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View Poll Results: Which project would have the greatest impact on Boston for the funds available?
North-South Rail Link 18 18.18%
Red-Blue Line Link 31 31.31%
Green-Silver Link (to South Boston Waterfront) 16 16.16%
New Back Bay Subway (Green or Blue Lines) 1 1.01%
Green Line to South End 5 5.05%
Urban Ring (Rail) 17 17.17%
Red/Blue/Orange Line Extensions 9 9.09%
Other 2 2.02%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-05-2014, 12:12 PM   #41
underground
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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My argument is more with those who believe that the N-S Link will allow the creation of a Paris-like RER system with high headways.
RER runs on what? 2 min headways or something crazy like that? Yeah, I don't think anyone thinks that's happening in our lifetimes (baring MA winning some sort of lottery). We can't even get the existing system to run consistently at 7. If that (or even 10) was the starting goal, I think everyone would be happy.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:21 PM   #42
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

RER only has crazy headways on the trunks. The outer lines are more typical regional rail, even contending with single tracking.

Don't need 100 second headways for success either way.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:42 PM   #43
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

I went with other - I'd like to see a significant push made to replace track, lighting, wiring and signals along every inch of the MBTA network. I am still scratching my head that track work on the Red Line continues to be done 2 plus years after it began.

I would love the system to be expanded, but there are plenty of problems with what we have that should be tackled first before any significant expansion, imo.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #44
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

I see Green Line expansion - SLX, Dudley, and any feasible UR segments (e.g. to Chelsea) as incredibly good bang-for-buck system expansions. Between Dudley and Everett/Chelsea alone you bring so much new and better service to woefully underserved areas. And the Seaport is a worthwhile project because lack of good, connected rail transit could really stymie a residential community developing there (ok ok I grant you, there are other factors at play as well.)

Get the signaling on the GL up to snuff and get this system expanded until it looks and feels like the density of Amsterdam's tram lines. It's easily possible. And would be very clearly transformative.

One other mostly unrelated thought: OL to Rozzie isn't going to be on anyone's Top 5 radar, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't have happened yesterday.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:12 PM   #45
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Originally Posted by underground View Post
RER runs on what? 2 min headways or something crazy like that? Yeah, I don't think anyone thinks that's happening in our lifetimes (baring MA winning some sort of lottery). We can't even get the existing system to run consistently at 7. If that (or even 10) was the starting goal, I think everyone would be happy.
I'm even talking sub-15 minute headways. We can't do that on our existing commuter rail system. We can probably get all the HRT lines to 2.5 minutes peak with the proper adjustments, but anything using common use tracks is never getting below 15-18 minute headways.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #46
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Out of curiosity, what is meant when we talk of reforming the CR lines? Electrification, better signaling, double tracking, that sort of thing? Or something more substantial like ROW straightening?
Along the lines of that question, say if you electrified an existing commuter rail line could you then continue to run commuter rail trains along with orange/red/blue line trains on the same tracks? Seems like that would be the least expensive option in terms of capital expense. Basically just a way to extend the subway lines outward along the commuter rail lines to places along the commuter rail line where population density or development plans make more frequent service necessary and sustainable.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:40 PM   #47
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

No, you couldn't do that. The FRA does not allow mixing types on the same track. Some commuter rail lines could be converted to heavy rail rapid transit (ie Red or Orange Line style), but it would require eliminating the line as commuter rail. So that means wither extend HRT all the way or widen the ROW to accommodate tracks for both modes. That second option is how the Green Line extension is designed. The first option could work on some of the shorter lines, most notably Needham. But it can't be done on the rest without killing access to more outlying areas.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:51 PM   #48
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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No, you couldn't do that. The FRA does not allow mixing types on the same track. Some commuter rail lines could be converted to heavy rail rapid transit (ie Red or Orange Line style), but it would require eliminating the line as commuter rail. So that means wither extend HRT all the way or widen the ROW to accommodate tracks for both modes. That second option is how the Green Line extension is designed. The first option could work on some of the shorter lines, most notably Needham. But it can't be done on the rest without killing access to more outlying areas.
Right. Also, aside from killing access to outlying areas, you are also killing freight moves if you convert common use rails to rapid transit. That's why we can't flip Fairmount to HRT, it's needed for freight moves (as well as a release valve for NEC traffic.)
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:32 PM   #49
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

Orange line just one stop to Roslindale Square. My educated guess is that entire project would probably run under 40-50 million. If they shift bus service, they'd likely end up saving at least a half million in operating costs a year just with existing ridership (although it might cannibalize some of the commuter rail riders), it would drastically reduce wear and tear on Washington Street (saving the city some money), and there'd be a reduction in air pollution through that corridor and help make the street safer for cyclists getting to the SW corridor. The stop would be an economic boon to the Roslindale Village business district - an area that is already currently pro-development and pro-density but still struggles to retain businesses, it would relieve some pressure on Forest Hills, reduce commute times significantly (some days it is faster to walk between forest hills and roslindale square than take the bus), plus it could have a positive spill-over effect on a couple bus lines, namely the 14 and the 30.

It would be nice if the orange line split at forest hills and went down hyde park ave to dedham, and the other went all the way to needham, or at least 128... but the Roslindale stop is completely feasible while still maintaining commuter rail service.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:07 PM   #50
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Originally Posted by rinserepeat View Post
Orange line just one stop to Roslindale Square. My educated guess is that entire project would probably run under 40-50 million. If they shift bus service, they'd likely end up saving at least a half million in operating costs a year just with existing ridership (although it might cannibalize some of the commuter rail riders), it would drastically reduce wear and tear on Washington Street (saving the city some money), and there'd be a reduction in air pollution through that corridor and help make the street safer for cyclists getting to the SW corridor. The stop would be an economic boon to the Roslindale Village business district - an area that is already currently pro-development and pro-density but still struggles to retain businesses, it would relieve some pressure on Forest Hills, reduce commute times significantly (some days it is faster to walk between forest hills and roslindale square than take the bus), plus it could have a positive spill-over effect on a couple bus lines, namely the 14 and the 30.
Definitely. And it shouldn't matter if ridership is stolen from the Needham Line anyway, since at some point in the next 20-30 years it will probably need to be replaced with Green/Orange dual flanks.

Quote:
It would be nice if the orange line split at forest hills and went down hyde park ave to dedham, and the other went all the way to needham, or at least 128... but the Roslindale stop is completely feasible while still maintaining commuter rail service.
Unless they tunnel under the NEC, or Hyde Park Ave (which won't happen, ridership numbers won't justify the tunneling costs), the Orange won't go down that way.

Best way to serve Hyde Park is increased bus service on HPA between Fairmount and Forest Hills, plus 15-18 minute headways on the Fairmount serving Fairmount and Readville.

Dedham probably will never want rail service beyond its Commuter Rail stations, but the best chance someday is a RLX from Mattapan, buried to the Fairmount ROW and running alongside to Readville, splitting west on the Dedham Line to Dedham Center. That's a very crazy transit pitch though...

For Needham, the initial build to replace the Needham Line CR should entail Orange to West Roxbury and Green to Needham Junction. Hersey loses transit. If it can be demonstrated later that a 128 park & ride makes sense for the area - then extend Orange through the swamp as a later phase build.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:57 PM   #51
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

orange line to rozzie might also be the catalyst to force the rest of the project - especially once folks in westie see just how much it does for that area. once West Roxbury is fully on board (and by West Roxbury, I'm referring to the politically connected family business empires located there - conveniently located near existing commuter rail stops...), orange line expansion will be taken a lot more seriously and would hit the books a lot sooner. Roslindale really needs outside help, though. They need someone seriously connected to advocate for them...

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
Unless they tunnel under the NEC, or Hyde Park Ave (which won't happen, ridership numbers won't justify the tunneling costs), the Orange won't go down that way.

Best way to serve Hyde Park is increased bus service on HPA between Fairmount and Forest Hills, plus 15-18 minute headways on the Fairmount serving Fairmount and Readville. ...
wishful thinking on my part - more realistically, hyde park ave really should get BRT - the traffic counts are low enough south of walk hill to designate a bus/bike lane - but further north I think this will sort itself out after the casey project is finished. the 32 is one of the busiest lines in the entire system, but it's nowhere near the ridership of the combined 9 bus lines that share that 1 mile stretch of Washington St.

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
For Needham, the initial build to replace the Needham Line CR should entail Orange to West Roxbury and Green to Needham Junction. Hersey loses transit. If it can be demonstrated later that a 128 park & ride makes sense for the area - then extend Orange through the swamp as a later phase build.
IMO - 128 park and ride orange line makes a lot of sense - I think a lot of people would use it (guaranteed low-cost regular service for points south instead of relying on the providence line)- plus turn that stretch between needham center and the new 128 park and ride into a rail trail...

Last edited by rinserepeat; 12-08-2014 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:13 PM   #52
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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IMO - 128 park and ride orange line makes a lot of sense - I think a lot of people would use it (guaranteed low-cost regular service for points south instead of relying on the providence line)- plus turn that stretch between needham center and the new 128 park and ride into a rail trail...
I would agree, except that by the time the Orange Line makes it to WRox there will probably be 128 Park & Rides for Indigo service on the Fitchburg at the Waltham/Weston town-line, and for Indigo at Westwood Station. Plus a likely Green Line Park & Ride at Needham Highlands somewhere around TV Place (as part of the Needham extension), plus the existing Riverside, which will probably also have Indigo service. So the utility of an OL Park & Ride in an otherwise dead zone near conservation land may be more limited.

Not to say it shouldn't happen at some point, but probably only as a later phase if demand seems apparent.

Last edited by George_Apley; 12-18-2014 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:06 PM   #53
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

Extending the OL to Roslindale makes sense but after that you are just going to spend a lot of money to replace existing service, which people are already happy with, with arguably worse service. Yes the OL will come more often but the trip will be longer. I really can't see anyone taking this seriously. Just throw some DMUs on the line and you're set.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:10 PM   #54
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Extending the OL to Roslindale makes sense but after that you are just going to spend a lot of money to replace existing service, which people are already happy with, with arguably worse service. Yes the OL will come more often but the trip will be longer. I really can't see anyone taking this seriously.
They will when NEC traffic causes Needham headways to dwindle overtime and the choice comes down to Orange Line service (or Green Line service), or ever decreasing Commuter Rail service.

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Old 12-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #55
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
Extending the OL to Roslindale makes sense but after that you are just going to spend a lot of money to replace existing service, which people are already happy with, with arguably worse service. Yes the OL will come more often but the trip will be longer. I really can't see anyone taking this seriously. Just throw some DMUs on the line and you're set.
Frequency of service > speed of service
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #56
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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One other mostly unrelated thought: OL to Rozzie isn't going to be on anyone's Top 5 radar, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't have happened yesterday.
I am happy to see the last posts talking about this very same thing.

The only reason I didn't mention it myself before is that the title is "The next Big project".

I just don't thing it is that big (somebody mentioned numbers before) and it makes too much sense.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #57
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

I think OL to Rozzie makes sense too, but the costs will be higher than stated. $40-50 million might buy you the station, but little else.

In a sane world it would cost $40 million altogether. But this is not a sane world.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:52 PM   #58
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

Agree, $50M is too low, but it could probably be done for $100M. Build it just to Rozzie, keep the commuter rail for the rest of that corridor, then possibly continue incremental extensions as the NEC becomes more of a clusterfuck. There is no good argument against an OLX to Roslindale.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:40 PM   #59
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

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Originally Posted by HenryAlan
Agree, $50M is too low, but it could probably be done for $100M. Build it just to Rozzie, keep the commuter rail for the rest of that corridor, then possibly continue incremental extensions as the NEC becomes more of a clusterfuck.
I don't think there can be any incremental service expansions after Roz. To go further to Bellevue, Highland and WRox requires shutting down the Needham Line. I do think it will need to happen eventually if those communities aren't going to suffer enormous transit loss, but it can't be done in increments beyond Roslindale.

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There is no good argument against an OLX to Roslindale.
I'm sure the public comment process would find something
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:13 PM   #60
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Re: Poll: The Next Big Project

I can think of two--

1) where would all of the buses layover that would presumably now be using Roslindale as a terminus?

2) since the majority of passengers using a Roslindale station would probably be people transferring off of buses from the south, why not try the more affordable option first--dedicated bus lane or lanes between Roslindale and Forest Hills in which buses could run express without any intermediate stations?
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