Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:12 am

The EGE wrote:The MBTA Business Center lists a $28.4 million contract for a "South Shore Parking Garage" to be sent to bidding next month. Is this for the Quincy Center garage?


Woah, woah: "Yard 61 Midday Layover Facility"?! Is that the E 1st St yard on Track 61? It's actually happening?
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:26 am

I think it's the small disused yard on the Old Colony @ Southampton, right where Track 61 starts. Given location that seems to be the easiest and most ops-convenient track grab for a little more layover space.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:13 pm

Ah, forgot about that yard. Doesn't CSX actively use it when they [not so often] have to venture over to the Boston Globe? More concerning would be what about lost storage space when conducting container and/or general freight for the Seaport if MassPort is very serious about Track 61? There's a great deal of yard capacity which could be potentially added along the BCEC, but if they want some significant traffic, they'll need Yard 61 as well. It's a long way to Readville, afterall.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:46 pm

That yard along Dot Ave. hasn't been used for freight in decades. Pretty much nothing parks there except for the odd piece of work equipment. As for Southie port traffic the Massport plan for Marine Terminal Industrial Park had a new yard being built on the north side of the park for shunting over railcars with trackmobiles/switchers. And then CSX would scoot over from Readville (presumably overnight), pick up, and leave. CSX would have no part in running the terminal operation. They just show up, exchange empties for pre-sorted cars in the yard, and leave just like they do at Braintree Yard with the Fore River tanker deliveries. Although here they wouldn't need a separate shortline for getting the goods because the new yard's close enough to port to get sorted on-site.

And then direct diamond/crossovers would be built for a straight Fairmount Line shot onto Track 61 by reshuffling the Southampton switches and whatever electrical boxes are in the way (somewhere the project docs describe how this would work). That'll eliminate the need for the old reverse move and make the lead track + yard by Dot Ave. totally redundant.


If there had to be more freight yard space down there then the yard hugging Southie Bypass Rd. behind the Convention Center between Cypher St. and Summer St. is still there with 4 very long connected tracks. It is still nominally active so has not been targeted for private development, although the only thing it's ever used for is open workspace for assembling and storing track panels. But that is extremely unlikely given the port plan and the very short distance to underutilized Readville. The T did analyze the Convention Ctr. yard for its layover needs assessment, but it got rejected for meh distance and poor site security with open access via the Cypher St. grade crossing. That site would be a tagger's paradise.


Based on the layover needs analysis they're focusing on the DPW impound lot as the easiest land grab at Southampton. The city can be bargained with. The cold storage warehouse next to the T maint building is also up for consideration if that business can be relocated. They eliminated the Boston Food Market building at Widett Circle from consideration because despite huge and convenient available space relocation of those businesses would be invasive (although I suppose the BRA might have its own ideas independent of the T about moving those guys to Marine Terminal as tenants of the expanded park). But any of those scenarios will take time and funding. This little yard is a near-freebie that gets them at least 2...maybe 3 or 4 depending on what they do...instant layover berths right across the tracks from Southampton and appeases Amtrak for a couple years about the space-sharing situation.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby Philip Wirth » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:33 am

Some kind of work has been going on in the garage. It looks like they're installing some kind of bracing to reinforce the structure. Interestingly, the workers were allowed to park in the garage while the work was going on. It was a weird sight.

http://quincyquarry.com/quincy-ma/news/ ... z4H7jKuuCQ
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:43 am

They power-washed the Red platform level of QC station top-to-bottom a week ago, judging by the drying patterns seen when I was there on Tues. Everything: ceiling, walls, platform, tile, signage, light fixtures. It's so...BRIGHT!...and new-looking in there now. Especially the concrete which is now an off-whitish gray from its long overdue bath. I so wish they'd make an effort to do a complete once-over of all of the system's fare-control stations with the power washer at least once every 5 years, because it makes such a dramatic difference in appearances.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby Philip Wirth » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:49 pm

After years of doing nothing, they are planning to tear down levels three to five of the garage by the end of 2018. The structure that will remain when they do that is apparently structurally sound enough to remain; it sounds like they want that to end up being some kind of bus facility, but that's not part of the tear-down project. The station will remain open for the duration of the construction and there won't be any additional bustitution because of it.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby Head-end View » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:16 pm

What about providing replacement garage parking for the Red Line commuters? :(
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:17 am

Head-end View wrote:What about providing replacement garage parking for the Red Line commuters? :(


Not the T's call anymore. City of Quincy put in a preference for future mixed-use development over the station instead of rebuilding the garage, so that's how it's going to be.

Walkable downtown with a bus terminal not immediately by a highway exit is an absolutely terrible place to have a 900-space garage and all the induced-demand traffic that comes with it. It's as anachronistic to the surroundings as if the Alewife extension plunked 1000-space garages at new Harvard, Porter, and Davis. There's no reason to have such a parking glut there when Quincy Adams and Braintree are the ones directly attached to major highway exits, and North Quincy is the one at the convergence of all the parkways. Those are the ones that can handle the P&R traffic from the highways, not dead-center downtown. Both QC and Wollaston are anachronistic in how much parking over-capacity they offer in the midst of a regular old urban street grid thick with buses, and the City is moving away from its car-centric mistakes as it re-streetscapes downtown around walkability and transit. Both those stops--including the Wollaston lot--have sweet TOD futures if the parking over-capacity were traded for redev densification. And they're not under any pressure to make immediate decisions on what that redev will look like.


The garage was a bad idea even by 1971 standards, but they talked themselves into it because further extension to QA/North Braintree + Braintree/South Braintree was snarled at the time in controversy and no safe bet to happen at all. QC could've been the permanent end of the line, leaving it and NQ to shoulder the expressway P&R load. It didn't happen that way, so it just ended up pure unadulterated induced demand plowing through to downtown from the highways. They had little stomach for repeating the mistake in 2020 by rebuilding the garage. Traffic already is adjusting with a lot of that induced demand going away, and Braintree is getting a parking expansion to absorb the loads that don't need to be slamming all the way up Burgin Pkwy. to downtown when those cars aren't going to do any business in downtown. That's a key tell, as not enough of the traffic that was actually using the QC garage originated anywhere near downtown.

If there's one pivot the state should be making to QC's new orientation, it's simply increasing bus service out of the terminal. It's a lush net of routes, but they're getting very crowded and need more frequencies. Especially because Red frequencies will be bumping slightly as the new cars' superior acceleration allows for signal re-spacing inbound of JFK to the branch splits. From what we're told the lowest remaining level of the garage will hope to address just that in some TBD fashion. With how much streetscaping the City is doing, you'll probably even see future advocacy to bust down Burgin Pkwy.'s lane sprawl north of QA in the future to further tame the induced demand (a la the Rutherford Ave. and McGrath Hwy. road diet advocacies in Boston and Somerville).


What I hope is that before the City makes any decisions about what goes on top of the leveled garage the T injects itself in there about digging out the hillside embankment to widen the CR station into a 2-track island. The space is very much there for a turnout spanning the Dimmock St. overpass and the squeeze where Burgin Pkwy. converges south of the platform before the private air rights garage. All soft fill, just needing a new retaining wall along Burgin and underpinning of the Burgin headhouse during construction...then demolition of the existing CR platform's retaining wall, doubling of the platform's width, and rebuilt egress. There will never ever be an easier and less costly vector for doing that than after the garage gets demolished to the bottom level...but before the City gets too far along in design about erecting something new on top. But it has to be the state realizing the opportunity, because the City itself doesn't have much skin in Old Colony services increases (let alone something like the South Coast Rail M'boro Alternative) to be the ones self-advocating for a rebuilt CR platform.

For the money it would be the most meaningful service increaser on the OC to have the inside-128 stops all done up as DT islands, because the way the 3 branches claim each of JFK/QC/Braintree as their own it guarantees a bi-directional pass/overtake opportunity for any other branch each time one branch is making a station stop. All 3 branches would be able to take thirds of a whole new pool of slots if you did the pricier QC island, and the much less pricey JFK island. Which in turn increases the P&R utilization where it should be: out at the CR lots in the 'burbs well before the cars slam Braintree Split, with off-peak frequencies increased a little on all 3 lines so fewer drivers have to make the frequency-driven choice to drive further and overstuff the Braintree and QA RL lots. You wouldn't have to touch any of the single track between stops on the corridor to net those service increases and accompanying P&R demand relief at QA/Braintree garages, either, so it's maximal bang-for-buck to take advantage of the interregnum between the QC garage demolition and start of whatever mixed-use future is going to replace it for doubling up the CR platform with a turnout.
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby Head-end View » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:39 pm

Where is there going to be expanded parking in Braintree? What I liked about the QC garage was that if the Quincy Adams garage was full at 10AM, I could just drive up Burgin Pkwy. to QC and find a space there. And BTW, I find the modern Burgin Pkwy. to be a fine road to drive (unlike so many other antiquated narrow roads in the south Boston suburbs) and I hope they leave it that way. :wink:
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Re: Quincy Center Station - Construction/upgrades

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:50 am

Head-end View wrote:Where is there going to be expanded parking in Braintree? What I liked about the QC garage was that if the Quincy Adams garage was full at 10AM, I could just drive up Burgin Pkwy. to QC and find a space there. And BTW, I find the modern Burgin Pkwy. to be a fine road to drive (unlike so many other antiquated narrow roads in the south Boston suburbs) and I hope they leave it that way. :wink:


Braintree's getting 55 more spaces added in the garage renovation, and a 130-space temp lot across the street is opening for the construction duration which will be a town decision whether it stays or goes post-construction.


What you're describing with QC having to be an overflow lot for QA is exactly what I was referring to about the induced demand problem. The solution there isn't adding more capacity at the less-appropriate overflow lot, because that traffic isn't slamming Quincy Ctr. to do business at/near Quincy Ctr. The garage wasn't pumping money into the downtown economy; it was primarily "flyover" traffic using Burgin Pkwy. as a super-extension of the Quincy Adams highway offramp. Basic common sense says to troubleshoot the demand issue at its source rather than throwing more money on the supply side in "flyover" country where it's not creating any revenue for the city's CBD.

Yes, that very much means things like addressing commuter rail frequencies at the Old Colony outbound lots that have poorer utilization, because the overflow at QA and Braintree comes from overabundance of South Shore commuters who drive the extra distance to get more frequent trains. Those drivers are making a choice to induce demand on the highways leading into Braintree Split in pursuit of better frequencies @ a garage+subway fare, and in direct rejection of what poorer schedule options they get @ a lot+Zone fare. And it's that South Shore growth making that specific frequency choice that's crested utilization at QA & Braintree to overload. You won't ever solve that problem by throwing supply-side $$$ at a location two degrees removed from the major sources of P&R demand. That's why it's induced demand: because people who can't justify paying too high a fare for crappy frequencies in Weymouth are inducing extra car miles to seek a better deal in Braintree...then inducing extra miles driven beyond that when they get turned away.

Not rocket science. Troubleshoot it at the source, not its entrails. A rebuilt parking garage at QC costs way, way more than modding the Purple Line platform beneath a demolished garage for a 2-track station turnout, doing the same at much more minor cost at JFK, and using the 3-branch/3-stop parity to backfill frequencies on all 3 OC branches with station overtakes so they each get as close to a system-average 14-16 round-trips per day as possible without having to greenlight more invasive DT'ing between stops...instead of persisting with a system-worst 12 round trips per day per branch. Survey where all these overflow cars are coming from, and the hard data counts will confirm the worst-kept secret on the South Shore: this P&R overload is mostly from would-be commuter rail riders making an induced-demand driving choice about frequencies-for-fares. Purely local development is chucking in its own growth, but not to the degree of hanging a "LOT FULL" sign every day like the extra driving miles are. These are your missing Greenbush riders...these are the gap in Zone 3 & 4 lot utilization on Plymouth/Middleboro where weekday lot occupancy is meandering at ~50% instead of 20 points higher.


FWIW...it's the City that wants road diets and Complete Streets for downtown densification, so Burgin's a purely local issue. If you don't live and vote in Quincy, you don't get a say in whether it stays an overbuilt parkway or gets a future makeover. Nothing's going to happen in the next 10 years as the City's Complete Streets plan is currently focused on the paralleling streets and nip/tucking the grid's intersections w/Burgin for less-terrifying ped & bike crossings. But just like Rutherford and McGrath saw their traffic volumes drop a lot after the Big Dig redirected a lot of induced demand, Burgin's car counts have already dropped from loss of the QC garage's induced demand. The City's made up its mind that demand at QA/Braintree isn't going to net more supply-side parking resources at QC because they value densification of downtown real estate with mixed-use development by too wide a margin. But whatever they ultimately decide to do with the overbuilt parkway is going to track with that strategy, not run counter to it....and it won't be preempted by statewide car commuter interests when the City already got its way knocking down the garage.
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