Arborway bus yard not going anywhere

The MBTA has rejected a proposal to move the "temporary" bus yard to American Legion Highway in favor of a plan to rebuild the current bus yard - and hand over several acres to the city for housing and parkland, the Jamaica Plain Gazette reports.

However, the T has no plans to fund the rebuilding proposal.

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Sad news

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Ugh. I knew it was too good to be true. That part of town has massive promise (wonderful housing stock, adjacent to a major T stop, easy access to Forest Hills on the other side of the bridge), but nothing is ever going to happen there while there's a hulking overpass and an enormous, decaying bus yard using up most of the available real estate. I love the Forest Hills neighborhood south of the Casey, but I won't walk past the bus yard after dark (my sister-in-law was mugged there two years ago, and Washington Street north of the overpass is not a pleasant place late at night) so it's effectively unreachable from where I live, less than a mile north. I had high hopes for the area after reading about the Casey replacement and the two new developments on the other side of Washington Street, but that busyard is a big ol' albatross.

Also, Adam, I think your second link is busted--maybe intended to go here?

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But where would the buses go?

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My support for an overpass notwithstanding, it is a good thing to have a place to store, maintain, and most importantly fuel the buses close to Forest Hills. A lot of buses run out of that station, and they have since the Arborway Yard was full of streetcars.

Perhaps they could or are planning to move the operations back from Washington Street, which would allow for some kind of development (I don't see residential, since who wants to live by a bus yard) on the street, which would admittedly be a big improvement.

Cities need things like bus yards. I always think of American Legion Highway as being more sylvan than the stretch of Washington Street. Would it be right to blight one area to beautify an area that already has these things?

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Really Smart Growth for Forest Hills

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MassDOT promised that Forest Hills would rise like a phoenix when the Casey overpass came down.
Now with this bus garage, the MBTA is nailing the coffin lid shut on Forest Hills future.
MassDOT needs to step in and make good on its promise.

The crazy cost of the Arborway Yard facility is why it’s not built yet:
The MBTA will spend $30 million prepping the Arborway Yard site.
The MBTA will then spend at least $250 million building the bus facility.
That’s more than $280 million for a cramped, inefficient, unable to expand and thus obsolescent bus facility.
If this facility is built on the Arborway Yard, the day the ribbon is cut, we will regret it for generations to come.

For $50 to $100 million less the MBTA can have a much better facility on American Legion Highway
and
The MBTA can make millions a year leasing the now high value Arborway Yard.

The City stands to lose a once in a century opportunity for high quality Transit Oriented Development:
Many hundreds of units of housing,
Hundreds of retail jobs.
Hundreds of office jobs.
A fantastic neighbor for the Casey Arborway Parkway, Franklin Park, and the Arnold Arboretum.
and
Millions of property tax dollars per year, as far as the eye can see $$$

Yes, this will take work and coordination between the State, the City, and many departments in both.
It's worth it for all involved.

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...says the man who used to be so concerned

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Alan, this is such a crock. You and the Bridging Forest Hills loonies spent MONTHS arguing that taking down the overpass would result in so much damage (pollution, traffic) to the surrounding lower-income neighborhoods like Mattapan. Now you want to take the bus facility out of FH, and put it... in Mattapan. So, when it supports your argument you are all for defending the disenfranchised, but when it comes to getting rid of the crap in your own backyard, you're only too happy to throw it over to the people that you yourself have said already get the short end of the stick on transit.

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Arborway Yard relocation

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Dear "You're a hypocrite",
I, Allan Ihrer, have spent thousands of hours over almost 15 years moving the Arborway Yard bus facility design along, and advocating for it. I believe it would be a benign presence environmental presence, as designed.

But we are now well into the 21st century and the conditions in Forest Hills that led us to welcome the Arborway Yard proposal in the late 1900's have changed greatly. The Casey Overpass is being removed, as are industrial uses in the area. Also the whole City's need for low impact housing and job creation is growing to a crescendo. I propose relocating the facility only because it displaces potential high quality high density Transit Oriented Development at a major multi-modal transit hub. It is the responsible use for that land.

Personally, I like the idea of not having a high density Transit Oriented Development near me. I like the dumpy old JP and old Boston of yore, but I think we have a responsibility to future generations to do what is right. I know that if the MBTA builds its proposed Arborway Yard bus facility, we will begin a century of regret the moment the ribbon is cut.

Additionally, the proposed Arborway Yard facility is insanely expensive, and very cramped. It's so insanely expensive that it hasn't been built!!! Part of the expense is because the MBTA wracked it around their now abandoned office building. Part of the expense is due to the fact that residences directly abut the site, thus it needs expensive noise mitigation.

The proposed American Legion Highway site would allow a regular shaped structure, would need less noise mitigation, and would allow a larger facility which would accommodate much needed growth in that fleet. I will add that savings from the cheaper, better facility would pay for its new fleet of brand new buses. That current fleet is just about to reach its replacement time.

As regards "You're a hypocrite" 's uninformed statement about my involvement with the Casey Arborway; I must note that I have never advocated for a bridge to replace the Casey Overpass, nor did I advocate for its removal. As a representative of the Stonybrook Neighborhood my primary goal had/has been to make sure that folks from Mattapan and Dorchester could efficiently travel East to West to get to and from their jobs, hopefully without needing to "cut-thru" thru my small residential neighborhood. This was an issue of economics for those commuting folks, and a quality of life and traffic safety issue for us folks in my neighborhood. I admit I loudly advocated for a clear eyed substantive look at all aspects of the Casey/Forest Hills traffic; to locate and address problems. I also advocated for the creation of a cost and time efficient mass transit solution for this East to West commuting thru Forest Hills.

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The arborway busyard proposal

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The arborway busyard proposal still makes no sense in asking taxpayers to build a 275 space garage for employees across from a T stop with thousands of parking spaces. The parking garage on the busyard was brought up as a major cost, and it would be a simple cut and better for the neighborhood. Few people who work in Boston have free parking at work. It is ridiculous to waste money on a employee parking garage across the street from a subway/commuter rail stop with a massive parking garage.

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Thousands of parking spots?

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Where in Forest Hills are there thousands of parking spots? The only lot I can think of is across Hyde Park Ave from the station itself, and that lot has... 75 spaces, maybe? It's full by 8 AM, at any rate. I agree that it would be nice for bus drivers to take public transit to work, but that's not a viable option if they live away from one of the bus routes whose terminus is Forest Hills. Plus, how is the driver for the 5AM bus supposed to get to work if there's nowhere to park his car?

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If a bus driver needs to

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If a bus driver needs to drive to work, they're not going to park at Forest Hills, they're going to park at whatever busyard they're operating out of, and a busyard is essentially a giant parking lot anyway.

If the plan is to move the Arborway busyard, then you won't need much employee parking for the T there anymore. At most, a few spots for station attendants/supervisor vehicles/transit police.

The garage proposal does sound dumb, indeed.

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You forgot the lot next to the station

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That's a whole 211 more spaces.

I will say that a 275 space lot for T employees is a rip. The ones that use the small lot on the Washington Street side are not the ones who are driving the buses and trains, and there are less than 10 employees (bus starters, "customer service agents") total for the station. Aside from those who drive and open/close the stations, everyone else at the T should be commuting like the rest of their customers- take the bus or pay for parking!

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T employee parking

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I don't remember specifics, but I believe the existing small lot for T employees on the Washington St. side of Forest Hills is impacted in the at-grade plans for the Casey. People who work downtown can take the T or pay to park in a garage. If there is no parking for T employees then how would you suggest the operator of the last train of the night get home? Or the drivers of the first morning bus routes get to work?

Having the T employees pay to park in the lots for commuters decreases the number of spaces available to commuters. If you've ever tried to park at Forest Hills on a weekday you'd know that both lots are generally at capacity by 10am and there is very little street parking in the area without a JP parking sticker.

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Eh

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That area is disgusting (unfortunate mistake to move there not so long ago), between the bus yard,homeless population hanging out, and all the teens waiting for their buses....ANY improvement would help (more police?)......Not sure where all these parking spaces are located that someone said are available ar Forest Hills......there is a small parking lot...but thousands?

Never been so happy to move out of an area in my life. Would not walk anywhere after dark......or even comfortably in the daytime...

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Employee Parking

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Why do T Employees get to park on sidewalks or in bus lanes with their private cars ?

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