Nashua NH OKs bond for commuter rail station

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

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Postby BC Eagle » Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:13 am

I agree, modern commuter rail stations are most effective when a large amount of people can park and ride. Build the station off a highway, and give it a monster parking lot to maximize utilization. Also, considering demographics, I don't think many of the people living in downtown Nashua will be commuting to Boston.
BC Eagle
 

Postby NealG » Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:29 am

BC Eagle wrote:I agree, modern commuter rail stations are most effective when a large amount of people can park and ride. Build the station off a highway, and give it a monster parking lot to maximize utilization. Also, considering demographics, I don't think many of the people living in downtown Nashua will be commuting to Boston.


Ideally there would be two stations in Nashua. One Downtown, in walking distance to residential and the central business district (which would be quite viable in a city with a vibrant downtown such as Nashua's), and one regional facility at Spit Brook Road (or thereabouts).
Stations located in dense, urban areas are very effective, greatly reducing the need for additional car trips which results in less traffic. To better serve the greater population, there needs to be a mix of both types.
A good example of a downtown station is Salem Depot (Salem is a much smaller city than Nashua though), located downtown with a small parking facilty, all in walking distance to thousands of residential units and the downtown commercial districts as well as regional bus service. From my (very unscientific) observations, the vast majority of those detraining in Salem walk to their destination.
The end should be to make rail service avaliable and attractive for as many people as possible, building regional transportation centers, while very effective and a very good idea if planned well, is only going halfway, remotely located regional transportation centers are almost completely useless to those of us who do not or can not drive.
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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:12 am

As important as those parking friendly stations are, I agree with Ron that a downtown station would have been a great boon to Newburyport. A lot of the "transit friendly" development that is starting to be talked about is based on people being able to walk to transit rather than drive to it. I think in our case up here we should pursue both avenues.

Ron, I'm not sure if you remember or not but the last Newburyport station was located alongside Rte 1 which cut a path right across the access to the station. Although a lot closer, Newburyport really didn't have a very convenient station. The old Newburyport City Rairoad right of way can still be seen and an underpass crosses underneath Rte 1A near the Newbury line. That branch ventured down into the wharf area of town, it would have been a great place to bring people downtown but I think everyone would have to take their clothes lines down and bring in their flower boxes to let a train squeeze down the right of way now! :-D

Ron, I wish we could strike a balance between the needs of driving commuters and those that would prefer to walk to the stations. Imagine what that would do to help places like New Bedford and Fall River? Some of the housing stock in those towns are beautiful. What the towns need are young couples that are ready to rehab the properties to their former glory. I am only guessing but would venture that Nashua could also use a shot in the arm to help its older neighborhoods.

Happy New Year!
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Postby BC Eagle » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:18 pm

NealG wrote:Ideally there would be two stations in Nashua. One Downtown, in walking distance to residential and the central business district (which would be quite viable in a city with a vibrant downtown such as Nashua's), and one regional facility at Spit Brook Road (or thereabouts).
Stations located in dense, urban areas are very effective, greatly reducing the need for additional car trips which results in less traffic. To better serve the greater population, there needs to be a mix of both types.
A good example of a downtown station is Salem Depot (Salem is a much smaller city than Nashua though), located downtown with a small parking facilty, all in walking distance to thousands of residential units and the downtown commercial districts as well as regional bus service. From my (very unscientific) observations, the vast majority of those detraining in Salem walk to their destination.
The end should be to make rail service avaliable and attractive for as many people as possible, building regional transportation centers, while very effective and a very good idea if planned well, is only going halfway, remotely located regional transportation centers are almost completely useless to those of us who do not or can not drive.


I agree that two stations in Nashua would be ideal, but in my opinion if only one is going to be built it should be at the Spit Brook Road Location. In addition to the park and ride aspect, it is right near the considerable amount of business on Daniel Webster highway.

As for Salem Depot, the parking lot is jammed there on a daily basis. After the parking lot fills up, cars are generally parked all the way down Bridge St. If greater parking was available, more people would probably drive there than already do.
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