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Old 04-08-2018, 12:35 PM   #581
coleslaw
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

I don't ride it as much as I used to but it can be really packed sometimes. If parts of the rute were 15+ min walk from the orange line rather than 7-10 (like the area from hyde sq past the curley would be if you moved the orange back to washington) I would bet it would be more often. Could probably resolve the same issue by extending the E through hyde/canary sqs.

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Old 04-08-2018, 05:19 PM   #582
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

I can buy the argument for extending the E to Hyde Sq but not further south.
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:27 PM   #583
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Is there a capacity problem on the 39 bus though?
Not that I know of, but that wasn't my claim.
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:14 AM   #584
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

My (anecdotal) opinion is that the 39 does not have a capacity problem nearly as much as it has a bunching problem.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:06 PM   #585
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Originally Posted by bakgwailo View Post
Eh, I don't think mixing buses in with light rail is going to turn out well in a dedicated ROW - I would guess buses would greatly reduce capacity/speed in it, as I think has been discussed on sharing the E Line row with buses.
I don't recall this for E/39, but for B/57 the argument has been that the train somehow runs slower than the bus. But if the train is going to run slower than the bus, why would you ever want to convert from bus to train at all? (And in the B/57 case, both slow fare payment on the trains and the lack of automobile congestion in that area are key to why it works out that way.)

Buses reduce capacity if you're up against the limit of total number of vehicles per hour in the ROW, but if the ROW only sees a bus/train every 90 seconds or less I doubt buses are going to be taking valuable capacity away from trains. If Warren St gets an SL5 equivalent train every 7.5 minutes (8 trains per hour) plus an SL4 equivalent train every 7.5 minutes (8 trains per hour) (grand total 16 trains per hour) in each direction, there'll probably be plenty of capacity left to run some buses.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:16 PM   #586
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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In a MassDOT study of the needs in roxbury, dorchester, and mattapan they discuss the potential for light rail through warren and all the way to mattapan down blue hill ave. It's on page 52-53.
They don't really address whether there would be train stations in the narrow southern part of Warren St.

I believe ADA requirements say that the awful E branch stops (Fenwood Road, Mission Park, Riverway, Back of the Hill) are potentially legal if they've been that way since before the ADA, but the MBTA definitely can't build more stops like that unless it takes the approach that the New York City subway is getting sued over of just completely ignoring obvious ADA requirements.

And the road doesn't seem to be wide enough for two tracks in dedicated ROW plus two travel lanes plus platforms.

Is there anywhere where taking 300' of neighbors' yards would work?

Is single tracking at the platform viable?

Does the train need to move into the travel lane and block it while stopped?

Is there any way to build stations that the neighbors will find acceptable?
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:22 PM   #587
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
I don't recall this for E/39, but for B/57 the argument has been that the train somehow runs slower than the bus. But if the train is going to run slower than the bus, why would you ever want to convert from bus to train at all? (And in the B/57 case, both slow fare payment on the trains and the lack of automobile congestion in that area are key to why it works out that way.)
I haven't heard or seen that argument, only the reserves, that buses would slow down trains in a dedicated ROW. Also, that buses are faster when street running and there is no ROW. As for the arguments for/against this, I forget what thread it was in (maybe this one), but F-Line maybe some pretty good points against running buses in the ROW from what I recall.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:19 PM   #588
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

In the long term, would it be wise to open a CR platform at College Avenue, close the CR platform at West Medford, and extend the GL to High Street with a new West Medford station?

This appears to make more sense than extending the GL to connect at West Medford (at least it makes more sense from my perspective as an outsider who uses none of these stops ). The regional transit station (CR) should be at the campus since it is a regional employment and activity center whereas West Medford seems more appropriate for light rail. This would cut down on transfers if the GL were one day extended to West Medford.

I'm not sure about the ROW availability in this segment of the Lowell Line and whether its width would preclude such a configuration in the future.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:48 PM   #589
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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In the long term, would it be wise to open a CR platform at College Avenue, close the CR platform at West Medford, and extend the GL to High Street with a new West Medford station?

This appears to make more sense than extending the GL to connect at West Medford (at least it makes more sense from my perspective as an outsider who uses none of these stops ). The regional transit station (CR) should be at the campus since it is a regional employment and activity center whereas West Medford seems more appropriate for light rail. This would cut down on transfers if the GL were one day extended to West Medford.

I'm not sure about the ROW availability in this segment of the Lowell Line and whether its width would preclude such a configuration in the future.
I think that is a spectacular idea.

W Medford loses their express to NS, but gains frequency and connectivity to Somerville and East Cambridge via GLX. Seems like an acceptable trade to me, but I didn't buy my house there based on the existence of the CR stop. Tufts gets the Haverhill and Lowell Lines for employees and students to commute on as well as a transfer at North Station for connection to the other north side lines and the OL (not likely to be much used until the arrival of EMUs and improved frequency). It would probably spur housing development and boost home prices in W Medford.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:52 AM   #590
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

Continued from the Regional Rail thread. . .

Since there were a lot of questions about what an LRT conversion of the Grand Junction would look like, I slapped together these crayon drawings.


1. BU + Kenmore hook-in



2. Cambridge (w/differing Kendall station configurations)



3. Somerville



------------------------------

Harvard Branch
Entirely separate-funded build except for West Station stub, which can be folded in with mainline construction to give immediate RER transfer access. Routing through Allston speculative because still not clear where Harvard's set-aside transit reservation through Beacon Park is. Shown here as fully grade-separated with new-construction overpasses only at Western Ave. and (Phase II) N. Harvard. However, future status of ex-CSX freight berth under Cambridge St. re: Mass Pike straightening and future street grid infill @ Beacon Park are unclear. All approximate options for getting across the river into Harvard Sq. are shown: street-running (interim solution), ex- Red Line tunnel, busway.

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Old 12-28-2018, 11:19 AM   #591
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

Those are pretty interesting, F-Line!
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:15 PM   #592
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

Cambridge to me seems very anti-GJ so I don't know how you get it built.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:25 PM   #593
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Originally Posted by jklo View Post
Cambridge to me seems very anti-GJ so I don't know how you get it built.
You have to convince them that the alternative is perpetual gridlock all around Kendall, Cambridgeport, East Cambridge, Central Square.... The dense employment center is only going to expand.
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:21 PM   #594
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Cambridge to me seems very anti-GJ so I don't know how you get it built.
Cambridge was against the Worcester Line Grand Junction study because:
  • The crossing impacts on RR mode were substantial even at only 5 peak-direction round trips daily. Those impacts spiral out of control the more you try to backfill bi-directionally and attempt quasi-RER ("quasi-" because the line just doesn't have the throughput for 15 min. headways both directions).
  • The study was hastily released with no local input, so they felt bitten by the politics pushing it for bypassing the locals.
  • Lt. Gov. Tim Murray had a couple foot-in-mouth moments during the rollout which only worsened the political faux pas. As Murray is a longtime Worcester homer it cultivated an impression that Cambridge was being run over to deliver pork to MetroWest.
  • Gov. Patrick's naked Olympics-baiting ploy promising a whole spider map of Indigo Lines by 2024 included the Grand Junction, which had not been studied at RER traffic levels. This piled onto the impression that local interests were being sold out so political constituencies could get their payday, and the impression that the much more conservative WOR-NS study was a trojan horse opening the door to carmageddon when it magically appeared on a spider map as an RER shuttle.

Nearly all of the 'controversy' is a whole lot of self-inflicted political wounds. Starting with first rule of provincial Massachusetts: DO NOT bypass the local input, because municipalities can hold grudges for generations. The WOR-NS study really didn't upset the apple cart service-wise and probably would've been less a nuisance on fully-upgraded track than the 10 MPH freight trains making an awful vibrating racket on a shot railbed. But they didn't show it around Cambridge or MIT.

Second, there had to be clear delineations that RER service levels were to require a whole new study, because the crossing impacts at bi-directional frequent(-ish...as much as the line can bear) headways were in a whole other more complicated stratosphere. That was left unspoken. Of course, now we know why: that spider map was just a dog-and-pony show for the IOC and there was zero intention by the last Admin. to actually build it.

Also unspoken was where the Urban Ring--which Cambridge & MIT very much DO support--fit into the picture. Now, enhanced RR service as a shorter-term interim move is fine and dandy and doesn't at all change the longer-term prospects for mode-changing the ROW to superior-performing LRT or BRT. But when putting out a new study you have to acknowledge that it fits into a changeable portfolio, otherwise people are going to wonder if that carpocalypse-causing RER shuttle is the outright replacement for any Urban Ring build forever.

It really was one of the most piss-poor transpo public engagements in recent memory. Unfortunately, instead of zooming in on the whopper political mistakes/blunders made and speculating on how the negative reaction would've been very significantly neutralized under 'normal'-baseline not-pants-on-head public engagement, conventional wisdom seems to have deemed "Cambridge is NIMBY".


That really isn't true at all. MIT has spilled lots of ink in its institutional vision docs about the need for the UR through its campus, and Kendall is blowing out its capacity to move people in/out at dizzying rate. Put through a proper re-study process, they'd be thrilled with this project. Much, much moreso than whatever the Commuter Rail Future study can scrape together for RR frequencies...because of the crossings. LRT & BRT can share signal cycles at the un-eliminable crossings @ Main/Broadway; 90% of the traffic impacts vanish under the phase-sharing capabilities of those modes vs. the absolute-priority of RR mode. And LRT & BRT can climb grades steep enough to overpass Mass Ave. Right there the #1 and #2 most pressing technical challenges the city has are completely addressed. The rest is just the due diligence of MA local civic engagement. In this case there are very few residences near the ROW and a shitload of professionals, academics, and students who need to get around on it. On sheer money-talks grounds the local constituencies are sympatico. They just don't want to be dumbassedly cut out of the conversation like last time.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:45 PM   #595
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

For the Harvard / West Station Green Line connection toward Kenmore, I wonder if using Malvern St or Babcock St to get to the existing surface B branch reservation would be cheaper than building a viaduct through the throat.

I'm also thinking there might be value in building a Green Line route originating at UMass-Boston, continuing to the JFK/UMass Red Line / commuter rail station, then along Columbia Road and Mass Ave and then into the tunnel to Kenmore, then to the BU surface stops on the B branch, then West Station, Harvard, Mass Ave to Porter Sq and Arlington Center, and then continuing along the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway ROW to Lexington Center.

http://amateurplanner.blogspot.com/2...cambridge.html has a proposal for how to create space for transit (``bus'' there, but that space should also work for Green Line trains) between Harvard Sq and Alewife Brook Parkway, and I think that cross section would also work in Boston on Mass Ave between I-90 and Melnea Cass Blvd, and on Columbia Rd between Mass Ave and the JFK/UMass Red Line / commuter rail station.

Mass Ave between Melnea Cass Blvd and Columbia Rd is currently too narrow for a transit reservation plus separate bike lanes plus space for single occupancy automobiles, but it might be worth redeveloping at higher density with greater setbacks to eventually widen the street.

Making space for a Green Line reservation between Alewife Brook Parkway and Arlington Center may be politically challenging.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:56 PM   #596
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Re: Green Line Reconfiguration

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
For the Harvard / West Station Green Line connection toward Kenmore, I wonder if using Malvern St or Babcock St to get to the existing surface B branch reservation would be cheaper than building a viaduct through the throat.
It would be horrendously slow and service-limited to run up the congested B reservation across the BU Bridge/Carlton clusterfuck, bang a hard right down any of the side streets at a signalized intersection, then cross the Pike on a sprawling viaduct. You'd get borderline-useless headways branching like that, not nearly enough for what the Urban Ring calls for.

As it stands, the Grand Junction is being accommodated through the throat in any purmutation of Pike rebuild. There is no scenario whatsoever where a 2-track ROW between West and BU Bridge would not be set aside for that line's exclusive purpose. So if you take the GJ offline to convert any part of it to light rail, that portion through the throat will be sitting there ready for a new rail use to come calling. There's no need to cheap out and maim headways by kludging together something off the surface B. Use all of it that's available by getting to the BU Bridge hillside...subway extension or surface-to-subsurface flying junction before hitting the bridge lights. On the hillside, junction east for the mainline Ring...junction west for the Harvard Branch via West. No fresh new Pike-crossing rail bridges required.

Quote:
I'm also thinking there might be value in building a Green Line route originating at UMass-Boston, continuing to the JFK/UMass Red Line / commuter rail station, then along Columbia Road and Mass Ave and then into the tunnel to Kenmore, then to the BU surface stops on the B branch, then West Station, Harvard, Mass Ave to Porter Sq and Arlington Center, and then continuing along the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway ROW to Lexington Center.
The Urban Ring has a spur route proposed to JFK via Mass Ave. and Columbia Rd., coming off the SE quadrant's Dudley-Southie mainline where Melnea Cass meets Mass Ave. So it could be a light rail appendage if any of the south half goes LRT, though lack of ROW makes the south half a better match for BRT at this juncture. However, the spur is plainly envisioned as a radial because destinations of greatest need to Dorchester + UMass are Dudley and South Boston...not downtown where they've been able to make 1 transfer to get to Kenmore for 100 years and counting. It's similar to the Harvard Branch past West mapping more to drawing 66 bus users and Allston TOD into rapid transit than somehow shortcutting any currently-established subway transfers with route duplication.

Porter and Arlington are especially superfluous, as JFK riders already have a one-seat and 77/79 transfers at three different Red Line stations. Any rapid transit to Mass Ave. in Arlington comes from +2'ing Red to Arlington Center + Arlington Heights. You can't even get some other line's tunnel onto the Minuteman footprint because the Red tunnel goes a full 600 ft. on the Arlington side of Route 2 blocking the path.

The UR study left a lot to be desired on how to build it, but they did very clearly establish where the major demand catchments are and where those folks most need to go. That demographic data has held up very well in the >dozen years since, and probably makes for enough of a bedrock to not need a rethink whenever they get brave enough to pick this project back up for re-study. We can debate build feasibility of some of these chunked-together Green builds, but since the demand patterns have been documented to the nines you would first have to show clear-and-convincing evidence of a big miss in the original UR study. Because they already have a plan to do these routes as radials, having quantified the demand as radial-oriented. Proving their worth as a totally different breed of crosstown line takes a whole lot more than just stitching line segments together on a map and concluding they pass the eye test. You have to first disprove the prevailing proposal casting it as a radial, then prove all over again a greater worth as a crosstown. That's a very big overturn.

Frankly, I'd just take the radial. The demand numbers aren't voodoo, each quadrant or spur is a shorter corridor to project-manage than a monolithic 10-mile stitch job loaded with service interdependencies and ugly junction kludges, and as proposed these spurs are meant to route off multiple directions from their Ring mainlines to vary up the destinations.

Quote:
http://amateurplanner.blogspot.com/2...cambridge.html has a proposal for how to create space for transit (``bus'' there, but that space should also work for Green Line trains) between Harvard Sq and Alewife Brook Parkway, and I think that cross section would also work in Boston on Mass Ave between I-90 and Melnea Cass Blvd, and on Columbia Rd between Mass Ave and the JFK/UMass Red Line / commuter rail station.

Mass Ave between Melnea Cass Blvd and Columbia Rd is currently too narrow for a transit reservation plus separate bike lanes plus space for single occupancy automobiles, but it might be worth redeveloping at higher density with greater setbacks to eventually widen the street.
Nope. Mass Ave. is 70 ft. wide curb-to-curb from Harvard to Alewife, and 70 ft. wide from Columbus Ave. to Melnea Cass. But between the river and Columbus it's only 55 ft., and in Dorchester south of Melnea Cass it's 50 ft. Columbia Rd. is 40 ft. from Mass Ave. until the median appears at the intersection of Dot Ave. They've painted bus lanes where they can, but there is absolutely no width for traffic separation on an outright majority of that route.

Wishing for a wrecking ball to create the width is not realistic when that much of the corridor falls way short.

Quote:
Making space for a Green Line reservation between Alewife Brook Parkway and Arlington Center may be politically challenging.
Of course...they want their Red Line instead. A Red Line that's going to pass quietly underneath the Minuteman in a shallow Davis-style tunnel everywhere east of the high school football stadium. We should probably give it to them one of these days, as it would be a better use of resources than trying to pitch novel ways to screw up Mass Ave. after they spent a kajillion trying to fix it.

Last edited by F-Line to Dudley; 01-21-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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