juni0r75 wrote:Part of the logic around modern CR construction is the assumption that the riders will use their cars to drive in from more distant suburbs (or exurbs in the case of some areas) and use th train to get into the city, thereby maximizing the transport corridors into the city by reducing the number of cars on the freeway. The old idea of CR being suburban passenger service meant that the towns often grew up around the transport hub (station) and promoted foot traffic. People would walk or take the bus (streetcar) to the station and leave their cars at home (if they even had them). With our town centres mostly built-out, it is difficult to justify leveling a large area for the cars that people will use to get to the stations.Ron Newman wrote:But even if the station building was no longer available, why didn't the T put the new stop in the same place as the old? The Kendal Green station in Weston is now a private residence, for example, but the train still stops there.
When most original station sites were chosen in cities and towns, very few if any people even owned an automobile; so, no thought was given to providing a place to park them. Passengers were usually dropped at the station by horse and carriage, or, as the poster above suggested, the stations were centralized so as to be accessible by foot.
The same was true of the second generation of major league baseball parks, like Fenway. They were sited to allow people to either walk or take a streetcar to the game, as again, few people had cars. That's why there is such limited (and outrageously expensive) parking around Fenway Park today. When the third generation of ballparks were built in the late 60's and early 70's, they were moved outside of the inner city, and surrounded by acres of parking lots.
When my dad commuted on the old B&A from Framingham in the early 60's, he had to find a parking space at the curb along Waverly St. (The trains boarded at the old station platform at that time. I still remember seeing the green REA trucks there.) If we had to pick him up at the station -- in those days, most families had only one automobile -- we would have to park to wait for the train in a little lot across from the old Framingham News building, off of Howard St., near that old hotel that is remarkably still standing.
Obviously, to accommodate today's mobile society, modern commuter rail stations must provide parking for customers, which makes it almost impossible to use the old stations, or station sites. A good example of this old and new contrast in station siting is Newburyport. The old station was tucked neatly close to downtown, surrounded by residences. The new station was located a mile or so south, outside of downtown, and is surrounded by three large parking lots, which see plenty of business.