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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 07-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
BostonUrbEx
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Charlesgate

Charlesgate. Motherfucking Charlesgate. Not only does it's exit ramps at the Storrow cause the Storrow to hog up the river's side, but underneath it smells like piss. I bet the homeless and crazies all gather here at night to have pissing contests for spare change. The Muddy River looks like a log jam for expelling trash. It's a trash jam. Is there a reason it just stagnates like that and the trash just collects? Is it possible to raise up the elevation so that the water flows into the Charles and disperses? By the way, did I mention the unbearable smell of piss when walking Comm Ave? Well now I mention it again, because I don't want you to forget it while reading this because you surely won't forget it while walking around here.

So what's my solution? Remove it. Just remove it, I don't care what you do. Now I understand it's probably an important part of commuting in the area. Something I rarely do by car in Boston, especially this area. So I don't really have much input other than some scaled down ramps to flow into other surface streets in a more dispersed manner. Storrow West has a ramp to Mass Ave North, once the alignment is all fixed up so the Storrow is huddled along the edge furthest from the river, remake that ramp, and add one to go from Mass Ave South to Storrow West. You could keep feeding Charlesgate W (parallel surface road) from Storrow East, and keep Charlesgate E feeding into Storrow East.

I don't have much else to add unless we start going into tunneling ramps or beefing up Back St so it is a proper feeder road.

With some proper pedestrian overpasses for the Storrow (nice and wide, walkable grades, minimal stairs) the Charlesgate Park could be something nice and tie the Comm Ave Mall and Kenmore area into the Esplanade. If/when the Pike is decked over, it might be possible to connect it to the Back Bay Fens, but until then I think it will be decent enough.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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Re: Charlesgate

I-90 needs more on/off ramps. The whole road network around the Back Bay Fens should be restored to the original configuration only with a massive car diet (the same is true for the J-way and A-way) and signal overhaul. The Bowker needs to be obliterated and people need to learn other ways of getting to Fenway Park/the LMA/from Boylston Street in Brookline/Storrow Drive into Boston. The butchering of parkways into highways has only ENABLED the traffic problems the city has.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:23 AM   #3
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Re: Charlesgate

I'd leave the Storrow ramps alone but remove the overpass over Beacon St. and Comm. Ave. Move the overpass traffic onto Charlesgate East and West. Keep the ramps that climb up over the Pike, since even before the Pike there was a bridge over the railroad tracks there.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: Charlesgate

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Is there a reason it just stagnates like that and the trash just collects? Is it possible to raise up the elevation so that the water flows into the Charles and disperses?
It's always been that stagnant; that's why it was called the Muddy River.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: Charlesgate

I believe it's not really a river at all; more a linear-shaped lake, an Olmstedian conceit.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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Re: Charlesgate

There's a gatehouse sandwiched between the Storrow/Bowker ramps which controls the flow of water out of the Muddy River into the Charles. I assume that whenever the Charles is backed up by the Charles River Dam, due to the tide in the harbor, the Muddy River Gatehouse blocks the flow of the Muddy River into the Charles, causing the sea of trash and green slime to build up under the Bowker.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: Charlesgate

Olmsted didn't create the Muddy River, though he certainly made major changes to it. The town of Brookline was originally called Muddy River Village, way back in the 1600s.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: Charlesgate

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Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
I believe it's not really a river at all; more a linear-shaped lake, an Olmstedian conceit.
The devil you say-- it was a conceit of the engineers that stuck a dam at the mouth of the Charles.... In Olmsted's day the Muddy River was tidal, and that tidal influx/outflow were seized as natural infrastructure for stormwater detention, treatment and release.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:42 PM   #9
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Re: Charlesgate

I think they should ground the charlesgate overpass and extend the park by adding a deck over the Mass Pike. When grounding the Charlesgate they can then eliminate some of the side roads.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:00 AM   #10
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Re: Charlesgate

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I think they should ground the charlesgate overpass and extend the park by adding a deck over the Mass Pike. When grounding the Charlesgate they can then eliminate some of the side roads.
Charlesgate & grounding the Bowker is extensively discussed here:
http://www.archboston.org/community/...t=1708&page=22
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If it looks like a duck..... it's an office park.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:34 AM   #11
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Re: Charlesgate

Ironically enough it's the NIMBYs who are blocking the taking down of the Bowker overpass. They're worried about additional surface traffic.

I say tear down the mofo.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:16 PM   #12
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Re: Charlesgate

It seems taking down the overpass would result in a catastrophic reduction in traffic flow. Muddy River slime is our version of Oliver Twist's London "puke soup" canals.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:57 AM   #13
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Re: Charlesgate

I hate how getting from the pru side of boylston to the pierce side of boylston in the fenway you have to do that big roundabout stupid fly around the fens thing to get over there. Ive done it 100 times and still dont even know the right way to do it. I always just end up going down rt 9 and turning into longwood to get there. Thats such a stupid design it blows my mind. That whole charlesgate on/off ramp area is a disaster. Why is Boylston randomly a 2 way for that short stretch and it only sends you westbound on storrow when you head towards fenway? RETARDATION. Drives me nuts every time. Not to mention Boylston should be a 2 way the entire length to get rid of double parkers and to make it so you dont have to drive through the back bay row houses to exist the city west bound. If you drive in the city its such a horrible design and many of the problems can be remedied pretty easily but the city doesnt want change. Anyways end rant...
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:06 PM   #14
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Re: Charlesgate

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It seems taking down the overpass would result in a catastrophic reduction in traffic flow.
We can only hope.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:20 PM   #15
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Re: Charlesgate

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Originally Posted by stick n move View Post
I hate how getting from the pru side of boylston to the pierce side of boylston in the fenway you have to do that big roundabout stupid fly around the fens thing to get over there. Ive done it 100 times and still dont even know the right way to do it. I always just end up going down rt 9 and turning into longwood to get there. Thats such a stupid design it blows my mind. That whole charlesgate on/off ramp area is a disaster. Why is Boylston randomly a 2 way for that short stretch and it only sends you westbound on storrow when you head towards fenway? RETARDATION. Drives me nuts every time. Not to mention Boylston should be a 2 way the entire length to get rid of double parkers and to make it so you dont have to drive through the back bay row houses to exist the city west bound. If you drive in the city its such a horrible design and many of the problems can be remedied pretty easily but the city doesnt want change. Anyways end rant...
Pro tip: use Ipswich St.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.3...b1!4m2!4m1!3e0
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:10 AM   #16
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Re: Charlesgate

It would be nice if they could find some way to create pike on ramsps and off ramps next to Fenway.
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:07 PM   #17
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Re: Charlesgate

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
It would be nice if they could find some way to create pike on ramsps and off ramps next to Fenway.
It's hard to find options unless they can finagle something with Newbury St west of the onramp in conjunction with the Charlesgate/Pike overpass. Even that is a stretch, particularly with the eastbound side of the Pike, with the train tracks directly adjacent.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:15 PM   #18
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Re: Charlesgate

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
It's hard to find options unless they can finagle something with Newbury St west of the onramp in conjunction with the Charlesgate/Pike overpass. Even that is a stretch, particularly with the eastbound side of the Pike, with the train tracks directly adjacent.
It can be done. Here is a plan I came up with that was discussed earlier on archBoston:



Note: I revised this on 10/22/2017.

Last edited by Charlie_mta; 10-22-2017 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:40 PM   #19
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Re: Charlesgate

^ Does that have on/off in both directions? It looks like the westbound on-ramp at Newbury/Boylston is removed and replaced by an off-ramp. And I'm seeing an eastbound on-ramp, but no off-ramp. What am I missing?
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:15 PM   #20
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Re: Charlesgate

There would be eastbound onramp and a westbound offramp. The existing westbound onramp from Mass Ave would be eliminated. The onramps at Copley seem robust enough to handle that demand.
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