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Old 11-03-2019, 02:30 PM
 
2,341 posts, read 2,139,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Actually Chicopee, Hadley and Wilbraham are Quabbin Towns too actually.
Chicopee and Wilbraham, yes. South* Hadley appears to only get part of their water from the Quabbin. The grand majority of towns are in the east.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:33 AM
 
1,924 posts, read 841,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBThescot View Post
we don't even have decent bus service to our government offices in Boston, or locally, and large swathes of w Mass don't have internet service. It's a little bit like colonization - extraction of natural resources without the benefits of modernity.
So, we are saying the same thing. But you just wanted to prove how self sufficient western MA is?
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Well, back on the topic of transportation, there's discussion about making State Street a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. Frankly, this sort of surprising to me. In terms of pedestrian-only streets in Boston I would have placed the following higher on the list:
  1. Improvements to the pedestrian experience on Washington, Winter, and Summer in Downtown Crossing. There should be no sidewalks on Washington or Summer (Winter does not have separate sidewalks/roadway). Having a separate road/sidewalk setup makes pedestrians think they have to be on the sidewalk - it doesn't encourage them to use the whole space. You see this walking in the area as the sidewalks are crowded and there's usually a ton of room in the middle of the street. There are too many taxis, delivery trucks, service vehicles, police/fire, etc. cruising through or parked at all hours as well. I get emergency vehicles to a degree, but there should be ZERO taxi/rideshare, no "official" vehicles parked there, and delivery vehicles should only have access during certain hours (i.e. midnight-8am) like almost any other cities does pedestrian only streets.
  2. Pedestrian-only Canal Street. It's not a busy street for cars as-is since it's surrounded by the thoroughfares of Causeway, New Chardon, Merrimac, and North Washington. It's already a busy pedestrian corridor since it's the direct line between City Hall/Faneuil Hall and the transit hub at North Station. You see this with the throngs of workers parading through every morning/afternoon. The new Hub on Causeway, the Public Market/Haymarket, and the removal of the Government Center Garage as part of the Bulfinch Crossing project make this a pretty easy choice for a pedestrian street.
  3. Newbury. Not as easy of a sell due to the length of it, but a natural choice given that it runs parallel to Commonwealth and Boylston on either side of it, so it's not an essential through street. Plus it's already a busy shopping/pedestrian corridor.

State is long and functions as a main entryway into downtown. It's essential for access to at least one parking garage that I know of. I think you can drastically improve the pedestrian experience on State with wider sidewalks and better aesthetics while not eliminating vehicle traffic. I'm all for reducing car traffic downtown, but I'm not sure State is the place to start.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:26 PM
 
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https://www.boston.com/news/local-ne...low%3Afacebook

“The MBTA’s oversight board wants the commuter rail to run more like an urban subway system — eventually.”

“It also called for the Fairmount and Boston-to-Lynn lines to operate at intervals and fare levels “akin” to the MBTA.“

This is awesome!
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:41 PM
 
9,784 posts, read 9,885,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Well, back on the topic of transportation, there's discussion about making State Street a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. Frankly, this sort of surprising to me. In terms of pedestrian-only streets in Boston I would have placed the following higher on the list:
  1. Improvements to the pedestrian experience on Washington, Winter, and Summer in Downtown Crossing. There should be no sidewalks on Washington or Summer (Winter does not have separate sidewalks/roadway). Having a separate road/sidewalk setup makes pedestrians think they have to be on the sidewalk - it doesn't encourage them to use the whole space. You see this walking in the area as the sidewalks are crowded and there's usually a ton of room in the middle of the street. There are too many taxis, delivery trucks, service vehicles, police/fire, etc. cruising through or parked at all hours as well. I get emergency vehicles to a degree, but there should be ZERO taxi/rideshare, no "official" vehicles parked there, and delivery vehicles should only have access during certain hours (i.e. midnight-8am) like almost any other cities does pedestrian only streets.
  2. Pedestrian-only Canal Street. It's not a busy street for cars as-is since it's surrounded by the thoroughfares of Causeway, New Chardon, Merrimac, and North Washington. It's already a busy pedestrian corridor since it's the direct line between City Hall/Faneuil Hall and the transit hub at North Station. You see this with the throngs of workers parading through every morning/afternoon. The new Hub on Causeway, the Public Market/Haymarket, and the removal of the Government Center Garage as part of the Bulfinch Crossing project make this a pretty easy choice for a pedestrian street.
  3. Newbury. Not as easy of a sell due to the length of it, but a natural choice given that it runs parallel to Commonwealth and Boylston on either side of it, so it's not an essential through street. Plus it's already a busy shopping/pedestrian corridor.

State is long and functions as a main entryway into downtown. It's essential for access to at least one parking garage that I know of. I think you can drastically improve the pedestrian experience on State with wider sidewalks and better aesthetics while not eliminating vehicle traffic. I'm all for reducing car traffic downtown, but I'm not sure State is the place to start.
I think the whole idea is Canal and Newbury aren't major thru traffic streets is why they don't really care. Closing State makes it more difficult to drive and will actually reduce Downtown Boston vehicular traffic due to taking out a major street.

But Canal is a really great idea. When Bruins Fan Fest shut down the street every other day last spring it was pretty cool and it didn't ruin Downtown Boston.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,289 posts, read 16,420,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
I think the whole idea is Canal and Newbury aren't major thru traffic streets is why they don't really care. Closing State makes it more difficult to drive and will actually reduce Downtown Boston vehicular traffic due to taking out a major street.

But Canal is a really great idea. When Bruins Fan Fest shut down the street every other day last spring it was pretty cool and it didn't ruin Downtown Boston.
Good point, they're coming at it from the angle of removing cars from the street, not improving the pedestrian experience (though those aren't necessarily exclusive). The other two don't have nearly as big an impact on vehicle traffic.

Still, I'd be shocked if State was closed to cars. I agree it would reduce traffic, but I can't see that being an easy sell. I'm generally for it in theory, I just have a hard time imagining it being doable.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:21 PM
 
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Would closing State to cars chop Congress Street in half? Or would they only pedestrianize State east of Congress? It’d be cool if the pedestrianized State and all of Washington to Stuart or at least Essex. Then you could walk from the Aquarium to the Opera House along all pedestrian streets.

Canal street is a good candidate. It’s not vital for traffic, but (imo) there are a lot of dead spots along it and it’s pretty empty except for weekday rush hour and Celtics/Bruins games.

Newbury would be awesome, but it’d probably create some logistical traffic issues. Especially for people trying to get on the ramp to I-90. And then there are all the north-south cross streets.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,289 posts, read 16,420,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post
Would closing State to cars chop Congress Street in half? Or would they only pedestrianize State east of Congress? It’d be cool if the pedestrianized State and all of Washington to Stuart or at least Essex. Then you could walk from the Aquarium to the Opera House along all pedestrian streets.

Canal street is a good candidate. It’s not vital for traffic, but (imo) there are a lot of dead spots along it and it’s pretty empty except for weekday rush hour and Celtics/Bruins games.

Newbury would be awesome, but it’d probably create some logistical traffic issues. Especially for people trying to get on the ramp to I-90. And then there are all the north-south cross streets.
I can't confirm, but it looked like on the City of Boston website that the zone they envisioned was between Congress and the Greenway. I think the Washington outlet and the little nub of State/Court between Washington and Cembridge/Tremont are too important for vehicles (big bus stop right at Washington and Court/State) to go further.

I agree re: Canal. My thought is that the influx of new businesses, homes, and hotels in the area, the demolition of the Gov't Center Garage and replacement with the Bullfinch Crossing development, and the addition of the Hub on Causeway will change that a bit. Plus, it doesn't adversely impact cars.

I agree re: Newbury, but it's worth noting that you can pedestrianize a street and still keep the cross streets open/functioning as usual. It happens all over - here's an example in Copenhagen (even in New York at Times Square, etc.). I think with Newbury, the Copenhagen model is good too as it's only completely pedestrian only during shopping hours. Outside of shopping hours, it's still closed to cars, but delivery trucks and emergency vehicles use it (it's actually great for deliveries because without cars or sidewalks, they have plenty of room). That's what Newbury (and Washington at DTX) should be copying.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:18 PM
 
35,926 posts, read 26,049,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post

I agree re: Newbury, but it's worth noting that you can pedestrianize a street and still keep the cross streets open/functioning as usual. It happens all over - here's an example in Copenhagen (even in New York at Times Square, etc.). I think with Newbury, the Copenhagen model is good too as it's only completely pedestrian only during shopping hours. Outside of shopping hours, it's still closed to cars, but delivery trucks and emergency vehicles use it (it's actually great for deliveries because without cars or sidewalks, they have plenty of room). That's what Newbury (and Washington at DTX) should be copying.


They do this with Church St in Burlington VT and part of State St in Madison. It works well.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,289 posts, read 16,420,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
They do this with Church St in Burlington VT and part of State St in Madison. It works well.
Great examples, I forgot about Burlington. I don't know Madison enough, but Burlington is a very good comp. Church St. was open to vehicles prior to modification (bringing street level to sidewalk level w/ brick which should happen on both Washington and Newbury) and reopening as pedestrian only in the early 80s. It's a huge success and Newbury could duplicate that on a larger scale.
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