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Old 01-17-2019, 01:57 PM   #961
orulz
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
This isn't status quo bias at all. Give people better options! Change can be good.
So the only way to change is to add new stuff, never take away old stuff? There's a word for people who live like that - they are called hoarders. Sometimes things that may have made sense in the past or just fit the zeitgeist of a bygone era need to be revisited and relegated to the dust bin of history.

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But just eliminating existing options that people use because, basically, "they'll deal with it" is good for nobody.
You're looking at the costs of removal while pretending that the benefits don't exist. Removing a horrendous, narrow, high speed freeway that was rammed through Robert Moses-style on top of parkland in the 1950s, in spite of significant opposition, even in a day when highway opposition was not in vogue - that sits right on top of the river leaving a meager 20 feet (or less!) of the riverfront for people, is pretty unambiguously a benefit. Does it come with commensurate costs in terms of reduced automotive mobility? Yes. Do the costs and benefits accrue differently to different sets people? Also yes. Do the benefits of removing the highway necessarily outweigh the costs? I think probably so. Other people are can certainly welcome to different opinions. But clearly there is some ambiguity here that you're not owning up to.

This project might be an option to actually explore the other possibilities. See how it works out. While you're rebuilding the Pike, go ahead and put in the footings for the SFR viaduct. And if living without SFR for a while doesn't work out, go ahead and build the blessed viaduct. At least you could say you tried.

I get that even trying it for a year is going to affect real people's real lives in real ways. But I also have spent enough time on this earth to learn that people are way, way, way more afraid of change than they should be. Some people will literally go to their grave defending a status quo that is doing them no favors whatsoever. I also get that regardless of this, these people should have an equal voice in our political system to more progressively minded folk. But if there were a way to try some change on for size, and then roll it back if need be, potentially when the gains might be so great, I'm rather less sympathetic.

Last edited by orulz; 01-17-2019 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:22 PM   #962
34f34f
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

This is the perfect time to have this discussion, as Seattle is currently in the midst of a state highway (Alaskan Viaduct, similar to Storrow/SFR) shutdown while they configure its replacement tunnel.

Per Seattle's chief traffic engineer, biking is up 2-3x from this point last year. Per random people on twitter, auto traffic is down tremendously throughout downtown. Seattle Times is reporting 10-30 minute driving delays, but much faster public transit options are being implemented.

Here's streetsblog on it: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/...ghway-closure/
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:02 PM   #963
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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You're looking at the costs of removal while pretending that the benefits don't exist.
I think you're over-reading what he meant. I don't think he's purposefully ignore benefits, but responding in a context where the the costs and benefits are already established and thus making a succinct rebuke that to being worried about the costs is not status quo bias.

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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
I get that even trying it for a year is going to affect real people's real lives in real ways. But I also have spent enough time on this earth to learn that people are way, way, way more afraid of change than they should be. Some people will literally go to their grave defending a status quo that is doing them no favors whatsoever.
It's not fear of change. You're making it sound like this discussion is about irrational fears originating from the human condition. There's a rational logic one need to examine - If one thinks about the costs and benefits, one can make an educated guess of what and who benefits and what and who loses.

And my educated guess includes a strong chance it can go bad for a good portion of people. And the part that I predict is based on something that I noticed that people tend to not bring in up in my circles. I have been seen many discussion bring up induced demand and traffic volumes. But many don't seem to recognize negatives is more than just traffic volumes. If people are cancelling trips, I am viewing that a negative that I don't want to force on others.

Now your prediction is the costs are small. That maybe closing SFR/Storrow will lead to everyone just spreading out to Commonwealth, Memorial, Beacon; that the longer commutes amounts to just a few minutes and cancelled trips are just so few and/or frivolous that the gains of a fully integrated Esplande justifies this. But you know what would really guarantee this will happen? Add some ramp to the Pike. But since this discussion is not including something like that, I have made my dissenting argument.

----

And one thing less philosophical but more practical issue I need to point out. The undercurrent of this line:

Quote:
Do the costs and benefits accrue differently to different sets people?
One have to make an educated guess on this too. And my educate guess that the most direct benefitors will be Harvard and BU with the neighborhoods of Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Two multi-billion dollar endowed universities with a good amount of people in influential positions and two of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country. Meanwhile the most likely people that would get the shaft are people from points west who uses SFR/Storrow - most of them are much more middle and/or working class, though there's Belmont. In this thought experiment, there's a pretty high chance the benefits and costs will accrue in a very lopsided manner.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:17 PM   #964
orulz
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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But you know what would really guarantee this will happen? Add some ramp to the Pike. But since this discussion is not including something like that, I have made my dissenting argument.
I would entertain mitigations like this, but if you're only meaning connecting ramps to the Pike from Storrow as-is, east of the "Throat", and to SFR as-is north of the "Throat", then I think this is missing the point. What's the specific plan you have in mind? I'm very interested.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:07 PM   #965
HalcyonEra
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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And one thing less philosophical but more practical issue I need to point out. The undercurrent of this line:



One have to make an educated guess on this too. And my educate guess that the most direct benefitors will be Harvard and BU with the neighborhoods of Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Two multi-billion dollar endowed universities with a good amount of people in influential positions and two of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country. Meanwhile the most likely people that would get the shaft are people from points west who uses SFR/Storrow - most of them are much more middle and/or working class, though there's Belmont. In this thought experiment, there's a pretty high chance the benefits and costs will accrue in a very lopsided manner.
In looking at who this thoery benefits, this is spot on. All this talk of "frivolous" trips is SJW / Agenda 21 BS, IMO. Sane people do not foray onto Storrow or the Pike simply to go cruising around. More often than not, there is direct economic purpose of their trip - whether to work (benefit themselves) or to receive services (attend an event, visit an institution, going to dinner, school, or a day/night out on the town). If you severely restrict access from the west, the millions who choose to live there are not going to suddenly pick up and flock to live in the city, they are going to stay put and spend their money closer to home or find a job that's more convenient. Taxpayers live where they live by choice. But hey, you'll have a fantastic larger waterfront park for the elites to enjoy.

Personally, I'd rather see them bury SFR & Storrow. It would be one thing if the southwest expressway and inner belt had been built, you could make the case that there is enough egress into the city from the west. But there isn't and therefore these roads are essential. Like it or not, cars aren't going away nor is the core reason why people choose to travel in single use autos.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:07 AM   #966
citylover94
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

If the MBTA commuter rail upped frequencies on the Worcester Line to every 30 minutes all day would that be considered an adequate replacement for Storrow Drive? The added capacity to the Worcester Line would be greater than the capacity lost from closing Storrow and it would keep some of the traffic from shifting to the Mass Pike.

Another thing to note is that the Mass Pike has much less traffic congestion than 93 and 95/128 so realistically while adding cars at the peak would make rush hour traffic worse there would likely be little noticeable change off peak and the Mass Pike is one of the only highways in the core of the Boston Metro area with some open capacity. For example right now 93 is still backed up according to google maps traffic but the Pike is free flowing so it seems adding some additional cars wouldn't be the end of the world. The ideal situation though would be to increase rail service to the western suburbs to encourage people to take the train instead of driving.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:26 AM   #967
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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Originally Posted by citylover94 View Post
If the MBTA commuter rail upped frequencies on the Worcester Line to every 30 minutes all day would that be considered an adequate replacement for Storrow Drive? The added capacity to the Worcester Line would be greater than the capacity lost from closing Storrow and it would keep some of the traffic from shifting to the Mass Pike.

Another thing to note is that the Mass Pike has much less traffic congestion than 93 and 95/128 so realistically while adding cars at the peak would make rush hour traffic worse there would likely be little noticeable change off peak and the Mass Pike is one of the only highways in the core of the Boston Metro area with some open capacity. For example right now 93 is still backed up according to google maps traffic but the Pike is free flowing so it seems adding some additional cars wouldn't be the end of the world. The ideal situation though would be to increase rail service to the western suburbs to encourage people to take the train instead of driving.
The Turnpike is not my concern - it's how you get from the Turnpike to MGH and Kendall that's the issue. Mass Ave doesn't have excess capacity.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:40 AM   #968
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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The Turnpike is not my concern - it's how you get from the Turnpike to MGH and Kendall that's the issue. Mass Ave doesn't have excess capacity.
You'd probably be dumping most of that traffic onto Memorial Drive.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #969
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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You'd probably be dumping most of that traffic onto Memorial Drive.
How does it get there? It sounds like it would use the River St. bridge in that case, and that would be untenable.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:33 AM   #970
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

See pdf p. 6 of MIT's Town Gown Report for 2017.
https://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/..._mit.pdf?la=en
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:44 AM   #971
ant8904
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
I would entertain mitigations like this, but if you're only meaning connecting ramps to the Pike from Storrow as-is, east of the "Throat", and to SFR as-is north of the "Throat", then I think this is missing the point. What's the specific plan you have in mind? I'm very interested.
If you mean an official state plan or just my own ideas? These are just my own ideas. In term of mitigations via Pike ramps, my thinking is predicated by thinking in terms of Storrow Ramps. Final destinations are important, but equivalences for SFR/Storrow are dependent on the ramps.

1. SFR is connected to Pike as the main direction rather than the off-ramp configuration. The second most prominent split is to Cambridge Street. And least most prominent is the continutation of SFR.

1. b. This continued SFR is road-dieted to a 2 lane road going to University Rd. Thus the University Rd. ramp is maintained, but that where SFR ends from the west.

2. The 2nd group of ramps on Storrow. Charlesgate. My thinking is we shift the tracks onto Ipswich Street. Then we use Newbury St. and the rest of Ispwich St. as the space needed for ramps to the Pike. I do need to note F-Line has shut this idea down when I suggested it before. But it's still on my mind, as without exact numbers, I still wonder the clearances can be done between shifted tracks, shifted Charlesgate, and the ramp itself relying on the Ipswich-Boylston intersection.


3. The 3rd group of ramps are the ramps around the Hatch Shell. It's actually 2 groups but the 2 are pretty close to each other. For this one, I'm viewing the Pike's existing Copley ramps as a reasonable alternative.

So basically with new ramps on Charlesgate and re-worked ramps at the existing, we can make SFR/Storrow (plus Bowker Overpass) redundant between University Rd to Charles MGH.

Now "what about people from points west getting off at Charles MGH?" I'll address this one together with another one essentially saying the thing below.

Quote:
The Turnpike is not my concern - it's how you get from the Turnpike to MGH and Kendall that's the issue. Mass Ave doesn't have excess capacity.
The flaw in this vision of adding ramps is this won't solve it. But with the other destinations addressed, the number of people who might get the negatives becomes much smaller. Thus the math if the good outweighing the bad becomes more likely, enough for me to view risk is low enough to risk it.

Likely they will use Memorial (or maybe Pike to I-93 to Storrow from I-93 but probably not). But numbers (and cancelled trips and other unmeasured impacts) are much smaller in this vision.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:51 AM   #972
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Re: I-90 Interchange Improvement Project & West Station | Allston

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...and that right there is the problem. People would enjoy it. The people who would enjoy it aren't the people who need or use it.

It's intentionally creating a situation where city residents are pitted against suburban residents, for the sake of forcing a solution that benefits the former. This isn't a City of Boston project. MassDOT is a STATE agency for a reason.

And in this case, the city residents would be the richer, more privileged party.
I'm not in the get rid of SFR/Storrow camp, but why shouldn't we balance things in favor of city residents? For 75 years we've been doing things in the city to benefit suburbanites at the expense of city residents. Why should we continue to do that?
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