Green Line Expansion Beyond Lechmere

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Postby ceo » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:00 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Because the Route 16 stop is technically within Somerville city limits, so they don't have to deal with the West Medford NIMBY's to get it out that far.

Most of the section along Boston Ave. by Tufts is in Medford.
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:48 am

ceo wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Because the Route 16 stop is technically within Somerville city limits, so they don't have to deal with the West Medford NIMBY's to get it out that far.

Most of the section along Boston Ave. by Tufts is in Medford.


Yes, but it's pretty much just on the ROW, which would be a moot point for the NIMBY's since there's no crossings and the T can do what it wants with the ROW if environmental impact checks out. The only proposed stop that sits in Medford prior to West Medford is Tufts/Medford Hillside at the Winthrop St. overpass. That location is still in a lot of dispute...there are concerns about the neighborhood and also the very tight fit the station would have, so there's support for an alternative off Boston Ave. between Winthrop and College Ave. Since this would be adjacent to actual Tufts property and would essentially be a campus stop, there'd be virtually no neighborhood opposition to it (for one, Tufts lobbying would pretty much crush any NIMBY's bordering the campus).

Geographically speaking...yes, the line would cross into Medford. But practically speaking they can build it without having a station entrance sitting in a Medford neighborhood, and gear the line to the Somerville-facing side if that's the path of least-resistance. Will still be in very easy walking distance to the Medford side, but if those neighborhoods want to deprive themselves of the most convenient possible access it wouldn't crimp the plans much except for cancellation of the last stop at West Medford.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:15 pm

Winthrop Street would be a better place for the stop than some unpopulated area between Winthrop and College. Boston Ave. and Winthrop St. is a busy commercial corner, exactly the kind of place where a T stop belongs.
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:43 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Winthrop Street would be a better place for the stop than some unpopulated area between Winthrop and College. Boston Ave. and Winthrop St. is a busy commercial corner, exactly the kind of place where a T stop belongs.


http://www.medfordgreenline.org/wp-cont ... nStudy.pdf

The Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance has a station study on its site. Bit of an advocacy angle to it since they're against the Winthrop station, so take with appropriate grain of salt. But p.10 of the PDF outlines some of the problems with that site. Namely, no way to do a station entrance without eminent domain taking, there's no way to reconfigure the narrow street for bus transfers (a few busy routes go through there so that's pretty much mandatory), and the Boston Ave/Winthrop intersection is a pedestrian death trap. They feel that combining the College Ave. and Winthrop stops with a station halfway between would give more space for a station and bus transfers, be easier for pedestrians to access (since the traffic circle at College Ave. is an even bigger deathtrap), be close enough to serve both areas, and be most advantageous for Tufts campus.

I don't necessarily agree, but the study does give an understanding of the potential problems...and I think eminent domain and lack of bus transfer space on the roadway are pretty big ones. Especially since any property taking is going to get the NIMBYs' panties in a wad.
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:49 pm

I've walked along the stretch of street where they propose the station and it is a no mans land. Winthrop Ave is a much better place for a station, even with the problems.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:49 pm

I don't see why the buses can't just stop on the street in front of the station, like they do in Porter Square or Central Square. The traffic circle you mention is not at College Avenue and Boston Avenue; it's a half mile away from the tracks, at Powder House Circle in Somerville.

I also don't see what makes the Boston/Winthrop intersection a "death trap" for pedestrians. It's a simple four-way intersection with a traffic light. Adding large crowds of pedestrians to it should make it safer, anyway.
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Postby RailBus63 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:25 pm

I agree - you shouldn't need a major bus transfer facility for eight buses an hour in each direction. I also think that a station located in a busy commercial area would be safer than one built off the beaten path.
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Postby redline43 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:06 pm

As far as bus setup, why not a situation like this?

I can imagine pretty attractive station frontswith a setup like that.
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:36 am

That would require land taking which is why these people are against the idea .
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Postby Arlington » Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:06 am

vanshnookenraggen wrote:I've walked along the stretch of street where they propose the station and it is a no mans land. Winthrop Ave is a much better place for a station, even with the problems.


The no-mans land is the negative way of saying it. Here's the positive way:

Its an all-Tufts land (and I'm sure they'd be happy to develop it)
It is a no-NIMBY-land (so there's nobody to oppose it)

It is exactly the kind of "in-fill" site that could attract smart-growth style development.
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:23 pm

Ideally they would do something at Winthrop. But Medford NIMBY's have been such a pain in the ass already and with the T again reverting to form in looking for any way to delay this thing out of existence that means path of least resistance in station location is the best way to get this built. The land-taking issue at the Winthrop stop is going to create a NIMBY firestorm...there's no way around that. Either the T fights a protracted battle to get the space it needs or they get squeezed for space and have to build a constricted stop inadequate for the traffic or bus transfers.

Tufts campus has absolutely no NIMBY issues...hell, they're the biggest TWIMBY's (to borrow somebody's signature line) driving the whole line expansion. It's a spacious site, there's TOD potential, Tufts will probably give them whatever land and access they want, and the university will lobby the living crap out of it to put pressure on the T to get the line built (they've studied up on Harvard's and BU's arm-twisting and know what gets things done). If an extra 3/8 mile walk from Winthrop is what it takes to get the Green Line through Somerville while we're all still alive, nobody in that town is going to complain much about the compromise. I mean, Winthrop is where it should be but all it takes these days is the tiniest little snag to get a project delayed another 5 years so have to balance convenience against expediency when it's the difference between real transit expansion and perpetual vaporware transit expansion.
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Postby Ron Newman » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:22 pm

My question is, why would the T need to build anything at all for bus transfers, rather than just having them stop on the street outside the station?
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:24 pm

Any new extension will change peoples commuting habits and the T will need to plan accordingly. If an area with only bus service all of a sudden gets a subway station then it is probably safe to assume that many people who would normally take the bus into Davis, Lechmere, or Sullivan would switch to the closest subway station. I would think that West Medford would make a lot more sense for a bus transfer station but there are a number of bus routes that go through the Tufts area and there might be a new bus route to connect people to the new subway line. Depending on what kind of ridership they are expecting, they might need a few transfer points.

This is all conjecture however.
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Postby Arborway » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:48 pm

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Postby trainhq » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:06 pm

I don't think Patrick made that decision. Silver Line Phase III has been in queue for quite a while. I believe ex-bus driver Mike Mulhern put it ahead of the various rail projects. Now, if we could just kill it and use the money for the other projects that really need it...
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