Light Rail to Arborway Officially Dead

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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby #5 - Dyre Ave » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:21 pm

dieciduej wrote:But they would really like Brigham Circle to be the final destination.

JoeD

That's probably the next step. Watch them push for cutting the E at Brigham Circle permanently. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the same reasons for not wanting to restore the Heath-Arborway section. But wouldn't the E be a lot less useful if cut back to Brigham? Sure, it may run more consistently because it wouldn't have to deal with auto traffic south of Brigham. But wouldn't a truncated E have fewer riders than the current service does? Wouldn't more Back Bay-bound riders opt for the 39 bus? I wonder if the MBTA's ultimate goal is to get rid of the E line completely.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby SM89 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:09 pm

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
dieciduej wrote:But they would really like Brigham Circle to be the final destination.

JoeD

That's probably the next step. Watch them push for cutting the E at Brigham Circle permanently. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the same reasons for not wanting to restore the Heath-Arborway section. But wouldn't the E be a lot less useful if cut back to Brigham? Sure, it may run more consistently because it wouldn't have to deal with auto traffic south of Brigham. But wouldn't a truncated E have fewer riders than the current service does? Wouldn't more Back Bay-bound riders opt for the 39 bus? I wonder if the MBTA's ultimate goal is to get rid of the E line completely.


The 39 to Back Bay is PAINFULLY slow. It's much easier to just get off near Mass Ave and walk a block to the Orange Line. Free transfer too. With that being said, I get on at Mission Park and there's usually no more than 10 people in the car. The second car is usually empty unless someone got on at Heath St. Having the E go to Heath is better schedule wise though because it starts right down the street so it operates on time much more often than the 39 snaking through Jamaica Plain. To get to the financial district, it's about 10-15 mins faster to take the 66 bus to Roxbury Crossing and transfer to the Orange Line than it is to ride from Brigham Circle in on the Green Line.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:43 pm

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
dieciduej wrote:But they would really like Brigham Circle to be the final destination.

JoeD

That's probably the next step. Watch them push for cutting the E at Brigham Circle permanently. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the same reasons for not wanting to restore the Heath-Arborway section. But wouldn't the E be a lot less useful if cut back to Brigham? Sure, it may run more consistently because it wouldn't have to deal with auto traffic south of Brigham. But wouldn't a truncated E have fewer riders than the current service does? Wouldn't more Back Bay-bound riders opt for the 39 bus? I wonder if the MBTA's ultimate goal is to get rid of the E line completely.


A better move for [nearly] everyone would be to combine the E with the D. Extend the tunnel from Symphony to Brookline Village via Huntington Ave.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby The EGE » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:12 pm

Except for the problem of the large contingent of people who ride Riverside to Kenmore for Sox games.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:59 pm

The EGE wrote:Except for the problem of the large contingent of people who ride Riverside to Kenmore for Sox games.


Transfer to C at Resevoir/Cleveland Circle. Or enjoy the walk across the ol' Muddy from MFA. :)
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:56 pm

I agree with Urbey if it came to that, but why couldn't there be a Fenway Shuttle ?
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby rhodiecub2 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:43 am

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
dieciduej wrote:But they would really like Brigham Circle to be the final destination.

JoeD

That's probably the next step. Watch them push for cutting the E at Brigham Circle permanently. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the same reasons for not wanting to restore the Heath-Arborway section. But wouldn't the E be a lot less useful if cut back to Brigham? Sure, it may run more consistently because it wouldn't have to deal with auto traffic south of Brigham. But wouldn't a truncated E have fewer riders than the current service does? Wouldn't more Back Bay-bound riders opt for the 39 bus? I wonder if the MBTA's ultimate goal is to get rid of the E line completely.


Wouldn't VA Hospital put up a fight if the T did try to cut service back to Brigham Circle?
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby #5 - Dyre Ave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:57 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:A better move for [nearly] everyone would be to combine the E with the D. Extend the tunnel from Symphony to Brookline Village via Huntington Ave.

Definitely a better move. But I think service on the Highlands Branch between Brookline Village and Kenmore should be retained. How about this? The D continues to run on its current route. But the E would join it at Brookline Village. Then D and E would operate jointly over the Highlands Branch until Newton Highlands, where the E would split off and turn south towards Newton Upper Falls and Needham. A lot better than dead-ending at Brigham Circle.
Last edited by #5 - Dyre Ave on Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby The EGE » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:06 pm

D-E connector is in the 2007 Universe of Projects. I could see it plausible in a few decades.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby #5 - Dyre Ave » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:03 pm

rhodiecub2 wrote:Wouldn't VA Hospital put up a fight if the T did try to cut service back to Brigham Circle?

I sure hope they would if the T tried that. The question is, would it be enough to stop them from cutting the service?
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby jaymac » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:52 am

Let's see: Proposals include tunneling to Brookline Village, setting up a loop to the Riverside, and preserving Heath rail service for the JP VA which may, itself, have a limited life expectancy. Granted, from Brigham Circle to Brookline Village is not that far either in the dictionary or by measurement, but whether by cut-and-cover or deep-boring, tunneling will be immensely disrupting to the area and thus politically difficult. But, someone might well say, deep-boring means that traffic can continue to run while the tunnel is being formed. True, and adding to the traffic will be all the truck-trips carrying out spoil and bringing in concrete, ties, rails, and all the other items necessary for the tunnel and stops along the way. One other engineering complication will going under the Muddy River. If the connection with the Riverside Line is made, that will have been with done its own and additional complications and costs. Could it be done? Sure. Will it be done? Not very likely. Given the T's finances and the related shift away from street-running light rail, what will in all probability happen is increased reliance on rubber wheels instead of steel to get people to and from both rapid transit and off-street light-rail.
Having grown up near the intersection of Centre and South Huntington and having dropped fares into the boxes and student tickets into the hands of workers of center-doors, Type 5s, and PCCs of various types, including Texas Twisters, I do miss the squeal of rotating steel on sharply-curved steel, but until and unless JP gets Disneyfied, I can't see street running happening. No offense, but absent some WPA-like project of the sort that extended the Huntington Subway to its present surfacing, tunneling to Brookline Village also seems Fantasy Land.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:07 pm

Hi Jaymac - Neighbor from Forest Hills and District 13 Patrol Supervisor here. I agree with you, except to say that I think that the leverage would be made for such an extension (particularly an Arborway extension) should another large entity arise in the JP-west corridor. I would have thought that the State Lab would have been it, but I guess that it's just a wee bit close to the Hills. It would have to be big enough to overwhelm a bus line. Specifically, I don't know what that would be, but I know that a large institution employeeing large numbers of shift workers regularly such as a large hospital, museum, or even a Walmart might do it if it were within Paul Gore/Jamaicaway/Arborway/South/Centre. Of course, the larger problem is where to put such a place, and my inclination is that it would have to involve the re-use of another lot currently standing. I can think of a few of those that might see better use.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby madcrow » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:04 pm

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:A better move for [nearly] everyone would be to combine the E with the D. Extend the tunnel from Symphony to Brookline Village via Huntington Ave.

Definitely a better move. But I think service on the Highlands Branch between Brookline Village and Kenmore should be retained. How about this? The D continues to run on its current route. But the E would join it at Brookline Village. Then D and E would operate jointly over the Highlands Branch until Newton Highlands, where the E would split off and turn south towards Newton Upper Falls and Needham. A lot better than dead-ending at Brigham Circle.

Sounds like a good idea to me. I wouldn't end the line in Needham, though. I'd run it at least the Roslindale Village and maybe even to Forest Hills. Yes this would mean permanently disconnecting the whole Needham branch from the national rail system, but I suspect that more people would benefit from light rail in Roslindale and West Roxbury than would benefit from continued service to the one or two freight customers left in that area...

Also, I suspect that the whole project could be done more cheaply that South Coast Rail. It would certainly provide WAY more band for the buck.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby TomNelligan » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:14 pm

Also, I suspect that the whole project could be done more cheaply that South Coast Rail. It would certainly provide WAY more bang for the buck.


Of course it would. But then how do we supply replacement pork to the Fall River/New Bedford politicians? Remember, this is Massachusetts, so it's never about what makes sense, but about which pols will benefit.
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Re: Light rail to Arborway officially dead

Postby jaymac » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:34 pm

Paul-
Ironically, one of the few open, large-footprint developable spaces in JP, absent a large-scale destructive fire or land-taking, is the Arborway yard, an elevated people-mover ride from Forest Hills. The concentration, even compaction, of single-, two-, and three-family houses plus apartments in JP is testimony to the people-moving effectiveness of street rail a century and less ago in feeding rapid transit.
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