Massport plans big-ass garage for all the cars coming to the new developments that replaced all the parking lots along the waterfront

The Herald reports that Massport is getting ready to build a 1,700-space garage to replace all the parking lots that have been torn up for all the development that is generating all the traffic. that is increasingly clogging the streets of the Innovation District.



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Here's an idea

Why don't they look at the data from Hubway to identify the bad links in the transit systems and enhance transit to the area, too? Hubway has actual data on where people pick up bikes and where they return them (and how long their trip was), and compares it to actual data from the transit system to calculate the time savings.

The largest number of trips and aggregate time savings were between North Station and Seaport, and between South Station and Lewis Wharf.

They will have to replace some parking, as these lots serve more than the Seaport District (people walk from these lots to downtown), but they will also have to look at commuter rail fares and how the big jump in those fares resulted in a lot more people driving into the city (based on how full the lots were before and after, and how much they charge).

Here's a though

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Maybe not everyone in N. America is a neo-cyclist looking to ride to work in 20 degree weather.

Please explain

Where did I say anything about expanding use of cycling?

I didn't.

I noted that the biggest holes in the system are made clear in the Hubway use data.

Of course, we can't use actual data that tell us what the reality is for people getting in and out of the area because ... bike?

I also noted, as somebody who occasionally carpools and uses those lots, mostly in that very cold weather that you mention, the parking lot rates skyrocketed and the use went up when the commuter rail fares went up. $12 per car and half full lots became $19 per car and often overfull lots within months. Hmmm.

These very same lots are the ones that are being replaced by this garage.

The point

was to build more transit in areas that people are using hubway to get around, because there is not sufficient transit currently. So, actually, less biking will be the result.

Here's another idea

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I live here and I want more parking. If you hipsters want to come here to play on the swings at the Lawn on "D" then you leave your cars at home and take your BMX bike or skateboard.

Cancer rates will increase as

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Cancer rates will increase as a result of this mega garage, you know, all the exhaust fumes in this new garage will be a breath of fresh air for the seaport district. Have you ever experienced parking your car, for example at the Cambridge side Galleria cars coming and going nothing but breathing exhaust fumes into your lungs. This new garage will be 20 times worst.

This is dumb. Weapons grade

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This is dumb. Weapons grade dumb. If the roads are already clogged inducing more demand with parking spaces will make it worse. All the buildings constructed there have their own internal garages to replace the lost surface lots.

What the seaport needs is a real transit line to replace the joke of a Silver Line. Even if an elevated train has to be built over one of the overly wide streets.

Can't figure out why people think..

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...more parking lots / garages will alleviate parking and traffic problems.

All it does is encourage more car ownership. Every time a condo goes up all the townies cry about the lack of parking spaces in the building.

They should be crying about increasing buses along the existing bus routes.

Increasing buses

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is good for those that take the bus. As for those that have to drive, increase the amount of parking spaces. Are people that stupid and can't understand that people drive cars and they need someplace to put them? I wouldn't have moved to the Seaport if it didn't come with parking.

Well that will certainly make

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Well that will certainly make the nightmarish traffic problems in South Boston worse. My favorite part is that this was planned in 1999. Maybe time for a reevaluation. While Massport's goals are to increase their revenue and parking is quick and easy way to do that, hopefully the city of Boston/BRA/Mayor Walsh push back on the 'build more parking and highways" short term approach and push for improving transit service. Kendall Square has also seen massive growth, but they have actually seen a decrease in traffic since there was good planning involved. Its time the silver bus was upgraded to an actual light rail line and extended to north station.

Greenway light rail

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I've often though we missed on opportunity with the greenway. Instead of parks hemmed in by Atlantic ave traffic on both sides, we could combined N and S bound traffic to one side, opened up space for a light rail ROW and connected the parks to the sidewalk - like an actual park, not a glorified median.

Also to East Broadway

East Broadway in Southie also needs light rail service. With all the new development, both residential in Southie and commercial in the Seaport, the number of people commuting between the Seaport of the east side of Southie is rapidly increasing. The current bus infrastructure is far beyond capacity during peak commuting times, and light rail service is badly needed. The most logical place for people to live who now work in the Seaport (and can’t afford the sky-high rent in the new luxury buildings) is Southie. For the BRA to not have better planned for this is really pretty unbelievable (or it is believable, depending on your view of the BRA).

7 mil for design

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This is MassPort, not the MBTA or MassDOT, they aren't in the business of mass transit - an empowered interagency of all 3 could go a long way to better planning and better projects, but that won't happen.

Best scenario is that they actually put together a nice design (Motor Mart in Park Sq or Packards Corner garage are personal favorites - but something more modern would do, too) so people will have something nice to look as they sit in new and improved gridlock.

Something to think about...

By on that the Green Line tunnel still retains the provisions for branches to both the south (the old Tremont St portal) as well as never used provisions for a line to Post Office Square, which would have branched off between Arlington and Boylston I believe. You could have run both Dudley/Washington St and South Station/South Boston waterfront extensions off of the larger Green Line light rail system. The only missing link would have been to have built the Ted Williams tunnel with a third tube and the light rail could have gone to the airport.

It's all fantasy to go back and do it now, but makes you wonder how much handier all the interconnections could have been if the forethought had been there to do it ~30 years ago when the Big Dig was being conceived.

It's not fantasy to do it now

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It's not fantasy to do it now. It would cost 1-2 billion but solve many transit problems which would otherwise require much more expensive band aids.Same thing with the Blue Line extended to Lynn solving much of East Boston's traffic problems from north shore commuters.

Oh, I'm not sure Octr202

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Oh, I'm not sure Octr202 would want to be MassDOT secretary.

Although it would be fun. And he does take the train every day.

Congestion at Park St

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There are a bunch of abandoned tunnels beneath Boston and even if they could be brought up to grade, increased GL service would create bottlenecks at Park - we can stretch an 100 year old system so much before it becomes more costly to maintain it, than to invest in significant renovation.

Dudley/Washington route, the old Orange El, needs to be improved, no excuses, I'm with you on that. Either true BRT or light-rail

Well, the idea is...

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...if all those tunnel connections were built out, some of the trains coming from Kenmore (Green Line western branches) would head towards South Station and the Seaport area, instead of going upstream to Park St and Government Center. Those slots could be used for Washington St service via the old Tremont St tunnel. Yes, it would require a new "Boylston Under" and some folks would see more transfers needed, but then there'd also be new rail service to other areas. Always trade-offs. Would be an interesting analysis to decide if it would be better to route all trains of one or two lines to the Seaport, or have some sort of alternating system so that all western branches had service to both downtown routes.

There was a proposal back in

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There was a proposal back in the 20s/30s to construct a short tunnel under Stuart St that connected to the Pleasant St Portal/Tremont Tunnel to alleviate the bottleneck at Copley/Arlington/Boylston/Park. That could be winner for what you're describing, i.e. have east bound GL cars go from Copley to stops along Stuart St then to SS as opposed to the normal ROW on the central subway. It's a bit scary that congestion has been an issue for almost 100 yrs.

There's just too many good ideas out there and not enough pressure to make them reality.

There was a proposal back in

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There was a proposal back in the 20s/30s to construct a short tunnel under Stuart St that connected to the Pleasant St Portal/Tremont Tunnel to alleviate the bottleneck at Copley/Arlington/Boylston/Park. That could be winner for what you're describing, i.e. have east bound GL cars go from Copley to stops along Stuart St then to SS as opposed to the normal ROW on the central subway. It's a bit scary that congestion has been an issue for almost 100 yrs.

There's just too many good ideas out there and not enough pressure to make them reality.

Pure idiocy. What decade is

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Pure idiocy. What decade is this.

Want to address a real parking issue? Use the money (85 million!!!) and finish the Alewife garage.

Theyre seriously trying to attract MORE cars to the center of the city? The point of the red line extensions (in both directions) was to catch drivers BEFORE they enter the city and clog the roads. Those garages are now full. Expand them.

Parking rates of $50+ downtown a day are a GOOD thing because it means less people choose to park there. That doesnt mean less people patronize the businesses, it means more people traveling via transit, walking and biking.

Not more spaces

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There are huge lots in the Seaport and they are being eliminated as towers rise on them.

This is replacement parking.

It is, however, dumb to build replacement parking without looking to improve rail and transit, which are poor in this area and very expensive compared to parking

The towers were built with

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The towers were built with underground or above ground garages no parking was 'lost' to begin with.

The towers have large parking

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The towers have large parking garages in them that more than replace the parking they replaced already, otherwise traffic wouldnt have increased so much if the amount of cars that could be accommodated was the same. Adding 1,700 MORE spaces to the thousands that have been added with all the new towers, plus the 1,000+ coming with the Seaport Mall, its going to be a disaster.

The solution is going to be a

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The solution is going to be a while in coming; but the congestion problem isn't going to resolve via more mass transit (although that is needed). What is going to resolve the problem is self-drive cars. With the right technology roadways could handle 300%-400% more cars and still be less congested than they are now. Tesla is planning to launch a self-drive car for driving on interstates in 2015.
Google is planning to begin a same day delivery service in Boston next year and although the deliveries at first will be via conventional means; eventually they will use Google self-drive technology for deliveries.
Billons of dollars are being spent by many companies to develop self-drive vehicles. Think of the savings Wal Mart ( or Whole Foods) could realize if its trucks could drive themselves from warehouse to store 24/7 at a steady 55mph.
Plus self-drive vehicles will be much safer; accidents will be reduced by maybe 80%-90%. Auto insurance won't be needed. Bike riders won't have to worry about cars illegally turning in front of them. No car will run a red light.


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Call me a luddite, but this isn't coming for a long while.

Self-driving vehicles might do perfectly fine on rural, uncrowded highways, but do you really think trucks are going to be driving around on their own at 55 mph in Boston and Cambridge? The best that might happen is they learn not to drive under Storrow bridges.

But self-driving cars will never be able to interact with bicyclists and pedestrians except at very low speeds under controlled circumstances, because neither are self-driving. You think self-driving cars are going to be speeding through Central Square at 55 mph? What happens when a pedestrian steps off the curb in front of a 55 mph self-driving vehicle? The laws of physics still apply—it takes a long way to stop. With self-driving cars, you still have big hunks of metal moving at high speeds. Unless you have computerized people and bikes, you're never going to be able to control for all of those factors.

So keep dreaming.

You obviously don't work downtown

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This isn't a self-driving car problem.

It is a "more cars than the roadways can hold" problem. Cars are very close together - there simply isn't room for them. No "self-driving" car can possibly change that.

The Self-Drive Illusion

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All of these benefits talked about in connection with self-driving cars in anything but rural areas depends on something closer to 100% adoption than even 50% adoption. As long as there are human operated vehicles on the road, this "they can drive closer together" or "know what other vehicles are doing" and therefore will increase capacity stuff is all crap.

As for the adoption rate, well, let's ask all of the Gadsen Flag toting folk how they feel about having the steering wheel pried from their still warm hands.

No, the solution is a congestion charge

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London's already got it, but the idea didn't even fare well (sorry, bad transit pun) in NYC. If it's not going to work there, I don't think the US is ready for it. Road space in a central city is a very constrained resource - a congestion charge tries to use money to ration that scarce resource to those who value it at that particular time. Have a day with activities that require you to have a car? Fine, then pay for access. Don't want to pay? Fine, then explore some of your other options.

Instead, we ration the scare resource by making people sit in inexorable traffic jams - instead of paying directly, you pay indirectly in lost time, productivity and fuel, and/or in having to do ungodly things like arrive at work before 6 am to avoid backups.

Sigh, more induced demand

all the traffic. that is increasingly clogging the streets of the Innovation District.

So, let's encourage even more traffic, by adding parking. Or, maybe we should consider the fact that the Silver Line is wholly inadequate to the task of getting people in and out of there, and put our resources behind fixing that. There can never be enough car storage to satisfy the transportation needs of a dynamic urban area. We need better transit options, not more parking when streets are already clogged.

Gridlock is the issue

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The real issue is the gridlock at key intersections around the entire city, not just the seaport. If drivers didn't pull out into intersections when they clearly have no where to go, thus blocking the opposing traffic from flowing, traffic would move a little better. I don't understand why there is zero enforcement of this law. Try doing that in NYC, you'll get slapped with a $100 ticket for being in the intersection when the light changes. Parking, public transportation, it's all good. But nothing will ever change the Boston driver mentality. Unless you hit them in the wallet. Maybe.

That headline

big-ass garage

I think I learned this trick from eeka: Every time you see the word "ass" used to modify an adjective, try moving the hyphen from before "ass" to after it. The results are invariably hilarious:

Massport plans big ass-garage

Air pollution mitigation

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So let me get this straight: the DOT still has not finished building the required air pollution mitigation from the Central Artery/Tunnel project, and now they want to add another 1,700 cars with polluting tailpipes to downtown? Not to mention, these 1,700 cars are going to add to an already overloaded highway system.

If there is no real air pollution mitigation for this so-called "big ass-garage" then it makes a mockery of the Clean Air Act and all that we've achieved in air quality improvement over the past 30 years.

No more excuses on the Green Line Extension, no more excuses on signal priority for the D-Street crossing for the Silver Line, no more excuses on letting the Silver Line use the direct state police ramp onto the Ted. Fix the damn Silver Line already.

That's just the beginning of the air pollution mitigation measures that need to be taken before this massive increase in parking supply should even be considered.

Have there been excuses for

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Have there been excuses for the D Street traffic light stupidity, or the closed police ramp into the tunnel? I haven't heard *any* official statement at all about why these obvious easy fixes haven't been implemented.

The Boston Transportation

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The Boston Transportation Department refuses to adjust the D Street signal because it would "require a traffic study of the D street corridor." Basically, they don't want to take time away from cars.