Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby SM89 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:36 pm

Just a random side note: going from Northeastern to Huntington at S. Huntington, the 39 bus is always faster when it's not rush hour. The green line takes ages to load and unload with one car waiting for the other to be ready and more people getting on at each stop (though there are fewer). the green line also has to wait during protected green arrow left turns for cars while the bus can continue on (there's quite the delay at brigham because of this).
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby The EGE » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:28 pm

The only tricky thing I see about your plan, FP10, is the west end. You have to go fairly deep under the Muddy River, and that would mean a steep, curving portal.
Last edited by The EGE on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby Patrick Boylan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:38 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:I'm assuming it's before asphalt, that's all) but between the rails and between each track is cobblestone.

Teamdriver wrote:It was probably easier to rip up the cobblestones up to the tracks, but leave the inside cobblestones between the tracks to retain the alignment, and perhaps that area was not the domain of the city paving gang but the MTA track gang. Here is the link to the City of Boston Archives on Flickr. There are 591 old time pictures there, alot of them MTA related, and that cobblestone/hot top scheme is repeated there at various locations throughout the city of Boston.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/

( At one time I got a few loads of excavation out of Dorchester, that came from the North End originally, and it was loaded with cobblestones. I managed to sort through and keep a good amount, but some got used as fill,now the second generation of fill from the old North End streets. )

you did mean to say Belgian block and not cobblestone, right? :)
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby artman » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:50 pm

Patrick Boylan wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:I'm assuming it's before asphalt, that's all) but between the rails and between each track is cobblestone.

Teamdriver wrote:It was probably easier to rip up the cobblestones up to the tracks, but leave the inside cobblestones between the tracks to retain the alignment, and perhaps that area was not the domain of the city paving gang but the MTA track gang. Here is the link to the City of Boston Archives on Flickr. There are 591 old time pictures there, alot of them MTA related, and that cobblestone/hot top scheme is repeated there at various locations throughout the city of Boston.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/

( At one time I got a few loads of excavation out of Dorchester, that came from the North End originally, and it was loaded with cobblestones. I managed to sort through and keep a good amount, but some got used as fill,now the second generation of fill from the old North End streets. )

you did mean to say Belgian block and not cobblestone, right? :)


Thanks to some random Wikipedia reading previous to your comment, I now know that what I always thought was cobblestone are really know as 'setts' (aka Belgian Blocks)
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:24 am

jaymac wrote:
BostonUrbEx » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:09 pm
...if we ever want the E to run to Arborway again, we should face facts that street running stops are going to have to be few and far between.


To establish my creds as someone with some knowledge of the area, I grew up on Moraine Street, where South Huntington and Boylston end and Centre does a slight dog-leg. Additionally, I went to school at both the Curley and Agassiz before going to Latin.
Once the Arborway route gets beyond South Huntington, the width of the street becomes more constricted, and more and more businesses and their attendant vehicular traffic populate Centre and South Streets. In the last years of steel-wheel service on Centre between the previously mentioned five-way intersection and the Monument and then further on South Street towards the Arborway, double-parking had already had an impact on timely running. Buses do have a maneuverability advantage over streetcars and can get around double-parked vehicles. Additionally, rail and/or wire maintenance effectively would shut down a portion of Centre and South, not winning the T any friends in either the provider or consumer communities. The less rail and overhead there is to maintain, the less costs there are in crews, materials, equipment, and ill will. Just rehabbing rail and wire beyond Heath to reactivate Arborway streetcar service would be its own miniversion of The Big Dig, Part Deux.
The T may currently be in reactive mode about cars going bump in the day at Brigham, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not already back in anticipatory planning when it comes to liability. Revisiting the maneuverability-of-buses factor, a bus can and will pull to curb- or parked-vehicle-side to pick up or discharge passengers. A streetcar cannot. Impatient drivers can and do pass street-running streetcars on the right, to the hazard of embarkers and debarkers along the outer stretch of Huntington and end of South Huntington. The island-running stretch of Huntington does have increased safety.
Am I glad I grew up with street-running? Absolutely. Do I think returning to it beyond Brigham, even with fewer stops, is a good idea? Absolutely not.

I would have to agree with you, although I think you meant to say "returning it beyond Heath" rather than "Brigham" (since it currently DOES serve beyond Brigham). Just because street running made sense at the time it started doesn't mean it would make sense today. As you mentioned, the streets are very narrow through JP center. I've driven on them and let me tell you that with all the motorists and foot traffic it isn't the easiest street to navigate, especially at high speeds, and especially if I had to drive on a set path like a trolley. Also, I'd bet that the number of cars has increased significantly since the Arborway portion was eliminated from the E, and no, not as a direct effect. But because population increases, gentrification, etc. More vehicles means more congestion and more difficulty for a trolley to efficiently serve its passengers. This would only be worse today than it was in 1985. Remember that public transit should be efficient, not just convenient. Sure, a one-ride trip into Lechmere from JP Monument would be nice, but with street running would it really be efficient? Also, we have more advanced technology today like higher-capacity, articulated, kneeling buses, which we did not have in 1985, at least to my knowledge. My final argument is that, if you subscribe to T Alerts or follow @mbtagm on twitter, you know how often the E turns around at Brigham Circle due to an "automobile accident" on Huntington or South Huntington. If the E were extended back to Arborway, the number of these "Automobile accidents" disrupting service would be huge. So, while I don't agree with the way the MBTA eliminated service, and I am a supporter of subways and trains and public transit, I have to admit that street running past Heath seems just plain stupid. I think we as railfans need to separate our biases ("love for trains"), our emotions (angry at the T) and what actually makes sense given the logistics of street running in today's environment. Oh, and I did not even get into accessibility. But this is just my opinion of course!
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:30 pm

I don't agree with either one of you and I have made a career on those streets running emergency vehicles. I believe South - Centre - South Huntington - Huntington - to be fine streets for street running. Every street has it's own rhythm. The streets that I just mentioned (not including private reservation Huntington) are all slow speed, stop and go traffic streets. They're loaded with illegally parked vehicles which need tickets and pedestrians, many of whom cross at will believing (wrongfully) that the law requires traffic to stop for them as they cross on any crosswalk. These streets are going to be like this with streetcars and without streetcars. Actually, streetcars might even help clear the area somewhat, as due to the streetcar being railed, it can't dodge obstacles, requiring more vigilance from the Boston Traffic Enforcement people, who have a knack for discouraging illegal parking. The "rapid transit" concept must be suspended in a situation like this. This is not a system that is designed to bring you quickly from point a to point b. What it's for is to bring service to neighborhoods which haven't had it for many years and to allow for a one-seat ride, particularly for the frail and handicapped travelling into the hospital area off Huntington. They don't care if it takes a half hour to get there from the Arborway or Forest Hills. they'll read their book or look out the window. What they do care about is not having to get on and off numerous conveyances in both directions because that's what's difficult for them.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby MBTA1016 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:56 pm

That's spoken like a true cop that's been covering that area for years. :)

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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:30 pm

I do attract them, MBTA fan ! It was even worse at work. I had a female who attacked me in a flying tackle because I was smoking a cigar. If I had a penny for every break-neck run that I've made on Centre, I'd be a rich man. If everyone would just pull to the right and stop, everybody - me, the fire department, EMS, the streetcars...even the bag lady that lives in the bank foyer would be fine. It's the idiots who can't make up their mind what to do...and just drive along while they think about it because "oh my, this is such a pain in the ass. I'm going to be late" that really makes a mess. BFD Ladder 10 I've seen do amazing things from the tiller. It's the cars parked at intersections that's the problem because the ladder has a hard time making the turn. Seaverns Ave. at Centre is the worst offender. We've responded to calls from the Fire Dept. there and get there to have a ladder truck sitting there on their way to a fire call with lights and siren blazing frozen like a popsicle because they can't move. Trust me, the streetcars aren't going to make any difference. I'm not being facetious when I say that they'll help things. Wait until Muffy the transplant from Ohio gets an air horn in back of her Volvo from a Type 9. Bring on those gals with the big ticket books !
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:50 am

We'll just have to agree to disagree. It sounds like you are saying two things. First, you are saying that having the trains there in the street will make traffic enforcement and drivers alike become more aware of the fact that trolleys cannot dodge vehicles. That's an interesting point to make, but I don't believe it, since the MBTA and Boston police alike fail to ticket motorists that park in bus stops, particularly the Hynes Convention Center stop on the 39 (adjacent to the the Prudential Center). As I previously pointed out, as it stands now with the T only running to Heath, service is curtailed at Brigham due to automobile accidents several times per month. While you could argue that the road in JP Center is less congested, I would argue that it is narrower and there are more pedestrians, so the net change in automobile accidents per mile would be none. Overall, the number of automobile accidents affecting E service would increase, as the street-running section would be more than doubled.

Second, you are saying that riders wouldn't mind how long it takes to get from Arborway to downtown. While that MAY be true for some (but is still unlikely), I know that taxpayers, the T and many riders would certainly mind, since unnecessarily long trips cost an excess of money that could be used for other things that are more worthwhile, like more efficient transportation such as the orange line or 39 bus. Again, I think we all need to un-bias ourselves. Being a train buff, I am sure YOU would not mind train service that's as slow as molasses, but as a fellow train buff myself, I can say that I WOULD mind. These neighborhoods are still very much connected to the city. The orange line and 39 bus both right into the heart of Back Bay.

But, again, we will just have to agree to disagree. I think you are looking at this in terms of "I really want to see a train running in the street because there was one before" rather than "what makes sense today?" If there was never Arborway light rail to begin with, would anyone have even suggested building it now? Just a thought.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:50 pm

What is it lately ? Some of you guys purport to be able to get inside my head and then actually think that you can tell me what I was thinking before a posting was done. Well, hate to dash your theories, but they're all wrong. Briefly (you'll notice my replies get more and more brief), from top to bottom, you are wrong about your "trolleys cannot dodge vehicles" theory. I don't even understand it, much less believe it. Secondly, the MBTA (sic) (Transit) Police and Boston Police rarely enforce parking violations due to radio call assignment frequency. If you mean the Boston Transportation Department, I personally think (sometimes to my chagrin) that they are pretty aggressive in their tagging efforts. The street running sections would be doubled and there would be more accidents ? How do you figure that ? Did you figure in the fact that perhaps some of those people in cars might be inside the streetcars ? As far as all the hooey about being a "train buff", the key for a buff or non-buff relaxing and enjoying the ride is to plan ahead for the ride's realistic duration. This isn't the Acela. Anyone at Forest Hills should plan for a half hours trip to Northeastern. If you have an 8:00AM class (groan), be at the Arborway at 7-7:15. You'll be calm as a cucumber. And your "what makes sense today" ridiculousness, purports to not only know my motives, but how my subconscious drives my conscious will. It would be a nice parlor trick if it really worked. On here, it's just obnoxious.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:28 pm

3rdrail wrote:What is it lately ? Some of you guys purport to be able to get inside my head and then actually think that you can tell me what I was thinking before a posting was done. Well, hate to dash your theories, but they're all wrong. Briefly (you'll notice my replies get more and more brief), from top to bottom, you are wrong about your "trolleys cannot dodge vehicles" theory. I don't even understand it, much less believe it. Secondly, the MBTA (sic) (Transit) Police and Boston Police rarely enforce parking violations due to radio call assignment frequency. If you mean the Boston Transportation Department, I personally think (sometimes to my chagrin) that they are pretty aggressive in their tagging efforts. The street running sections would be doubled and there would be more accidents ? How do you figure that ? Did you figure in the fact that perhaps some of those people in cars might be inside the streetcars ? As far as all the hooey about being a "train buff", the key for a buff or non-buff relaxing and enjoying the ride is to plan ahead for the ride's realistic duration. This isn't the Acela. Anyone at Forest Hills should plan for a half hours trip to Northeastern. If you have an 8:00AM class (groan), be at the Arborway at 7-7:15. You'll be calm as a cucumber. And your "what makes sense today" ridiculousness, purports to not only know my motives, but how my subconscious drives my conscious will. It would be a nice parlor trick if it really worked. On here, it's just obnoxious.

I'm not sure why you seem to think that I am attacking you or being "obnoxious." No one is trying to tell you what you are thinking. I am telling everyone what *I* am thinking. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and just because someone disagrees with yours doesn't mean you have to throw a fit and call him "obnoxious." Rather than bullying people who disagree with you, why don't you invest that energy into something more positive. This is an online "discussion board" where everyone is entitled to an opinion.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:38 pm

CircusFreakGRITZ wrote:1) ...you are saying that having the trains there in the street will make traffic enforcement and drivers alike become more aware of the fact that trolleys cannot dodge vehicles.
2)...Second, you are saying that riders wouldn't mind how long it takes to get from Arborway to downtown.
3)... many riders would certainly mind...
4)... Again, we all need to un-bias ourselves.
5) ...Being a train buff, I am sure YOU would not mind train service that's as slow as molasses, but as a fellow train buff myself...
6)...you are looking at this in terms of "I really want to see a train running in the street because there was one before" rather than "what makes sense today?"

A bit presumptuous, wouldn't you say ?

Edit 3:52PM, date. Circus Freak, my hand just slipped and I inadvertantly pushed the "Foe" button by your name by mistake. Unfortunately, I will not be able to see your intelligently composed posts from this point on. Oh darn !
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby NRGeep » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:36 pm

I was recently in Portland Or and Seattle Wa and it was interesting how they have recently installed light rail that runs on some streets and folks seem to have adopted quite well. Granted, it seemed a little different than Oak Square or the Arborway, but it appears to work ok for everyone.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby wicked » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:27 am

A very important consideration is that streets, in general, are much wider elsewhere.
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Re: Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:43 pm

In general, they're much narrower elsewhere.
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