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Old 03-30-2017, 11:27 AM   #41
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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Slide 33 of the 40 page PDF mentions Gilmore queues affecting southbound Rutherford flow. Would it make sense to build a Gilmore bridge southbound to Northpoint Blvd ramp to try to address that?
I'm also wondering if a combination of a new ramp from I-93 southbound to Inner Belt Road near its New Washington St intersection, plus a bridge from somewhere near the south end of Inner Belt Road to the vicinity of Water St might be an effective way to get some traffic off Rutherford. Specifically, the Leverett Circle Connector Bridge off ramp from I-93 southbound starts out as two lanes and merges down to one, and this new ramp to Inner Belt Road would presumably be accessible from the right lane of the two lane segment of that bridge.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:11 AM   #42
scorpio02150
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

Charlestown Patriot-Bridge Newspaper:

"The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) announced that it will be back in Charlestown on May 18 for the big unveil of the Sullivan Square/Rutherford
Avenue preferred design.

On May 18, they will unveil one of two options that they prefer, and solicit feedback from the community about that decision. "At this meeting, the Boston Transportation Department will be presenting a preferred concept, read an announcement from
BTD. "Your ongoing participation in the design process will be greatly appreciated as the preferred concept is further developed into 25 percent design plans.

At a meeting on Feb. 28, the City unveiled a new hybrid plan for the corridor, mixing some aspects of the surface option and decking structures with a small underpass.

Meanwhile, the older surface option, BTD officials said, is still on the table and may be the preferred plan.

A number of folks in the community, however, get the sense that the new hybrid plan is something the City likes, and it did meet with good approval at the Feb. 28 meeting by more than half of the audience.

A good number of residents, however, are still favoring the surface option without underpasses though. BTD Deputy Commissioner Jim Gillooly is shepherding the process, and announced in February that there is funding available and this project is a priority for the region.

The May 18 meeting will take place at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Medford Street, at 6:30 p.m."
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:25 AM   #43
BKNA
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

the State is funding the construction of the project.
The State wants an underpass so that the road can continue to serve as a commuter route.
There is no more discussion.

The selling points:
Theyve made the underpass as small as possible by steepening the grades into and out which will allow Hood area to be connected to the rest of Charlestown.
It will also allow for parcels to be developed in Sullivan Sq so that gets the City on board.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:29 PM   #44
cden4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

The underpasses may be smaller but they still create big issues: awkward roadway routing, places where it's impossible to cross the street, parcels that can be neither true open space nor built on top of. A surface design with a fine grained street grid is the only one that actually works to create a real neighborhood here again.

I don't know if it's Rep Capuano or Mayor Walsh or some other pressure, but BTD seems to REALLY want underpasses here even though community consensus in 2013 was for a surface option and the BRA's Sullivan Square Disposition Study (defining a planning framework for the area) was predicated on the surface option.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:41 PM   #45
FK4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

People should make this meeting and advocate for getting rid of the underpasses altogether. Should've gotten this shit done before the casino was planned. Now it's just something else they can use to argue for keeping it a horrible highway.

Last edited by FK4; 05-05-2017 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:53 PM   #46
millerm277
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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The underpasses may be smaller but they still create big issues: awkward roadway routing, places where it's impossible to cross the street, parcels that can be neither true open space nor built on top of. A surface design with a fine grained street grid is the only one that actually works to create a real neighborhood here again.
Looking at the options in the most recent presentation, you're not getting anything that's particularly friendly either way. With how many lanes the roadway needs in the at-grade option, it's going to be very pedestrian unfriendly, it looks worse to me to walk than the underpass option is.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:27 PM   #47
FK4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

Sorry, but this sounds horrible. Isn't there actually another meeting though in May? As in, nothing is actually decided?
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:19 PM   #48
TallIsGood
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

Comm Ave and Huntington Ave have underpasses and they seem to work fine in dense neighborhoods.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:26 AM   #49
FK4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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Comm Ave and Huntington Ave have underpasses and they seem to work fine in dense neighborhoods.
True-ish.

Those underpasses definitely detract and poison the area they are in, embedded though they might be. The Comm Ave Mall is totally wrecked, and the Huntington underpass play in perfectly to a wasteland section of that roadway.

And, despite this, those underpasses were also built when urban development was still denser and smaller scale. Things have changed. A lot. So I have little confidence in MassDOT's ability to design any underpass, anywhere, that could be even as "less bad" as the ones you mention. Which, of course, are also not in dense areas like Back Bay, so there's basically no incentive to make them unobtrusive at all... regardless of what the state plans can say on paper with their pictures of tree plantings, bike lane stripes and droves of pedestrians milling about the beautiful environs of Sullivan Square.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:15 AM   #50
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

Isn't there a fundamental philosophical impasse about the planned usage for this road, that no amount of urban planning or design can solve.

On one hand, you have parties that want Rutherford Avenue to be a major commuter arterial.

On the other hand, you have parties that want Rutherford Avenue to be a pedestrian and bike friendly neighborhood street.

These are two very different roadways. You cannot be both in any effective way. Attempting to do both simply bastardizes the design for both uses.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #51
DBM
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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True-ish.

The Comm Ave Mall is totally wrecked
Really? That would probably come as news to the thousands of people who walk, jog, dog-walk, sit on the benches, and admire the various statue installations along the Mall each year. Would also probably be news to whoever decks the trees in holiday lights year after year.

Here's the Mall at the Hereford Ave. intersection, looks great to me.

On the other hand, if you meant, the "Comm. Ave. Mall underpass structure is wrecked," now, that I agree with, it's badly crumbling...
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:26 PM   #52
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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On one hand, you have parties that want Rutherford Avenue to be a major commuter arterial.

On the other hand, you have parties that want Rutherford Avenue to be a pedestrian and bike friendly neighborhood street.
I think you can accommodate both uses in the same corridor, especially one this wide. Currently it is 4 to 5 lanes each way. The underpass at Gilmore Bridge is 3 lanes each way, which should be narrowed to two lanes. Lop off a lane or two each way along the rest of the road's length, eliminate the underpass at Sullivan, and add a few traffic lights between Sullivan Sq and Gilmore Bridge for local cross-street traffic and pedestrian access. This would not impact the commuter arterial function much if at all. Then there would be space for the ped/bikeway path and some greenspace.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:23 PM   #53
FK4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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Really? That would probably come as news to the thousands of people who walk, jog, dog-walk, sit on the benches, and admire the various statue installations along the Mall each year. Would also probably be news to whoever decks the trees in holiday lights year after year.

Here's the Mall at the Hereford Ave. intersection, looks great to me.

On the other hand, if you meant, the "Comm. Ave. Mall underpass structure is wrecked," now, that I agree with, it's badly crumbling...

The underpass severs the mall and renders the segment between Hereford and Mass Ave, and Mass Ave and Charlesgate, dead ends that are essentially not used at all. For an underpass, they do as good a job as could be done, but the underpass itself wrecked what was a contiguous greenway all the way to Kenmore (or to Charlesgate, since the Bowker wrecks the final segment as well).

This is the final segment: in contrast to the rest of the mall (which is not wrecked at all, and is one of the city's finest assets, so no argument there, but way to cut and paste my words to make it seem that's what I was saying), it's neglected, unlandscaped, and unused.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:29 PM   #54
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

Not to derail too much, but since MassDOT is already replacing the Mass. Ave overpass, it might be nice if they could carve out a small median for a shared-use path. It would probably come at the expense of the current bike lanes, but it would heal the gap in the mall created by the underpass.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:50 PM   #55
DBM
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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The underpass severs the mall and renders the segment between Hereford and Mass Ave, and Mass Ave and Charlesgate, dead ends that are essentially not used at all. For an underpass, they do as good a job as could be done, but the underpass itself wrecked what was a contiguous greenway all the way to Kenmore (or to Charlesgate, since the Bowker wrecks the final segment as well).

This is the final segment: in contrast to the rest of the mall (which is not wrecked at all, and is one of the city's finest assets, so no argument there, but way to cut and paste my words to make it seem that's what I was saying), it's neglected, unlandscaped, and unused.
Ok, good clarification, I forgot that that stub end was so shabby in comparison with the pristine(ish) remaining segment. But, you did write "the Comm. Ave Mall is wrecked", so, I really don't think I was taking it out of context.

As you note--and as I meant to point out in my original post--the juxtaposition to the equally shabby Bowker infrastructure is unfortunate. Leif Erickson certainly deserves better. Even if his placement there is, of course, a preposterous fraud.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:12 PM   #56
FK4
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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Ok, good clarification, I forgot that that stub end was so shabby in comparison with the pristine(ish) remaining segment. But, you did write "the Comm. Ave Mall is wrecked", so, I really don't think I was taking it out of context.

As you note--and as I meant to point out in my original post--the juxtaposition to the equally shabby Bowker infrastructure is unfortunate. Leif Erickson certainly deserves better. Even if his placement there is, of course, a preposterous fraud.
Fair enough... it was a late night post not written with the best of clarity. The end of the mall is also disrupted by the old Green Line tunnel exit, too.

At any rate... I think the underpasses for Mass Ave are useful and it really is as tasteful as it could be for the Comm Ave one... but underpasses still detract, no matter what. And the Huntington one definitely contributes to the overall urban highway free for all feeling of Huntington at that point (of course, so does all the post-urban renewal stuff along that stretch, too).
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:00 AM   #57
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/201...BqM/story.html
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:14 PM   #58
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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On one hand, you have parties that want Rutherford Avenue to be a major commuter arterial.
Can we clarify exactly what the advocates for this use want?

From the perspective of the casino and the produce center, my understanding is that the only direction in which Rutherford south of Sullivan has any relevance to I-93 connectivity is getting onto I-93 southbound.

What if we keep one lane of the southbound underpass from where it starts a bit to the south of the Mystic to Cambridge St, and then build a roughly 500' single lane tunnel under Cambridge St to about Spice St, and then build a ramp up to the surface (from the yellow vehicles in the Google Maps satellite photo I assume this would require relocating some school bus parking), and then follow the eastern edge of I-93 at grade past Bunker Hill Community College, and have a bridge over the Rutherford to Tobin road to connect this to the ramp to I-93 southbound / Leverett Circle Connector southbound? Would that adequately address the goals of the folks who think having underpasses on Rutherford south of Cambridge St is otherwise desirable?
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:54 PM   #59
JeffDowntown
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

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Can we clarify exactly what the advocates for this use want?
Rutherford Avenue is used as an alternative commuting route versus the Leverett Circle Connector, particularly for access to East Cambridge/Kendall and North Station/Government Center areas, from I-93 (Sullivan Square Exit) commuting in/out from the north.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:09 PM   #60
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Re: Rutherford Avenue to go on a diet!

^ and from the tobin to the gilmore bridge and E Cambridge / Kendall (full disclosure: my daily).

IMHO any proposed future state should address - and utilize - the huge amount of wasted space between rutherford and I-93 (as Joel is suggesting...), rather than trying to reconcile the street / arterial conflict within the existing footprint of Rutherford...

Its absurd that there a major bottlenecks at literally every entrance / exit to the bloated road.
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