monies from the T to the highways?

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

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Postby Pete » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:25 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote: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).


It's not just that, it's the patterns of use. People in Lynn and Somerville are much more likely to use the Blue or Green lines, respectively, to engage in daily activities around town that they'd normally use a car for. Most riders in in New Bedford, though -- car or not -- are pretty much only going to use that line to get to Boston. Which will be more integrated into the community, then, and consequently more successful?
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Postby efin98 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:33 pm

Pete wrote: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.


Look at a map. Notice the lack of major highways near FR/NB? Two of the largest cities in the state have little access to the rest of the region. FR/NB and the area surrounding the two is the fastest growing area in the state and on their own have a population base more than equalling the area of Lynn/Salem/Swampscott/Revere and Somerville/West Medford. That more than justifies the project.

Would you prefer another bloody highway be built in place of the commuter rail because that's the only other thing that can provide adequate service to the two cities and that costs a hell of alot more than the money that is going to be spent on the extention.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:19 pm

Fall River has MA 24 and I-195. New Bedford has MA 140 and I-95. No lack of major highways in either one.
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Postby efin98 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:54 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Fall River has MA 24 and I-195. New Bedford has MA 140 and I-95. No lack of major highways in either one.


Except that neither gets people where they were actually going...

Gee, isn't that the biggest complaints about Rt. 3, Rt. 128, I93, and Rt. 24? Oh wait, those are actually close to Boston while Fall River and New Bedford are far away from anything!

No matter how you slice it, they are getting screwed if they don't get the commuter rail extention. Spend the damn money on the extention now while it's still cheap and hold off on the pork barrel projects that can wait. For once, actually think about the other folks who have to foot the bill for projects and give them what they need.
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Postby apodino » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:57 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Fall River has MA 24 and I-195. New Bedford has MA 140 and I-95. No lack of major highways in either one.


I 95 goes no where near new bedford. I 95 goes through Foxboro, Mansfied, Attleboro into Rhode Island. If you mean 195, thats different.

The other problem is that 140 merges with 24 in Taunton. So you have basically one highway from 128 that serves two of the largest cities in boston. Not to mention that the one highway into Boston, the southeast expressway, combines traffic from these roads. Ed is right, you can't just build another highway unless you want to extend 195 right through myles standish state forest into route 3. And its my opinion that widening 24, which runs right through, you guessed it, the hockomock swamp would cause more environmental damage than the restoration project. And being in eastern MA it makes sense to have some type of rail link to the city for the benefit of everyone and communities along the route benefit from the service. Having lived in Stoughton, I like the idea of more trains, and my thoery is, the trains that run don't bother anyone, why would a couple of more? I don't like my tax money being used to fight something that I want personally.

However, I also say this. Lynn is a pretty well populated suburb of boston and the lack of easy access into this city is wrong in my opinion and they want the blue line extension and it would be utilized and make Lynn a better city.

In closing I say this. Yes Fall River/New Bedford needs to happen for all the mentioned reasons. However, it will be years before it gets built with all the legal BS the NIMBY's will be throwing at this. I don't see nearly the opposition with a Blue or Green line extension, and thus the T would be likely saving the taxpayers a lot of money by this route while a FR/NB plan can be worked up that most people can be prout of.
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:04 pm

I wrote I-195 (that's one-nine-five) not I-95. (Yes, I know that I and 1 look very similar.)
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Postby efin98 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:09 pm

apodino wrote:In closing I say this. Yes Fall River/New Bedford needs to happen for all the mentioned reasons. However, it will be years before it gets built with all the legal BS the NIMBY's will be throwing at this. I don't see nearly the opposition with a Blue or Green line extension, and thus the T would be likely saving the taxpayers a lot of money by this route while a FR/NB plan can be worked up that most people can be prout of.


The FR/NB extention is miles ahead of the Green Line extention, and I mean that literally. You substitute one legal problem for another by extending the Green Line at this time. If you delay the project because it MIGHT have some legal issues despite there being no actual legal hurdle that hasn't been address in studies done BEFORE the project has gotten past the design stage is garbage. You are simply playing one group of people against another if you delay.
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Postby Ron Newman » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:59 am

The Green Line extension into Somerville won't face any legal obstacles because the population of Somerville, as well as the business community there, is unanimously in support of the project.
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Postby Pete » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:56 am

efin98 wrote:
Pete wrote: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.


Look at a map. Notice the lack of major highways near FR/NB? Two of the largest cities in the state have little access to the rest of the region. FR/NB and the area surrounding the two is the fastest growing area in the state and on their own have a population base more than equalling the area of Lynn/Salem/Swampscott/Revere and Somerville/West Medford. That more than justifies the project.

Would you prefer another bloody highway be built in place of the commuter rail because that's the only other thing that can provide adequate service to the two cities and that costs a hell of alot more than the money that is going to be spent on the extention.


It doesn't matter because of the point I made before. Commuter rail will likely just fuel the sloppy, haphazard growth that's taking place in that part of the state. If they want access and the accompanying economic benefit, let them exercise some discipline in return and adopt real smart-growth policies. Otherwise, this is a boondoggle, and will benefit very few in the long run.
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Postby efin98 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:40 pm

Pete wrote:It doesn't matter because of the point I made before. Commuter rail will likely just fuel the sloppy, haphazard growth that's taking place in that part of the state. If they want access and the accompanying economic benefit, let them exercise some discipline in return and adopt real smart-growth policies. Otherwise, this is a boondoggle, and will benefit very few in the long run.


That's garbage. Pure garbage. The only reason that growth is frowned upon is because it will be in the towns and not in the cities. That "discipline" is nothing but NIMBY jargon for "undesirables" coming into their enclaves. Just come out and say it and don't use the rhetoric: the growth will bring people that are not wanted by those towns.
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Postby Pete » Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:55 pm

Huh? What side of the bed did you fall out of? My point is that a successful service is one that draws riders and covers as big a portion of its expenses as possible. The best way to encourage this is with development geared toward mass transit. Let the towns grow, let them all have a bonanza of growth. But let it be growth that encourages mass transit to work rather than waste the few dollars available for this sort of thing by just creating more problems. I'm not anti-growth, I'm anti-sloppy-growth. Land use is an important component of coordinated planning.

I don't know what you think you know about me that you presume to tell me I want to keep "undesirables" out of anywhere. I just want transit projects to actually work right if we're going to bother sinking the money into them. Try not being so acrimonious, ok? You're much too young to be so bitter.
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Postby efin98 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:38 pm

Pete wrote:My point is that a successful service is one that draws riders and covers as big a portion of its expenses as possible.



You made no such point. You stated something entirely different.


The best way to encourage this is with development geared toward mass transit.


And my point is that the two cities that benefit the most from the service(Fall River and New Bedford) already are expanding on their own, the service to those cities suppliments the natural growth already underway. My answer was geared entirely about those two only, hence my emphasis on them in my replies.


Let the towns grow, let them all have a bonanza of growth. But let it be growth that encourages mass transit to work rather than waste the few dollars available for this sort of thing by just creating more problems. I'm not anti-growth, I'm anti-sloppy-growth. Land use is an important component of coordinated planning.



Taunton, Easton, Stoughton that is true, however for Fall River and New Bedford I don't believe that works.

I don't know what you think you know about me that you presume to tell me I want to keep "undesirables" out of anywhere. I just want transit projects to actually work right if we're going to bother sinking the money into them. Try not being so acrimonious, ok? You're much too young to be so bitter.


I'll appologize for taking your statement to the extreme and presuming something you didn't mean, but I have earned my bitterness towards bad planning having been at the rear end of bad planning for years. I want money spent wisely, not spent where it's most popular- that's why I advocated for the Blue Line extention and the FR/NB extention first over anything else.
efin98
 

Postby Pete » Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:28 pm

efin98 wrote:
Pete wrote:My point is that a successful service is one that draws riders and covers as big a portion of its expenses as possible.



You made no such point. You stated something entirely different.


Let me clarify, then. My point about the possibility of it being a boondoggle is that if it's built and other policies aren't coordinated with it, it won't meet its potential.

The best way to encourage this is with development geared toward mass transit.


And my point is that the two cities that benefit the most from the service(Fall River and New Bedford) already are expanding on their own, the service to those cities suppliments the natural growth already underway. My answer was geared entirely about those two only, hence my emphasis on them in my replies.


And as the largest cities along the route, I think they have the best potential to coordinate their development in a way that feeds use of the line(s). Housing close to transit centers, for example, a concept that works well where development is already concentrated.

Let the towns grow, let them all have a bonanza of growth. But let it be growth that encourages mass transit to work rather than waste the few dollars available for this sort of thing by just creating more problems. I'm not anti-growth, I'm anti-sloppy-growth. Land use is an important component of coordinated planning.


Taunton, Easton, Stoughton that is true, however for Fall River and New Bedford I don't believe that works.


I don't know Fall River that well, but New Bedford has a significant developed center. I think it's very well positioned to capitalize. My whole thing about discipline is that it's easy to become the next Framingham and focus development on all the wide-open parcels on the fringes, but this doesn't make for successful transit. Difficult policy decisions made now will pay dividends in the long run.

I don't know what you think you know about me that you presume to tell me I want to keep "undesirables" out of anywhere. I just want transit projects to actually work right if we're going to bother sinking the money into them. Try not being so acrimonious, ok? You're much too young to be so bitter.


I'll appologize for taking your statement to the extreme and presuming something you didn't mean, but I have earned my bitterness towards bad planning having been at the rear end of bad planning for years. I want money spent wisely, not spent where it's most popular- that's why I advocated for the Blue Line extention and the FR/NB extention first over anything else.


You're in good company because I think bad planning abounds. But I'm advocating against policy by popularity, too. As I started out by saying, people don't like anything that at all restricts how they develop. But without proper guidelines in this regard, I don't see how transit -- particularly outside the urban core -- is viable. It's not a bias against certain groups of people. It's a practical consideration.
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Postby efin98 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:58 pm

Pete wrote:You're in good company because I think bad planning abounds. But I'm advocating against policy by popularity, too. As I started out by saying, people don't like anything that at all restricts how they develop. But without proper guidelines in this regard, I don't see how transit -- particularly outside the urban core -- is viable. It's not a bias against certain groups of people. It's a practical consideration.


So you would like a rigid framework built around the extention to ALLOW the expansion while not basing the entire extention ON THE ANTICIPATION of expansion?

The core agreement is there, the devil is in the details. We are on the right wavelength and want the same things but by different means...
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Postby Pete » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:12 pm

And you bring up a very good point -- it's a chicken-and-egg scenario. That's why good ongoing coordination is important. The extensions, like most projects, will come into being over time. So can the coordinated planning. I'd just like to know that it's understood that the effort will be carried out in the long run. Would I advocate a rigid framework? Probably not. But I would advocate guidelines that are actually followed.
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