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Old 08-15-2013, 12:12 AM   #41
Scalziand
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Re: General Infrastructure

I never take the Pike, always go via 20 between Sturbridge and Worcester(Auburn).
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #42
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: General Infrastructure

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Originally Posted by Scalziand View Post
I never take the Pike, always go via 20 between Sturbridge and Worcester(Auburn).
That's faster?! I never hit traffic on the Pike Westbound towards Worcester. I can't imagine that Route 20 is faster than people barreling along at 85mph down the Pike. Eastbound at the 84 merge it's a mess though.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #43
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Re: General Infrastructure

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That's faster?! I never hit traffic on the Pike Westbound towards Worcester. I can't imagine that Route 20 is faster than people barreling along at 85mph down the Pike. Eastbound at the 84 merge it's a mess though.
Faster on a friday afternoon being the key part. Similarly, during the summer I take 9 from worcester to framingham rather than battle the buildup of cape traffic merging onto 495.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #44
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: General Infrastructure

^ Well then that makes sense.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:54 PM   #45
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Re: General Infrastructure

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Faster on a friday afternoon being the key part. Similarly, during the summer I take 9 from worcester to framingham rather than battle the buildup of cape traffic merging onto 495.
Sunday nights 84 traffic entering the Pike backs up for miles to Exit 2. College kids heading home to CT and NY for the weekend. It's excruciating. Bookending the weekend...at those specific times...84 is the single-worst toll plaza in the state by a wide margin. Worse than @ 495, worse than @ 128, worse than Allston. Route 20 is definitely faster for getting between Sturbridge and Auburn those times, although it's easier to detour-the-detour and bail off 84E the exit before 20 when the sea of red tail lights starts lighting up the evening dusk on a Sunday. It's that bad.

It's not a poorly designed exit, either. If anything it's the straightest, highest-speed when uncongested, highest-capacity one there is. The toll queues are just that bad. This one has the biggest room for improvement with speed-limit tolling. Whereas the distended cloverleafs at 495 and 290 are still going to suffer under heavy load and outright FAILramps like Allston, 128, and I-291 are Springfield are still going to be engineered for dysfunction until they're blown up and started over.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:57 AM   #46
wicked
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Re: General Infrastructure

I like how it works in Ireland on the M50. One neat thing about the high-speed tolling was you could buy a one-use pass from one of the rest area stores -- they entered in your plate number there, which cross-checked against any cars going through the gantry, so you didn't have to worry about carrying a transponder or paying a bill later on.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #47
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Re: General Infrastructure

The problem with the I-84 merge into I-90 eastbound isn't the toll plaza. It's the merge from 4 lanes to 3 once you get onto I-90. Not sure what you could do to smooth that out. I think it's just too many cars...
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:17 AM   #48
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Re: General Infrastructure

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The problem with the I-84 merge into I-90 eastbound isn't the toll plaza. It's the merge from 4 lanes to 3 once you get onto I-90. Not sure what you could do to smooth that out. I think it's just too many cars...
Oh no, it's definitely the toll plaza. WB getting on to 84 backs up to Auburn on Fridays. EB getting on to 84 can be up to a mile spilling into Brimfield. I do this drive often to visit family in CT. Sunday nights heading back onto the Pike it's full speed limit on the ramp into the merge despite the steep hill Pike EB is climbing at that merge. But the toll queues on 84 EB can start halfway between Exits 2 and 3. Thankfully the sightlines are pretty good there so you usually have time to bail onto Route 131 if there's a sea of brake lights in the distance.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #49
mass88
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Re: General Infrastructure

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...=all#aComments

Looks like the state is encouraged by the results of the quick changes they made to the 90/95 interchange where 95 NB is dropped from 4 to 3 lanes just before the interchange to allow those merging in from 90 and route 30 to have a dedicated lane to do so.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #50
cden4
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Re: General Infrastructure

This should help the I-84/I-90 toll plaza bottleneck:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...l_highway.html
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #51
bigeman312
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Re: General Infrastructure

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This should help the I-84/I-90 toll plaza bottleneck:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...l_highway.html
Oh man! No more free rides from West Newton to Newton Corner. Oh well, this is probably a good thing.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:52 AM   #52
mass88
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Re: General Infrastructure

http://boston.com/news/local/massach...EjJ/story.html


Looks like work will be starting very soon on the Allston/Brighton tolls. Does anyone have any idea how they plan to straighten and rebuild the Mass Pike in that area?
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #53
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Re: General Infrastructure

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Originally Posted by mass88 View Post
http://boston.com/news/local/massach...EjJ/story.html


Looks like work will be starting very soon on the Allston/Brighton tolls. Does anyone have any idea how they plan to straighten and rebuild the Mass Pike in that area?
Hasn't even been put to an official study yet, though their intentions seem to be strongly leaning towards straightening. It's not something that can happen before decade's end with all the planning steps ahead of them before first shovel can go in ground. For the open-road tolling rollout they're only installing the new overhead electronic toll gantries and demolishing the old booths. The highway alignment will be the same until they unveil (I'm sure with saturation fanfare) a new design for straightening it.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #54
choo
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Re: General Infrastructure

^The fact that it is still going to take until the end of the decade is frustrating. Are they reducing capacity or anything major, or are they just straightening a curve?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #55
The EGE
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Re: General Infrastructure

The T claims shovels in ground by 2016, done by 2020. Optimistic, but not necessarily undoable.

They not only have to replace the Pike itself, but also defuck that entire Cambridge Street / SF Road off-ramp mess.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:30 PM   #56
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Re: General Infrastructure

What, if any, considerations have to be made in designing and studying the new set up for a 'fairmounted' inner 128 service on the tracks along the pike?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #57
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Re: General Infrastructure

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^The fact that it is still going to take until the end of the decade is frustrating. Are they reducing capacity or anything major, or are they just straightening a curve?
Well, the main highway going straight is not that hard to design. It's perfectly flat and tangent, effortless to tie in to the carriageways at Cambridge St., and only requires a modest incline to tie into the remaining two-thirds of the viaduct around Nickerson Field. The more involved design is going to be the new ramps, especially the EB on/off-ramps that have to have flyovers built from the new alignment. Build itself won't be too hard because these flyovers will be erected over carriageways that aren't open to traffic with all the staging space in the world, will likely use those tinker-toy prefab bridge segments, and can probably be done as 24-hour construction without disturbing anyone. But if the goal is to make them low-profile enough to free up more land for development the ramp design will take some time. And the funding commitments all have to be tied up in a bow to get started.

It's not instantaneous, especially because they haven't started any formal engineering.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:01 PM   #58
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Re: General Infrastructure

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What, if any, considerations have to be made in designing and studying the new set up for a 'fairmounted' inner 128 service on the tracks along the pike?
None yet. They have a lot of work to do inside Framingham on the existing service. The signal system is old and capped at 60 MPH, unlike the modern cab signals west of Framingham that are rumored to be getting a bump to 80 MPH possibly as early as next year. There are zero crossovers between Beacon Park and Wellesley Farms and few between Wellesley and Framingham, meaning existing all-stops locals can't get out of the way of expresses. Especially true in Newton where an outbound all-stops going 'wrong-rail' forces all inbounds to hold at W. Farms. You can't even get today's schedule firing on all cylinders with those limitations, let alone introduce a new local service pattern on top.

They first have to rebuild the 3 Newton stops as ADA'd full-highs reaching both tracks (probably as single island platforms). And raise the mini-high at Back Bay to a full-high so that doesn't chew up dwell times. Then have to do a total rip-out/rebuild of the Framingham-east signal system to get 80 MPH and finer-tuned headways. Then have to install many more crossovers on this new cab signal system so the expresses can pass the locals and all existing services can get substantial schedule increases.

Only then can you start drawing up studies and design plans for Newton Corner and Riverside stations. It's all busywork, but it's a huge backlog of busywork that's going to take probably >$100M to settle up just to get the line's inside-Framingham performance up to par with the rest of the commuter rail. They have to fund that before you can even think of doing DMU's full-blast. The best you could do beforehand is making poking that very limited-schedule Track 61 plan out to Allston/New Balance, since that's short distance and can utilize the 2 existing sets of crossovers on each side of Beacon Park for reversing directions and juggling around Worcester traffic. But going further or more frequent isn't possible until all that crippled track capacity is fixed.


Will take time. But all that busywork is such a high priority that they need to get a move on and settle it all up in the next 5 years, so there's no harm in initiating a "Fairmounting" study now. New Balance alone is going to take a few years to build, and it's unlikely they can fast-track all 3 Newton stop rebuilds at once around a heavy Worcester schedule so there's a finite pace they can feasibly go at plowing through this to-do list.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #59
davem
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Re: General Infrastructure

I'll just repost my old idea here:





Interchange the northern half of SFR with the Pike, using it to distribute traffic around the area in lieu of ramps to Cambridge St. In this example I deleted the piece of SFR between the BU Bridge and Beacon Park, but the design could easily be modified to include it.

This allows for a ton of parkland to be opened up along the Charles, better distribution of traffic leaving the Pike in Allston, and would reduce induced-demand on Storrow by giving drivers the option of continuing on to the Pike instead.

In this example I've also got the Pike going into a shallow (10') cut instead of the viaduct as well. Doable, since BU's campus is already a good story above grade in this area. Then SFR could be placed on top, and the rest decked with parkland. The viaduct looks like it's due for replacement soon, and I can't imagine that a 1600' shallow cut would be much more expensive than a new elevated structure.

The northern half of SFR is not fully realized as of yet. Basically I was playing with moving the SB lanes to the other side of Genzyme/Double Tree to free up space along the Charles. The idea was that it could be built below grade, and since it would only be a ~40' ROW it would be easy for future developers to cover up.

This would all have to happen along with an exit added to the Pike over by the IHOP. An exit there would help a ton with people who are currently getting off exit 18 and then backtracking through the disaster that is Allston, or getting off at the circle of death in Newton and fighting forward that way.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:33 PM   #60
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Re: General Infrastructure

be great if we could get a street grid like that here. Have a feeling Harvard/Seaport-esque super blocks are in store though.
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