monies from the T to the highways?

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Postby N.Y. State Of Mind » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:58 am

If I was the aforementioned T manager, I would spend it on extending the Green Line to Somerville. It would bring rail transit to areas that don't previously have it, and will cut down on pollution levels, and congestion, in the area.
N.Y. State Of Mind
 

Postby efin98 » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:13 pm

N.Y. State Of Mind wrote:If I was the aforementioned T manager, I would spend it on extending the Green Line to Somerville. It would bring rail transit to areas that don't previously have it, and will cut down on pollution levels, and congestion, in the area.


And the counterpoint to your argument would be that the Lynn extention of the Blue Line and the extention of the Stoughton Line to Fall River and New Bedford would do just the same AND MORE for LESS of the cost of the Green Line extention to Medford and Somerville. Tit for tat, rob Peter to pay Paul. Someone get screwed, best to focus on what is needed more and not on what is wanted more.
efin98
 

Postby N.Y. State Of Mind » Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:51 pm

efin98 wrote:And the counterpoint to your argument would be that the Lynn extention of the Blue Line and the extention of the Stoughton Line to Fall River and New Bedford would do just the same AND MORE for LESS of the cost of the Green Line extention to Medford and Somerville. Tit for tat, rob Peter to pay Paul. Someone get screwed, best to focus on what is needed more and not on what is wanted more.


I don't think you know what you're talking about. Lynn has several express buses, and a commuter rail station, and the Stoughton extension to Fall River, and New Bedford keeps rising in cost, and is enviromentally disasterous, while the only rail transit stop Somerville has is Davis, located in the West Somerville section. Also, you dare say that the Somerville Green Line isn't needed, but is merely just something a few people on this board want. Are you not aware of the terrible air quality, and traffic congestion, in Somerville? Bottom line, if only one project has to be built, then it has to be the Somerville Green Line!
N.Y. State Of Mind
 

Postby efin98 » Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:50 pm

N.Y. State Of Mind wrote:I don't think you know what you're talking about.


I don't know what I am talking about? I live in the vicinity! Have lived here my entire 22 years and three months. I know what the heck I am talking about.

Lynn has several express buses, and a commuter rail station,


They aren't express buses. They do not even express anywhere. They are local buses that get bogged down every day on Rt. 1a and Rt. 1 and have to be rerouted to Wonderland on weekends to save money. They come infrequently and do nothing more than funnel people off of Rt. 1a and Rt. 1. There is little actual service.

and the Stoughton extension to Fall River, and New Bedford keeps rising in cost,


You know why it keeps rising in cost? Because people who think they know what is good for everyone else despite not living in the affected areas keep telling the "experts" and the legislature and the MBTA that one project is good then go around the next minute and demand that another project come first. Stalling for time, sputtering around when it comes time to put up or shut up, lawsuits galore despite having no legal basis- those are what's driving up the costs.

And the bottom line remains constant: service down there is needed. That's the one fact that can't be argued or ignored.

and is enviromentally disasterous


A load of utter crap. Proven wrong by the DEP when the extention goes up for review. Laying dormant does more damage than actually building the extention.

while the only rail transit stop Somerville has is Davis, located in the West Somerville section.


Sullivan Square. Literally just feet across the border in Charlestown where a good percentage of the buses that serve Somerville go. But don't let that little fact get in the way of ranting your case.

Also, you dare say that the Somerville Green Line isn't needed,but is merely just something a few people on this board want.

Get it right. I said what is needed most. I never said isn't needed. If you are going to quote me don't put words in my mouth. There are alot more people who want the Fall River/New Bedford and Blue Line extentions than there are who want the Green Line extention, about 100,000 more by last count according to population affected.

Are you not aware of the terrible air quality, and traffic congestion, in Somerville?


Are you aware of the traffic congestion, terrible air quality, and lack of service in Chelsea, Revere, Lynn, Salem, Swampscott, Fall River, New Bedford, Easton, Taunton????

Bottom line, if only one project has to be built, then it has to be the Somerville Green Line!


Not likely. Not with more votes in Lynn, Fall River, New Bedford, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop all holding more sway and the key positions in the legislature to deny that from happening. Not with actual support from the Governor. Not with money and studies actually conducted and under review. Those projects are miles and years ahead of the Green Line extention, but why let the facts get in the way of your dellusions??
efin98
 

Postby N.Y. State Of Mind » Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:22 am

efin98 wrote:I don't know what I am talking about? I live in the vicinity! Have lived here my entire 22 years and three months. I know what the heck I am talking about.


So? You come off as the T's lapdog, complete with misappropiated priorities.

efin98 wrote:You know why it keeps rising in cost? Because people who think they know what is good for everyone else despite not living in the affected areas keep telling the "experts" and the legislature and the MBTA that one project is good then go around the next minute and demand that another project come first. Stalling for time, sputtering around when it comes time to put up or shut up, lawsuits galore despite having no legal basis- those are what's driving up the costs.


Wrong. It's due to cost overruns. You know, something that happens in the last minute that delays construction, or lawsuits by people who live near the line, but don't want it, due to the adverse effect that it will have on them? The lawsuits you are referring to are from people, the people whom you self-righteously brand as being outsiders who don't live in the disputed area, who are fed up with the T stalling on their commitments. The cost of their lawsuits have almost nothing to do with the fluctuating estimated cost of a given commuter rail project. So, are STEP, and the Arborway Committee just groups run by people who don't live in their respective areas?

efin98 wrote:And the bottom line remains constant: service down there is needed. That's the one fact that can't be argued or ignored.


It will have to come eventually. But, the city, and surrounding areas, have to be taken care of first. For future reference: Cities first, suburbs second.

efin98 wrote:A load of utter crap. Proven wrong by the DEP when the extention goes up for review. Laying dormant does more damage than actually building the extention.


Is the Hockomock Swamp somehow dispensable? The enviromental impact can be lessened by building around it, but the T could care less. And, lying dormant dosen't emit diesel fumes.

efin98 wrote:Sullivan Square. Literally just feet across the border in Charlestown where a good percentage of the buses that serve Somerville go. But don't let that little fact get in the way of ranting your case.


Is it within Somerville's borders? No. The fact that it's not within Somerville's borders is why I didn't mention it. Pithy enough?

efin98 wrote:Get it right. I said what is needed most. I never said isn't needed. If you are going to quote me don't put words in my mouth. There are ALOT MORE people who want the Fall River/New Bedford and Blue Line extentions than there are who want the Green Line extention, about 100,000 more by last count according to population affected.


Did you conveniently leave out the percentage of people that would support a given project? Half of the communities along the proposed Fall River/New Bedford route are opposed to it, while the Somerville extension enjoys citywide support. The Blue Line extension is popular as well, and should be done too, alongside with the Somerville extension. And, one more thing, seven times as many people pass through Somerville on a daily basis than the number of people who want the Fall River/New Bedford rail line, and the Blue Line extension.

efin98 wrote:Are you aware of the traffic congestion, terrible air quality, and lack of service in Chelsea, Revere, Lynn, Salem, Swampscott, Fall River, New Bedford, Easton, Taunton????


Somerville is closest to downtown Boston than all of those municipalities you mentioned, yet it has poor coverage. Also, the Somerville Green Line extension is a Big Dig mitigation requirement, and is long overdue. Somerville is the fifth-densest city in the entire US, and its residents are more likely to die from lung cancer, and heart attacks, than anywhere else in Massachusetts. In addition, Somerville ranks second in exposure to pollution, and first in lack of open space in the entire state.

One more thing: Chelsea, Lynn, and Swampscott all have commuter rail stops. So much for lack of service.

efin98 wrote:Not likely. Not with more votes in Lynn, Fall River, New Bedford, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop all holding more sway and the key positions in the legislature to deny that from happening. Not with actual support from the Governor. Not with money and studies actually conducted and under review. Those projects are miles and years ahead of the Green Line extention, but why let the facts get in the way of your dellusions??


Delusions my freaking foot. Does it matter what political influence most of those towns have, when the Somerville Green Line has to be built within six years by the state of Massachusetts, according to the Big Dig mitigation agreement? However, I would rank the Blue Line extension to Lynn second to Somerville, for that is a Big Dig requirement as well.

http://www.badtransit.com/twatch_more.p ... 24_0_2_0_C
http://www.badtransit.com/twatch_more.p ... 21_0_2_0_C
http://www.somervillestep.org/background/
N.Y. State Of Mind
 

Postby apodino » Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:51 am

Gentlemen please. I put the question out there that if you had a choice of just one project which one would you choose and why? I put this out because if you were running the T and only had the money for one of these projects, you would have to make the choice of which one you would think is best for the area. Obviously its a very difficult decision and no matter what you choose, someone is going to lose out, hence people are emotional about this topic.

To respond to some points that I have seen made.

In my opinion the Hockomock swamp issue is a red herring. I don't think the trains will damage the swamp that significantly given that the rail bed that ran through here is still in place. And the trains did run through here in the past and the swamp survived. In my opinion the bigger threat to the swamp is Route 138, which also runs right through the swamp, with lots of automotive traffic dumping more polution into the area than one F40 would. The residents of nearby towns have problems with issues like emergency vehicle access and noise. My folks live in Stoughton, and support the project because it would bring weekend commuter rail to stoughton. I also think it would cut the polution down since you don't have trains idling for time in Stoughton. There have been studies done on this and the FEIR was drafted to appease the envionrnmental department.

On the Lynn issue, yes there are express buses and commuter rail. But the express buses suffer from the problem that they can only move as fast as the traffic allows, which in Boston is not very. Plus that and the commuter rail are on limited schedules which don't provide frequent service into downtown boston. This is one area that really needs better service than what they have.

NY state of MInd, I am going to also say one thing. Me and Efin98 certainly have clashed on numerous things on this board. But to suggest the guy has no clue what he is talking about insults the mans intelligence. I may have a problem with his demeanor at times and I may not agree with him on everything related to the T, but I will never question the guys intelligence and the guy does know quite a lot about the T, and I will back him up on that.
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
apodino
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:32 pm
Location: Appleton, WI

Postby N.Y. State Of Mind » Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:27 pm

apodino wrote:NY state of MInd, I am going to also say one thing. Me and Efin98 certainly have clashed on numerous things on this board. But to suggest the guy has no clue what he is talking about insults the mans intelligence. I may have a problem with his demeanor at times and I may not agree with him on everything related to the T, but I will never question the guys intelligence and the guy does know quite a lot about the T, and I will back him up on that.


Alright then, I could have just said that he was biased, instead of outright denying his knowlege. But, all I did was answer your question, and instead of him giving his opinion on which one it should be, he then disputes my opinion, by bringing up two other projects. Next thing I know, we get locked into a heated debate. I know someone's going to get screwed, because I had to choose from only one project, but I didn't expect a quoted reply either.
N.Y. State Of Mind
 

Postby efin98 » Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:55 pm

apodino wrote:In my opinion the Hockomock swamp issue is a red herring. I don't think the trains will damage the swamp that significantly given that the rail bed that ran through here is still in place. And the trains did run through here in the past and the swamp survived. In my opinion the bigger threat to the swamp is Route 138, which also runs right through the swamp, with lots of automotive traffic dumping more polution into the area than one F40 would. The residents of nearby towns have problems with issues like emergency vehicle access and noise. My folks live in Stoughton, and support the project because it would bring weekend commuter rail to stoughton. I also think it would cut the polution down since you don't have trains idling for time in Stoughton. There have been studies done on this and the FEIR was drafted to appease the envionrnmental department.


Thank you for proving my point. The reports say exactly what you said but in depth. Bottom line is the environmental impact is a crock as it is more damaging to have the highway traffic than the train traffic regardless of how you spin it.


On the Lynn issue, yes there are express buses and commuter rail. But the express buses suffer from the problem that they can only move as fast as the traffic allows, which in Boston is not very. Plus that and the commuter rail are on limited schedules which don't provide frequent service into downtown boston. This is one area that really needs better service than what they have.


Anyone who has driven on Rt. 1 and Rt. 1a during any hour or had to use the Sumner and Callahan tunnels will point out exactly how "express" those "express" buses can move. They are lucky if they can get through to Bell Square in Revere in under a half hour. Not to mention that the bus routes that do serve Lynn stick to the two main roads through Central Square and of the routes through there only the 426 and 429 services any part of Lynn OUTSIDE OF RUSH HOUR. That's nothing compared to multiple bus rotues that service Somerville all through the day AND connect on at least one end to a subway station. Only two full time routes and two rush hour only routes do that out of Lynn.
efin98
 

Postby trainhq » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:57 am

I agree with Apodino that the Hockamack swamp issue
is a red herring. The real issue is noise and vibration in
Stoughton and Easton. And yes, I am an expert in this
area; I used to live in Stoughton, and I wrote the vibration section of the DEIS.

The problem is that the T has decided to use the old rail
alignment through Stoughton and Easton. This, however, is a very poor idea for two reasons.

1. Since the trains last ran on this alignment, there has
been considerable development along this route; there
are now many dwellings and businesses that would
be impacted by trains on this route.

2. There is almost nothing left from the original route
but the physical grading; everything else would have to be built from scratch.

IMHO, although people say this would cost many $$$,
what they should do is cut a new alignment around
Stoughton and Easton. They should run the trains
down about half a mile east of Bay Road on a new alignment, where there is currently no development.
That would be the best solution. For the price of surveying the route, doing some land clearing and
cut and fill along some hills, they could probably get
it done for the same price as it would take to run
it through Stoughton and Easton. What's going to happen if they don't is that lawsuits will delay the
trains for years, and to settle them they'll have to
build Hingham-square type tunnels and other expensive
mitigation. By the time they've finished dealing with
this mess, they'd be better off just cutting a new route.
That's the best solution.
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Postby Ron Newman » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:13 am

Doesn't it make more sense to run trains where there are homes and businesses that will generate ridership? The more development near the line, the more people will ride it.

Anyone who bought or built there knew there was a railbed that might someday return to use.

Trains run through the middle of fancy towns like Concord, Ipswich, Hamilton, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Lincoln, Weston, Winchester, and Wellesley. People there live with it just fine.
Ron Newman
 
Posts: 2772
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:04 pm
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Postby trainhq » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:27 am

Yes, but the Stoughton-Easton NIMBY's don't see it
that way. From their point of view, they already
have train service to Stoughton, which does not
run near many residents. All they would get
under the new service is many more trains passing
through, and a lot more noise and vibration; they
would get all the problems and very little benefit.

And do not underestimate them. Both mayors are
against it, they have plenty of $$$, and are prepared
to fight this thing in court for years if they have to.
If Greenbush is any indication, they can successfully
stall this thing for 5 years or more, and jack up the
price considerably with mitigation procedures; the
vibration mitigation alone is currently estimated at
more that $ 4 million; noise barriers and tunnels
will add tens of millions more, not to mention legal
expenses. If you add in the $$$ lost to communities
further south in economic benefits due to years of delay, the cost starts adding way, way up. In the
long run, they'll simply be better off cutting a new
alignment.
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Postby trigonalmayhem » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:15 am

I wonder if anyone could find any statistics on what portion of the population in FR/NB own cars as compared to Somerville and Lynn.

I imagine the latter two have a much lower percentage (and somerville probably has the lowest).


While I think that suburban service is important to entice people out of their cars, we need to pay more attention to the urban-dwelling people who have already given them up or have never been able to afford them. Sending more money out to the suburbs will only exacerbate the situation that started many years ago when the highways were constructed and the money funneled out of the urban cores.
trigonalmayhem
 

Postby atlantis » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:00 pm

Someone mentioned earlier about the need for the Sagamore Flyover.
IMHO, this road project will only breed more traffic in the long run and do nothing to improve traffic flow.
The thing that's being ignored by the state here is the proposal to run a "feeder rail" service from Hyannis to Middleboro for connection to the commuter rail. The feeder rail would be a public-private partnership between a group of rail operators and the state. The rail service has been proven to work, as well as being environmentally friendly. As the infrastructure already exists, such as renovated rail stations,etc. little in capital costs would be needed to get the service running. In a nutshell, a fraction of the cost of the Flyover. Yet the state still refuses to support this proposed service.
The construction of the flyover has required the demolition of homes, something the rail service would not cause.
The rail service, while not a silver bullet, would at least give travelers more choices.
Had the state supported the rail service to the Cape, I strongly believe that would appease many of the Flyover critics, (such as myself)when the highway project started.
If Boston to Cape Cod rail service occurs in 2012 I will eat a jelly doughnut dipped in tomato sauce.
atlantis
 
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:33 am

Postby apodino » Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:32 am

atlantis wrote:Someone mentioned earlier about the need for the Sagamore Flyover.
IMHO, this road project will only breed more traffic in the long run and do nothing to improve traffic flow.
The thing that's being ignored by the state here is the proposal to run a "feeder rail" service from Hyannis to Middleboro for connection to the commuter rail. The feeder rail would be a public-private partnership between a group of rail operators and the state. The rail service has been proven to work, as well as being environmentally friendly. As the infrastructure already exists, such as renovated rail stations,etc. little in capital costs would be needed to get the service running. In a nutshell, a fraction of the cost of the Flyover. Yet the state still refuses to support this proposed service.
The construction of the flyover has required the demolition of homes, something the rail service would not cause.
The rail service, while not a silver bullet, would at least give travelers more choices.
Had the state supported the rail service to the Cape, I strongly believe that would appease many of the Flyover critics, (such as myself)when the highway project started.


When you have a highway that feeds a rotary directly and needlessly before a busy bridge such as sagamore, that is just asking for flow problems. I agree that traffic will increase with this project, but the flow will improve because vehicles won't be restrained by the rotary anymore, and it will be one direct path.

That being said, I am not against rail to the cape either. I think there needs to be some kind of rail service. I have noticed that previous rail service to the cape had low ridership. That could be a problem, but people could still be recruited, especially with gas prices where they are right now. One thing to keep in mind is that parts of the cape that would get rail service are represented by anti-rail state rep Eric Turkington.

Rail service would definitely be nice, but no one will ever convince me that it would eliminate the need for the sagamore flyover.
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
apodino
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:32 pm
Location: Appleton, WI

Postby Pete » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:20 pm

Projects like the New Bedford/Fall River line are never going to serve the number of riders that urban transit can. You can talk about the cumulative population in the full corridor all you want -- you're still going to end up with mostly a large number of people along the route who are in favor of public transit coming but aren't going to use it much.

My other problem with commuter rail is that it's counterproductive in its current flawed execution -- that is, sans accompanying development guidelines. Thanks to a perception in this country that the concept of zoning borders on communism, areas along commuter rail routes are far too infrequently zoned for the kind of development that would take full advantage of the line's potential. Thus, you end up making an attractive scenario for these sprawling subdivisions that almost comically advertise themselves as being "transit accessible," when in fact they likely generate far more auto trips in the long run, negating much of the benefit of having the line to begin with.

So extend the commuter rail if you must, but not without crafting some zoning laws with teeth to go with it. So far our "smart growth" governor seems mostly to like saying that phrase rather than putting it to much real use.

I happen to believe that the FR/NB line is only taken as seriously as it is at this point because its sheer length means plenty of legislative districts are involved. I can hardly grasp talking about Lynn -- a dense, close-in destination -- in the same breath as all those towns along the FR/NB line. To claim it'll "serve" as many as or more people than a Green or Blue Line extension is ludicrous to me. I say build those two, skip FR/NB.
Pete
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Boston, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ExCon90 and 8 guests