Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Charles River: Olympics Rapid Transit: A Second Harvard Station site for consideration

Charles River: Olympics Rapid Transit: A Second Harvard Station site for consideration.

1. Proposed route.
2. Harvard Station S2 - photos of the current situation.
a. Northern end of lower busway.
b. Ground view, western end of busway.
c. Lower busway, western end.
d. Upper busway, western end.
e. Ground view, western end.
3. Harvard Station S2, analysis.
4. The prior reports.

1. Proposed route.

I have been doing a series on possible new rapid transit service for the Boston 2024 Olympics.  A major part of my interest is my appreciation that the Boston 2024 Olympics peope want to destroy the starvation wall Cambridge and friends have created at Magazine Beach as part of their heartless abuse of the 34 year resident gaggle of the Charles River White Geese, and their environmental destruction at the Magazine Beach playing fields.

Normal human beings are a refreshing change over the vileness which dominates politics with regard to  Cambridge, MA, USA and its accomplices in their environmental destruction and heartless animal abuse.

2. Harvard Station S2 - photos of the current situation.

This the second of three suggestions for the Harvard Station stop, the lower busway.  It is my preferred alternative..

a. Northern end of lower busway.

Here are the entrances from the man pedestrian plaza in Harvard Station.

There are two entrances from the main pedestrian plaza.

The stairwell to the right leads into the northern portion of the busway.  The ramp straight ahead leads further south, to the western portion of the busway.  The only entrance to the upper busway from the pedestrian plaza is the ramp to the left.

The view from the mezzanine shows how the fare machines block view of the lower busway from much of the station pedestrian area.  The upper busway is readily visible above it.

And here is a view looking straight into the stairwell into the northern end of the lower busway, with the fare machines visible to the right and the entrance to the Red Line subway platforms to the far right..

Here is the view from inside the lower busway, looking north.  The doors to the stairs to the pedestrian plaza are to the right.  The pedestrian waiting area it to the right, the bus highway to the left.  The busway does not have room for buses to pass each other.  The busway curves.

Looking in the opposite direction, the ramp entrance is at the left, and you see some passengers waiting.  The area in the above photo is not used for waiting for buses.  It is strictly used for dropping off passengers.  There is quite a bit of distance between waiting areas.

b. Ground view, western end of busway.

The curve can be seen on the below map of Harvard Square.  The station and Harvard Square proper are in the upper right corner.  On the map, the ground level entrance is marked with the T.  The underground curve you are looking at is to the left of the T and across the street.  The busway goes around the buildings you see on this map.  The western portion of the busway runs under the sidewalk to the left on the map, past Palmer Street, the first side street, and to the Brattle Street side street, the second side street.  The busway is under the sidewalk of what is the first block of Brattle Street.  On the map, S2 indicates this as the location of the S2 station proposal.

Backing away from Harvard Square, proper, here are ground level views on the first block of Brattle Street, above the busways.  The third photo shows the beginning of the ground level pedestrian plaza at the turn of Brattle Street, from the first block to the Brattle Street side street.  This is called Brattle Square.

c. Lower busway, western end.

This photo is from the far western end of the lower busway.  The curve to the right is the corner of the stairwell to the upper busway on the western end of the lower busway.

This is the stairwell.

d. Upper busway, western end.

This is the upper busway from the top of that staircase.  Notice that the pedestrian area is wider.

This is the upper end of the stairwell.

To the left is the stairwell.  Straight ahead is the stairwell from the upper busway to Brattle Square.

The openings at the end of the above photo are show from the other side, to the right in this shot.  At the end of this corridor is the elevator from the ground level at Brattle Square, the point where Brattle Street turns.  The elevator does not go to the lower busway, just to the upper busway.

The elevator was installed after the rebuilding of Harvard Station, probably because of changes in the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act?).  The slope to the upper busway is sharper than the slope to the lower busway.  The lower busway complies with the new requirements.  The upper did not until the elevator was installed.

Here is the look back into the upper busway from the side tunnel.

Here is the view of the western staircase from the busway proper, pretty much a reverse view of the previous.

e. Ground view, western end.

This view is taken very close to the corner of the first block of Brattle Street and the Brattle Street sidestreet.

The grey structure with T’s on it is the elevator to the upper busway.  The opening behind it showing a little bit of red is the staircase to the upper busway.

Here is a view from a slightly different angle.  The Red Line marking on the stairwell is clearer.

Here is a view of the side street and that part of the plaza.

Across the Brattle Street side street is the beginning of Eliot Street.  This would be the beginning of the S3 alternative, if used.

3. Harvard Station S2, analysis.

I have shown you this level of detail to show you the areas which need work as well as the lower busway, station S2.

The tunnel to the former rail yards at Memorial Drive is on the far side of the wall shown in the photos of the lower busway.

It seems likely that the stairwell between the lower and upper busway interrupts the tunnel.  That would require the stair well to be removed.

It seems reasonable to continue the staircase from the ground to the upper level straight ahead to the lower busway.  It might be necessary to make the stairwell less wide.  That would be reasonable since most of the people walking down the stairway would be going to the upper busway or, through it, to the main pedestrian plaza and the red line.

When reaching the lower busway level, it would be simple to install fair machines at the near end and at the end toward the pedestrian plaza, and to build an open fence toward the busway.  If more space is needed for access to the green line trains, the fare machines could be installed at the upper busway end of the stairs.

Passengers using the staircase to access the lower busway would have to walk through the upper busway and down its ramp, but the waiting area would be moved to the foot of the upper busway ramp anyway.

I do not know how deep or the nature of the foundations of the elevator go.  Hopefully, they do not interfere with the tunnel.  If they do, the simplest solution would be to rebuild or resupport the elevator.

Moving the elevator would certainly be possible, probably to the plaza at the beginning of Eliot Street, across the Brattle Street side street.  Moving would definitely complicate access for the handicapped.

Putting the Green Line terminus at this location would force passengers picking up buses at this level into the area next to the pedestrian concourse.

There is quite a bit of room there, much less than the lower busway currently has, but still quite a bit of room.

A key decision for those making the decisions is which makes more sense between S1, terminus at the pedestrian plaza or S2, at the lower busway.

The adjustments for the stairwell and the western elevator would have to be made in either instance.

Using the S1 alternative, you have the additional cost of moving the main elevator.  You also are rearranging the station to use space more efficiently without really cramping things, which would be necessary for S2.

I have been thinking these things over and thinking these things over.  I would think that the decision would be to save the money needed for moving the main elevator, but there is a lot to be said for the more efficient rearrangement in S1.

You tell me.

4. The prior reports.

General analysis:  http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/04/charles-river-new-green-line-ideal-for.html.

BU Bridge end of Green Line A:  http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/04/charles-river-green-line-boston.html

Charles River: Green Line A Rapid Transit for Olympics — Harvard Square: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-green-line-rapid-transit.html

Charles River - Harvard Square:  Corrections to Green Line A Harvard Station Proposal:: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-harvard-square-to-green.html

Charles River, Comments:  Olympics, Green Line A; fraud in Cambridge, MA, USA City Hall”  http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-comments-olympics-green.html.

Charles River: Green Line A for Olympics, map with options: http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-green-line-for-olympics.html

Charles River: Olympics Rapid Transit map reorganized; change Green Line B rapid transit stop name? http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-olympics-rapid-transit.html

Charles River: Olympics Rapid Transit: One Harvard Station site for consideration. http://charlesriverwhitegeeseblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/charles-river-olympics-rapid-transit_18.html