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Old 01-16-2019, 12:40 AM   #1501
odurandina
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Q1; isn't there a direct line where Framingham links up with the north trains?1.

Q2; Wayy over my head of course but, curious; what about switching between north/south through Framingham jct/mini-yard into Boston

or send trains down the Framingham 2ndry to Mansfield?

Q3; With this incredible number of trains (someday soon), wouldn't it make sense to have a join w/ CSX to upgrade the Framingham/Mansfield line?
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:17 AM   #1502
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
Q1; isn't there a direct line where Framingham links up with the north trains?1.

Q2; Wayy over my head of course but, curious; what about switching between north/south through Framingham jct/mini-yard into Boston

or send trains down the Framingham 2ndry to Mansfield?

Q3; With this incredible number of trains (someday soon), wouldn't it make sense to have a join w/ CSX to upgrade the Framingham/Mansfield line?
Nope...hasn't been a direct N-S connection out of Framingham in >3 decades. There's a long out-of-service junction in Clinton between the CSX Fitchburg Secondary and PAR Worcester-Ayer branch at their midpoints, but the connection only points south back to Worcester and would be an excruciating place to stage a reverse move for equipment swaps (whereas at Worcester Union Station they can just back up from the layover yard on the other side of the station to get on the northbound branch).


They have indeed been upgrading the Framingham-Mansfield Line for higher speeds and reliability since 2017, with construction still ongoing. That will show itself when daily revenue trials begin for Foxboro service. Finishing the job for full-blown revenue service to Foxboro after the trial won't take much additional construction effort. Rest of the line (excepting the Providence-origin game trains from Mansfield to Foxboro) is freight-only and very rural, not a candidate for additional passenger service. Also doesn't help much for staging any north-south swaps since it's intra-south (B&A--Franklin Line--NEC...with junctions in Framingham and Mansfield that only point away from Boston). So its utility is all about Foxboro service via the Franklin Line, and strengthening the Eastern MA freight franchise.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:54 PM   #1503
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Thanks F-Line.

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They have indeed been upgrading the Framingham-Mansfield Line for higher speeds and reliability since 2017, with construction still ongoing.
Sometime back in the mid-70's or before they put in a long welded rail on the S-curve in Medfield between West Mill St and Dale Street (probably 1/2 mile or so).

We marveled when short, late-afternoon work trains would go totally silent after passing the Dale St crossing sometimes picking up speed before entering the banked curve.

Having spent my early childhood in the city, and taking trains to Rockport, and Budd Liners to Needham, i'd never seen anything like it as a kid until then. We had some freights, both long and short traveling at very high speeds through that section from time to time. i once saw a short train that must have been doing 55~60mph in the late '70s. The tracks were very well maintained back then.... but the welded rail seemed to defy conventional wisdom about expansion and contraction. Our dumb middle school science teacher said we were full of crap until he went and saw it for himself.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:48 PM   #1504
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

The second headhouse being constructed for Forest Hills (across New Washington Street) solves a major need. Those who live north of Forest Hills would otherwise have to cross a major street and backtrack, adding a lot of unnecessary time to their commute. There are other Orange Line stations where a second egress would fill a similar need. I'm proposing:
  • Stony Brook - south of Boylston, near the Basketball courts, where an emergency access point already exists.
  • Jackson Square - south of Centre, where a maintenance/emergency access point already exists.
  • Roxbury Crossing - north of Tremont, via a pedestrian underpass similar to Mass Ave.
  • Chinatown - north side of the northbound platform (existing emergency access point exists near Hayward Place) and south side of southbound platform (near Lagrange St)
  • Sullivan - to/from Perkins St via a footbridge
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:41 PM   #1505
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

A second entrance to Sullivan is a big opportunity to reduce crowding and dangerous mixed flows of buses, cars, and pedestrians close to Sullivan.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:52 PM   #1506
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Also in Sullivan routing of busways so Broadway-going buses would go straight up instead of making a loop like they do now.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:54 PM   #1507
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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The second headhouse being constructed for Forest Hills (across New Washington Street) solves a major need. Those who live north of Forest Hills would otherwise have to cross a major street and backtrack, adding a lot of unnecessary time to their commute. There are other Orange Line stations where a second egress would fill a similar need. I'm proposing:
  • Stony Brook - south of Boylston, near the Basketball courts, where an emergency access point already exists.
  • Jackson Square - south of Centre, where a maintenance/emergency access point already exists.
  • Roxbury Crossing - north of Tremont, via a pedestrian underpass similar to Mass Ave.
  • Chinatown - north side of the northbound platform (existing emergency access point exists near Hayward Place) and south side of southbound platform (near Lagrange St)
  • Sullivan - to/from Perkins St via a footbridge
Sullivan would have the most impact. Jackson will hopefully evtnsully happen if they can ever get an air rights development over the tracks ... but the presence of the electrical substation will always be a drag for potential developers. Stony definitely doesnít need it; it would just clog the park and Boylston is easy to cross. That was my stop, from that direction, for five years so Iíll weigh in heavy on that one. I donít think Roxbury Crossing needs one that much, either, but it might become a more pressing need with more development north of Tremonte.

I just learned yesterday about three previously unknown entrances to State - two in skyscrapers, and one right next to City Hall.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:06 PM   #1508
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I just learned yesterday about three previously unknown entrances to State - two in skyscrapers, and one right next to City Hall.
State is by far the weirdest MBTA station - the combination of being built at two different times, and the Orange Line being two levels with staggered platforms, makes it very different to conceptualize. That City Hall entrance was originally located in Adams Square (just left of the D in Devonshire); because it's the most convenient Orange Line exit for City Hall, it's proposed to get elevators at some point. Right now it's completely unmarked from the surface.

I don't think the 53 State and 60 State entrances were original - I can't find any references to them in the Boston Transit Commission reports. Were they added in the 2005-2010 renovation, or before that?
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:38 PM   #1509
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by curcuas View Post
A second entrance to Sullivan is a big opportunity to reduce crowding and dangerous mixed flows of buses, cars, and pedestrians close to Sullivan.
Agreed. The sidewalk under 93 is dangerously narrow too.

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.

I just learned yesterday about three previously unknown entrances to State - two in skyscrapers, and one right next to City Hall.
Yeah it took me a while to realize there was an entrance at City Hall Plaza (unmarked stairs right in front of 28 State on the Washington Mall directly across from Dreamland), even though I had seen the stairs before. 53 state and 60 state Iíve used a few times before though. I think itís interesting that some state street entrances are closer to downtown crossing entrances (ie the State Entrance at the Old South Meeting House and the DTX entrance at Franklin and Washington) than they are to other state street entrances.

Iíve always wondered how hard it would be to do a short pedestrian tunnel connecting DTX at Franklin to State at Milk. Thatís a basic Red/Blue connection though the walk between the Red/Blue platforms would be quite far since theyíre at the far end of their respective stations.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:27 PM   #1510
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I definitely agree about Roxbury Crossing, Sullivan, and Chinatown needing additional entrances. A number of other subway stations could really benefit as well:

Red Line:
  • Braintree: a west-side entrance from French Street would make it a lot more walkable from the residential areas to the west.
  • JFK/UMass: Columbia Road is such a nasty barrier. Not quite sure what the best configuration would be.
  • Andrew: Needs one or more entrances on the south side of the square.
  • Broadway: South entrance at 4th Street.
  • Charles/MGH: Desperately needs entrances that don't require crossing a busy interchange.
  • Harvard: A more direct route from the busway to the Red Line. (The busway itself should really be fare controlled.)

Orange Line:
  • Massachusetts Avenue: The exit-only ramp to Gainsborough/Camden should be a full entrance.
  • Oak Grove: A north entrance might be good for better access to new developments to the north.

Blue Line:
  • Suffolk Downs: Put faregates on the Bennington Street side.

Green Line:
  • Science Park: Like Charles/MGH, needs entrances that are actually safe to reach.
  • Boylston: Rebuild the two removed headhouses (thus restoring the station closer to its original condition than current) and use them as elevator shafts to make the station accessible.
  • Arlington: Reopen the Berkeley Street entrances.
  • Copley: Add in inbound headhouse in Copley Square.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:08 PM   #1511
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Lrfox View Post
Iíve always wondered how hard it would be to do a short pedestrian tunnel connecting DTX at Franklin to State at Milk. Thatís a basic Red/Blue connection though the walk between the Red/Blue platforms would be quite far since theyíre at the far end of their respective stations.
I believe the MBTAís plan (that many see as a cop-out replacement for the Red Blue Connector) is to build a pedestrian connection between these two stations. While I think there are probably many reasons to build the actual connector, that doesnít mean a ped connection wouldnít also be useful, even as a redundancy... although Iíd be curious what the transit buffs think.

One thing I can say is that if signage makes it seem like two underground points are connected, the acceptable psychological distance for a pedestrian to travel is significantly greater than you might expect. The underground connection between Monument and Bank in London is very heavily used but depending on which lines/directions are being connected, the distance travelled is quite significant, but itís all underground and so it doesnít matter. Even with the normal connection between Orange and Blue at State can be pretty far a walk depending on the particular connection. And, if youíre going from the north on Red to JP, itís faster to get off the Red at Park and walk on the Winter St concourse to DTX than to get off at DTX. So a long ped concourse between State and DTX itself is not a major barrier to it being used. Make the map show the connection and people will use it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:23 AM   #1512
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

^Agreed. I also donít think itís a long-term alternative to actually connecting the red and blue lines, but I can see it alleviating some of the current headaches.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:23 AM   #1513
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I believe the MBTAís plan (that many see as a cop-out replacement for the Red Blue Connector) is to build a pedestrian connection between these two stations. While I think there are probably many reasons to build the actual connector, that doesnít mean a ped connection wouldnít also be useful, even as a redundancy... although Iíd be curious what the transit buffs think.

One thing I can say is that if signage makes it seem like two underground points are connected, the acceptable psychological distance for a pedestrian to travel is significantly greater than you might expect. The underground connection between Monument and Bank in London is very heavily used but depending on which lines/directions are being connected, the distance travelled is quite significant, but itís all underground and so it doesnít matter. Even with the normal connection between Orange and Blue at State can be pretty far a walk depending on the particular connection. And, if youíre going from the north on Red to JP, itís faster to get off the Red at Park and walk on the Winter St concourse to DTX than to get off at DTX. So a long ped concourse between State and DTX itself is not a major barrier to it being used. Make the map show the connection and people will use it.
On a similar note ("acceptable psychological distance"), how much more infinitely awesome would the pedestrian tunnel linking the OSMH and OSH portals to the State St. stop be if it had bright vivid splashy murals of all the amazing iconography of OSMH and OSH? Illustrations by Boston schoolkids of lions and unicorns and clockfaces and cupolas and steeples, oh my!

Instead we get decades of the most unimaginably dull sterile bland boring giant blue and orange paint swatches. Literally as monochromatic as you can get. Sigh.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:30 AM   #1514
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

The funny (sad?) thing is that Bowdoin-MGH has to be about as easy as it gets for a tunnel.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:19 PM   #1515
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

The (or rather, a) problem with a DTX-State ped tunnel is that it would force all of the Red-Blue transfers to walk down the Orange Line southbound platform. Essentially, the platform would need to start doing double-duty as both a place where people wait and a place where people walk. That raises congestion (and thus speed and convenience) concerns, as well as safety concerns.

If platform-screen-esque railings were installed along the edge of the platform, that might mitigate the risk a little bit, as you'd have that many fewer opportunities to have people falling into the pit. But you'd still have the congestion problem.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:30 PM   #1516
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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The (or rather, a) problem with a DTX-State ped tunnel is that it would force all of the Red-Blue transfers to walk down the Orange Line southbound platform. Essentially, the platform would need to start doing double-duty as both a place where people wait and a place where people walk. That raises congestion (and thus speed and convenience) concerns, as well as safety concerns.

If platform-screen-esque railings were installed along the edge of the platform, that might mitigate the risk a little bit, as you'd have that many fewer opportunities to have people falling into the pit. But you'd still have the congestion problem.
Not only that, there's ADA issues afoot with the crowding on that platform if it also has to carry between-station foot traffic. Standees stacked up at the platform meeting an aisle of walkers perpendicular will constrain the pathway during crowding pulses such that the walking aisle isn't going to be wide enough for wheelchairs, strollers, suitcases, blind-aid walking sticks, service animals, kids holding hands with parents, etc., etc., etc. Without some sort of crowd-control barrier that really could get nightmarish certain times of day.

I would have to think the walkway would have to be dug out behind a wall with a couple egress doorways from the platform in order to have it carry a ped load equivalent to the Winter St. concourse. Either that or the platform envelope the concourse shares is outright enlarged and a railing is installed between the platform standees and the concourse walkers for crowd control. Both require a fair amount of heavy construction to cut back the wall to enlarge the platform area, because there's not enough width on the current platform to cordon off both sets of users without an ADA-violating squeeze on one or both sides of the barrier. It won't be a cheap project because of the excavation, additional supports, and wall refinishing required. And certainly is a stupid thing for a mealy-mouthed FCMB to partially misconstrue as a replacement for proper Red-Blue @ Charles, because the structural work involved here is hardly a freebie.

Despite that, as a complementary build the walkway is very much worth pursuing. So many people opt to get some exercise doing the Winter St. Green-Orange jog that the option will be very well-utilized even when the trains themselves aren't crowded. But it's not a trivial thing to build in cases like this where the narrowest stretches of existing platform that the walkway would touch only barely scrape by on skin of its teeth on accessibility compliance and would need such heavy-duty structural enlargement to accommodate ADA in spirit-and-letter.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:13 PM   #1517
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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The funny (sad?) thing is that Bowdoin-MGH has to be about as easy as it gets for a tunnel.
It would still be very expensive, and wouldnít make much sense to do all the digging and not do the actual connector. Also, thatís a pretty far walk, even for an underground connection. *If* the Red station was underground on the same plane/grade, then people could see the platform from afar which would lessen the distance. But the fact that after the long walk, thereís a two floor grade change, makes it too far.

Psychology is important for this shit. Make somebody walk a mile along a flat rural interstate highway, and walk the same distance on a twisty road in central London, and most people will think the time elapsed was much less with the latter. Visual stimulation and visual anticipation of proximity (my tunnel example) make a lot of impact on what people will tolerate. Itís all perception.

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Old Today, 08:48 PM   #1518
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

A shuttle or bus from North Station to the airport.

South Station has one with the silver line. You could have one that picks up near One Nashua for North Station. Would be a short trip through the Sumner and Callahan.
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Old Today, 09:03 PM   #1519
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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A shuttle or bus from North Station to the airport.

South Station has one with the silver line. You could have one that picks up near One Nashua for North Station. Would be a short trip through the Sumner and Callahan.
It is just two stops on the Orange Line to Blue. The Red Line of course doesn't have a direct connection with Blue. In fairness, Back Bay has a shuttle I believe and that's four stops on Orange.
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