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Old 06-04-2016, 07:18 AM   #3061
citylover94
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

The idea of crazy transit pitches is that they are actual workable proposals or solutions or at least potentially workable, but are projects that are not on the radar or are incredibly unlikely to be built.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:56 AM   #3062
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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actual workable proposals or solutions or at least potentially workable, but are projects that are not on the radar or are incredibly unlikely to be built.
This fails my gut check on 'crazy'. There is also a very musty air about the attitude here with regard to transit. I know there's a lot of experience and knowledge in here, but often times it sounds like the reasons we can't do something assume that all other rules are fixed and there's no holistic vision of what we need to get transit facilities we deserve, regardless of the transit tech used.

That's why I pretty much stopped posting at Railroad.net and why I started TransitMatters. I peek in here every once in a while when there are updates, but it looks like there are very stringent limitations on 'crazy'...
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #3063
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

This thread is supposed to be pretty loose. Sidelining the financing and institutional issues is where the oxygen comes from to brainstorm some solutions. Applying those all-important metrics is something to do when the 'Crazy' pitch is wholly-formed enough and vetted enough on its merits to take the next step and "graduate" it into a real-world pitch. Plenty of the ideas tossed around on these 154 pages have sharpened enough to pivot the discussion to that leap of "OK, now how do we get our institutions to enact this?" And a lot more haven't...because you don't find the ones solid enough to make the discussion pivot towards "graduating" without culling the list of the ones that aren't fully-formed. The thread gets 154 pages worth of constant activity because of the critique process occasionally netting something really tasty to talk about at length.

I'm not sure why that isn't self-evident just by reading any sampler of the thread. It's self-evident enough for the thread to thrive just fine not needing some sort of enumerated rulebook or FAQ like some other stiflingly over-moderated boards we can name. And I'm not sure why people are surprised and disappointed at what it ain't. If you want the conversation on how to get the institutions to enact and pay for the Crazy Pitch, there are plenty of other threads for that and the Crazy Pitches that check out solid and are "graduated" to Reasonable Pitches or Bold-and-Necessary Pitches inevitably turn to that subject.


If there's any confusion here, it's about Crazy Pitches that really aren't transit pitches at all...just a "Here's some wild, wacky, potentially laws-of-physics violating thing to throw at the wall for the hell of it". The ones that don't even posit what question is being asked, what demand gets served, what the public service truly is. The ones that go down a technical semantics wormhole about "What's the physically most convoluted and Rube Goldberg-esque way imaginable to build this?" to push the outer limits of human engineering achievement...but which lose the plot on what usable service is being provided and what comparatively less-convoluted builds more straightforwardly answer 100% of the service question. i.e. 2D map doodling for doodling's sake, modal warfare, intensity-of-personal-belief traps.

Even those cases don't need much clarification, because--again--a cursory read of these 154 pages shows those Crazy-without-the-Pitch ideas tend to fizz out and back themselves into a corner pretty quickly...and then thread life returns to normal. The two "Transit Pitches" words in the thread title are pretty instructive there. It's not a Transit Pitch if it isn't somehow defined or self-evident what public service is being provided for what demand audience, and why that service is important enough to merit "a" build/this build. That's it...define *just* that much and go Crazy from there. But 154 pages will show that the ones that have any discussion legs start from some semblance of a mission statement. And the ones that dead-end--the doodles-for-doodles sake and the difficulty-for-difficulty's sake...dead-end from the absence of tangible hook to what the transit pitch is.



Not sure what the problem is here. This thread seems to sustain itself pretty well all by its own ebb and flow through minding all 3 words in the title. So does the "Reasonable" Pitches thread. Maybe we just need a third "Institutional Transit Pitchery" thread to serve the action part of the Big/bold/necessary game-changers and fully-vetted "Crazy" thread graduates that need their real-world next steps dissected. No moderator is stopping anyone from being that thread-starter if there's an unmet discussion need begging to be filled.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:44 PM   #3064
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Not sure what the problem is here. This thread seems to sustain itself pretty well all by its own ebb and flow through minding all 3 words in the title. So does the "Reasonable" Pitches thread. Maybe we just need a third "Institutional Transit Pitchery" thread to serve the action part of the Big/bold/necessary game-changers and fully-vetted "Crazy" thread graduates that need their real-world next steps dissected. No moderator is stopping anyone from being that thread-starter if there's an unmet discussion need begging to be filled.
I think the Green Line Reconfig thread serves that purpose well enough. Threads such as that serve that need, and we should create them as discussion leads us to more "concrete" planning.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:57 PM   #3065
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Pitch: Remove the Braintree Branch of the Red Line and replace it with a mixture of commuter rail and DMU services.

Problems:
  • Ashmont Branch needs more capacity and service
  • Braintree Branch needs more capacity and service
  • Old Colony Lines need more frequent service
  • The Red Line/Old Colony/I-93 right-of-way is tapped out without [expensively] going vertical
  • Malfunction Jct between JFK/UMass and Andrew Sq consistently provides scheduling and service issues for the Red Line

On our side:
  • Braintree Branch stations are fairly well spread and have a fair amount of distance between them
  • Old Colony Lines are immediately parallel to entire Braintree Branch
  • Ability to triple- or quadruple-track the enhanced Old Colony trunk if and when necessary, and still allot space for stations

Specifics:
  • All Red Line service is strictly Alewife-Ashmont at maximized headways
  • Addition of a station at Pope's Hill/Neponset for DMU service
  • DMU service would cover all Braintree Branch stops at existing frequencies
  • All Greenbush Line service would be added frequency for all stops in Quincy
  • All Old Colony Line service will make stops at Quincy Center
  • Select Old Colony Line service will make stops at Braintree
  • All services will stop at Quincy Center and JFK/UMass

Problems:
  • Requires Proof-of-Payment system and fast/efficient/easy transfer to Red Line at JFK/UMass and to both Red Line and Silver Line at South Station
  • Should select services fork at Track 61 to BCEC and the Seaport?
  • Can a JFK/UMass transfer handle the number of people who may want to transfer to Red Line coming inbound?
  • Will the North-South Rail Link be required, or is South Station expansion enough? If required, will an Old Colony portal for NSRL also be necessary?
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:16 PM   #3066
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Shear off Quincy from the DTX and Park transfers, Kendall, Central, Harvard Square, and Davis???

Impose a maximum allowable 15-minute headway...6 minutes worse than today's headways???


Dear God, why??? That is tantamount to taking a steaming dump all over Quincy and Braintree transit. No...just no. There is absolutely, positively no advantage to a mode change that offsets how unacceptable, untenable, and unfixable all of the downsides are. Indigo + NSRL is not Red. Not in a billion years.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:10 AM   #3067
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Shear off Quincy from the DTX and Park transfers, Kendall, Central, Harvard Square, and Davis???

Impose a maximum allowable 15-minute headway...6 minutes worse than today's headways???


Dear God, why??? That is tantamount to taking a steaming dump all over Quincy and Braintree transit. No...just no. There is absolutely, positively no advantage to a mode change that offsets how unacceptable, untenable, and unfixable all of the downsides are. Indigo + NSRL is not Red. Not in a billion years.
I think you just validated that the pitch was truly crazy.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:38 PM   #3068
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Impose a maximum allowable 15-minute headway...6 minutes worse than today's headways???
Not sure where you even pulled this from, to be honest.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #3069
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Not sure where you even pulled this from, to be honest.
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/Do...206:38:34%20PM

Rush hour headway on Braintree Branch: 9 min.
Midday headway: 14 min.
Evening/late night: 12 min.
Weekend (all): 14 min.

Fairmount Corridor Feasibility Improvements study specced a densest achievable headway with DMU's at 15 minutes, limited to that by FRA-reg turnaround tasks, South Station dispatching, and the 1-1/4 mile trip through the terminal district between platforms and the start of the free-running portion of the mainline. All of those calculations for Fairmount apply to Old Colony because they spend equal time and distance through the same area of the terminal district.


Under no circumstances will a mode change to mainline rail provide equal headways. Including in a NSRL universe, because the same terminal district will be replicated underground at the 3 southside line merges. At rush hour headways will be 40% worse than Red Line. In addition to cutting off Quincy and Braintree passengers--and the South Shore's primary bus terminal--from direct access to Park + DTX transfers, Cambridge, and job destinations at those stops--and not at SS or on the route of the NSRL--actively commuted to by thousands of daily Braintree Branch riders.

That is catastrophic transit loss for a branch whose 5 unique stops produces 30,000 daily boardings...5% more than the entire Commuter Rail northside combined, and almost two-thirds the boardings of the entire Commuter Rail southside combined.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:55 PM   #3070
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

[IMG][/IMG]

Here is a crazy transit pitch to send a light rail line starting from the Tremont Street Subway, continuing to a new transfer station with Orange at Tufts. It then crosses either over or under the orange line and under the Pike. Next it continues under Herald Street (at station could possibly be built at the Ink Block) and emerging from below under the I-93 elevated ramps. Refer to the street view in the link. The route would be on the ground below this ramp (emerging from underground where Herald meets Albany St. https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3456...!5m1!1e2?hl=en

Next the route travels over a new bridge and enters into the existing Broadway trolley tunnel portal (MBTA emergency training center on Foundry St) above the Red line. Here the training center is restored to its original purpose as an upper level transfer station above the Broadway Red Line. The route continues through the existing tunnel until it ends and is extended under 5th street until it emerges through the retaining wall into the South Boston By-Pass Road trench. From here the route would be street running to the D street portal into the Silver Line Tunnel. The street running route would serve the expanded convention center, D street development and the yet to be developed land along Pappas Way.

This scheme provides transit to the parts of the Seaport which are currently the least accessible and creates a whole new transit corridor through the north sides of the South End and South Boston. The tunneling is limited and is through areas which appear to be "easier" to tunnel. The portals all work with the existing grades and therefore do not require a steep incline.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:08 PM   #3071
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I believe where you put the bridge over that section of commuter rail line tracks is provisioned for decking, (F-Line probably knows, I think he's mentioned it before during the whole B24 fiasco) so running a bridge through it may not be ideal, unless you can somehow align it so that it lines up with transit-oriented-development that is decked over those tracks. That'd be quite an expensive and complex task for a developer, though.

Since this is crazy transit pitches, it may be best if the tracks were buried, from under Herald Street, across the tracks, and tying in with the existing portal. That'd be quite a feat, and I'm not entirely sure if its possible.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:27 PM   #3072
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches



Here is an expanded view of the proposal showing how the route could work with the rest of the T network.

Instead of connecting the Green Line to the Silver Line Transit Way at South Station this pitch makes the connection at the D Street Portal.

While Courthouse station is fairly far from Boylston Station the eastern end of the Seaport and the future development opportunities along Pappas Way would be equally close to Boylston compared to if the connection began at South Station.

The advantages include a new transit armature for development along D street (the routing could also be down a rebuilt E Street), tunneling through narrow older streets and passing under and along side the I 93 tunnels is avoided, and the required tunneling sets up a route to run light rail down Washington Street to Dudley.

This pitch would not preclude the pitch to connect the Green Line from the Tremont Street Tunnel to South Station Via Tufts.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #3073
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Absolute no-go on that routing. It would block the path of the Old Colony/Fairmount lead tunnel into the N-S Link, which has to slip below the Mass Pike tunnel. No one will ever allow a build that kneecaps NSRL like that.


Second, this spot next to where the Bass River gets covered over and where the old South Bay was landfilled is also the #1 worst 50-year flood-risk spot in all of Boston. The upper half of the Haul Road/Track 61 cut is already a major concern for the 'storm drain' effect dumping an additional canal's worth of water into an already inundated Widett/Cabot area. Put a portal there at that singularly vulnerable spot and all you are doing is building an even higher-capacity storm drain further inundating the also-fucked South End. Required flood mitigation costs for installing multiple sets of flood doors and thicker walls to seal the tunnel against a catastrophic breach will pointlessly double the cost of this routing. It is not "easier" tunneling. It is harder and more expensive, because all the ones that avoid South Bay by sticking north of the highway ramps avoid all the required expense for Netherlands-grade flood controls.


Third, the extra mileage and street-running of the Dorchester + South End jog serves no known demand pattern. It triples travel time from the Downtown transfers to South Station and the Seaport, which is the primary goal of SL Phase III's intended load relief on the Red Line. Chucking the schedule out the window with a distended route running backwards through the more diffuse stops first before hitting SS at the end blunts nearly all congestion mitigation benefits from a Downtown link that hits SS first. If the SS-DTX/Park double-transfer is always going to be 7-10 minutes faster than the one-seat meandering more miles through 6 or 7 lower-demand stops before hitting the main course, people are going to stick to the same Red transfer dance. And downtown dwell times at the big transfer stations will continue to strangle all mobility in town, thus flunking the #1 value proposition of Silver Line Phase III & variants' very existence.

Broadway and its walking-distance catchment already has much faster access to South Station, Seaport, and downtown by Red + transfers. Or just walking. They will not be drawn in nearly large enough numbers to offset the other losses from choosing the meandering routing. Very different story for the Urban Ring since Broadway's on a straightest-trajectory shot from Dudley and the roads best-equipped to trace out the SE quadrant of the Ring. But Broadway being a good Ring stop does not mean it's a must-have for the Seaport/SS-Downtown connection worth warping a map over. The demand audience is empirically distinct and different.




Upstruk, I appreciate the effort and detail you're putting into these renders...but it's falling straight down the trap where the "Crazy" totally sidelines the more important "Transit Pitch" part and just clogs page after page full of dartboard throws. There has to be some sort of demand rationalization backing a proposal. Modifying an ID'd demand corridor into worse transit because pieces of flotsam on a map may be technically available to stitch together isn't good transit when it doesn't address a question being asked.

And throwing feasibility scoring completely out the window to prove the theoretical technical correctness of a routing in a demand or mitigation vacuum isn't providing a solution, it's practicing bad civil engineering. Civil engineering doesn't exist in a vacuum. Every structure interacts with its interconnected environment, be that mitigation on other abutting structures, the water table in the soil, or safety regulations set by law. And impact their environment on a sliding scale of solveables (e.g. moving a 93 emergency exit hatch 200 ft. down the road) to improbables (e.g. blowing up buildings in tactical nuclear strikes, getting safety laws changed). It's a ledger of benefits and demerits producing a cost-benefit calculation. Which then usefully produces an empirical ranking of Alternatives.

Tape-measured tunnel dimensions do not inform cost, ease, or legalities in a vacuum. When a routing officially studied has been fully-vetted with engineering scoring, the weak scores don't automatically get nullified by drawing a 2D diagram taking a different path...then concluding: "By the absence of the same path, I have an absence of that path's poor-scoring impactors. Thus, this is a superior routing."

No. All you have is an absence of scoring by removing the notion of scoring entirely from the vetting process. Every new render that follows in the footsteps of that fallacy is going to fail for the same reason: you can't determine empirical feasibility by removing the surrounding civil engineering environment from the equation.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:29 PM   #3074
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

The flood map you linked shows that virtually every trench in Boston has a 6' or greater flood risk. This includes the existing Silver Line D street portal, the existing orange line portal from the pike, a future portal in the pike trench to Washington street, the south west corridor orange line, the pike trench through Boston. Basically everything.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:08 PM   #3075
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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The flood map you linked shows that virtually every trench in Boston has a 6' or greater flood risk. This includes the existing Silver Line D street portal, the existing orange line portal from the pike, a future portal in the pike trench to Washington street, the south west corridor orange line, the pike trench through Boston. Basically everything.
Yes...and that's a big problem that'll require big and expensive retrofits on the existing tunnels and big and expensive flood controls baked into the NSRL portals.


Now why does this proposal intentionally choose the longest possible tunnel routing that stays inside the footprint "Noah's Ark"-blue of maximum risk? Do you see what I mean about throwing engineering scoring out the window to chase proof-of-concept notions of hardest-possible build? Just because SOME structures take on a big risk at one spot as necessary cost of doing business does not mean the playing field is automatically leveled for ANY structure to jump off the deep end taking on ALL possible risks like the existence of other structures in a risk area nullifies the risk. That's not how civil engineering works.


Take the North-South Rail Link, for comparison. The NSRL stays completely dry on the flood map in all these spots: South Station Under, the tunnel merge at SS Under, the mainline tunnel between SS and Central Station. Awesome. It stays inside the least-severe 2-4 ft. yellows and oranges all these other places: northside portals @ Boston Engine Terminal, Old Colony/Fairmount portals minimum @ Southampton, North Station platforms. Okay, not-so-awesome...but a hell of lot better than it could've shaken out on a flood map that all-around terrifying. The NSRL's optimal service routing can afford to take on all the extra cost and complexity of installing Netherlands-grade flood doors at "Noah's Ark"-blue NEC portal and double-up the protection from wall leakage on those 2 hairy mainline spots between Central Station and North Station because everything else on the build clings to the path of least possible mitigation. No engineering through an old built-up city is ever going to score a perfect 100...but the chosen routing for NSRL accomplishes all its service goals while avoiding far more flood risk than it takes on. The CA/T served it up that way by-design, and there really aren't any lines that can be redrawn on a map that balance cost/benefits any better than the current Link plan.


You can't say that for a 2D render that starts:
  1. high-and-dry at the old Tremont Tunnel on the 1897 portion of the Green Line historically immune to major flooding
  2. heads straight into the nearest dark blue max risk region, exposing that flood-immune 1897 GL tunnel to inundation risk it never had before
  3. spends 2200 tunneling feet straight in the middle of deepest darkest blue
  4. piggybacks on top of a high-and-dry oasis of Red Line tunnel around Broadway historically immune to flooding
  5. ...thus introducing two flood-immune old subway segments to major risk of inundation for the first time in their history
  6. then heads straight for the next-worst dark blue max risk region at Track 61
  7. ...and puts a portal smack in the middle of it
  8. ...thus ensuring that both old flood-immune subway tunnels intersected face immediate risk of inundation without Netherlands-grade flood protection built everywhere across this new build.
That is not mitigating risk like NSRL is mitigating risk. It goes out of its way to seek risk, then compounds its own risk by risking other structures. Why? Are there ridership counts so stupendously awesome and strategically critical on this routing vs. any other to nullify all these additional risks? Not likely, since the slow backdoor reach around the Seaport has empirically far less demand and far less beneficial congestion mitigation than one that heads for South Station first. What's left that makes this a preferred route over something that seeks less-extreme risks?

Now take a look at the flood map vs. the Transitway connector that was officially proposed for Silver Line Phase III. Essex St.: high-and-dry the whole way. Look in particular at the Atlantic-to-Chinatown Park block of Essex that is the only viable insertion point for a route that hits South Station first: high-and-dry. Hitting South Station first fits the demand pattern and the service goals, which the backdoor route doesn't do. The SS-first insertion point already has a big leg up on flood risk. So why pursue the risk extremes of the demand-inferior backdoor route? Is there any reason at all other than proof-of-concept when service demand isn't it?

Now, we know that Essex on the original SL III plan has many, many other engineering demerits. If flood risk were the be-all of engineering feasibility we'd already have buses rumbling under Essex. But clearly Essex has much more complicated issues weighing it down, and alternative routings have to be studied if they're going to fix what broke SL III. So how about the risks on those South End routings?
  • Chinatown Park down Hudson: yellows and oranges, one stretch of magenta, one high-and-dry oasis by the new tower on the corner of Kneeland but also slices perilously close to a dark-blue region. Thoroughly mixed bag, tough to draw firm conclusions. But we knew that; mixed bags and imperfect scoring are all we have to choose from. Any "most-buildable" build is still going to be a very complicated one, and that's why any re-study is going to have to benchmark more than one Alternative across the South End street grid.
  • What about Marginal St.? Aha...the frontage roads on the Pike are dry while the NEC/Pike canyon is in a canal! That's a big one: stay the hell out of the canal unless you have no choice but to engage it, like the NSRL's portal or cutover to the Washington St. trolley portal. What about the Marginal vs. Herald sides? The blocks along Marginal are drier by the Washington intersection than the blocks along Herald. Stay on the Marginal side; all things being equal it's safer than Herald, and way way safer than the NEC cut. What about crossing under Orange? It happens under a dry spot, which is good. So now it matters more how long the new tunnel has been running dry before it slips under Orange. Marginal > Herald >>> NEC cut for dry running distance before hitting Orange.
What does this inform us? There's a lot to study here.
  • Any Seaport-Downtown connector has to do feasibility scores on a few different build alternatives: Essex, South End, and definitely some sort of "South End Modified" on a different part of the street grid. It tells us that there are no absolutes, and aggregate scoring of SEVERAL alternatives is the only way to make an informed pick. One routing's demerits counted up in a vacuum do not justify another routing's virtues counted up in a vacuum. Head-to-head scoring settles this.
  • If flood mitigation were the only consideration, Essex St. would win hands-down...but Essex St. doesn't win hands-down because of its other constraints. So no one risk factor proves all-or-nothing. No build is absolutely precluded by flood risk or narrow street width. But also, no existence of 'a'/any build through a flood zone or narrow streets "opens the proverbial floodgates" to anything-goes map doodles. It's cumulative scoring of all the factors together that sets feasibility.
  • Degrees of difference matter. A tunnel inside the NEC cut vs. a tunnel under Herald St. vs. a tunnel under Marginal St. all go the same place for the same service. But a tunnel inside the NEC cut is far riskier than a tunnel under Herald St., and a tunnel under Herald St. is *slightly* riskier than a tunnel under Marginal. That much degree of difference exists on one 2D city block's width. Logically, the only reason to choose a higher degree of difficulty in that compact a region is if the service can't be strung together at all without it (like NSRL having a portal inside the NEC cut). To do the South Bay-via-Track 61 routing you're forced into the NEC cut to avoid the highway structures. Is there anything so compelling about the service demand on a South Bay-via-Track 61 backwards routing to the Seaport that makes plowing through a continuous half-mile of max-risk territory on one particular routing so much better than threading the same service through a half-mile of mixed-risk territory on any number of other routings? And if there is nothing slam-dunk compelling about the service ceiling, why is the build being driven by pursuit of extremes?
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:06 PM   #3076
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

The genesis of this scheme began with working out a portal location for a light rail extension to Dudley Sq. Creating a portal in the Pike / NEC trench seemed like it could be problematic due to the incline slope required to reach the street level above while avoiding the Washington Street and Harrison Ave bridges. Extending the tunnel under Herald street and having a portal under the I-93 viaducts where Herald and Albany Streets are already elevated above the ground under the Viaducts seems like a reasonable solution. Here the line would run under the viaducts and then turn down Traveler St on the way to Washington St. This pitch could end here as a new Green line to Dudley portal location.

The land between Broadway and the Seaport along A, D and E streets is an area likely to be developed once the currently master planned parts of the Seaport are completed. This is a large area and if fully developed will need a transit upgrade. Sending a second branch line off the new Dudley bound portal Via Broadway Red Line would serve this area. It is a bonus that there happens to be an existing trolley tunnel portal directly across Bass River from the new portal. The proposed light rail bridge over the River and rail yard makes this connection possible.

To get from this existing trolley tunnel over to the D Street corridor I figured a 1 to 1 1/2 block tunnel under 4th or 5th Streets to connect to the Bypass Road was reasonable.

In summary this is a scheme to piggy back a second light rail route out of a new Tremont Street tunnel extension to serve Washington Street. This second branch would serve a potential large development area which lacks transit access and then continue into the rest of the Seaport. Now a whole new transit connection is made from the Theater District to the Ink Block, to Broadway, to the D Street corridor and on to the Waterfront.

Another thing I thought was interesting about this pitch is that trains from either the Seaport or Dudley branches could continue north at Park Street to North Station or Loop at Park Street to reach the Back Bay.

Maybe this second branch through the D street corridor is not worth the expense and the required flood mitigation at the Bypass Rd trench, but I thought it was an interesting enough idea to share here.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:16 PM   #3077
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Upstruk View Post
The genesis of this scheme began with working out a portal location for a light rail extension to Dudley Sq. Creating a portal in the Pike / NEC trench seemed like it could be problematic due to the incline slope required to reach the street level above while avoiding the Washington Street and Harrison Ave bridges. Extending the tunnel under Herald street and having a portal under the I-93 viaducts where Herald and Albany Streets are already elevated above the ground under the Viaducts seems like a reasonable solution. Here the line would run under the viaducts and then turn down Traveler St on the way to Washington St. This pitch could end here as a new Green line to Dudley portal location..
I posted something similar a while ago, suggesting that the I-90 HOV lane that conveniently is on-alignment from Herald Street (and can take transit across all the train spaghetti) be repurposed for the Green Line.



Explanation: http://archboston.com/community/show...&postcount=330
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:06 PM   #3078
Charlie_mta
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I like it. The western end (near Washington St.) could be tied into the E line tunnel for direct back Bay / Seaport service, and also tied into the abandoned Tremont St. tunnel.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:54 AM   #3079
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_mta View Post
I like it. The western end (near Washington St.) could be tied into the E line tunnel for direct back Bay / Seaport service, and also tied into the abandoned Tremont St. tunnel.
Not sure if you're referring to Upstruck's proposal or my HOV lane idea, but in both cases yes - the idea is a routing from the Tremont Street Tunnel and/or Back Bay connection via an E extension. Most of the posts in the Green Line Reconfiguration thread try to do something similar, but send the GL to South Station first from the Herald/Pike alignment (in various ways that prove either complicated or contentious).

Personally, I like the idea of re-purposing the HOV lane. When I first proposed it, the discussion quickly veered into debating the merits of HOV lanes. Whatever the case there is, this Airport HOV tunnel is hands-down an underutilized piece of expensive infrastructure which would get 1000x more use as a transit tunnel - and the fact that it's straight on alignment from what could be a box tunnel under Herald is a great coincidence.
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:34 AM   #3080
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Not sure if you're referring to Upstruck's proposal or my HOV lane idea, but in both cases yes - the idea is a routing from the Tremont Street Tunnel and/or Back Bay connection via an E extension. Most of the posts in the Green Line Reconfiguration thread try to do something similar, but send the GL to South Station first from the Herald/Pike alignment (in various ways that prove either complicated or contentious).

Personally, I like the idea of re-purposing the HOV lane. When I first proposed it, the discussion quickly veered into debating the merits of HOV lanes. Whatever the case there is, this Airport HOV tunnel is hands-down an underutilized piece of expensive infrastructure which would get 1000x more use as a transit tunnel - and the fact that it's straight on alignment from what could be a box tunnel under Herald is a great coincidence.
Yeah...believe that inquiry left off with affirmative confirmation that the dimensions would work for transit use before discussion got sidetracked.

The only real problem with the HOV re-use is the demand question. Downtown direct to Seaport bypassing South Station or hitting it dead-last whiffs on all the Red Line congestion mitigation that's the crux of the Seaport's mobility problems. Yes, it's theoretically easier and less-costly in absolute terms to string up, but Park St. to Silver Line Way one-seat isn't the burning mobility question begging to be answered: it's the SS+DTX and SS+Park transfer dances. As long as the two-step from the South Station Red Line platform remains faster and more frequent than a meandering 5-7 stop loop-around, it's not going to meaningfully address the mobility barrier that's choking off downtown circulation.

So it's a little spurious to pitch the backdoor route as "oh, it's a down payment on a future perma-fix with +1 utility." No, it really isn't. It doesn't pose remotely the same question-and-answer as Silver Line Phase III. Or SL-Washington, for that matter. Spending there first puts addressing the real problem further than ever from goal, and thus makes it a 'bad' transit allocation. 'Bad' use of public works resources can be a whole lot less expensive than 'good', but losing sight of the demand question in the target-fixation chase for routing or modal force-fits is exactly how the Silver Line shipwrecked itself. "Backdoor to Seaport and address the SS double-transfer dance later" is some other era's "shotgun-mode Washington St. replacement service with the Transitway, and figure out how to mash them together later." It seems plausible on-paper until you get the sinking realization years later that the answer doesn't go anywhere near the burning question, and that a whole lot of missplaced focus set back the goal. If there's any project that can ill-afford to make that same mistake, it's this one...failing to answer the same question the last attempt didn't.



In reality, Transitway backdoors are much more appropriate for addressing Urban Ring demand re: stringing together the SE quadrant of the route pattern. Mainline transit that reaches SS inbound from the Seaport is exactly how that radial build is going to do it, and the defining difference in how the Silver Line and Urban Ring differentiated themselves on the BRT mode. You could have something tasty cooking with the HOV lanes when benchmarking possible UR routings between Dudley and the Seaport for the UR. A lot of the UR possibilities target the Haul Road, but Haul Road is awkwardly placed halfway between Broadway and Andrew so the backtrack to/from your pick-'em Red/Dorchester transfer requires unsatisfactory amounts of street-running and turning movements. Puts a problematic toilet clog in the middle of the route that un-does most of the travel time + frequency benefits of the Melnea Cass reservation and Transitway/Haul Rd. on each side of the clog. It would be very interesting indeed if the HOV's proximity to Broadway sharply curtailed the amount of time the UR had to burn in mixed traffic and could feasibly make most of the Dudley-Transitway trunk reservation- or lane-separated.

And, if you are hellbent on getting trolleys and not BRT on the street-heavy south half of the UR, how much you can minimize the mixed-traffic running between Melnea Cass, that Red transfer, and final trajectory into SL Way may be the make-or-break decision on whether the traffic separation can be good enough to hack it on LRT. I could most definitely see the HOV lanes playing into that equation. Helps even more that swinging onto the HOV onramp out of Broadway takes you only 2 blocks away from Washington St. at point of insertion. You could have a 2-block set of non-revenue tracks down Herald between the Washington and Albany intersections acting as a Chestnut Hill Ave.-esque equipment pipe, service disruption diversion, or negligible-risk canvas to doodle around with minor alt service patterns (GC Loop to unidirectional Seaport super-loop-da-loop?).

^^That^^ I think is asking a demand question that the HOV's can directly answer head-on. Just beware the temptation to lump it in with the SL Phase III replacement because the backdoor looks construction-cheaper and in the same neighborhood. It's not a down payment or compromise solution when the "cheaper" route sidesteps the majority-share of the demand question; it means the cost/benefit comparison is faulty.
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