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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 02-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
BostonUrbEx
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River Roads -> River Road

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...43063,0.090895

Blue lines: new/realigned roads.
Red lines: removed roads (ceded to park land, development, or significantly downscaled street, whichever is more suiting).

I tried to be fair to Boston and Cambridge as to who gets more freed up riverfront space.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: River Roads -> River Road

Interesting concept. I disagree about removing Memorial Dr around Harvard since it still retains its parkway feel that many original highways had back when driving was more for pleasure.

Storrow would be better replaced by a landscaped boulevard with new housing built fronting the river, but we all know that will never fly with the Back Bay residents.

I'd like to see part of Soldiers Field Rd done up as well, maybe more like the Jamaicaway.

Greenough Blvd shouldn't have been built and I believe was one of the last highways the DOT of Cambridge pushed through. It has always been under capacity.

And don't get me started on the Elliot Bridge interchanges...
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Re: River Roads -> River Road

If any road gets removed, it should be memorial drive.

If anything happens to Storrow, it should go below grade-- it serves a pretty integral purpose in minimizing traffic on Comm Ave and Beacon Street. Comm ave/Beacon Street are already pretty bad as it is and even dumping 25% of Storrow's traffic onto them would make things even worse.

Also, I know you are going to say that they induce demand but there are already pretty strong demand reducers in downtown with the high cost of parking-- storrow makes life a lot easier in terms of access to I-93 and getting downtown when I don't want to waste 45+ minutes on the T.

It would also probably cause taxi fares to be raised because driving to and from downtown would take so much longer.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: River Roads -> River Road

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Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
Interesting concept. I disagree about removing Memorial Dr around Harvard since it still retains its parkway feel that many original highways had back when driving was more for pleasure.

Storrow would be better replaced by a landscaped boulevard with new housing built fronting the river, but we all know that will never fly with the Back Bay residents.

I'd like to see part of Soldiers Field Rd done up as well, maybe more like the Jamaicaway.

Greenough Blvd shouldn't have been built and I believe was one of the last highways the DOT of Cambridge pushed through. It has always been under capacity.

And don't get me started on the Elliot Bridge interchanges...
Greenough needs a lane reduction pronto, real sidewalks and paths on both sides, and real riverfront access with DCR finally doing something about all the disgusting invasive-species overgrowth on that riverbank. There's more than enough space to do something nice there. Whole swath of unused land on the river by Arsenal, plus a lot of greenspace on the other side that could be transformed if they finally cleaned up that Superfund factory site that's been rotting there for decades. Arsenal Mall and Allston shouldn't be separated from each other by that big a usage black hole with that much prime riverfront space available, and a river road with that nice a potential view and much better jogging route than the other side shouldn't be so narrow and dangerous with drivers blasting by at 60 on all that unused lane capacity. It should be both a very functional river road and very functional river space, and it's the antithesis of both.


Would also be a hell of a lot more useful road if both the Cambridge and Watertown segments of it were connected at a single intersection instead of having to go up Arsenal at that extremely awkward signal-less intersection. It's a good route to the North Beacon rotary and arguably better for Watertown Sq. than Arsenal, but nobody can use it because of that discontinuity and dangerous unsignaled intersection. The narrow segment behind the Mall from North Beacon gets better utilization than the superhighway segment, and is nice and traffic-calmed and nonthreatening to pedestrians. The other segment should be exactly the same: fully half the width with 2 lanes only, and less cavernous shoulders. They can keep the turn lanes at Grove St. since those work well, but the interstate interchange at Eliot Bridge has got to go. It 2 lanes splitting to 2 each onto Fresh Pond and Storrow, then lane drops immediately after the interchange. And 2 lanes splitting to 3 off the bridge with only 2 heading to Fresh Pond Pkwy. where 75% of the traffic goes. Plus that baffling traffic light in front of the school that's always red even when there's no merging southbound traffic.

Ideally there'd be a compacted intersection here instead of ramps, but I can deal with 1 lane each on the northbound split, 1 lane off of Storrow so the layout actually matches traffic flow, and wider medians for better, less incoherent crosswalks.

Was whoever designed this road trying to get themselves fired? It's a design comedy of errors.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: River Roads -> River Road

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Greenough needs a lane reduction pronto, real sidewalks and paths on both sides, and real riverfront access with DCR finally doing something about all the disgusting invasive-species overgrowth on that riverbank. There's more than enough space to do something nice there. Whole swath of unused land on the river by Arsenal, plus a lot of greenspace on the other side that could be transformed if they finally cleaned up that Superfund factory site that's been rotting there for decades.

...It should be both a very functional river road and very functional river space, and it's the antithesis of both.

...It's a good route to the North Beacon rotary and arguably better for Watertown Sq. than Arsenal, but nobody can use it because of that discontinuity and dangerous unsignaled intersection. The narrow segment behind the Mall from North Beacon gets better utilization than the superhighway segment, and is nice and traffic-calmed and nonthreatening to pedestrians.

...Ideally there'd be a compacted intersection here instead of ramps, but I can deal with 1 lane each on the northbound split, 1 lane off of Storrow so the layout actually matches traffic flow, and wider medians for better, less incoherent crosswalks.

Was whoever designed this road trying to get themselves fired? It's a design comedy of errors.
F-Line -- as is usual in Boston there are historical antecedents:

All of those roads that connected to Rt-20 provided the primary route west out of the Cambridge / Watertown area before the Turpike Extension was built. Even after the extension was built a lot of people bailed in Newton and continued to Cambridge down by MIT by following Rt-20 and sometines Rt-16 through Watertown. I remember riding in my Aunt and Uncle's car coming from Connecticut to Cambridge through that river road complex.

Note that also in that same time period the Watertown Arsenal was still a pime DOD site and the roads were mission critical.
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