at 128/Waltham/US20 (or bringing them all the way to the Fitchburg cutoff trail and Alewife, if you can fit the bikes through Belmont somehow.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:54 PM   #2493
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
...or bringing them all the way to the Fitchburg cutoff trail and Alewife, if you can fit the bikes through Belmont somehow.
Board of Selectmen Establish Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee

Next step for community bike path

The Belmont Community Path is moving, slowly but surely, through the planning process. Once completed, this path would connect the Mass Central to the Fitchburg Cutoff.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #2494
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Frankly, just turning the Mass Central into a proper bike trail would be a huge win and a good collector/distributor of bike-ped access to the infill DMU Stations at 128 and Main St (or Beaver St).

I know that transit pitches are permitted to be Crazy here, but if we hope to see them built they still have to "fit" with the neighbors and the infrastructure.

High-frequency DMU service on the Fitchburg from North Sta to 128 can mix freely with the Fitchburg CR (once the single-track stretch has been fixed), and so there's never a moment you need/want to reactivate the Mass Central. Expensive, but obviously making really good use of the invested $ by using them intensely and providing great, frequent service (like the LIRR, really)

Meanwhile, the Mass Central's future is clearly bike path everywhere, 'cause that's a proven upper-crust, pastoral, quiet mode compatible with going onward through Weston and westward. And it, too, makes a good way to bring cyclists from beyond 128 to a DMU terminus at 128/Waltham/US20 (or bringing them all the way to the Fitchburg cutoff trail and Alewife, if you can fit the bikes through Belmont somehow.
I agree, my only reason for bringing it up is that it's the ONLY way true RT ever gets to Waltham Center (absent some really crazy tunneling scheme). If that never happens it never happens, but that's what would have to happen.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:04 PM   #2495
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I agree, my only reason for bringing it up is that it's the ONLY way true RT ever gets to Waltham Center (absent some really crazy tunneling scheme). If that never happens it never happens, but that's what would have to happen.
I've always liked the idea of a cut-and-cover running up 20 from the Pike; that hits very dense areas of Watertown and Waltham. (Probably hook it in with a Blue Line extension under the Pike). That doesn't get you the Cambridge connection though, so it would work best in complement with xMUs (which should be the second step to improving Waltham transit in any case, after giving the #70 bus a high-frequency express overlay)
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:51 PM   #2496
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I've always liked the idea of a cut-and-cover running up 20 from the Pike; that hits very dense areas of Watertown and Waltham. (Probably hook it in with a Blue Line extension under the Pike). That doesn't get you the Cambridge connection though, so it would work best in complement with xMUs (which should be the second step to improving Waltham transit in any case, after giving the #70 bus a high-frequency express overlay)
Golly, I'm going to take the $ saved by having "only" DMUs every 15 minutes North Station to Waltham/128 (that meets my test of RT) on existing tracks and see if I can fund a dogleg north parallel to 128. And you've got 2 great choices.

On the East (inner) side of 128 you have a clear ROW under the high-tension power lines parallel to 5th Avenue. You can cut-and cover your way through endless acres of virgin parking lots all the way up to the Dassault HQ or even Licoln st.

On the West side go along 128 or along Bear Hill Rd to Costco.

Either way, you're likely to have Waltham's full cooperation and only commercial property owners as abutters.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:56 AM   #2497
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Golly, I'm going to take the $ saved by having "only" DMUs every 15 minutes North Station to Waltham/128 (that meets my test of RT) on existing tracks and see if I can fund a dogleg north parallel to 128. And you've got 2 great choices.

On the East (inner) side of 128 you have a clear ROW under the high-tension power lines parallel to 5th Avenue. You can cut-and cover your way through endless acres of virgin parking lots all the way up to the Dassault HQ or even Licoln st.

On the West side go along 128 or along Bear Hill Rd to Costco.

Either way, you're likely to have Waltham's full cooperation and only commercial property owners as abutters.
The Eastern route you describe is part of my rough proposal. I could definitely see something like that being successful in the next decade or so. Don't even have to cut/cover. Could be a surface line or elevated in certain places.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:54 PM   #2498
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

This is a part of a bigger map (ignore the transit lines right now) I'm working on but an idea I had that was for limited stop suburban cross-town bus routes, making it so you could have a one-seat ride between outlying cities and towns in the boston area (West Newton/Riverside, MElrose, Arlington, etc)

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...I.ksl2g-6V5lEc
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:34 PM   #2499
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Crazy pitch: RL/OL Meet & Cross at Harvard

This would be a major project extending an Orange Line branch from Back Bay outbound under the Pike, then through Allston via a new four-track OL/RL tunnel to Harvard. The OL would take over the current Red Line ROW to Alewife, while the RL would turn south from Harvard to Lower Allston, then out Western Ave. and Arsenal St. to a new terminal at Watertown Square/yards.

Reconfiguration of Harvard station would take advantage of the often-discussed old RL tunnel through Eliot Sq. Additional tracks at Back Bay could be a parallel sub-level (terminating at BBY, or joining the current OL alignment to continue through downtown, onward to a future North-side OL branch), or a wye enabling trains from Cambridge to continue either South to Forest Hills or North to Oak Grove.

New stops could be:

OL: ​
Hynes/Newbury (opting for Mass Ave. /GL transfer potential over new access at Charlesgate…)
​Yawkey
​BU Bridge
​Lower Alllston/Cambridge St.
​Barry’s Corner (shared w/ RL)
​Harvard (shared w/ RL)
​Porter, Davis, Alewife (former RL)

RL: ​
Barry’s Corner (shared w/ OL)
​Western Ave.
​Arsenal/Watertown Malls
​Watertown Square/Yards

Potential new/improved service patterns:

One-transfer (at BBY) service from JP/Rox to Fenway/BU/Allston/Cambridge
​Second HRT route between Cambridge and Downtown Boston
​Direct Cambridge to Allston/BU/Fenway service
​Relief of downtown transfers by current Cambridge to South-side and South-side to Cambridge riders
​Relief of bus routes 1, 57, 66, 70, 86

Potential crazy pitch connections:

​GLX-X to Porter (even more Cambridge to Downtown options!)
​North-side OLX to Everett/Chelsea/Etc.

I think this is only really crazy because it would entail a HRT “Little Dig” through Lower Allston into Harvard Square, probably at enormous expense, along with major renovations of Harvard and Back Bay stations, all likely to be billion-dollar projects. It would solve a lot of big problems with local transit at once though, increasing crosstown transit options, relieving or replacing several overburdened/underserved bus routes, providing new and improved service to several neighborhoods, and taking pressure off of the already overwhelmed DTX/Park/State/GC transfer nexus.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:14 PM   #2500
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
I think an express Blue Line from Charles to Kenmore would be worthwhile in and of itself. Would relieve the Boylston Street Subway and provide a rapid link between Downtown and the Fenway area. Just because we can't figure out where it should go after Kenmore doesn't mean we should oppose a Kenmore extension itself.

(Also, it seems more manageable to treat a Charles-Kenmore expansion as a second phase of a long-term project; leave the Kenmore-west stuff for phase three.)

My personal preference, though, is to extend the Blue Line under Brookline Avenue down to Riverway or Brookline Village to meet the Green Line, with an intermediate stop at Longwood Avenue. Divert the D over Huntington Avenue, swallowing up the E. The existing Highland Line between Brookline Village and Kenmore could be abandoned, or maintained with a small shuttle service.

Benefits:

Consolidate Green Line service; with only three branches instead of four, there'd be no excuse not to bring light rail down to Dudley Square
Provide more direct service to the LMA; being on the other side of the river, the current Highland Branch alignment does not serve the area as well
Express link, via the Esplanade and Charles/MGH, between the LMA and Downtown (as well as the airport)


The major downside would be the Highland Branch being forced to run on the street for several blocks. So this would probably need to occur in conjunction with either a) an extension of the Huntington Ave. Subway, or b) an extension of the trolley reservation. In any case, there would probably also need to be some stop consolidation on Huntington, as well. [EDIT: actually, looking at the map again, I bet you could swing it by installing proper priority signaling and ditching Fenwood Road, and maybe Mission Park; it's not that long of a stretch.]

As to the other possibilities: I agree that a full Blue-eats-D conversion is a poor idea, though I understand the appeal.

I really like the idea of a Blue Line extension to Watertown and Waltham via Allston, but it just seems so implausible. You'd have to build a massive subway through Allston/Brighton (unless you elevate it, which I would not oppose). It's a little easier once you get over the Pike, 'cause you can use the Bemis branch alignment, but that's far from perfect itself, having multiple grade crossings (likely necessitating another subway) and lots of curves. An elevated would, once again, minimize these problems, but I think it'd be a lot harder to get that to fly out there than it would even in Allston.

A subway or elevated down Brookline Ave just seems more feasible to me than that (regrettably).
I could see this working, definitely at least as far as Kenmore: but Kenmore would have to be completely rebuilt as a mega station with underground connections to Yawkey. Then, if you're going to go all the way to Kenmore, may as well keep tunneling to Brookline Village to make it terminate at another line. I would actually leave the green line alone - Brookline Village has a lot of development potential still, so it could make sense having a larger, two line station here.
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