Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mass Pike rearrangement and Rapid Transit planning — Very Clear Demonstration of the Fraud which is “protective” groups in Cambridge, MA, USA

I. Introduction.
II. Communication to MassDOT.
1. Introduction.
2. Green Line A Spur, Phase 1.
3. Urban Ring Plans and the Allegations of the City of Cambridge.
A. Kenmore Crossing, Cambridge Side.
B. Urban Ring Alternatives, Boston Side.
(1) BU Bridge Crossing.
(2) The Kenmore Crossing.
(3) “Bus Tunnel.”

I. Introduction.

This is the fourth in a series of letters officially sent to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with regard to their meetings on the rearrangement of the Massachusetts Turnpike next to the Charles River in Boston Cambridge, MA.  The meetings were conducted on April 10 and May 1, 2014.

This letter is important because it places the rearrangement of the Mass. Pike in context with transportation planning in the region.  Responsible transportation planning would be environmentally responsible, a very common distinction from the activities and goals of the City of Cambridge, MA, USA.

This letter, however, is important on its own because it proves the lie behind so many “independent” “protective” groups in the City of Cambridge, MA, USA.

The fake neighborhood association fighting for destruction on the Charles River is just one instance of Cambridge groups controlled to various extent by the entity they claim to be keeping an eye on, the City of Cambridge.

The flat out lies over a period of 21 years or more on a key transportation issue says everything that needs to be said about so many “independent” “protective” entities in the City of Cambridge, MA, USA.

You get away from Cambridge, MA and Cambridge, MA dominated groups, and this flat out lie is not existent.  Outside of Cambridge, MA and Cambridge dominated groups, people know reality.

In Cambridge and Cambridge dominated groups, the “experts” unanimously agree with Cambridge’s flat out lie.

I repeat:

In Cambridge and Cambridge dominated groups, the “experts” unanimously agree with Cambridge’s flat out lie.

UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT ON A FLAT OUT LIE says everything as to the “independence” of the self proclaimed protectors.

II. Communication to MassDOT.

May 8, 2014

Patricia Leavenworth, P.E., Chief Engineer, MassDOT
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116

ATTN: Bridge Project Management, Project File No. 606475

RE: Mass. Pike (I90) Rearrangement in the area west of the BU Bridge, and the rail yards.
Public Meetings April 10, 2014 and May 1, 2014
Fourth Letter: Green Line Spur Connection to Urban Ring Kenmore Crossing Subway.


1. Introduction.

This letter expands on my prior communications to provide greater detail as to how a Green Line A would fit into the rest of the system.

This letter will also respond to 20 years of lies coming out of the City of Cambridge that the Kenmore Crossing of the Urban Ring Subway concept does not exist.  I have not heard anything on this matter from Cambridge in the last two years.  I am assuming the lies have continued.

2. Green Line A Spur, Phase 1.

[marked up satellite photo]

The green marking running from left to right on the below depiction roughly shows the absolute minimum Green Line A phase 1 spur the Mass. Pike viaduct project should allow for.

The Green Line A Spur would start at a station in the future Harvard Medical School site (left end).  It would then  run through the area I have shown in my Second Letter (4/22/14), pp. 1-7, in the Mass. Pike viaduct, and connect with the existing Green Line B branch on Commonwealth Avenue in the location where the line bends.  I showed photos of the new switch area on pp. 3 and 4 of that letter.

Green Line A then would run over the existing tracks in the Commonwealth Avenue Green Line B corridor to Kenmore.

At Kenmore, Green Line A would be one of now four Green Line branches connecting to the Urban Ring Kenmore Crossing Subway.  This fully covered connection would allow passengers (including Harvard Med Students) to  make transfers to access the Harvard / Longwood Hospitals via the Urban Ring, Kenmore Crossing route.  Various bus connections would be a reasonable interim arrangement.

I would anticipate that, east of Kenmore, this new Green Line A would connect through to Downtown Boston although it could certainly terminate at Kenmore and run in shuttle fashion to the new Harvard Medical School or to Harvard Square.

Note that the only construction expenses needed to be incurred would be for the Green Line A spur phase 1 running from Commonwealth Avenue to the new Harvard Medical School with a station at the current site of rail yards and the Mass. Pike roadways, and, possibly, a station behind the Boston University residence halls facing the Mass. Pike, with access to B.U.’s Agannis Arena and Nickerson Field, plus this part of Commonwealth Avenue.

This route depiction has been created applying by hand, straight edge and Green marker to my existing satellite photo, and then cropping for purposes of communication.  So the line is sloppy.

I have previously described in my April 18, 2014 letter how to link the new Harvard Medical School station to Harvard Station.  This connection could be done at the same time as the connection to Kenmore or as a phase 2.

It is essential for the Mass. Pike viaduct reconstruction to leave room for future Green Line A construction.  Adequate space must be left, as well, for storage of street car vehicles in a new streetcar yard area adjacent to and parallel to the planned South Station storage.

The capability of doing the work in this Green Line A construction in phases is yet another reason why this route should be left possible with the Mass. Pike viaduct reconstruction.  First Green Line A phase 1 could be constructed to connect the new Harvard Medical School to the main part of the system.  Later Green Line A could be extended so that at it connects to Harvard Square.

The possibility of phasing is yet another saving over Harvard’s horribly expensive Harvard Red Line spur proposal, deep bore which could only be done all at once.

In real analysis, the cost of the Harvard Medical School transportation would be added to the major expense of the “bus tunnel” to connect Ruggles to Longwood to Kenmore.  The “bus tunnel” combined with Green Line A creates a combination of expenses which is much more likely to be achieved than the “bus tunnel” combined with Harvard’s deep bore Red Line spur.

3. Urban Ring Plans and the Allegations of the City of Cambridge.

A. Kenmore Crossing, Cambridge Side.

[MBTA plan]

This is the formal public MBTA plan of the Cambridge side of the Kenmore Crossing river crossing alternative.

This is the Charles River crossing alternative which Cambridge and its controlled entities repeatedly have said does not exist.

B. Urban Ring Alternatives, Boston Side.

For clarity of presentation, I have split a combined MBTA map into the BU Bridge Crossing and the Kenmore Crossing.

(1) BU Bridge Crossing.

[BU Bridge Crossing, Boston side]

The BU Bridge Crossing is shown as a broken line traveling from the Charles River to the west of Boston University’s Student Union Complex (marked “B.U.”), crossing over the Massachusetts Turnpike (I90) and turning to the east under Mountfort Street and south of the Mass. Pike.

An Urban Ring station may be seen in this segment before the line turns again under Park Drive.  It is marked “St. Mary’s” for the street which connects it to Commonwealth Avenue across from  Boston University’s Marsh Chapel.  The plan was to connect this streetcar line to the existing Green Line B across from Marsh Chapel by a tunnel under St. Mary’s Street.  This tunnel would leave passengers on the south sidewalk.  Passengers would then walk over the eastbound portion of Commonwealth Avenue, exposed to all sorts of weather in the final segment, crossing eastbound Commonwealth Avenue.

Closer to the Mass. Pike than the Mountfort / St. Mary’s station and to the station’s right is this alignment’s proposed relocation of Yawkey Station.  Commuter rail passengers would connect to Green Line B through the St. Mary’s tunnel.

The BU Bridge crossing would turn on Park Drive and have a second station under Park Drive between Beacon Street (Green Line C line) and the Green Line D line.  The Urban Ring streetcars would connect to the C and D line from the station.  A new Green Line C station was anticipated to be constructed under Beacon Street for the transfer, but it is not shown on this plan.

Commuter rail passengers would transfer to the Urban Ring at Mountfort / St. Mary’s and take the Urban Ring one stop to this second Urban Ring station and then transfer to Green Line C or D, should they wish to travel on one or the other.

At the bottom, you can see the BU Bridge Crossing turning and going under Brookline Street.  The line to the right is the route of the Kenmore Crossing.

(2). The Kenmore Crossing.

[Kenmore Crossing, Boston side]

This crossing would involve Orange Line quality subway cars.  It would be dug mostly cut and cover through the eastern and southern portion of Kenmore Square.

The line would be constructed under Brookline Avenue and over the Mass. Pike.  The proposed Urban Ring Kenmore station, shown on the map, would run from the existing Kenmore Station to a point east of Yawkey Station.  Yawkey Station is visible to the left of the Urban Ring Kenmore Station.  The station complex would readily connect to Fenway Park.

The Urban Ring Kenmore Station would directly connect to all three (now four) Green Line branches to Brookline, Newton and Allston, and would directly connect to the Commuter Rail.  It will provide excellent covered connections.

Yawkey Station would remain in place, as opposed to being moved three blocks to the west.

The legislature is subsidizing a very large project being built on top of Yawkey Station which will include improvements to Yawkey Station.  That expenditure makes Cambridge’s talk of a new Yawkey Station at St. Mary’s / Mountfort as part of its favored BU Bridge crossing so much nonsense.

Even without the subsidy, the Commuter Rail and Green Line connections in the Kenmore Crossing are excellent, in striking contrast to the hodgepost, messy connections in the City of Cambridge’s favored crossing.

The only place where the BU Bridge crossing is even vaguely in the running is in the City of Cambridge and in its controlled entities.  A very key lie assists in Cambridge’s control of its friends.  This is the lie that the Kenmore Crossing does not exist.  I am not certain if Harvard’s deep bore Red Line spur even allows for the BU Crossing alternative.

(3) “Bus Tunnel.”

The Urban Ring bus studies have proposed a very large bus tunnel which would run to the west of the lines shown under Brookline Avenue in the Kenmore Crossing depiction on page 3.  The tunnel plans may or may not recognize the existence of the BU Bridge Crossing.  Harvard’s horribly expensive Red Line spur would have an expensive connection to the bus tunnel near the Green Line D Fenway Park station.  This major expense would add to the very expensive cost of rebuilding of Harvard station and of deep bore construction.  Green Line A has NO SUCH EXPENSES.

This “bus tunnel” would travel under Longwood Avenue with a stop at Longwood & Louis Pasteur, the subway line stop.  It would have portals near Yawkey Station and near Ruggles Station.  It would travel that portion of the Urban Ring subway route which is shared by the two subway alternatives.  It would be easy to extend this “bus tunnel” in one direction to Kenmore and in the other to Ruggles, providing direct Orange Line connection from downtown Boston to the Longwood Medical Center and to Kenmore.

This obvious extension of the “bus tunnel” would make Kenmore an excellent phase 1 Orange Line / Kenmore Crossing Urban Ring terminus.