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Old 06-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
omaja
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Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

After being around for some time, I've noticed a common thread weaving itself in and out of each topic so, to sum up basically all of our discussions on transportation: we can't improve our roads because we destroy communities and we can't build a comprehensive, reliable public transportation network because it costs too much.

It's no wonder nothing ever gets done in this city!

Where is innovative leadership that wants to get things done and make our city better? If only we could bring even a fraction of the craziest of transit pitches to fruition.

And with that, I'll take my place on a tired Type 7 trolley tomorrow morning, wishing it didn't make as many stops, or get stuck at stubbornly long traffic lights, or take an obscenely long amount of time to crawl from Kenmore to Government Center, or ...
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Originally Posted by omaja View Post
After being around for some time, I've noticed a common thread weaving itself in and out of each topic so, to sum up basically all of our discussions on transportation: we can't improve our roads because we destroy communities and we can't build a comprehensive, reliable public transportation network because it costs too much.

It's no wonder nothing ever gets done in this city!

Where is innovative leadership that wants to get things done and make our city better? If only we could bring even a fraction of the craziest of transit pitches to fruition.

And with that, I'll take my place on a tired Type 7 trolley tomorrow morning, wishing it didn't make as many stops, or get stuck at stubbornly long traffic lights, or take an obscenely long amount of time to crawl from Kenmore to Government Center, or ...
Omaja -- Please -- we just spent 20 + years and $20B+ building the BIG DIG & huge expansion to the T (T expansion was near the top of all Transit Systems in the US)

Signiicant Road / transit construction has been constantly underway since the 1980's -- meanwhile population growth in the metropolitan area has been slow -- although population redistribution has been significant
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

Legacy of the Big Dig:

- Swath of undevelopable downtown parkland
- Seaport frankenbus
- Shiny Washington St bus shelters (for an otherwise unremarkable bus service)
- Airport tunnel, for cars and frankenbus
- Downtown tunnel, for cars (shorter commute for Shaun from the Sow'shah and Mahty from Meh'ffuh
- Crippling MBTA debt resulting in service cuts and fare raises
- Obligatory GLX, BLX and R/BX studies to satisfy lawsuits
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #4
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Omaja -- Please -- we just spent 20 + years and $20B+ building the BIG DIG & huge expansion to the T (T expansion was near the top of all Transit Systems in the US)

Signiicant Road / transit construction has been constantly underway since the 1980's -- meanwhile population growth in the metropolitan area has been slow -- although population redistribution has been significant
Aside from the tunnels, what was really public transportation that we can be proud of? Because the Silver Line isn't that great of an upgrade.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Aside from the tunnels, what was really public transportation that we can be proud of? Because the Silver Line isn't that great of an upgrade.
Red LIne extended from Haaaaaaaaaaaahvd to Alewife -- was just happening when I returned after my 10 year sojourn in Austin TX

Orange Line North -- replacing the old Charlestown El

Orange Line South -- replacing the old Roxbury El

Restoring the Commuter Rail to Plymouth -- fastest growing region in Greater Boston
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

Huge expansion to the T? You mean the commuter rail expansions to rich, highly influential suburban communities? Or the parking lot expansions for commuter rail lots?
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #7
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

^ He's talking about the extensions in the 80s to the Red Line...
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
whighlander
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Legacy of the Big Dig:

- Swath of undevelopable downtown parkland
- Seaport frankenbus
- Shiny Washington St bus shelters (for an otherwise unremarkable bus service)
- Airport tunnel, for cars and frankenbus
- Downtown tunnel, for cars (shorter commute for Shaun from the Sow'shah and Mahty from Meh'ffuh
- Crippling MBTA debt resulting in service cuts and fare raises
- Obligatory GLX, BLX and R/BX studies to satisfy lawsuits
Shep -- the two major legacies of the Big Dig:
1) travel to / from Logan
a) Lexington to Logan -- by car in less than 45 minutes nearly guranteed
b) Lexington to Logan -- by transit in less than 1 hour nearly guaranteed

2) Parks
a) North Point near to the MOS
b) Paul Revere Landing
c) Nashua Street Park
d) North End park
e) Fountain
f) Spectacle Island
g) Chinatown waterfall
h) Parks around and about Logan
i ) filled quaries in Quincy
j) Armenian memorial

The side benefit for me -- the horrible traffic through downtown Boston on the elevated Central Artery which used to make for great photos (the pedestrian bridge just as the traffic was decending to the South Station Tunnel) and occasionally was useful for impressing someone from out of town -- its not just burried -- its much much more pleasant to drive through and walk across

The above make the Big Dig a success irrespective of the quality of the landscape architecture
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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^ He's talking about the extensions in the 80s to the Red Line...
Busses -- exactly -- the Red Line to Alewife -- that is a fundamental change in commuting paterns from the NW and if the T was to want to maximize revenues by dropping the cost of parking after 7 PM and on weekends - it would be a major improvement in access to downtown off-peak
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

Are you claiming that the Conservation Law Foundation possesses a time machine?

Or do you have some other means to claim that the Red Line extensions were somehow a Big Dig mitigation project? Instead of coming from the cancellation of the Inner Belt (and SW Expressway, in the case of the Orange Line).

I would also like to note that none of your list, but for item (1), requires the Big Dig. They could have done all but the first simply by demolishing the decrepit Central Artery.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #11
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

Speaking of crazy transit pitches... Time Machine Rapid Transit: never worry about sleeping in late again!
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Red LIne extended from Haaaaaaaaaaaahvd to Alewife -- was just happening when I returned after my 10 year sojourn in Austin TX

Orange Line North -- replacing the old Charlestown El

Orange Line South -- replacing the old Roxbury El

Restoring the Commuter Rail to Plymouth -- fastest growing region in Greater Boston
10 year sojourn return, was still 30 years ago...

My comments was roughly regarding a 20-25 year memory. To me, "just" being 1980's isn't "just" anymore. Also I don't count Commuter Rail (and the Orange Line is definitely not "just" anymore). Now if there was something in the 90's, then yeah...

Also Mathew have a point that many of your listing isn't connected to the Big Dig. There was actual rail-type projects connected to the Big Dig. But to my understanding, all we have to show is a rebuilt Arborway Station that was never used in that capacity, one or two multi-million dollar study, that bus, and a bunch of parking spots at commuter rail stops. That can still change with GLX, but we not there yet and I'm not believing it until the that trolley start rolling.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
whighlander
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Are you claiming that the Conservation Law Foundation possesses a time machine?

Or do you have some other means to claim that the Red Line extensions were somehow a Big Dig mitigation project? Instead of coming from the cancellation of the Inner Belt (and SW Expressway, in the case of the Orange Line).

I would also like to note that none of your list, but for item (1), requires the Big Dig. They could have done all but the first simply by demolishing the decrepit Central Artery.
Mathew -- No Time Machine needed -- nor for that matter do we need the CLF
The T began expanding in the 1970's before the CLF existed or the Big Dig had gotten much beyond the Cerebral Cortex of Salvucci

Only the DTX to Forest Hills Orange Line had anything to do with highway cancellations -- the rest of the T expansion was plotted during the 1960's or even before the creation of the T -- its just that in Boston everythig done by the gov't takes some time to go from the concept to the serious concept and then the implementation to the final product (typically about 20 to 25 years)

By the way -- as far as I'm concerned the Big Dig did the job the day I could drive along I-90 to an exit for the Terminals at Logan drop off a colleague for his flight and then come back by the Sumner Tunnel to Storrow Drive without hitting any traffic

In fact I once did something unthinkable before the Big Dig -- I jumped in my car in the MOS parking garage and met my wife at Logan even though her plane arrived 30 minutes early -- it took me all of 7 minutes portal to portal
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:44 AM   #14
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

Hmm, when you said 20 years and $20 billion, that pretty much covers the Big Dig ($22 billion), so I assumed you meant the mitigation projects.

But yes, if you go back to the 70s you can find rapid transit changes and some extensions.

The Orange Line changes were a mixed bag though. Dudley never recovered. It's only now, decades later, that we're finally starting to see proposals for what to do with all the empty parcels by the SW Expressway. And what about Everett? They're kind of left out in the cold.

Alewife and Braintree stations may as well be on commuter rail. At least around Alewife there's development and growth.

The Ted Williams tunnel really should be considered a separate project from the Central Artery/Tunnel. It's the latter where things got really hairy.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #15
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Red LIne extended from Haaaaaaaaaaaahvd to Alewife -- was just happening when I returned after my 10 year sojourn in Austin TX

Orange Line North -- replacing the old Charlestown El

Orange Line South -- replacing the old Roxbury El

Restoring the Commuter Rail to Plymouth -- fastest growing region in Greater Boston

Alewife extension: 3 extra stops, one of which is to serve as a highway terminus collector.

Haymarket-North REPLACEMENT: replacement plus two more stops.

Southwest Corridor REPLACEMENT: replacement (plus infill?) to less usable corridor.

Commuter Rail: Give me a break. Let me know when they build a proper rail line.


Whoopdy doo.

Meanwhile we've probably widened every highway within 495 with an interstate designation in that time frame.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:55 AM   #16
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Only the DTX to Forest Hills Orange Line had anything to do with highway cancellations -- the rest of the T expansion was plotted during the 1960's or even before the creation of the T -- its just that in Boston everythig done by the gov't takes some time to go from the concept to the serious concept and then the implementation to the final product (typically about 20 to 25 years)

The Red Line extensions to Alewife and Braintree were also funded from Federal monies that had been programmed for the cancelled Inner Belt and I-95 Expressways.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:21 AM   #17
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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I would also like to note that none of your list, but for item (1), requires the Big Dig. They could have done all but the first simply by demolishing the decrepit Central Artery.
You couldn't have demolished the Central Artery without the Big Dig.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:29 AM   #18
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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You couldn't have demolished the Central Artery without the Big Dig.
Sure you could have. Wrecking ball. Done.

Ok, I will presume that you are going to complain next about "but what about all the through traffic" and I'll just skip a step and point you at the Embarcadero Freeway which was damaged by an earthquake, and the result has been absolutely wonderful and at a fraction of the cost of the Big Dig.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #19
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Sure you could have. Wrecking ball. Done.

Ok, I will presume that you are going to complain next about "but what about all the through traffic" and I'll just skip a step and point you at the Embarcadero Freeway which was damaged by an earthquake, and the result has been absolutely wonderful and at a fraction of the cost of the Big Dig.
That didn't actually answer my complaint at all, because the Embarcadero Freeway is nothing like the Central Artery.

Demolishing the Central Artery means the rest of Interstate 93 has to go somewhere else, and for a guy who is so "anti highway impact" I'm sure you can see the problem with having a major highway end abruptly in the vicinity of Mass. Ave on the south side and North Station on the North. If all those cars are bad enough on an interstate corridor, how bad do you think they'll be when they're dumped onto your surface streets?
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #20
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Re: Boston Infrastructure: A Summary

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Sure you could have. Wrecking ball. Done.

Ok, I will presume that you are going to complain next about "but what about all the through traffic" and I'll just skip a step and point you at the Embarcadero Freeway which was damaged by an earthquake, and the result has been absolutely wonderful and at a fraction of the cost of the Big Dig.
Matthew, goddammit, this is what I mean the last time I brought up that you are being biased again. Your citation of the Embarcadero Freeway is not parallel to the Central Artery. The cars won't just disappear. The congestion will rise and fill the streets of Boston. And there will be costs to that congestion and it won't be just people abandoning cars and filling the T.

Remember, a large part of the paradox is distribution. Not just encouragement for people to favor one mode over the others.

Unlike the Embarcadero, nearly all major traffic of Boston uses the artery. The parallel in Boston to the Embarcadero is Storrow Drive. Do you think Storrow Drive and the Central Artery are the same? (and please don't say yes, do I have to explain the concept that not every traffic is "soft" traffic where they just use the most convenient mode).
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