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Old 01-02-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
mass88
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Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Lots of good discussion over on the Bowker Overpass thread. That got me thinking, what changes would you make the the infrastructure in the city of Boston and the metro area? I am not including mass transit, just roads.

When I say changes, if money and logistics were not a problem, how would you redesign/restructure things in the area? Say, top 5, or 10 changes you would make. Example, change the current path of the Pike, or 93 for example. Or, widen the Southeast Expressway from point A to point B.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
kmp1284
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Rename the Roxbury Silver Line route the 'G Line':

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyjug
I once saw a teenager exit the Silver Line bus on Temple Street and then unload several rounds at a fellow youthful former passenger in an unsuccessful effort to "kneecap" him. There wasn't much ricochet, so I guess the shooter was using hollow points. Holding the pistol sideways didn't do much for his aim, apparently, although I'm told it is a stylish gangsta shooting stance.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
Ron Newman
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Find some way to redesign the area where the Mass Pike is elevated above Soldiers Field Road, and where both (along with the railroad) cut off all access between BU and the Charles River.

Add bike lanes to Fresh Pond Parkway between Memorial Drive and Huron Ave. (There's a nice sidepath from Huron Ave. north to Concord Ave, which the lanes could connect to.)

Turn Charles Street between Beacon St and Longfellow Bridge into a two-way street, or else add a northbound contra-flow bike lane.

Squeeze both directions of Storrow Drive under a single archway of the Longfellow Bridge, to recover more Esplanade parkland.

Narrow the ramp from the BU bridge to eastbound Memorial Drive, and angle it more sharply towards Memorial Drive, in order to widen the sidewalk/bike path and adjoining park land.

Narrow the right lane of eastbound Memorial Drive where it goes under the Longfellow Bridge, to widen the sidewalk/bike path. Also add a crosswalk here across the eastbound lanes, to connect the bike path to the stairs leading up to the bridge

Narrow the right exit lane from Soldiers Field Road to River Street, to widen the adjoining bike path.

Restore the pedestrian crosswalk across Storrow Drive just east of the BU bridge (which was there until the late 1970s), making the bridge stairway actually useful.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:21 PM   #4
Commuting Boston Student
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

More to the point, turn every one-way road two lanes or wider into a two-lane road.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:49 AM   #5
Charlie_mta
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Metro Boston road changes I recommend:

- Convert Storrow into a surface boulevard, 2 lanes each way plus center turn lanes, with a curbed median, from BU to Leverett Circle.

- Reconfigure the Mass Pike into 3 lanes each way from Newton to the Central Artery. Add an exit ramp from the westbound Pike to Arlington Street, and an on-ramp to the eastbound Pike somewhere in the Back Bay area.

- Institute electronic tolling on the Mass Pike from Route 128 to the Central Artery. Realign and substantially shrink the size of the Allston interchange.

- Convert the SE Expressway into 3 general traffic lanes each way, plus a fourth HOT lane each direction next to the median. The tolls from the HOT lane would pay for adding shoulders/breakdown lanes to the road. The HOT lane would be congestion-priced and discounted for carpools.

- Build a separate ramp for buses and carpools from the Alewife Station to Route 2 westbound.

- Build a street level draw bridge or lift span from Charlestown to Chelsea just east of the Tobin Bridge.

- Widen and reconfigure Route 1 from Route 60 in Revere to its intersection with Route 99 (Broadway).

- Rebuild/restore Longfellow Bridge.

- Reconfigure Memorial Drive between the BU and Longfellow Bridges into a 4-lane boulevard (2 lanes each way with a narrow median), to widen the park land along the river.

- Narrow Rutherford Ave to two lanes each direction, and replace the large rotary and underpass at Sullivan Square with a couple of small signalized intersections. Eliminate the underpass at Gilmore Bridge.

- Remove the McGrath Hwy overpasses in Somerville and replace with a surface boulevard two lanes each way plus turn lanes.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
AmericanFolkLegend
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

-Streetcar from SS to NS using one lane in each direction of the surface artery/Atlantic Ave.
-Mass Ave tunnel to restore the park between Shawmut and Tremont (we did say money wasn't an issue).
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
bigeman312
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Money is no issue...

tunnel a spur of the Charles River Bike Path under North Beacon at Brooks Street (or even just add signal for the bike path crossing at the intersection). Run the spur along the North Side of the Pike to the pedestrian bridge in Allston with no grade crossings (over Parsons, over North Beacon, under Market, under Everett) with on and off ramps to those streets:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...0a57de7a8629f0

Related: rebuild Leo Birmingham Parkway, without a center median, to help accommodate wide, separated bike-path spur.

Related, Money is REALLY no issue: do this to the Pike:

http://www.archboston.org/community/...?t=4367&page=2

Continue the aforementioned proposed spur of the Charles River Bike Path, with no grade crossings, along the north side of the straightened Pike, terminating in the East at Harry Agganis Way and the CRBP on the East side of Allston, thereby providing a direct route for cyclists in Allston-Brighton, safely away from Comm. Ave, Harvard Ave and/or Brighton Ave.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
davem
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
Money is no issue...

tunnel a spur of the Charles River Bike Path under North Beacon at Brooks Street (or even just add signal for the bike path crossing at the intersection). Run the spur along the North Side of the Pike to the pedestrian bridge in Allston with no grade crossings (over Parsons, over North Beacon, under Market, under Everett) with on and off ramps to those streets:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...0a57de7a8629f0

Related: rebuild Leo Birmingham Parkway, without a center median, to help accommodate wide, separated bike-path spur.

Related, Money is REALLY no issue: do this to the Pike:

http://www.archboston.org/community/...?t=4367&page=2

Continue the aforementioned proposed spur of the Charles River Bike Path, with no grade crossings, along the north side of the straightened Pike, terminating in the East at Harry Agganis Way and the CRBP on the East side of Allston, thereby providing a direct route for cyclists in Allston-Brighton, safely away from Comm. Ave, Harvard Ave and/or Brighton Ave.
Thanks for the link there =) As for the Birmingham Parkway, I think it should outright be eliminated.

The entire area West of Market Street and North of the Pike is a wasteland that should be demolished for a fresh start. The office park abutting Market can stay for now, but everything else should get a landswap for the park in Barrys Corner.

This would be a massive gain for all involved: you get at least triple the parkland, complete with a pool. You have existing businesses with a strong customer base relocating to a square that needs exactly that, and amenities for the Lower Allston community as well as the HBS. Martenettis Liquors, Staples (the first ever), California Closets, Starbucks, iParty, a 24hour IHOP, and whatever is on the second floor of that stripmall would be a massive boon to the area.

AND you get to consolidate two unsafe and redundant parkways that feed a massively congested and unsafe rotary into what I imagine would be a much safer better managed route. The only business you would actually loose would be the dealership there (acura I think?) and perhaps that micky dees, although it could probably move to the little area of buildings where N Beacon goes under the pike where the remax, tuxedo place and thrift store are.


As a side note, shouldn't this thread be in the Design a Better Boston section?
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
Digital_Islandboy
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

North needs a subway line. Something like a subway line north of Airport from the Blue Line (open for suggestion) that would head southwest to Wellington Station (Orange Line) connection, on to Medford Square and curving around to connect to the new Green Line route to Tufts Univ. The line would travel onwards towards Arlington Centre-Belmont Center and to Waltham. Where new bus lines could be extended into Lexington, Route 128 and environs. The Red Line could be extended to Arlington Centre to meet this new node as well. It would cut across several Commuter Rail Lines plus the Downeaster Line from Maine. It would end the fact that North of Boston City (proper) there are hardly any routes that connect the outer spokes of the MBTA/MBCR meaning all connections from the north pretty much require going into downtown Boston. My own Cambridge is pretty over-represented with subway stations. So I'd suggest Cambridge forgo getting another station from this route and instead help some of the other communities bordering Cambridge to the west.

Would be useful for days when Orange Line is broken down, Green Line is broken down, or Blue Line is broken down as one can hop on this route to get to an alternate spoke line into Boston.

Last edited by Digital_Islandboy; 01-03-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
cden4
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

- Convert Storrow Drive into a surface street with one travel lane in each direction with left turn lanes where needed and on-street parking. Create a parallel 2-way cycle track.
- Convert Memorial Drive into one travel lane in each direction with left turn lanes where needed and on-street parking. Do this on the current northern (westbound) lanes, and reclaim the southern (eastbound) lanes as parkland. Create a parallel 2-way cycle track.
- Tear down the Bowker Overpass except for the part over the Mass Pike. Reclaim as much parkland as possible and create surface street connections to and from Storrow Drive with signalized intersections.
- Create some sanity at the Fresh Pond Parkway/Alewife Brook Parkway/Route 2 intersection. I personally think a well-designed 2-lane roundabout would work here.
- Create some sanity at the Fresh Pond Parkway/Gerry's Landing Road/Mt Auburn St intersection. What an unmitigated disaster! Make it a traditional 4 way intersection, reduce the size of it, put some decent markings and clear signals, and you're done.
- Deck over the Mass Pike in Back Bay and South Boston. Just get it done and the developers will come knocking very quickly.
- Convert Rutherford Ave into a surface street with no more than 2 through lanes each direction, left turn lanes where needed, on-street parking, and a parallel 2-way cycle track (this is similar to what the City has proposed).
- Bury I-93 through Somerville and Medford -- unlimited funds, right?! :-)
- Bicycle/pedestrian bridge between downtown Boston and East Boston (or perhaps reclaim a lane in one of the tunnels?)
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
Shepard
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Question about decking the Pike.

Why wouldn't some deep-pocketed engineering/infrastructure/development firm buy rights from MassDOT to do exactly this, with the understanding that they could then flip it to building developers?
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
AmericanFolkLegend
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Re: Your Changes to Metro Boston Infrastructure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Question about decking the Pike.

Why wouldn't some deep-pocketed engineering/infrastructure/development firm buy rights from MassDOT to do exactly this, with the understanding that they could then flip it to building developers?
My guess: lack of clarity over what can get built. Developers, not infrastructure firms permit a site. So by decking first you sort of put the cart before the horse. Imagine if, after you deck, the City says, "OK, local zoning applies. You can build up to 70 feet with an FAR of 3." Kind of kills your profit potential.
A secondary reason: once you build the deck you presumably start paying rent to the state. Even though you've got no buildings up.
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