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Old 06-13-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
czsz
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Green Line D branch: complete summer shutdown

...there goes my commute.

Quote:
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Summer repairs on Green Line will halt D branch trains
By Globe Staff

The 14,000 people who travel between Newton and Boston each day on the MBTA's Green Line should brace themselves for a long summer on the bus.

Major renovations will suspend service on the D branch during the day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on weekends from June 23 through Aug. 31.

The work, which will be completed in two phases, will include trimming trees and brush; cleaning and digging new drainage ditches; realigning and resurfacing tracks; replacing rail ties; and improving signals. During the construction, the Longwood and Brookline Village stations will be rebuilt and the Hyde Street Bridge in Newton will be replaced.

The first phase of the work from June 23 to Aug. 3 will halt trains between the Reservoir and Riverside stations. From Aug. 3 to 31, the second phase will suspend service between the Reservoir and Fenway stations.

As a substitute, shuttle and express buses will travel the normal Green Line route. MBTA officials said the agency chose to perform work in the summer because traffic on the Green Line is lighter.
...the other option, which was reported on Fox 25, was to do night repairs over a two year period. This one (stripping Newton and part of Brookline of rail transit for months) was more convenient how?
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:10 AM   #2
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Well, of course!

czsz wrote:

... the other option, which was reported on Fox 25, was to do night repairs over a two year period. This one (stripping Newton and part of Brookline of rail transit for months) was more convenient how?

Quote:
The T scheduled the track work to avoid as many Sox home games as possible ...
There's your answer. Because we certainly wouldn't want to inconvenience a bunch of people going to a baseball game, would we?
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:17 AM   #3
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Re: Green Line D branch: complete summer shutdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz
...there goes my commute.
Mine too...Orient Heights - Brookline Village, about 9 miles, shouldn't take an hour, but that's an average daily travel time...As it is, I could get to work faster on a set of crutches...
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:20 PM   #4
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As a Newton resident, I may have some insight here.

The track work on the D Branch has been going on at night for the past few years, as well as on weekends during the day. Residents whose homes directly abut the tracks complained that the heavy machinery and loud voices of the workers kept them and their children from sleeping during the work. Hence, the MBTA moved the work to the daylight hours.

As far as the Sox go, the T plans to run direct shuttle service from Riverside to Fenway many game days. The trip might actually take less time, for those of us Riverside or beyond, anyway.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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If your destination is Brookline Village, the E train may be a useful alternative.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:41 PM   #6
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Equilibria, thanks for the explanation. I wonder, though, why there's a need to shut down such long sections of the line for such long periods of time. Surely they could begin by, say, shutting down Riverside and proceeding from Woodland, in order to be as minimally disruptive as possible...

Anyway, can someone suggest alternatives for me? I'm going from Needham to Kenmore Square, and have been parking at the Star Market lot in Chestnut Hill to grab the D. I guess I could take the C from Reservoir, but I get the sense that all of Newton is going to be parking at the T garage there over the next few months. Is there anywhere else to park around Reservoir/any other sensible routes from Needham -> Kenmore (the commuter rail to Back Bay + Green Line is a ridiculous waste of time).
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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Why not take the Framingham line in? They have 4 inbound trains before 9am that stop at Auburndale in Newton which has a huge free parking lot and at Yawkey Way in Fenway....
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Or commuter rail from Needham to Back Bay, walk up Dartmouth Street for two blocks to Copley, then Green Line outbound, two stops.

Or 60 bus from Chestnut Hill Route 9 to Kenmore
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Or commuter rail from Needham to Back Bay, walk up Dartmouth Street for two blocks to Copley, then Green Line outbound, two stops.
Like I said, this is a huge time waster. This route at best takes over an hour, whereas the Green Line D took half that time. The commuter rail is also way more expensive ($4.75 one way!) which is why I was wary of taking the Framingham Line.

I'll look into the 60 bus...does anyone know how long it takes from Chestnut Hill to Kenmore?
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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While some amount of inconvenience is inevitable as necessary rehab work is done, the frustrating issue with the T is how loooooong it takes to do relatively straightforward work. It's more about the jobs than the job completion, and the authority falls back on "replacement bus service" at the drop of a hat. And they never meet even their astonishingly unambitious deadlines.

Consider how fast a tower like One Lincoln went up.

Now consider the year and a half that it took to re-connect and repaint the Lechmere viaduct. Or the years it took to get the simple waiting stands finished on the Washington Street Silver Line. Or the glacial pace of the Charles/MGH rehab. Or any other station rehab, for that matter. My current favorite is the Arlington station re-do, which is now promised for "Spring 2009." In other words, it will take over 2 years to add an elevator and re-do an existing station. The tracks themselves won't be touched, and the scope of the renovation isn't exactly lavish.

If you took a time lapse photo of that worksite you could compress entire months without any visible sign of progress.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #11
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Very true, InTheHood. There's already speculation at boston.com that this work will drag into fall, or even continue for years. One poster ominously noted that "temporary busing" due to "minor work" is what shut down the E branch from Heath Street to Arborway in 1985...a service which has yet to be restored.

(Anecdote: On the Green Line yesterday I noticed that little more than whiteout had been used to erase the very nomenclatural suggestion of Arborway on the line map, although the map had already been updated to show the terminus at Heath St.)
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:55 PM   #12
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Sick transit...
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:41 PM   #13
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czsz regarding Needham to Kenmore commute:

If you go early, say before 8:00 a.m, you should be able to find free parking for the entire day on Beacon Street around the Reservoir at Boston College. The parking may get easier this summer with college out of session. Also, metered parking along Beacon Street near Cleveland Cir. is long term at least 6 hrs and I think some meters are 8 and 10 hr parking. These meters are 25 cents an hour if memory serves me right.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheHood
My current favorite is the Arlington station re-do, which is now promised for "Spring 2009." In other words, it will take over 2 years to add an elevator and re-do an existing station. The tracks themselves won't be touched, and the scope of the renovation isn't exactly lavish.

If you took a time lapse photo of that worksite you could compress entire months without any visible sign of progress.
Come check out Maverick Square -- the Egyptians built the friggin' pyramids faster. I love the impenetrable white plywood walls -- what are they hiding back there? Hammocks? Card tables? Big screen TVs? They're certainly not hiding work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
If your destination is Brookline Village, the E train may be a useful alternative.
Alternate, yes -- useful, we'll see. The service was much better 20 years ago when I rode the E-Line every day to Boston Latin. Problem now is that many trains get turned around at Brigham Circle. In terms of frequency of service, I may do better taking the B-Line to Coolidge Corner, and grabbing the 66 Bus to the Village. When the weather's nice, it's a pleasant walk.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:49 AM   #15
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I take the E every morning past Brigham Circle and have never had my train turned around.....I've occasionally seen it happen, but it is probably less than 1 in 10 trains, and it's only when the outbound traffic is heavy and inbound is light, so you wouldn't be waiting long for another outbound. That said, the outbound E is miserably crowded until Arlington.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Sick transit...
Dork...haha.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:39 PM   #17
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Buses do the trick for trolley riders
Commute OK as track work starts
By Mac Daniel, Globe Staff | June 26, 2007

So far, so good on the Green Line shutdown.

Thousands of passengers boarded buses instead of trolleys yesterday morning between Riverside and Reservoir stations on the D branch, the first weekday commute to make room for two months of summertime repairs.

While it went relatively smoothly, there were complaints, this being the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Some riders told T officials that to limit delays, they should bypass certain unpopular stops or have an express bus run from Newton Centre to Reservoir. The diversion is costing commuters an additional 15 to 20 minutes per trip .

"Things always take longer than they say," Linda Sweeney , a data analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital, said as she arrived to get the bus 20 minutes earlier than usual.

Dennis Howard, a Harvard Medical Coop employee who commutes from Newton Highlands, was stunned at how well things worked.

"It was inexplicable that it was as efficient as it was," he said. "Given the T's lack of common sense sometimes, it was very surprising."

He said his bus driver bypassed stops where no one was getting on or off, speeding up the trip. "So far, I'm impressed," Howard said.

T officials said the usual drop in summertime ridership helped.

Until Aug. 3, repair work on the trolley track during the project's first phase will have buses serving riders between Riverside and Reservoir stations in Newton. However, full trolley service will be provided on the Fourth of July, when thousands of commuters take the line to see the festivities on the Esplanade.

The second phase of the project, from Aug. 4 to Aug. 31, will eliminate trolley service between Reservoir and Fenway stations. Again, buses will serve instead .

The D branch , which has 20,000 daily riders, is the last on the Green Line to get major track work and repairs that will allow trolleys to go faster and allow the use of low-floor trolleys that are more accessible to the elderly and disabled.

There had been fears that the bus shuttles, combined with roadwork on adjacent Route 9, would create huge backups on local roads. None of that was evident yesterday.

Kevin McGuire, the MBTA's deputy chief operating officer, said the diversion went extremely well, despite a bus breakdown in Newton Highlands that briefly held up traffic. Along the route, the worst obstacles for buses were lawn-cutting crews.

The MBTA had 32 shuttles taking passengers between stations. The inbound trip took about 20 minutes, while the outbound, with more stops, was a bit slower. There was, however, little wait for a bus at any of the stations, where the T had stationed numerous employees to help passengers.

"I wasn't expecting it to be like this," said Bernice Sookie, 48, who left herself an extra 90 minutes for her commute from Jamaica Plain to Newton Center. "I was expecting it to be chaotic, but it's running smoothly."
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #18
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I have an internship this summer in Brookline Village, so this is very inconvenient for me. I think I may utilize the 66 bus as a more direct route from my neighborhood, rather than the shuttle bus.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:23 PM   #19
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Why not take the E Line?
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:48 PM   #20
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Bernice Sookie, 48, who left herself an extra 90 minutes for her commute from Jamaica Plain to Newton Center
I would hardly call this temporary busing adequate. You could almost walk this in 90 minutes.

Can we check Mac Daniels bank account? There has to be a nice deposit from the MBTA for spreading this propaganda.
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