Green Line to get shorter for a few months

The T is shutting down trolley service to Science Park and Lechmere between April 30 and November, so it can install elevators and other improvements at Science Park. Buses will run instead.

The T says by shutting down the line entirely, it will shave six months off the Science Park work.

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It's not like they didn't close that stretch fairly recently

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This might have been a good thing to do when the tracks were gone and a connection to the rest of the system didn't exit back in the mid '00s.

Then they get to close it again to connect it to the New Lechmere. Who knows how long that will take.

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I don't think they had the

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I don't think they had the money lined up to do the elevator work at Science Park station back when it was closed for the tunnel construction in 2004-2005.

Cutting in the new line to the old line at Lechmere might not take that long depending on the design of the new connector piece and the amount of old el that has to be demolished to accomodate the connection. When the line was closed before to tie in the new tunnel alignment to North Station, they actually had to demolish part of the elevated structure in order to complete the construction of the tunnel portal, and then build a new elevated section to tie the portal ramp and Science Park station together. Connecting a new elevated piece to an old elevated piece probably won't require nearly as much work.

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The T (a real responce)

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So i've been waiting for Adam to post this (although I just realized I have posting abilities!)

BUT I emailed the T several weeks ago when I saw the signs going up. I endured this detour the last time it happened in 2004, and it was just horrible. (I work near Lechmere and have for many years) And frankly, the shuttle stinks. McGrath/O'Brien Hwy in the stretch between Lechmere and the on ramp to 93 is horrible. It wasn't so bad on off peak hours, as the T has a tendency to have a higher frequency on shuttle buses than they do the actual line. But during rush hour.. forget it. You're better off hoofing it to Kendall.

So I was curious to know... and more or less whine to the T about the shuttle. More because their construction schedule stinks. They knew years ago that they had to upgrade Science Park (long before 2004) due to a lawsuit to mandate the T become fully ADA compliant. And in the future, they are going to have to do this yet again when the new Lechmere is built. So I emailed and asked.

In short, the T says they actually didn't plan on shutting down Science Park, but in order to make the project go much faster, they have determined that shutting down the station for a short period of time and shuttle bus than dealing with the logistics of keeping the station open AND doing the work at the same time.

As a network guy I can relate. Sometimes it is easier to shutdown and not allow access while you are doing work, than to have something temporary setup while you do the work, and keep THAT up and going and still do the work you want to do. (when you're going to have times anyways where you will have no other choice than to shut down, even if its only for a short period).

So I kinda understand. Heh it also makes me believe that the T has a new project manager who's pushing for this (or maybe Mr Davey sees the value in getting a project done and over with than dragging it out for years, Massachusetts Style.)

I did ask why they won't bus people to Kendall instead (making a Kendall <--> Lechmere <--> Science Park <--> North Station Config). The answer... well I actually answered the question in my email, as I mentioned that the configuration of Kendall Square would require passengers a longer walk, as the only feasible place to drop off and pick up is at the corner of Third and Broadway. The T agreed, they claim that not only is it due the walk (which makes it not ADA compliant), but the travel time the bus would have to do in its turn trip to Lechmere would add more time to the route (because the Bus would have to go all the way to Binney and Broadway to go back toward Lechmere). AND in order to keep the frequency the T would like to have the shuttle run at during peak periods, it would require more drivers than the T might have available since it is Rush Hour.

And yes that makes sense too.

He didn't comment about the New Lechmere. However one can assume that since the project still is in design, and ground has not been broken yet. It would be hard for the T to gauge how long they would have to wait to upgrade Science Park. It could be 6 months until ground is broken, or it could be 2 years. (The Lechmere Extension has been planned for decades folks..). Plus Science Park is the next "easy upgrade" for the ADA compliance along the green line.

Gov't Center, Boylston, and Hynes all require coordination with surrounding buildings. Gov't Center is a much larger project because it also must coordinate with the Blue Line modernization (different funding). Boylston has been on hold.. mostly I suspect due to the Silver Line and when/if that tunnel or whatever will be built to connect Boylston. Boylston also would require a 2 elevator setup (for inbound and outbound).

And Hynes.. Hynes was just a bad mistake. One would have thought that when the Virgin Mega store closed, and the high rise above the station was being converted to a hotel and residences. (I forgot what it was before..), the T would have quickly coordinated an elevator build effort. (as the shafts in order to be built correctly to align with the platforms and the mezzanine level, directly INTO the, now, BestBuy and Hotel Space). It will be interesting to see how this is done with the existing retail above the station.

Anyhow i digress. But this is what the T told me, and yes it does make very logical sense. Its amazing what a little more info will do.

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What Might Help

Dedicated lanes for the shuttle buses - ie NO CARS.

I've seen two cities on two continents arrange this scheme for temporary shuttle service, giving priority to mass transit.

Then again, these same two cities have permanent bus-only lanes throughout the area (one of them is Dublin so spare me the "Boston is different/old ...").

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Good idea, but...

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Well, drivers in our fair city have opted to use the new bike lanes as dedicated pass-on-the-right/double-parking lanes, and I haven't seen any citations issued by BPD, so I'm thinking an even wider lane stands exactly a 0% chance of being usable by a shuttle bus.

(I totally agree with you that a shuttle bus without a dedicated lane is madness, but this city doesn't do multi-purposed roads very well)

Slightly related: it's going to take six months with the station shut down, and this is a major time savings? How long does it take to put an elevator in when they DON'T shut down a station?

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well, according to the

well, according to the article they're pretty much rebuilding the station - new stairs, new platforms, new roofs...

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Thank god I don't work at CSide anymore

Bad timing doing it during the peak season. This closure would be fine during the slower seasons. Thank god I don't work at CSide anymore either.

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Peak Season

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Peak Season for what?

It's the nicest time of year for walking the relatively short distances to Science Park and Downtown.
It's not holiday shopping season.
Commuting traffic drops significantly for Summer due to vacations and schools being out of session. The couple of months after that may become an issues, but what peak season are we talking about?

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Are you serious? Tourism.

Are you serious? Tourism. We're constantly sending people from my store at Marketplace Center to CambridgeSide to pick up things and giving people directions to the MoS. While it may be simple for us to walk there, the street layout in this part of Boston is horrendous for giving directions. It's no lie that the summer is when MBTA ridership reaches its peak. The tourists want to shop at CambridgeSide no matter what. A major link is being fractured during the busiest season.

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?

Marketplace Center?

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Marketplace Center

is the building at the east edge of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, with the arch leading to the Greenway and Christopher Columbus Park.

I don't really know why tourists would go to the CambridgeSide Galleria, though, as it's not much different from any mall in their home town. I'd expect tourists to be more interested in the Copley/Prudential mall complex.

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It's amazing how work that

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It's amazing how work that has nothing to do with tracks manages to close down two entire stations.

I understand closing SP, but why on earth close lechmere, a major transfer center?

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They are also

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They are also removing/rebuilding the platforms right next to the track. I imagine it is much easier to move the construction equipment in and out without having to be concerned with trains moving by or without having to worry about construction equipment coming in contact with the energized overhead wire.

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