Possible Boston College Station Renovations

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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby The EGE » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:15 pm

It's beginning to make sense for me. The wide inbound platform will serve most outbound and all inbound trains; it's an outside platform so the farebox is accessible for passengers boarding. The narrower outbound platform - only used when there's a train at the inbound platform - is on the inside so passengers are further from the street.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:37 pm

I wonder if the removal of the two platforms from the yard will allow for two extra train storage spots.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby The EGE » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:46 pm

I doubt it. The platforms are already at the throat where it narrows to 2 tracks for the Comm Ave crossing. Adding tracks where the platforms are would be difficult.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby Matthew » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:32 pm

The construction manager for the project spoke at the BAIA tonight and gave an overview and answered a bunch of questions. The project is at 15% design and they are just looking to push it to 30% design. Their claimed concern is accessibility, safety, and improved operations. Currently, he says, that the accessible path requires traversing the circumference of the yard in order to reach the level boarding platform. Also they want to separate the platform from the yard. And they claim it can eliminate 90% of movements into the yard, only requiring moves for schedule changes at certain times of day. The outbound trains will primarily crossover to the inbound track for turn back, and will use the outbound-only platform when being removed from service.

They have elected to put up fences in order to restrict pedestrian movement on the platforms to either end. They say they are required by law to allow at least 2 egresses to every station. They also mentioned that accessibility must be strictly equal for all abilities: so any ramps cannot be cut-off by stairs which would allow able-bodied persons faster access. They intend to install crosswalks at either end of the new platform with a ped-activated light at the eastern end to stop traffic for crossings. The mini-high is supposed to be designed "removably" so that down the line, when Type 9 trolleys come along, it can be removed.

Later on, in a separate presentation, a spokesman from BDG mentioned something about having a meeting with McClellan and talking about "improving non-revenue operations on Chestnut Hill Avenue" by installing control switches along the tracks there. He wasn't terribly clear about this, maybe someone else here knows?
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby MBTA3247 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:28 pm

Matthew wrote:Currently, he says, that the accessible path requires traversing the circumference of the yard in order to reach the level boarding platform.

He has no idea what he's talking about. Since when is crossing the yard throat and going down the ramp equivalent to "traversing the circumference of the yard"?


They also mentioned that accessibility must be strictly equal for all abilities: so any ramps cannot be cut-off by stairs which would allow able-bodied persons faster access.

Really? ADA requires that everyone be slowed down so that they're "equal" to the handful of handicapped people using the station? Back in high school I read a dystopian sci-fi short story about that sort of BS taken to its [il-]logical extreme.

Later on, in a separate presentation, a spokesman from BDG mentioned something about having a meeting with McClellan and talking about "improving non-revenue operations on Chestnut Hill Avenue" by installing control switches along the tracks there. He wasn't terribly clear about this, maybe someone else here knows?

He could mean power switches, possibly even ones controlled by the AVI.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby Matthew » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:45 pm

He has no idea what he's talking about. Since when is crossing the yard throat and going down the ramp equivalent to "traversing the circumference of the yard"?


Well, he pointed at the map of the yard and traced the path around the yard and said that this is the official accessible path. I will see if I can get more details on that and the ADA requirements regarding "equality of access" next time I get a chance.

Thanks for the link to the short story. I had that in mind, but I couldn't quite remember the name or author.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby jamesinclair » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:28 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Really? ADA requires that everyone be slowed down so that they're "equal" to the handful of handicapped people using the station? Back in high school I read a dystopian sci-fi short story about that sort of BS taken to its [il-]logical extreme.


Nope, hes 100% wrong.

Last year, I asked why the MBTA isnt putting stop numbers on their bus signs so people can better use nextbus.

The answer I got? "ADA doesnt allow it because the blind cant see the nextbus information" .

........uh, except the blind also cant see the bus route information, and no bus stop has braille.

So 100% bs.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby Matthew » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:41 pm

I also got that answer about the bus stops during one of the MBTA roundtable discussions they held a while back.

Though my impression was that they said (well, I think it was Josh who said it) that they did not want to create a new design because it would trigger the ADA requirements for braille and NextBus-accessibility. But I have seen stop IDs on a bus stop, notably on the penultimate bus stop sign on the 57 line, where it is most useless.

So they do seem to have some pretty screwy excuses.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Matthew wrote:
He has no idea what he's talking about. Since when is crossing the yard throat and going down the ramp equivalent to "traversing the circumference of the yard"?


Well, he pointed at the map of the yard and traced the path around the yard and said that this is the official accessible path.

There is no public path around the yard, accessible or otherwise. Again, he has no idea what he's talking about.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby jamesinclair » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:17 am

Matthew wrote:I also got that answer about the bus stops during one of the MBTA roundtable discussions they held a while back.

Though my impression was that they said (well, I think it was Josh who said it) that they did not want to create a new design because it would trigger the ADA requirements for braille and NextBus-accessibility. But I have seen stop IDs on a bus stop, notably on the penultimate bus stop sign on the 57 line, where it is most useless.

So they do seem to have some pretty screwy excuses.


Never mind the fact that there are a dozen transit systems in the country that have put up nextbus info.

And Boston has put up a good amount of pedestrian/bike wayfinding signage in the past few years....again, cant be sued by the blind, but wasnt an issue.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby wicked » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:02 am

jamesinclair wrote:Never mind the fact that there are a dozen transit systems in the country that have put up nextbus info.


The WMATA NextBus signs don't feature braille.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby typesix » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:23 am

The T will have a meeting this week on the station work:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... story.html
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby Matthew » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:31 pm

Quick note: I realized that I was being unclear before about the "accessible path." He meant that the trains have to pull all the way around the loop with the disabled passenger on-board in order to reach the mini-high which is on the inbound platform. That extra step is regarded as an inequality for the disabled passenger and is not sufficient as a permanent solution.

Brief summary:

There was general community opposition to the proposal, although a few did speak in support. A staffmember of Senator Kerry gave support, as did a representative from BC.

I would say that the general tenor of the opposition was: we didn't ask for this, why are you spending so much money on it when so many other things need it more? And also there was some safety concerns from those who lived on Lake Street and would have to cross Commonwealth Ave under the proposed plan whereas they do not have to do so right now. Interestingly, Fred Salvucci spoke up and stated that the consultants needed to add several alternatives to their analysis and come back to the community, in particular, one alternative should include the possibility of adding signal priority at that intersection.

A couple of supporting voices went towards the potentially improved traffic conditions at the intersection, and the ease of access from St Thomas More Road.

The meeting was intended to be part of the path of moving the design from 15% to 30%, there will be other meetings, and there are currently no further plans beyond 30% design.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:46 pm

Matthew wrote:Quick note: I realized that I was being unclear before about the "accessible path." He meant that the trains have to pull all the way around the loop with the disabled passenger on-board in order to reach the mini-high which is on the inbound platform. That extra step is regarded as an inequality for the disabled passenger and is not sufficient as a permanent solution.

Ok, that makes some actual sense. Of course, they almost never use the mini-high anymore (as often as not, trains don't even use the track it's on), and the platforms on both sides were raised years ago for the Type 8s.

One thing that just occurred to me regarding accessibility, is that outbound trains heading into the yard don't platform properly, and I don't think they have a portable wheelchair lift there. So they need a new station anyway to fix that problem.
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Re: Possible Boston College Station Renovations

Postby Matthew » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:09 pm

Yes, I noticed that too, if they use the inner loop track then the mini-high is too far to reach the train. I asked about that and he said that the inspector is supposed to be aware of any passenger needing the mini-high and direct the train to use the outer track. Not sure how it works out in practice.

I tried to get an answer about whether a mini-high or a portable lift could be installed on the existing egress platform, at much lower cost, but it got lost in the shuffle. It seems to me that the new station would be largely the same as the current one regarding access -- but for that loop-around. And also, they claim that the proposed mini-high is temporary and will be removed upon the arrival of the Type 9 trains, either way.

Also I forgot to mention, in the proposed design, the outbound-only platform will have a portable lift to assist any passengers who arrive on a train being taken out of service.

Mr. Pesaturo did say that this project is not part of the MBTA's CIP and if it does go forward, it will likely be with funding found from outside the T.
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