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Old 03-20-2011, 09:24 PM   #361
Digital_Islandboy
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Re: Charlie_mta's proposed realignment of McGrath Hwy. (at Northpoint, Cambridge)

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A quick and dirty rendering of a possible road network for NorthPoint, including relocating McGrath/O'Brien Hwy, is:



This would knit the new area into the existing East Cambridge neighborhood.
I keep thinking about this plan. I love the idea.... A recent piece in the Boston Herald with persons complaining about pedestrian access at Leverett Circle caused me to recall this redesign you made.

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Article: Minus bridge, residents protest vicious Leverett Circle - By Jessica Fargen
Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011 - Updated 5 hours ago
Source: www.BostonHerald.com - In Your Neighborhood

Link: http://bostonherald.com/news/regiona...cleid=13246155
--
If McGrath inbound had an onramp onto 93 a lot of traffic in this area in front of the Museum of Science might be diminished. And pedestrians could have an easier time crossing the road. I hope the powers that be consider this realignment put forward

Last edited by Digital_Islandboy; 03-21-2011 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Fix dead news link.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:45 PM   #362
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

T makes a legally-binding agreement with neighborhood, delays implementation while blowing a wad on studies, backs out. Shocking.

Somebody's gonna get killed if that overpass doesn't go back in. There's small children all over the place from the MoS and nearby schools, hospital patients, Esplanade foot traffic all weekend long, and throngs of Garden-goers. They could've paid a third of the price tag from all the cop overtime they've racked up over the last 6 years stationing officers to direct traffic here every single time there's a Garden event, busy recreation weekend, or just a general-purpose traffic jam at peak pedestrian time of day. They're there all the time. How many DOT managers does it take to add 1 + 1, and how many local pols and business leaders have to shout "2!" before they get it?
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:54 AM   #363
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

I'm unconvinced this is really needed. I certainly don't miss the similar bridges that used to be at Charles Circle before the that T station was replaced and slightly moved. Could some traffic calming be the real answer here?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:00 AM   #364
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

A curb extension, a set back stop line, and a no turn on red sign, would work wonders. Far less costly than a pedestrian bridge which would then require maintenance over the years.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #365
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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I'm unconvinced this is really needed. I certainly don't miss the similar bridges that used to be at Charles Circle before the that T station was replaced and slightly moved. Could some traffic calming be the real answer here?
Sure, wouldn't hurt. But you don't make a legally binding agreement with the neighbors to build it and then back out. As if the T didn't have enough problems they have to remind the inner neighborhoods yet again what pathological liars they are about their transit commitments.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #366
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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I'm unconvinced this is really needed. I certainly don't miss the similar bridges that used to be at Charles Circle before the that T station was replaced and slightly moved. Could some traffic calming be the real answer here?
What are traffic calming measures? Would that entail things like raised crosswalks and the sort?
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:20 PM   #367
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

Yes, and making lanes narrower on approach to the intersection so that motorists are forced to slow down.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:23 PM   #368
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

I have seen recent plans that I have a super crosswalk similar in style to the one in Harvard Square that would connect the relocated T station across McGrath and across Cambridge St. If McGrath Highway were two lanes in each direction with bike lanes or cycle tracks and on-street parking, that would also help to calm traffic.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:20 PM   #369
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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Yes, and making lanes narrower on approach to the intersection so that motorists are forced to slow down.
Oh ok, I think would be interesting to try. I'm wondering if it might not just wind up being that the more aggressive drivers would cause more accidents there though.

That area is the convergence of cars coming off Routes 1, 3(Storrow Drive), 28 (McGrath Highway), Memorial Drive, Route 93 (and Route 99 possibly). I think there's entirely too much going-on at that one big traffic circle around the base of the Science Park/West End MBTA station.
I can safely say I've only walked down around there a couple times. Not since the re-do but I don't like the feel of it. It feels like if I were about to run across the Mass Pike.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:19 PM   #370
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

More pix of the North Point/Paul Revere pedestrian bridge construction (well, pylons). I was really surprised to see this. I'll be even more surprised if they finish it. But progress is progress.



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Old 03-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #371
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

I'm absolutely shocked something is happening already. I thought this would drag out forever/never get done.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #372
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

In that last picture of the pedestrian bridge, isn't that where the DuckTours enter the Charles River?
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:07 AM   #373
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

yes thats the Splash! part of the tour!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #374
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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I have seen recent plans that I have a super crosswalk similar in style to the one in Harvard Square that would connect the relocated T station across McGrath and across Cambridge St. If McGrath Highway were two lanes in each direction with bike lanes or cycle tracks and on-street parking, that would also help to calm traffic.
I would just re-do the whole corridor for traffic calming to reduce the induced demand cramming into Leverett Circle and Storrow, and heal the scar that the horrid overpass created through Brickbottom.

O'Brien Hwy. improvements
-- 2 lanes each direction + bike/bus lane and streetscape from Cambridge St. (intersection will be more spacious when Lechmere's relocated and the El overpass comes down).

Brickbottom area improvements
-- Demolish the overpass, ramps, and highway grading on the Somerville side of the commuter rail bridge so it's back at-grade.
-- Connect Linwood St. to the northbound side after the commuter rail overpass so Brickbottom's less isolated. Keep the Somerville Ave. Ext. underpass to Linwood on the southbound side since it's under the CR bridge anyway, but significantly shorten up the ramp for lower speeds and to reclaim space uselessly wasted by Som. Ave. Ext.
-- Realign so the Som. Ave./Medford St./Poplar St. convergence is an intersection at a new square knitting Union and Brickbottom together.
-- Keep Linwood St. at Washington a one-way (there are other options around) for flow. Do any other flow-related realignments to distribute around the McGrath/Washington/Somerville triangle. I'm also fine with Cross St. remaining blocked from the southbound side...that would be one light too many and too much traffic additional traffic on Cross if a new intersection were put here.
-- Streetscape a median on the wide section through Washington St. up to Medford St. with traffic-calmed Kenmore-style brick + granite crosswalk markings so it's pedestrian-friendly and the "Brickbottom Square" district goes the whole length of the reconnected Medford St. grid. Put on-street parking here.
-- Time the light cycles so these 3 intersections aren't a huge bottleneck. The spacing between lights is pretty good for avoiding that.

East Somerville improvements
-- McGrath down to 2 lanes each direction + bus/bike lane down to Foss Park. Left-turn lanes where needed.
-- Widen the median to something Brighton Ave.-ish and plant some shrubs on it, so crossing at Pearl St. isn't such a terrifying ordeal. Demolish the footbridge and do traffic-calmed crosswalks at Otis Street (this is an induced demand reduction thing...there needs to be a lot more at-grade pedestrian crossing encouraged out to Broadway to lower speeds).
-- Demolish the grade separation on the west side frontage road from Broadway to Pearl. Put on-street parking here with a traffic-separated shoulder a la Beacon St. Brookline to facilitate safe turnouts. I don't think there'll be room for parking on most of McGrath, but putting it here and through "Brickbottom Square" makes it much less an outdated parkway and more a local thoroughfare, which will considerably traffic calm it and reduce the induced demand as a thru route to Boston.
-- Keep the 2 lanes + median out to Blakeley Ave.so that neighborhood can safely cross at the light to Foss Park.

93/38 Interchange and 38/Mystic Ave. flow
-- Take the Mystic Ave. side of the northbound split down to 2 lanes (a little ridiculous that it's a full 3 while 28 traffic only gets 2).
-- Make some access improvements so Mystic Ave. access is less convoluted. The jughandle lights and the west side are a clusterfuck. I don't know how to improve this, but there's got to be some ramp reconfiguration so you can sanely get to 28 south and 38 north.
-- Do something to improve Middlesex Ave. access. Nobody uses this street because continuing south requires a reverse move into the jughandle. Can't there be a U-turn ramp or something so 38 south is actually usable from here?
-- Encourage use of underutilized 38 south as a thru route to Boston via Rutherford Ave. There's never any traffic on it because the frontage road layout is non-intuitive. Better signage, marking this as a truck route, marking this as the thru route to Storrow via Leverett Connector and Memorial Drive via Charlestown Ave., etc. might help. Co-signing Rutherford Ave. as 99/38 down to the Leverett Connector would help point people to it.
-- Improve the traffic flow through the Sullivan rotary so traffic from 38 doesn't get backed up at the lights. Timed light cycles a good start.
-- Long-term plan an underpass from Maffa Way through the parking lot before the Sullivan rotary, merging into the Rutherford Ave. south underpass. Nothing grand, just a little one like Storrow westbound under Leverett Circle. That'll facilitate light-free traffic flow in both directions from Rutherford and Mystic and replace the demolished Sullivan overpass with something a lot less...horrifying and destructive.

Assembly Square
-- Fix the dangerous 38/28 southbound merge so there's not so much traffic weaving to get to Middlesex Ave. The merge ramp's too long and high-speed. It can be shortened up and merged earlier without hosing the Middlesex Ave. intersection.
-- Fix the Middlesex Ave. and Assembly access road intersections so they aren't so ramp-y and meet at 90-degree angles for safer, lower-speed movements.
-- Time the light cycles here.
-- Knock Fellsway down to 2 lanes each direction + bus lanes out to the Medford side and the President's Landing intersection. Widen the bridge sidewalks a couple feet so that's a less foreboding walk over the Mystic. That'll keep the traffic-calming sanity going from Assembly to Station Landing and keep those two developments plus East Somerville across the street from being completely cut off from each other.
-- Back as-is from President's Landing on out. The 16 rotary boondoggle is the state's problem, and Fellsway north to 93 is laid out pretty OK save for maybe some bike lane, crosswalk, and light cycle improvements.



I think this lops off a huge amount of induced demand plowing through to Leverett and Storrow, seriously improves traffic flow into Boston, and births a whole new square in Somerville that knits Brickbottom and Union back together and Somerville and Northpoint.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:35 AM   #375
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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yes thats the Splash! part of the tour!
What a grim and depressing place. People from Houston must reach that point in the tour and think "I came here for this!?"
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:14 PM   #376
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

Is this place officially dead in the water, or what... Haven't heard a peep since they said construction Spring 2011 last year...

And how's the bridge doing?
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:55 PM   #377
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

The latest update that we have was from the spring 2011 newsletter. The developers are in the initial phase of designing a rental high rise which is expected to start construction within the next 18 months. Lot U has opened up for parking. Over one-third of the units (there are 329 total) have been sold and they closed on 17 units since January 2011.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #378
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

Are you saying that between Tango & Sierra, only a third have been sold? Still??
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:47 PM   #379
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

How much are these going for?
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:06 PM   #380
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Re: NorthPoint Cambridge (The one that was train yards, the big plan.)

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Are you saying that between Tango & Sierra, only a third have been sold? Still??
Yes, that is correct. People are buying more of the units in Tango since the condos have different floor plans. Sierra is all loft style condos. Sales have picked up since we have a new salesperson. But as of now the developer still owns the majority of the units. All of the "affordable" units have been sold and now all of the sales are market rate.
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