Emergency Exit at Park Street Red Line Level

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Emergency Exit at Park Street Red Line Level

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:41 am

I noticed a staircase at the north-end of the Red Line Park Street platform that looks like it could have one time been a station entrance/exit. I couldn't get a good look to see what it leads to. Does anyone have any better information?
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:46 am

Emergency exit only. That's on the 1980's platform extension for 6-car trains, so it's newer construction and was never part of the original station.

They need full-blown egresses on the far end of each platform because of all the dwell time problems from cramming everyone to the other side and then up the main entrance on the GL level. Red-to-street access would do a world of good. But who knows what lurks underground between the RL and surface, so if feasible at all it sure wouldn't be easy.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:52 am

I know it's an emergency exit. I wasn't sure if it at one point was an entrance/exit or if it was ever meant to be. Figured someone would have a bit more information.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:08 am

theseaandalifesaver wrote:I know it's an emergency exit. I wasn't sure if it at one point was an entrance/exit or if it was ever meant to be. Figured someone would have a bit more information.


It leads here: http://g.co/maps/99bty. Just a steel grate of more recent vintage in the middle of the Common. Never was a second headhouse at the station, and those stairs are very narrow and a long climb to the top. To do any official exit there they'd have to plunk in a small concourse right above the tunnel roof to collect foot traffic from all 3 platforms, then a much bigger staircase + pair of escalators to get the long way to the top. Maybe 4-5x the width of the current stairs total. Could work pretty nice if the 2nd headhouse let out at the halfway point up the block to the State House. But who knows what hidden Indian or Pilgrim burial ground lives in that 70 feet of soil depth.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby bbfen » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:32 am

Have you read the 2010 revisions to ADA? Something nags at me that all new entrances must be fully accessible so elevators might be a thing too.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby danib62 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:17 pm

Late at night I'll occasionally see a cop go up there to make sure no bums are camping out for the night.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:49 pm

danib62 wrote:Late at night I'll occasionally see a cop go up there to make sure no bums are camping out for the night.


Occasionally in the middle of the day, too. I saw one go up and then shoo out some guy who was apparently hanging around up there. Not sure if he was camping out or what, but the cop seemed to already know someone was up there the way he made a bee-line for the stairs and right on up.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby danib62 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:24 pm

I have a feeling that the staircase is probably monitored by camera by OCC and they call in an officer when there is someone there who shouldn't be.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:56 pm

bbfen wrote:Have you read the 2010 revisions to ADA? Something nags at me that all new entrances must be fully accessible so elevators might be a thing too.


Maybe. But headhouse location there with no streets to cross might be a mitigating factor. I don't think anything is set in stone when it's a graft-on to legacy infrastructure that's already compliant and the difference is less accessibility for everyone. On a judgement call, the Common's own accessibility makes the difference in which accessible exit pretty negligible.

But I have the feeling they don't want to find out what's lurking in that Common soil unless they absolutely have to. This seems like an idea they would've given cursory study by now, but I've never seen a peep about it. Slight difference between viably proposed and passive-aggressively opposed vs. nary a word from anyone. There's probably a well-founded engineering reason for that.*

(*Indian burial ground would be pretty creepy, though.)
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:29 am

Would it help to make the center platform only for getting off, and the side platforms mainly for getting on? That way there would be many fewer people obstructing each other in trying to get on and off the train, and also in trying to move along the platform towards the exits. Stairs to the center platform could have one-way swinging gates (used for exits in some stations in Santiago de Chile, maybe I can find a picture) that don't slow you down much and would't stop a determined salmon, but would deter most people). All escalators from the center platform would run down (if there are any; it's been so long since I was there that I can't remember). If a few people exited on the side platform, there'd be no real harm done; those stairs would not be blocked or regulated in any way.

Was the station originally meant to be used this way, or were all three platforms always for both on and off?
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby Matthew » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:32 pm

I recall that Park Street is said by Wikipedia (FWIW) to be the first American station built using the Spanish solution (what you describe) but I don't know when they last operated it in that fashion.
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby danib62 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:54 pm

In my experience the dwell time on average in park st even during rush hour is pretty low so I'm not sure putting any of these rules into place would really gain too much in time savings. Plus you have the issue of only the center platform having an elevator. Anyways I think we've gone pretty off topic at this point...
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Re: Staircase at the north-end Red Line Park Street platform

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:16 pm

True enough, Danib69, on all counts. But what I was getting at was the idea that having an extra staircase would get people out to the street faster, and I was wondering if having one-way traffic on platforms and stairs might accomplish that. Not a dwell-time issue, just a walking one.

Of course, having lived in Santiago, Chile, a couple years ago, where they have a really new, really crowded, really fast, really great subway, I can say that no US subway actually has any pedestrian flow problems in its stations at all, at least the ones I've seen. :)
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Re: Emergency Exit at Park Street Red Line Level

Postby The EGE » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:02 pm

This seems like the right place to put this. The new Park Street elevators are finally in service.

http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news ... nth=&year=

The Park Street Station project consists of work including but not limited to the construction of two (2) elevators: One connecting the Boston Common to the Green Line Westbound Platform. The second connects the Green Line Westbound Platform to the Red Line Center Platform. In order to accommodate the Red Line elevator, stairs to the Red Line Center Platform were demolished and rebuilt in a new configuration. Between the two elevators at the Green Line level, there is a new elevator machine room. Electrical work included bringing power from the South Station substation via the tunnels. Site work included replacing over 16,000 square feet of paving adjacent to Tremont Street from the East Headhouse to the Visitor Center.
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Re: Emergency Exit at Park Street Red Line Level

Postby boblothrope » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:42 pm

The EGE wrote:This seems like the right place to put this. The new Park Street elevators are finally in service.

http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news ... nth=&year=

The Park Street Station project consists of work including but not limited to the construction of two (2) elevators: One connecting the Boston Common to the Green Line Westbound Platform. The second connects the Green Line Westbound Platform to the Red Line Center Platform.


That's great news!

Now I just hope they put up adequate signage directing people to the elevators.

The recent accessibility improvements at Downtown Crossing and State have terrible signage. I had real trouble finding the new elevator at DTX from the Forest Hills-bound lobby to the street, since it's hidden around a corner with no sign. And if you need to get between the Oak Grove platform and the Red Line, you have to leave the fare-paid area and get buzzed back in, which is *not* explained on any sign.
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