Go Back > Boston's Built Environment > Transit and Infrastructure

Transit and Infrastructure All things T or civilly engineered within Boston Metro.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-01-2018, 04:26 PM   #561
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Medford, MA
Posts: 3,279
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Um, looks like a bike/bus/parking lane is being laid out on Upper Broadway OUTBOUND (north) in Everett! Thin white markings drawn. Looks the same dimensions as inbound. It could just be a regular bike lane next to parking though.

Given how Everett pilots things, I wouldn't be surprised if cones appeared monday, tbh...

Oh please,, yes.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 05:39 PM   #562
Senior Member
datadyne007's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,428
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

Extents of markings I saw were from Sweester Circle to Chelsea St, which is really all that's needed. During the evening peak, the traffic dissipates at Chelsea St.
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report:
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL
datadyne007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 08:46 AM   #563
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rozzie Square
Posts: 1,701
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

Awesome, Everett continues to lead the way (I hope) and maybe if they indeed are establishing an evening lane, Boston will see the wisdom and do the same on Washington St. in Roslindale. The morning lane is fantastic, and evening lane would really fix most of the transportation issues in that neighborhood.
HenryAlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2018, 12:13 PM   #564
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

On Everett's upper Broadway, the southbound bike lane that the paint shows when cars are allowed to park is pretty non-ideal in terms of how close bikes end up to cars, but there probably isn't a better solution available while maintaining 11' lanes and the current curb to curb distance (and I read somewhere that the T told Everett that they needed 11').

Between Chelsea St and 2nd St, if people could agree to narrow the lanes to 10', and if at least 45' curb to curb could be made available (I think the existing curbs may make the road slightly narrower than that), and if northbound parking could be completely eliminated, it might be possible to do something like this.

This would allocate the easternmost 10' to a lane shared between buses and bicycles, then a 10' travel lane in each direction, then the next 10' would be used as 7' parking with 3' buffer outside the morning peak, and a 10' southbound bus lane during the morning peak, and then a 5' bike lane. (If 46' were available, expanding the parking lane to 8' so it could be used for ADA compliant wheelchair spaces might make sense, and then a 10' bus lane would only need to occupy 2' of the 3' buffer zone, which might make space to install flex posts 6" from the edge of the bike lane.)

I don't expect there's much chance of this getting built in the next year, but if Everett wanted better bicycle space on Broadway it might be worth looking carefully at whether they can work through all of the challenges with this over the next several years. (And there's also the question of whether it would end up connecting with any good bicycle infrastructure on either end that may make it not worth putting much effort into.)

Last edited by Joel N. Weber II; 07-17-2018 at 07:02 PM.
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2018, 01:58 PM   #565
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Mass Ave / Central Sq in Cambridge

In March 2018, Ari posted updated thoughts on Mass Ave from the Charles River through Central Sq

Cambridge is planning to do a quick build reconfiguration from Memorial Drive to Sidney St at some point in the next few months.

Looking at Ari's visuals has helped me to better understand how that arrangement for Central Sq might work, and I'm thinking it's worth carefully considering at some variations.

Immediately west of Sidney St in the Lafayette Sq area, I think the Harvard bound bicycle lane would be better protected if it stays on the outside instead of moving to the center; the fire station driveway means that the center of Mass Ave can't be obstructed by a well protected center bicycle lane there. Additionally, Ari writes about a 75 second cycle time for the Sidney / Mass Ave light; I think it would be better to try to come up with a design where no light has a cycle time longer than 60 seconds at times when no bus or fire truck is around (I think it's probably OK if transit signal priority and emergency vehicle priority triggers longer cycles), and so putting the outside bicycle lane to center bicycle lane crossovers at relatively simple intersections instead of Sidney is probably desirable.

The arguments Ari's March 2018 blog post makes for the center bicycle lanes focus on the Red Line headhouses and bus to subway transfers; I think those arguments are pretty compelling for the Pearl St to [edit: Prospect] segment, and perhaps also a bit to the west of [edit: Prospect], but I haven't seen compelling evidence that those arguments in favor of a center bicycle track necessarily apply east of Pearl St.

Ari's blog post says that bicycle traffic calming in the vicinity of Pearl St is desirable. I'm wondering if having bicycles cross over between center and outside lanes at Pearl St with a traffic signal would be effective bicycle traffic calming. That light would presumably normally alternate between two phases, one to allow bicycles to proceed (and pedestrians to cross the automobile lanes) and the other to allow westbound automobiles to proceed along Mass Ave and to turn onto Pearl St (while pedestrians cross the bicycle lanes), and when a Boston bound bus is ready to go through the intersection, that could trigger a third phase to permit that movement.

Ari's blog post proposes that people wanting to catch the outbound 64 would not be able to catch it at the Mass Ave stop when it is extended to Kendall. If there's a center cycle track at Norfolk St in conjunction with a center of the road bus stop west of Pearl, that center cycle track would be in the way of rerouting 64 to take Norfolk St instead of Prospect from Broadway to Mass Ave; with outside bicycle lanes, the road would be straightforwardly compatible with that reroute to Norfolk St in one direction.

Ari writes about the center cycle track being an effective way to prevent right hook collisions. If we had outside bicycle lanes from Lafayette Sq to Pearl St and banned Boston bound automobiles on Mass Ave from Pleasant to Pearl, and kept one way streets as one ways in their current directions, the only place where automobiles could make right turns from Mass Ave between Lafayette Sq and Pearl St would be to Douglass St, and a dedicated right turn lane for automobiles like this with a no right turn on red sign and a don't walk / red bicycle indication during green right arrow might work, although the parking lane on the Boston bound side there may be a bit too narrow and so some further refinement to that exact cross section is probably needed. (That automobile right turn lane would probably get a green only when a sensor would detect a vehicle present.)

For fire trucks, I think the center cycle track from Sidney to Pearl is undesirable if it forces them to commit early either to the left of cycle track bus lane which might give them priority unless they get stuck west of Pearl at the bus stops if buses are loading / unloading in both directions, or else commit to the right side of the cycle track and potentially get stuck in traffic; a design where they can freely move between the bus and general purpose lanes would probably be better for fire trucks.

West of Prospect, I think the argument for the center bicycle lane is mostly that the Mass Ave / Prospect light is at a busy intersection with lots of traffic proceeding along Prospect, and so it's desirable to make the west of Prospect configuration basically match the east of Prospect configuration so that everyone proceeding along Mass Ave at Prospect can share a single traffic signal phase and not conflict with each other. (Given the bus stop locations, I suspect that keeping the cyclists away from the Red Line headhouses west of Prospect may not be necessary, but minimizing the number of traffic light phases needed means there should probably be center bicycle lanes west of Prospect regardless.)

Keeping Harvard bound cyclists to the south of Harvard bound automobiles at Essex St and Temple St is probably the best way to prevent right hooks. (Temple St could also possibly be the outside to center bicycle lane crossover point, although I think Temple St as the crossover point probably doesn't reduce the number of phases the Pleasant St light would need vs having the crossover point at Pleasant St, and not needing a traffic signal at Temple St would be nice.)

I think protected outside bicycle lanes between Pleasant St and Inman St would probably be a better design that what Ari's blog post shows with the center bicycle lanes there.

After looking at Ari's visuals a lot and thinking about it a lot, I've found myself thinking that the Harvard bound center of the road bus stop doesn't seem ideal in terms of the Red Line to bus transfer path and the amount of waiting area that can be provided for bus passengers, and keeping the existing sidewalk bus stops and designing bus lanes to use them may be best.

I'm thinking that east of Pearl St it might make sense to have outside bicycle lanes, and at the center of the road, have a parking / loading zone lane (which at the crosswalk would instead be an area for pedestrians to wait), a Harvard bound automobile lane, a lane shared between buses heading towards Prospect and automobiles turning left to Pearl, and then a lane for Boston bound buses.

Then west of Pearl St, from north to south there'd be a parking / loading zone lane, an automobile lane, a bus lane, flex post space, the bidirectional cycle track, buffer space without flex posts, and the Boston bound bus lane.

Essex St would get a traffic signal that would stop the automobile lane when a bus is approaching, so that the bus could move over to the right lane through that intersection so that west of Essex the order from north to south would be bus lane, automobile lane, left hand parking / loading zone lane, flex posts, center cycle track, buffer, Boston bound bus lane. (It would also be necessary to confirm that the bus could pull up to the curb after making that abrupt lane change.)

East of Prospect, Mass Ave narrows, so it probably would end up with just a right turn lane, a lane for automobiles and buses proceeding toward Harvard (which would also be used by buses turning left to Prospect), the bidirectional cycle track, and the Boston bound bus lane.

I think this would be more involved than the flex post protected pilot on Cambridge St between Inman Sq and Harvard Sq in that it would require some new traffic signals, but it might be possible to do this with just paint, flex posts, and traffic signal work.

(And the Boston bound buses would probably need to have the option to move into the center cycle track in this configuration if they need to get around a disabled bus, although if this is done I would like the drivers to be instructed that they are only allowed to do that at a walking speed if there is an actual broken bus, and if the bus in front of them is merely taking longer to load than their bus, they need to simply stay in the bus lane and wait for that bus in front of them to finish loading.)

Last edited by Joel N. Weber II; 07-17-2018 at 07:44 PM.
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2018, 04:55 PM   #566
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Re: Mass Ave / Central Sq in Cambridge

Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
Essex St would get a traffic signal
On further thought, I think an Essex St traffic light would probably be overkill.

Instead, when a Harvard bound bus is approaching Pearl St, the Pearl St light could be set up to stop the right hand lane to store the automobiles that want to proceed on Mass Ave, and to give traffic in the left lane (the bus + left turns to Pearl St lane) a green light to proceed. At the same time, while a westbound bus is somewhere between Norfolk St and the bus stop at the Central Sq Red Line station and one or both westbound automobile lanes on Mass Ave just to the east of Prospect has one or more vehicles, the Prospect signal should give those lanes a green light to help vehicles get out of the way of the bus. (If Lyft and their competitors could be trusted to not use the travel lane between Pearl and Essex as a drop off lane, a westbound bus lane between Pearl and Essex might not even be needed.)

As a westbound bus clears the Pearl St intersection, the Pearl St intersection could switch to giving bicyclists some green time to delay giving the automobiles green time to give the bus a bit of extra time to merge right.

Ari's blog post proposed to use the currently unused space on Prospect just to the north of Mass Ave as a dedicated left turn lane for the 83 and 91 buses. I think it might be better to use that space to separate the right turn lane from the straight through lane; the Mass Ave / Prospect light would then normally go through three phases: proceed along Mass Ave, proceed along Prospect, and right turns. There would also be special phases triggered by transit signal priority for the 83/91 left turn from Prospect to Mass Ave (which would be simultaneous with automobiles proceeding south along Prospect, but northbound Prospect traffic would get a red light during that phase; this phase would probably also allow right turns from Prospect southbound to Mass Ave Harvard bound), and for the 64/70 left turn from Mass Ave to Prospect (also allowing Harvard bound automobiles to proceed along Mass Ave and probably also allowing right turns from westbound Mass Ave to northbound Prospect). [Edit: A third special phase which would allow westbound automobiles to proceed along Mass Ave and turn right onto Prospect while also allowing bicycles to proceed along Mass Ave and eastbound buses to proceed along Mass Ave could potentially be used to clear automobiles out of the way of buses approaching the westbound Central Sq bus stop.]

Last edited by Joel N. Weber II; 07-15-2018 at 05:06 PM.
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2018, 06:31 PM   #567
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Re: Mass Ave / Central Sq in Cambridge

Immediately to the west of Pearl, if there's no need for a westbound bus lane separate from the westbound general purpose travel lane if the traffic signal can get other traffic out of the way of buses, it probably also becomes possible to give the eastbound bus stop space for a bus that's ready to depart to pass a stopped bus:

While one possibility for 47 layovers involves having 47 use the main Mass Ave bus stops and loop Mass Ave -> Pleasant -> Green -> River -> Mass Ave, I'm wondering if having 47 stop on Pearl St as close to Mass Ave as possible, going Brookline St -> Mass Ave -> Pearl St, might be more efficient. It looks like the loop adds almost 2400 feet, or a bit less than half a mile, which is probably about 60-90 seconds of extra travel time plus waiting for multiple lights, some of which probably will have enough traffic and frequent enough revenue bus service that giving non-revenue buses priority will probably be impractical. It does appear that the Pearl St bus stop would be roughly 500' from the Alewife bound Red Line elevator, which may be almost a 3 minute walk for slower pedestrians.

I think extending 91 to Brighton Center might be desirable in the future, via Western Ave / River St to Soldiers Field Road and then Cambridge St (following 64's route) to Allston's Union Sq and then following 57's route to Brighton Center. Perhaps if Essex St in Cambridge were reversed from Bishop Allen Dr to Mass Ave, the Brighton Center bound bus could go Prospect -> Bishop Allen -> Essex -> Mass Ave (stopping at the main Central Sq bus stop) -> Prospect, but I think heading towards Sullivan, it would probably make sense for 91 to stop on Magazine St / River St just to the south of Mass Ave.
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2018, 06:49 PM   #568
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Re: 47

Did 47 get rerouted at some point in the last decade? I have a paper system map that seems to imply that southbound 47 used to travel along Pearl until what is probably Putnam, then over to Magazine on the way to the BU Bridge, and I would have assumed that the right way to straighten all of that out would have been just to travel on Pearl all the way from Central Sq (Mass Ave or Green St) to Granite St, but it looks like the T probably instead moved it entirely over to Magazine?

Maybe adding a 47 layover bus stop on westbound Mass Ave just east of Essex could work out reasonably well if 47 is going to continue to run on Brookline St / Magazine St, but it seems like if one wanted to use a nearby one way pair Brookline St / Pearl St would in some ways make more sense.
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 06:41 PM   #569
Joel N. Weber II
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 562
Re: Mass Ave / Western / River / Magazine / Green St / Central Sq in Cambridge / 47

This might be a reasonable cross section to end up with for the crosswalk on the south side of Mass Ave at Western / River / Magazine: from west to east: southbound bicycle lane, southbound automobile travel lane, northbound automobile travel lane, northbound bicycle lane, and northbound bus lane.

Immediately to the south of that, a similar cross section but with an additional bus lane to the east so that a 64 to Kendall (or potential future extension of 91 originating on the other side of the Charles River) can pull over to a bus stop while a 70 going to the Mass Ave bus stop can skip that stop on Magazine:

At River and Western, just north of Green St, the potential southbound left turn lane to Green St probably needs to go on the east side of the mature trees if the mature trees are going to remain, such that we end up with southbound bike lane, southbound travel lane, trees, southbound left turn lane, northbound travel lane, northbound bicycle lane:

The space on Magazine just to the north of Green St has potential as MBTA bus layover storage; it might make sense to make it three lanes wide, use the middle lane as a travel lane for both buses and bicycles, and use the outer lanes as parking for buses (or possibly bus supervisor or MBTA employee parking):

If 47 has flexibility to be rerouted to any of Brookline St, Pearl St, or Magazine St, here are a bunch of routing options that seem to have some potential to work with reconfigured Central Sq (although in some cases probably with layovers that work so badly that they should not be seriously considered):
  • BU Bridge -> Brookline St -> Mass Ave -> new bus stop on Pearl St just south of Mass Ave for layover -> Pearl St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (layover probably works fine unless perhaps more than one bus bunches; walk to Red Line at Central Sq is longer than ideal)
  • BU Bridge -> Brookline St -> Mass Ave -> main westbound Mass Ave bus stop -> Western -> Green St -> Magazine St layover just north of Green St -> Magazine St -> Mass Ave to main Mass Ave eastbound bus stop -> Pearl St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (layover probably works fine although getting to / from layover spot may waste a bit of time and may waste potentially scarce capacity at the Mass Ave / Prospect / Western / River / Magazine intersection)
  • BU Bridge -> Brookline St -> Mass Ave -> main westbound Mass Ave bus stop to discharge passengers -> Western -> Green St -> layover somewhere on Green St -> Brookline St -> main westbound Mass Ave bus stop to collect passengers -> Western Ave -> Green St -> Magazine St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (the layover loop could be skipped if the bus is running behind schedule, but this seems pretty inefficient)
  • BU Bridge -> Brookline St -> Mass Ave -> new bus stop on Mass Ave just east of Essex St (all other westbound buses stopping just west of Essex) -> Western Ave -> Green St -> Magazine St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (layover probably works, although lack of drop off space on the right side of Mass Ave in that area from increasing bus stop space may cause automobile drivers to block bus stops more frequently)
  • BU Bridge -> Memorial Drive -> Magazine St -> layover at bus stop on the right side of Magazine St just north of Green St -> Mass Ave -> pick up passengers at main Mass Ave eastbound bus stop -> Pearl St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (discharge location in Central Sq inconvenient for Red Line transfers, but probably operationally convenient for the bus system)
  • BU Bridge -> Memorial Drive -> Magazine St -> Mass Ave -> layover in easternmost space of main Mass Ave eastbound bus stop -> Pearl St -> Granite St -> Brookline St -> BU Bridge (if this layover can be made to work, it's probably a win in terms of minimizing route length to minimize operating cost while also keeping the walk to the Red Line to a reasonable distance)

Assuming we can get two eastbound bus lanes on Mass Ave between Essex St and Pearl St, I think I like the last option best; presumably there will be space for 3 or 4 buses to be stopped at the curb simultaneously at the main eastbound bus stop on Mass Ave in that case. Presumably 47 would switch its destination sign to not in service right after making its last Magazine St stop, so that when it arrives at the Mass Ave stop to discharge passengers, if it ends up behind some other buses, it would be signed as not in service so that if there are passengers waiting on Mass Ave near Pearl St to board, they wouldn't feel like they have to go running over to board that 47, and then after the other buses depart, the 47 could pull forward to the designated layover space and either wait to even out the headways, or start boarding. If this is done, it might make sense to have the routes that are not 47 never stop in the easternmost space at the eastbound Central Sq bus stop to make it easier for passengers waiting to board to be able to predict where they should wait for their bus. (And the sidewalk on the south / eastbound side of Mass Ave between Magazine / Prospect and Essex could be constructed to allow buses to discharge passengers if they end up stopped in the bus lane there if there ever end up being enough buses in Central Sq at once for that to become useful, although perhaps Transit Signal Priority could also be set up to try to spread out those arrivals.)
Joel N. Weber II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 07:33 AM   #570
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 59
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

What would the route be for SL3 to Wellington?
djohnstonb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 02:43 PM   #571
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Jamaica Plain
Posts: 1,428
Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

The latest Focus40 document makes it seem like Sullivan is the latest envisioned terminus, rather than Wellington. I would assume that means continuing along the Newburyport/Rockport ROW, then following Lower Broadway bus lanes, crossing the Mystic on Alford St to Sullivan.
bigeman312 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Redesigned MBTA c_combat Design a Better Boston 30 12-19-2013 08:38 PM
MBTA Porn shmessy Transit and Infrastructure 0 04-13-2013 11:57 AM
MBTA Art found5dollar Transit and Infrastructure 10 04-04-2011 06:49 PM
MBTA Forum PaulC Transit and Infrastructure 13 06-17-2009 01:10 AM
The Future MBTA PerfectHandle Transit and Infrastructure 10 03-14-2007 01:40 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.