Where's Chris Christie when you need him?

WCVB reports that Mohegan Sun wants casino-only lanes in the Ted Williams for its Suffolk Downs casino.



Free tagging: 


Ha ha ha ha!

Let me be the first to say it--we have to fight tooth and nail for bike lanes and these jokers want CASINO LANES? Can we have a special lane for everyone going to Target and maybe another designated lane for the IKEA shoppers and one for Whole Foods (Subarus and Priuses only please)? Good lord...


At least IKEA

Was willing to pay to build its own T stop! One that its employees would also be able to use.

Geesh. Take your developing world mentality elsewhere, please. This isn't Mississippi.


one thing at a time please

Subaru drivers prefer WF? I had no idea! Thanks for the info, Dodge Ram driving Velveeta Sally! See ya in line at Dunkies for that Twinkie-infused double Hersheys chocolate mocha big gulp with an extra shot of hazelnut!


No way!

I am happily hooked on WF! I would like my own exclusive bike lane built between WF and my house--or maybe a zip line with extra hooks for grocery bags. And it's been a long time since I've darkened the door of a DD--even for a coconut cinnamon blueberry bacon-flavored koffee-o-lata-cino.


Thanks Mohegan for a great

Thanks Mohegan for a great idea, but for the reverse. There should be an East Boston/Revere resident-only lane in the Williams so they can bypass those going to the airport and the casino (aka the ones who have no idea where they are going and thus make traffic in the area a disaster). If you want the residents on board, this would be a great tactic...



I'll do what I did on facebook to this article..


yeah this will happen right after Arborway is restored and the blue line is extended to Salem. (basically it's not gonna happen, will be a cold day in hell when it does)


I wouldn't bet on it.


Anyway, we'd have a better chance using the casino as leverage to improve T service and those horrible Revere rotaries.

A "bring the blue line to Lynn" (or Salem, for that matter) fb page has grown by 1700+ people in two weeks.


Laugh all you want

If you've ever been on 395 when Mohegan is hosting a big fight or concert, you'll know they aren't joking about needing these lanes. You won't be laughing if you need to get to the airport or East Boston but all of the casino traffic will be in your way in every lane because they weren't confined to a special lane just for the casino.


but to TAKE AWAY a current lane isn't the answer. Maybe if Mohegan Sun wants to build a FOURTH harbor tunnel and pay for it themselves, sure. But to take away a lane... LOL!!!!

And so what you are saying is, we should do this for Events at the TD Garden or Fenway or some other venue that causes traffic?

I get your point but, in CT they had the ABILITY to do so, in the Ted Williams Tunnel, not so much.


A better idea

Extend the Blue Line so concert-goers don't have to freaking bring a giant metal box with them, which will then require a large storage space.

Or, better yet, Everett casino?


How about a moveable barrier

If they are really interested in mitigating traffic woes for teh rest of us, how about using a moveable barrier that could funnel the casino-bound traffic into 1-2 lanes for these special events that generate a lot of extra traffic. The rest of us could use the remaining lanes. And most importantly, the moveable barrier would be completely out of the way when not in use. And of course, the casino can pay for the whole thing.

I'm confused

Does a casino-only lane mean that lane only goes to the casino? Or that you can only get to the casino if you're in that lane? And what's to stop people from clogging the tunnel or the streets leading up to it to get into the special lane?

Half the story?

CVB's article is a might thin. Do we have the actual report? I'm wondering if they're really asking for their own dedicated exit lane when you come out of the tunnel, like the airport or car rentals. I don't think they actually want to take one of the 2 lands from downtown to EB as casino only. (OR, they want the VMS system to make a casino only lane during big events, as a previous poster said they can need during large events)


The Ted Williams is only four lanes total! I could see if you know, the Ted Williams were still in the planning stage and they dropped money in for the addition of a lane or two just for the casino.


Better idea

If the casino must be built, then no parking lots should be allowed on-site (except for a relatively small number of handicap spaces). Block off all access to the site except by T or designated shuttle bus. This prevents people from trying to park in the area and walk over. No spillover, no problem, no need for giant parking lots, and no giant amounts of traffic congestion induced by those parking lots.

If you want to go to the casino, you ride the T or you take one of the shuttle buses that the casino will operate. For those coming from longer distance, there can be parking lots in outlying areas with good highway access, and a shuttle will take you the rest of the way.

This idea helps reduce drunken driving and cuts traffic impact of casino to virtually nil.


Failure Guarantee

You have outlined a great way to insure the failure of a new enterprise. Taxpayers are a partner here, so you are also killing lots of revenue for the public from a stupidity tax. BC games are a different crowd - they are willing to sit outside in the cold and wind for a couple hours, so also hearty and motivated enough to suffer public transit.

I don't think your proposal will get many drunks off the road, but will help get bad, elderly drivers off the road. Most casino's smell like ash trays, so smokers will try to light up in T stations, and greatly prefer doing so in their own cars. Many of these retirees would be housebound if they didn't have a reason to go out, like for their entertainment at a casino. Most are not spending much, but like to get out of the house.

If the casino is willing to pay for dedicated lanes, that is far better than the small minority of road users unwilling to pay for bike lanes. Actually, any dedication of lanes to specific use is inefficient, be it buses, car pools, bikes, or street cars. Its a better story when they are willing to pay to add their lane to what exists, than steal space from everyone else.

Statistically Speaking

Actually, Mark from Arlington, statistics can prove that you are empirically wrong!

It is a proven fact that the vehicular capacity per lane per hour of any given road (and since this is a discussion dedicated to the Eastie Casino, we're going to use the Mass Pike as an example) is equal to the inverse of its minimum safe headway - in other words, 3600 divided by the minimum safe headway. How do we figure out the minimum safe headway?

Well, we start by taking the inverse of the maximum breaking deceleration of the 'average' car - for the sake of simplistic math, we'll assume that the maximum breaking deceleration is an even 16 feet per second per second - or juuuuuust under 0.5g. In other words, the inverse is 1/16 ft/s2.

Next, we're going to take that figure and multiply it by half the average speed of vehicles traveling on the Mass Pike. Posted speed limit on the Mass Pike is... well, who really cares what it is? Certainly not most of the people driving on the Mass Pike. during periods of low or no traffic. 50th percentile (or, statistically average) speed on the Pike in Boston is 65 mph - I couldn't find the numbers for the Ted Williams Tunnel, (most likely because there's never been a study to figure those numbers out due to the implications of then having a legal obligation to set the Ted Williams Tunnel speed limit to whatever the 85th percentile is), but I'm happy to assume that it's 65 mph in the tunnel as well. Half of 65 added to the previous figure gives us a rather unwieldy fraction - 65/32nds of a second, or 2.03125 seconds.

We're almost done, we just need to add that figure to the maximum reaction time of the 'average' driver - that's 1.5 seconds - and we get our minimum safe headway figure: 3.53125 seconds.

Now that we have our minimum safe headway, we can go back to our vehicular capacity per lane per hour formula and determine that the vehicular capacity per lane per hour for the Ted Williams Tunnel is, in fact, 1019 vehicles. If we're going to be daft and pretend that every single one of those 1019 vehicles is carrying exactly one person (NOT true), then we'd be done at this point. However, we're going to do the right thing and account for the average occupancy of a passenger vehicle being about 1.61 people. (The average occupancy of a vehicle varies by what kind of vehicle it is. I took the average of the averages for cars (1.59), vans (2.35), SUVs (1.92), pickup trucks (1.49), other trucks (1.12), and motorcycles (1.18) to get the 1.61 figure).

1019 multiplied by 1.61 is 1640, so we can assume that the average passenger capacity of a general traffic lane in the Ted Williams Tunnel is 1640. Good round number. I like it.

Now let's take one of those lanes away from those 1640 passenger vehicle users, and dedicate it entirely to the MBTA instead. In return for this giveaway, we'll have the MBTA for the purposes of this argument run a bus route The Silver Line through the Ted Williams Tunnel, once every other minute. Because we're not cramming the bus lane full of its maximum capacity of buses, we don't need to bother with calculating the minimum safe headway all over again - we can just use the assumed headway of one bus every two minutes (or, every 120 seconds). Assuming that each and every one of the roughly 60 seats on a 60' articulated MBTA bus is occupied, but that nobody is standing, we can simply multiply this occupancy rate of 60 people per bus by the number of buses per hour - 30 - and get 1800. And that means... whoops, oh dear... the capacity of the Ted Williams Tunnel actually increases by 160 people if you take one of the general traffic lanes and dedicate it to buses.

But wait... it gets better. You and I both know that buses... well, buses suck. They're slow. They're smelly. Nobody likes riding them. In fact, you can make the argument that 100% seat utilization on a bus route with two minute headways is overly optimistic! In fact, I can see you typing out the counter-comment now! Do me a favor and put that on hold for a minute, because we're not done here just yet.

Trains? Trains are cool. "Choice riders" are all about riding trains. The Silver Line was supposed to be a train, much like the Green Line is. Now, each Green Line vehicle is 72' long and holds up to about 166 passengers under normal load conditions. A two-vehicle train, therefore, holds 332 passengers total - and, for the same reason we don't need to bother calculating minimum safe headway for the Silver Line buses, we don't need to bother calculating minimum safe headway for the Green Line trains, because we're going to just go right ahead and make the assumption that the Green Line would run once every ten minutes through the Ted Williams Tunnel - therefore, six Green Line trains per hour. Multiply that by the 332 passengers that can be put into a Green Line train under normal load, and you get a total capacity of 1992 passengers per hour: 122 more than the bus that would need to run five times as often, and 352 more than the general traffic lane. It goes without saying, at ten minute headways, there's still room for frequencies to be doubled (unfortunately, unlike the buses, I'm afraid that track switches place a hard limit of 26 trains per hour on two-track systems and therefore frequencies can't be tripled); and capacity can be increased a further 150% by going to three-vehicle trains.

At 20 three-vehicle Green Line trains per hour, taking one of the two general traffic lanes from the Ted Williams Tunnel and replacing it with rails yields a capacity of 9960 passengers, 607.3% the capacity of the general traffic lane that was taken to make it possible.

In conclusion,

Nice analysis

I would just supplement that by pointing out that the 43-year-old Lincoln Tunnel eXclusive Bus Lane carries almost 1,800 buses per morning, which works out to about one every 8 seconds, or about 27,000 seats in a single lane per hour. I don't think that there is as strong demand for passage across the Ted; in contrast, the Lincoln tunnel XBL serves buses that fan out across a widespread region of NJ. But it is interesting to think about what the potential of such a facility is.

Impressive contortions

You must also be able to fellate yourself with such bending!

You start out with some assumptions on stopping ability of cars, asserting relevance, factor in empirical load factors, and then compare with theoretical, ideal bus/rail comparisons. Instead, imagine if much of the headway between buses were not completely wasted, but filled with travelers in other vehicles! Instead of dreaming, compare actual load factors for buses and trains and see what capacity is lost by allowing shared use. There was a study in Oakland CA on the effect of bus only lanes. The result was that the minor time savings for bus passenger transit times came at a 9x worsening in travel time for everyone else. The time savings for bus passengers didn't increase ridership enough for all the pain inflicted on the majority of road users.

I often like riding the bus more than the subway. More interesting to look out the windows than on the subway. The bigger downside is potentially travel time. Its my preferred mode of travel to NYC. Driving only starts to make sense for 3+ in a car. Train and plane cost too much.

This casino you speak of,

This casino you speak of, will have very few "high rollers" there to gamble. Unless the people with money use a car service (I doubt they would be taking the T or shuttle, majority at least.). Car service; where will chauffeur and car wait while the customer gambles? The local streets, or local parking lots, airport parking, or possibly at Santarpios. Locals would be thrilled! Water access, if possible, would bring people in, a short shuttle ride from the dock.. What dock? I have no idea.

Entertainers too!

Wayne Newton, J. Lo, Penn & Teller, Carrot Top, etc. all riding public transportation to go to work at the casino! They too will want car service and luxury coach bus and parking area for their staff. The upside of Penn & Teller coming to Boston is material for a year's worth of Bullshit! episodes.

Perfect Excuse

Honey, if I don't go to the casino right now I'm going to be in the slow lane and I'll be TWICE as late.

This way, I'll pop in, play a little poker and be back TWICE as early.

Go for it. Mohegans.

Oh, wife looking over shoulder......thinks I'm a moron.



Ha! Er - any addition to the TWT must include a transit ROW.

Other than to say that I hope this is a joke, I will say only that should there be any real talk about another lane in the tunnel, we must absolutely insist that any addition to the tunnel include enough space for a dedicated right-of-way for the Silver Lie (and when everyone realizes that that bus was a silly idea from the get-go, for the light or even heavy rail from South Station to Logan that should have been built in the first place).


In a state where Right Lane MUST Turn Right means nothing, you want your own lane?? please tell that to the people in the tunnel for I-90 that wait until the last minute to get over to the left side and jam the entire tunnel


How are casinos any different?

People are getting their knickers in a twist over fears of potential casino traffic when traffic represents economic activity. Is a casino much different from a shopping mall, office park, residential park, Fenway, Park, TD Garden, or Gillette Stadium? Granted, a casino will have heavier weekend and event traffic, with some constant volume, but most people are afraid of the traffic because its a casino. Would an Ikea be more traffic than what is going into Assembly Row?

Imagine the possibilities! Wayne Newton or Carrot Top performing on a stage near you!