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Old 08-26-2017, 09:55 AM   #301
JeffDowntown
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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My thoughts would be connecting from Bowdoin to Charles MGH and then going down say Charles Street and turning on Beacon Street. There would be another stop called like "West End" on that corner of the Public Garden (Arlington by Beacon Street). Then, it would go down Beacon Street and have like another stop called "Charles River".

It might be crazy since it would involve some 90 degrees turns.

True for the Brookline/Newton Opposition. Suburbanites tend to be opposed to heavier trains due to noise. That could be alleviated due to new zoning, emiment domain, and walls to reduce noise. If other subway systems can do urban to suburb heavy rail like the Metro in DC, we can do it in Massachusetts as well. We have the RedLine to Braintree of all places.
You clearly do not appreciate the strength of the NIMBY forces in Beacon Hill and Back Bay. A lawyer could retire on the legal fees from that crowd fighting a subway down either Charles or Beacon Street.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:43 PM   #302
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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You clearly do not appreciate the strength of the NIMBY forces in Beacon Hill and Back Bay. A lawyer could retire on the legal fees from that crowd fighting a subway down either Charles or Beacon Street.
Seriously... Not to mention the engineering constraints of that proposed route. It's a Storrow downsizing or bust when it comes to extending Blue past Charles/MGH.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:40 PM   #303
Proposition Joe
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

I was toying around with the idea of exceeding the Blue Line along the D-Line reservation as far as Brookline Village.

If you want to implement the D-Line to E-Line connector idea then you're left with the question of what to do with the Fenway(Landmark) and Longwood stations. Might as well extend the Blue Line along there if you're bringing it to Kenmore. Unless someone has a better idea of where the Blue Line would be extended beyond Kenmore that needs full frequencies (and thus can't be an alternative branch to the Brookline Village extension.)

The reasons to keep the rest of the D-Line as the Green Line are 1.) to do the D-E connector, 2.) connect up the Needham and Newton Upper Falls, 3.) and I suppose lower density. On that last point, even though there are those golf courses you could theoretically redevelop, you could cover that area with the commuter rail right of way nearby.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:49 PM   #304
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

The Red-Blue Connector project was briefly brought up by Jeff Gonneville at today's FMCB meeting. The MBTA will be re-evaluating the project and will factor in ridership and population growth trends as well as modern construction methodologies. The study is expected to begin this month and last for 3 months.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:14 PM   #305
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

The most studied subway line in the history of mankind, except the 2nd Avenue subway which just opened in NYC after 97 years of studying.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:19 PM   #306
Arborway
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Yeah, pretty much.

1. Hire a consultant for the Red / Blue Connector
2. Propose an unrelated commuter rail extension instead
3. Hire a consultant to consult on the original project
5. Propose another unrelated commuter rail extension
6. Hire a consultant to consult on the project consultants consulted on previously
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:26 AM   #307
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Why not just put in a pedestrian tunnel for the connection from Red to Blue, complete with people movers just like at the airport, and call it a day? This is sorta the concept behind some of the connections in NYC where you might have to hoof it a little bit to connect to the next station but can do so underground. Montreal as well. Can have an entrance by Whole Foods too in the middle of the tunnel.


Red to Blue is a convenience project (ducks lightening bolts from hard core proponents). This gives you that convenience but without the added billions and technological complexities. I understand this kills any dreams of extending the blue line to Kenmore but really - we'll be flying around in our own personal jet packs before that happens.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:36 AM   #308
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Why not just put in a pedestrian tunnel for the connection from Red to Blue, complete with people movers just like at the airport, and call it a day?
By the time you've spent the money to dig a pedestrian tunnel (including all the surface-level disruption that entails), accommodate vertical circulation that meets ADA requirements and fire codes (e.g., you'd need elevators with every staircase, regularly spaced emergency exits, etc.), and install people movers, you're most of the way to just building a damn subway. Add in ongoing security and maintenance expenses and a new pedestrian tunnel wouldn't really even be cheaper to operate than an extension of the existing BL tunnel.

You'd end up with a project at nearly the entire cost of a Red / Blue connector but with a fraction of the utility. It's hard to make a case for this based on any sensible cost:benefit analysis.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:37 AM   #309
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

I wouldn't call it a convenience project. It does several things such as allowing for the closure of Bowdoin station and providing a direct and convenient connection to the Red Line which takes pressure off of the Green line at both Gov't Center and Park Street. This is especially important at Park Street where passenger loads are reaching levels that cause delays to trains.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:00 AM   #310
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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By the time you've spent the money to dig a pedestrian tunnel (including all the surface-level disruption that entails), accommodate vertical circulation that meets ADA requirements and fire codes (e.g., you'd need elevators with every staircase, regularly spaced emergency exits, etc.), and install people movers, you're most of the way to just building a damn subway. Add in ongoing security and maintenance expenses and a new pedestrian tunnel wouldn't really even be cheaper to operate than an extension of the existing BL tunnel.

You'd end up with a project at nearly the entire cost of a Red / Blue connector but with a fraction of the utility. It's hard to make a case for this based on any sensible cost:benefit analysis.
I find this somewhat hard to believe from a layman's standpoint. First its a smaller, cut and cover tunnel that won't involve digging up the entire street for a wide tunnel housing two train tracks, a turn around for the trains, and a brand new blue line station underneath Charles/MGH. Second you'd be utilizing Bowdoin. If that station isn't ADA compliant it would need to be but that has to happen anyway. Charles is already ADA compliant you'd merely be building an escalator and elevator to take people up to the existing station from the pedestrian tunnel.

However, I'm not an engineer but would appreciate this option being considered as part of the study. Obviously if its just as expensive it wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:11 AM   #311
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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I find this somewhat hard to believe from a layman's standpoint. First its a smaller, cut and cover tunnel that won't involve digging up the entire street for a wide tunnel housing two train tracks, a turn around for the trains, and a brand new blue line station underneath Charles/MGH. Second you'd be utilizing Bowdoin. If that station isn't ADA compliant it would need to be but that has to happen anyway. Charles is already ADA compliant you'd merely be building an escalator and elevator to take people up to the existing station from the pedestrian tunnel.

However, I'm not an engineer but would appreciate this option being considered as part of the study. Obviously if its just as expensive it wouldn't be worth it.
See this (from Ari Ofsevit) for the Red/Blue connector that I'm envisioning.

I agree 100% that the plan for a deep bore tunnel is a waste. But a cut-and-cover train tunnel that ties into Bowdoin is largely comparable to a cut-and-cover pedestrian tunnel that ties into Bowdoin, as far as cost goes.



The State is proposing the sketch in red. You and I agree that's ridiculous. You're proposing a version of the blue sketch for pedestrians. I'm proposing a version of the blue sketch for trains. The only difference between blue sketch for trains and blue sketch for pedestrians would be slightly larger tunnels. All of the access and egress and etc. (where so much of the overall cost lies; see: the Green Line Extension) is the same for trains as it is for pedestrians.

And pedestrian tunnels aren't even that much more narrow than train tunnels. The pedestrian tunnel at Terminal A at Logan is actually wider than a Blue Line tunnel would be, for example. One walkway plus one moving walkway is roughly the width of a Blue Line car. The "station" at Charles /MGH would require a wider tunnel to accommodate a center platform, but that width wouldn't be necessary for most of the length of the tunnel.

Also, neither plan includes a turnaround for trains.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:22 AM   #312
Rover
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
See this (from Ari Ofsevit) for the Red/Blue connector that I'm envisioning.

I agree 100% that the plan for a deep bore tunnel is a waste. But a cut-and-cover train tunnel that ties into Bowdoin is largely comparable to a cut-and-cover pedestrian tunnel that ties into Bowdoin, as far as cost goes.



The State is proposing the sketch in red. You and I agree that's ridiculous. You're proposing a version of the blue sketch for pedestrians. I'm proposing a version of the blue sketch for trains. The only difference between blue sketch for trains and blue sketch for pedestrians would be slightly larger tunnels. All of the access and egress and etc. (where so much of the overall cost lies; see: the Green Line Extension) is the same for trains as it is for pedestrians.

And pedestrian tunnels aren't even that much more narrow than train tunnels. The pedestrian tunnel at Terminal A at Logan is actually wider than a Blue Line tunnel would be, for example. One walkway plus one moving walkway is roughly the width of a Blue Line car. The "station" at Charles /MGH would require a wider tunnel to accommodate a center platform, but that width wouldn't be necessary for most of the length of the tunnel.

Also, neither plan includes a turnaround for trains.
I'll take a look. Can't access blog now from work. Thanks for the info. Not having the turnaround is huge.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:50 AM   #313
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Originally Posted by Rover View Post
Why not just put in a pedestrian tunnel for the connection from Red to Blue, complete with people movers just like at the airport, and call it a day? This is sorta the concept behind some of the connections in NYC where you might have to hoof it a little bit to connect to the next station but can do so underground. Montreal as well. Can have an entrance by Whole Foods too in the middle of the tunnel.
Paris does this.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:13 AM   #314
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Quote:
Originally Posted by JumboBuc View Post
See this (from Ari Ofsevit) for the Red/Blue connector that I'm envisioning.

I agree 100% that the plan for a deep bore tunnel is a waste. But a cut-and-cover train tunnel that ties into Bowdoin is largely comparable to a cut-and-cover pedestrian tunnel that ties into Bowdoin, as far as cost goes.



The State is proposing the sketch in red. You and I agree that's ridiculous. You're proposing a version of the blue sketch for pedestrians. I'm proposing a version of the blue sketch for trains. The only difference between blue sketch for trains and blue sketch for pedestrians would be slightly larger tunnels. All of the access and egress and etc. (where so much of the overall cost lies; see: the Green Line Extension) is the same for trains as it is for pedestrians.

And pedestrian tunnels aren't even that much more narrow than train tunnels. The pedestrian tunnel at Terminal A at Logan is actually wider than a Blue Line tunnel would be, for example. One walkway plus one moving walkway is roughly the width of a Blue Line car. The "station" at Charles /MGH would require a wider tunnel to accommodate a center platform, but that width wouldn't be necessary for most of the length of the tunnel.

Also, neither plan includes a turnaround for trains.
I'm with you on all of this. However, I think if you're going to consider a pedestrian tunnel for the connection, it'd be much more feasible to do it between State and DTX, right? I mean it's essentially a block and a half of Washington St. from the end of the DTX Orange Line platform to the beginning of the Orange Line Platform at State. Granted, it's still a chunk of hoofing through State since the BL platform is all the way on the other side (under State St) and the RL platform is under Summer St, but it's a much shorter distance than Bowdoin - Charles/MGH to actually dig. It's not an unusual distance to transfer on foot compared to many other cities either (i.e. some NYC stations, CDMX, etc.).

But I'd still rather see the Cambridge St. extension of the train itself and a legitimate transfer point.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:27 AM   #315
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the current loop limits capacity. As ridership grows the system needs to add trains wherever possible and a new more efficient terminal at Charles St would certainly help. How much more capacity can be added is dependent on the design of the terminal, most likely there isn't room for tail tracks so a three track terminal would be ideal. But that adds to the cost. So let's see what the state comes up with.

As for a pedestrian tunnel I would argue that, while more around the city would be a good thing, here is not the best place. The walk is long, so long that how is this any different than the current situation? If Bowdoin was further down Cambridge St I would be more supportive of it but you are talking about .4 miles and there are current T stops closer than that.

I really dislike when people try to propose a cheaper alternative just because it's cheaper. Transit is an investment and pays dividends, it's worth spending the money on good projects even if they are complicated and expensive.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:17 PM   #316
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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I really dislike when people try to propose a cheaper alternative just because it's cheaper. Transit is an investment and pays dividends, it's worth spending the money on good projects even if they are complicated and expensive.
Its not ideal but its the world we live in. Having an all in transit proposal is great but if its never going to get funded its useless. The GLX is a great example. Sometimes you need to axe the bike path connections and fancy stations and just stick to the basics or the taxpayers, rightly or wrongly, will rebel and refuse to fund the project.

I used to have this argument with a poster with an insane amount of technical knowledge, but whose proposals all revolved around unlimited money and a magic wand to overcome all opposition.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:44 PM   #317
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Its not ideal but its the world we live in. Having an all in transit proposal is great but if its never going to get funded its useless. The GLX is a great example. Sometimes you need to axe the bike path connections and fancy stations and just stick to the basics or the taxpayers, rightly or wrongly, will rebel and refuse to fund the project.

I used to have this argument with a poster with an insane amount of technical knowledge, but whose proposals all revolved around unlimited money and a magic wand to overcome all opposition.
Yeah but that's not how the most effective design processes work:
You start by deriving a set of requirements (ideally from users/society/stakeholders/taxpayers) WITHOUT a specific implementation in mind (e.g. "solution neutral" system requirements). Then, without being mentally anchored to a particular solution, you thoroughly explore the options space to make sure you understand all the ways the problem can be approached. Then you engage in a down-selection routine that, again, is as free from anchoring and fixation as possible, to arrive at the most effective implementation. Ideally, options that broke the budget wouldn't have been part of the options space, but, in the event that something sneaks through, rather than redesigning it in reactionary fashion, you pause, revisit the requirements set, and understand what lower-priority scope can be shed from the project, then reiterate the options space exploration with the revised set of requirements.

What you DON'T do is "push" a solution someone already decided was their favorite - either because it's nice and shiny or nice and cheap - onto a problem. Optimization is never achieved that way.

I understand that there are human psychological and political inhibitors to designing things this way, BUT, that does NOT mean we shouldn't aspire to.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:54 PM   #318
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

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Its not ideal but its the world we live in. Having an all in transit proposal is great but if its never going to get funded its useless. The GLX is a great example. Sometimes you need to axe the bike path connections and fancy stations and just stick to the basics or the taxpayers, rightly or wrongly, will rebel and refuse to fund the project.

I used to have this argument with a poster with an insane amount of technical knowledge, but whose proposals all revolved around unlimited money and a magic wand to overcome all opposition.
Not sure if the GLX is really a great example here - I really don't buy into fancy stations and the bike paths as to what was killing it, I fully put the blame on that on the build/procurement process where the contractor was attempting to rob the MBTA blind. Also, it wasn't tax payers rebelling on that, it was the federal government threatening to pull matching funds if the T didn't get it together. That said, I personally think the community path, bike paths, any remediation/sound work, etc should have been all off the books of the project, and MBTA transit projects should be as slim as possible focusing only on rail/buses. I would also not include the cost of any bridge rebuilding for any that already needed to be rebuilt (as that cost was going to be incurred anyways).

As for this - I have to agree that its short sighted for a pedestrian only connection vs a full extension in this case and the costs aren't probably far off. Even if a pedestrian tunnel cut and cover isn't as wide, it is still going to involve moving all of the utilities/etc which are a big expense. You pretty much just save on the cost of the actual rails/power, and the terminal station, which is also going to help the Blue Line's operations as an added bonus.
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:38 PM   #319
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

I'm all for aspiring for a robust transit solution, but as we found out in the 2016 elections sometimes settling for half a loaf is better than the alternative which in that case was getting the loaf shoved you know where sideways. Red to Blue unless Amazon is pushing for it as a condition for locating here has a problem in that you can already get from point A (blue line) to point B (red line) merely by making one extra stop. That's an inconvenience, but the connection exists. That limits the amount of $$$ the public and state is going to be willing to blow on this project since the vast majority of voters and politicians aren't affected by it.
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:56 PM   #320
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Re: Red Line / Blue Line Connector

I think a NSRL with a central station that connects to the blue line is a better option and could solve many of the regions transit issues. It would be more expensive though.
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