Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Mass. Pike (I90) rearrangement on the Charles River, Boston, MA, USA. What about the Rail Yard?

1. Summary.
2. Facebook:  Mass. Pike (I90): Rapid Transit or another Cambridge con? [July 1, 2014 condensation of blog post]
3. James Tighe response, 11:07am Jul 1.  What is going on in the rail yard?
4. Elaboration.  What about the rail yard?

1. Summary.

On June 30, I reported on Rapid Transit possibilities next to the Mass. Pike (I90) area on the Boston side of the Charles River.

These are relevant because Harvard’s empire building on the Boston side are key sources of a lot of the environmental destruction on the Cambridge side and in the Charles River, either directly or through benefits for coconspirators.

Additionally, the Cambridge Machine is maneuvering the rearrangement of the Mass. Pike to maximize heartless behavior on the Cambridge side, plus to prevent a responsible transit possibility on the Boston side.

These reports are republished usually in condensations with links on facebook and in an email newsletter.

The biggest horror I am dealing with in these reports is the massive complexity of the maneuverings.  I must, of necessity, leave a lot out of each report or turn each report into a treatise.

The biggest horror, other than the heartless animal abuse and environmental destruction, I am dealing with in these reports is the massive complexity of the maneuverings.  I must, of necessity, leave a lot out of each report or turn each report into a treatise.

Below is the condensation I published on facebook of the June 30 report, followed by an excellent question and my response to the question with writing slightly cleaned up.

To put things into perspective, here are my two maps of the maneuverings on the Boston side, the modified aerial photo I have been using for some time followed my modification of MassDOT’s areal photo.  The MassDOT map was attached to my facebook condensation.

The rail yards mentioned are at the core of the latter photo, and on the far left in the former photo.

2. Facebook:  Mass. Pike (I90): Rapid Transit or another Cambridge con? [July 1, 2014 condensation of blog post]

Green Line A is the workable way for rapid transit to service Harvard’s new Medical School location.

Here is a detailed posting of it.  If you have problem with the fine print, please read the blog analysis at

Green Line A is the way to connect the Harvard Medical School to the world.  On one end, it would connect to the existing Green Line B / Commonwealth Avenue and then to Kenmore Square.  On the other end, it would connect to the existing Harvard Square Station by a tunnel which continues to exist but which has not been in active use since the Red Line went beyond Harvard Square.  It was intended to connect to the then subway storage yards, which are now Harvard’s JF Kennedy School of Government and the Charles Hotel complex, and the JF Kennedy Park on Memorial Drive.

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the MassDOT committee, the Cambridge Machine provided a detailed proposal to move the Mass. Pike on top of the area needed for Green Line A.  The proposal would fit in exactly with all the outrages the Machine is fighting for on the Cambridge side.

Naturally, they neglected to mention their environmental outrages and heartless animal abuse.

After all, the con is the con.

3. James Tighe response, 11:07am Jul 1.  What is going on in the rail yard?

Hum! so they cleaned out the rail Yard for the green line..........Tell me they didn't have a long range plan and what else is coming in that plan we don't know about?

4. Elaboration.  What about the rail yard?

Hello Jim,

Thanks for an excellent question.

This is a situation I have lived with for more than a decade with regard to the Charles River and for 30 years on the transportation aspects.  It is always amazing how many issues lie beneath the surface in my reports.  My biggest difficulty in writing these reports up is to edit down enough to make the post readable.

In 2004, the MBTA did a study with a silly basis that proved an off ramp can be built from the Mass. Pike to Cambridge by way of the Grand Junction railway bridge.

About four months later, Harvard University bought the rail yards and the Mass. Pike and the Mass. Pike exit for use for a relocation of its Medical School and related projects.  The area is larger than Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.

Who knows the real reason, but the railroad has moved the rail yard operation to Worcester.

There have been extended discussions concerning linking the various subway lines together by a ring subway line, the Urban Ring.  Harvard got its Allston holdings added to the discussion.

Harvard has since floated the idea of building a Red Line spur by very expensive deep bore technique out of Harvard Station to their Medical School to come, to a very expensive tunnel which has been floated in the Urban Ring discussions.  The latter tunnel ALMOST connects Ruggles Station, the Longwood Medical Area (Longwood and Louis Pasteur) and Kenmore Station.

That tunnel is rather clearly another con.  It would appear that the feds like buses this week.  So the planners are calling this portion of the Urban Ring subway system a bus tunnel.  It can very easily be extended in two directions to make it a spur off the Orange Line to connect Kenmore and the Harvard Medical Area to Downtown Boston as an Orange Line spur by way of Ruggles Station.

Harvard’s Red Line Spur would connect to this tunnel.

Green Line A is, as near as I can gather, my idea.

I have two years on the ground railroad management experience.

I am a major part of the Urban Ring Subway discussions because I proposed the Kenmore Charles River Crossing five years before it was made a alternative in the Urban Ring subway system.  It looks like the winning alternative and would be made the only official alternative if an Orange Line spur is built to Kenmore.

I do not recall, and I do not think, that this Green Line A alternative has been presented in the official discussions.

The reality is that Green Line A would be much less expensive than Harvard’s Red Line spur and it would be much more functional in the mass transit system.

Harvard would, for a massive amount of money, create an extremely expensive and essentially private Red Line route for, primarily, its own benefit.

The only stop in the Allston area would be for the Medical School.

By contrast, the neighborhood needs rapid transit.  Green Line A would provide five new stops including two in the actual residential neighborhood, on a rapid transit line connecting the Allston neighborhood to Harvard Station and the Red Line, and to Kenmore Station and the various Green Line branches.

Much bigger public benefits, much less bucks.

The reality, however, is that Harvard’s wants its expensive AND ESSENTIALLY PRIVATE Red Line spur and Harvard has very major say, to put it mildly, in the Cambridge Machine machinations.  Plus the rest of the destruction on the Charles very clearly fits into Harvard’s benefit or Harvard’s doling out rewards to Harvard’s fellow travelers.

The moving of the Mass. Pike proposed by the Cambridge Machine would destroy Green Line A by blocking its route in the viaduct area.  It would create a situation where there is “no choice” but Harvard’s expensive deep bore PRIVATE SUBWAY proposal.

Wow, that would be long for the blog which is where it will wind up.

Thank you for an excellent question.  I hope I have been communicative.

PS: As I said, I am constantly editing down to prevent overwhelming.  There are a lot of maps I can add to the above discussion.  They have been provided on the blog with links on facebook.