Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Single Gem in the DOT conversation

Just listened to a few painful hours of people whining about the Blue Line. As you know, I'm a fan of those people, but come on. It's not going to even budge from where it is on the priority list until the economy is in much better shape.

I heard a single gem though in one gentleman's response while he was talking about a rumored Soccer Stadium coming to Wonderland via the Kraft family. He said put a commuter rail stop in at Wonderland. This got me thinking two things.

1. Is our system of commuter and subway broken, should it be combined. Should the Blue line simply go to Rockport by switching over at Wonderland. I know. I know. There's a million reasons someone will tell me that's assinine, but it's still a fun thought. I was just in Chicago at O'Hare airport and took their Blue Line from O'Hare 25 miles into Downtown Chicago. Sure beats the 10 miles or less ours goes now. The cost (drum roll) $2.25!!!

2. Is it as simple as a adding a commuter rail stop. People could switch over to the blue line via a short walk. There's still the issue of cost but if you added something that simple that made it dead easy for Salem, Swampscott, Lynn folk to switch over, maybe you would see an incredible increase in ridership at a lower cost for those zones.

Fun to think about. I still believe we're screwed on that until big federal money comes back in to play after an improved economy gives more confidence to fed and state government to spend on large projects like this.

I'd like to hear more about these potential roads (spurs I think they were being referred to) to improve our connectivity to Rt 1, 95 and 128. Anyone know the history of the discussion that was to have a part of 95 come through Lynn?

I'm trying to get this blog talking again like it used to. Readers are still here. Why so quiet?



  1. They already spent $20 million on the pedestrian bridge they just built. Can you imagine what this bridge would cost?

  2.  That bridge serves NOOOOOOOO purpose. Let's you go to the beach from Wonderland. A Joke and it messed with my commute for months.

    This bridge or tunnel or nothing... just cross the street same way the people from the parking lot used to would be an effective mass transit link and possibly increase ridership.

    It would of course need a study from someone other than me who knows what they are talking about :-)

  3. Corey: I think adding a commuter stop at Wonderland is a great idea (especially because I live really close to the Swampscott station).

    Contact the Friends of Lynn Woods for the history on why route 95 doesn't run through the cit y. (I don't remember enough of the details.)

  4. The plan was for the Route 95 connector to run parallel to The Marsh Road into Revere where it would connect with Route 1 and then 95.

  5. Is it from GE area over through Lynn Woods to Goodwin Circle area?

     Found this on Wikipedia.

    Planned and cancelled northern section

    The Northeast Expressway was planned to extend north from Saugus,
    through Lynn, Lynnfield and Peabody. The highway would bisect the Saugus
    Marsh and the Lynn Woods Reservation. The highway would then connect with the present junction of Interstate 95 and Route 128
    in Peabody. The Expressway would carry the Interstate 95 designation
    from the Peabody interchange with 128 south to the southeast Charlestown
    interchange with Interstate 93.

  6. Agreed. That bridge is the one of the biggest wastes of money I have ever seen.  That isn't a high traffic pedestrian area, even in the summer.  There are lights there.  The bridge is totally unnecessary and the fact that they spent $20 million on it is disgusting.  I have no faith in the people running the MBTA.

  7. And found this

    In 1970, Governor Francis Sargent ordered a moratorium on all new
    expressway construction within MA 128 (Yankee Division Highway), and
    ordered a review of expressway and transit plans in the Boston area. The
    Boston Transportation Planning Review (BTPR) was birthed from the
    governor's action. Through the North Shore, the particular issue was the
    controversial alignment of I-95 through the Lynn Woods Reservation, the
    Walden Reservoir and the wetlands along the Saugus River.

    conclusion of the BTPR Phase I report (dated December 29, 1971) made the
    following recommendation for the I-95 alignment north of Revere:
    a four-lane expressway, or a six-lane expressway in which two lanes are
    reserved for buses and other special purpose vehicles, is being
    considered. Both the originally proposed alignment for I-95 through Lynn
    and Peabody, and the newly developed (existing) US 1 alignment, remain
    in consideration at this time. Priority attention will be given to the
    US 1 alignment to determine whether it is a feasible and prudent
    alternative, while work proceeds on an improved design through Lynn
    Woods. Sub-options of US 1 alternative include rebuilding within the
    existing right-of-way, as well as constructing a new parallel facility.During
    BTPR Phase II studies in June 1972, Governor Sargent announced the
    elimination of the originally proposed route of the I-95 (Northeast
    Expressway) section through Saugus Marsh and the Lynn Woods Reservation,
    citing that no "feasible and prudent" alternative route could be
    constructed through the area. The final BTPR study also recommended an
    $18 million "non-Interstate arterial" upgrade to the existing US 1 from
    Revere north to Danvers. Subsequently, in 1973, I-95 was routed along
    the existing MA 128 (Yankee Division Highway). The end of the Northeast
    Expressway story came on May 23, 1974, when Federal funds from the
    unbuilt I-95 and I-695 were officially transferred to the Massachusetts
    Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Today, vestiges such as
    unused bridges, closed exit ramps and graded embankments reveal
    long-abandoned attempts to extend I-95 north of Cutler Circle in Revere.

  8. Got a little off topic with my bridge rant.  I don't think a commuter rail station in Revere is a good idea.  The trains currently run over capacity at rush hour.  MANY people who get on in Lynn (and even Swampscott) don't get charged because it is standing room only and the conductor can't get down the aisle to collect the fare.  Adding a stop in Revere would only add to this problem.  The MBTA makes such a big deal over fare evaders but they do nothing to the conductors who don't collect the fares.  I have seen them not bother to collect even when the train isn't full.

    Don't get me started on the new Commuter Rail app.  I can't decide if it is worse than the bridge idea or not.

  9.  To be fair it's part of a large project which will bring mixed used development to that plot and those residents will now have a crooked version of the Zakim to walk over (the thing is ugly). It still serves no purpose and you're right. They should be ashamed of themselves for such a waste.

  10.  Then you add more frequency and more double deckers. More riders and full trains is a good problem and I agree it's one they need to resolve.

  11. I don't know if this is true or not but someone told me that they cannot run double deckers on the Newburyport line because of something to do with the bridge in Beverly. 

    I agree about the added frequency but I have to wonder how much added frequency can be handled at North Station.  

  12. I don't believe that larger project will ever happen unless the casino is built.  If a casino goes to Everett, nobody is going to invest that amount of money in Revere.  The bridge should have been built much later into the project if it really had to be built.

  13. FWIW: It's only about 18 miles to ORD, and they charge an extra fare coming in now.


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