New North Washington Street bridge will look just a tad different

North Washington Street bridge model

If you're willing to go through the security checkpoint, Boston Public Works has put some scale models of the new North Washington Street bridge up in the City Hall lobby.

Tons of photos and renderings of the current and replacement bridges.



Free tagging: 


is it just me?

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Inside-out whale skeleton? Anyone else?

It's probably me.


At the right angle, the top accents look more like barbed wire supports on a prison fence...

Wait, what?

What happened to the bridge that complimented the Zakim? There was a design floating around about a year ago that was actually nice. This? Not so much.

The first name that comes to mind ...

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The first name that comes to mind when I see this is "the Fishbone Bridge" ... Which is kind of appropriate for a bridge leading to and from the Seaport.


I guess I'm not the only one who has gotten that whiff - although I usually smell it when turning onto the bridge off of Commercial St.

I reported it and was told that it was an "ongoing issue" and "nuisance odor".

Who are the morons

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doing the Charlestown urban planning?

The Bunker HIll projects will triple the current number of units from 1100 to 3200, the casino is going into Everett a mile down the road and there is this plan to re-do the rotary (which is already a game of Russian Roulette) and make Rutherford into a "grand boulevard" with shops and on street parkting.

And now this bridge will have exactly the same capacity?

Charlestown: where commuters will add another 45 minutes to their daily commutes, each way.

No Kidding

It took me one hour to get from Commercial Wharf to Pier six a few months ago.

2 Miles.

You know what?

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Get rid of most of the cars and your trip by motorized vehicle would go faster.

The problem isn't the bridge width - North Washington street is the hang up.

The problem is ... TOO MANY CARS.

Too many cars?

You must work for the department of the bleeding obvious.

Of course there are too many cars. But the cars exist, and no matter how much wishful thinking, those cars are not going away. no amount of bike lanes, busses, new subway lines or praying to the patron saint of walking is going to change that.

Obvious Retort

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no amount of bike lanes, busses, new subway lines or praying to the patron saint of walking is going to change that.


Historic photos

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When Boston had more people?


Imagine that!

How about 1900-1950?

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I suspect that anon was referring to the era when there were lots of streetcars, some cars, some bikes, lots of walking.

Oh, and a peak population about 200,000 more people than now.

Bridge Width

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Nothing to do with that at all.

The bridge isn't the problem

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Nope. Not at all.

The North End is the problem.

Much quicker trip on a bike anyway ... or just walk it.

If they drive

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And driving that to commute? Stupid.

No it doesn't

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And now this bridge will have exactly the same capacity?

The wide sidewalks and bike lanes will accommodate much more traffic than the current bridge does today.

The zakim, a free 8 lane

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The zakim, a free 8 lane highway bridge that has another 2 lane bridge attached to it, is right next to this. We don't need another highway bridge connecting these two neighborhoods.


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Do you realize that one bridge is part of an interstate highway while the other is basically a neighborhood road (granted, a pretty large road) - one that also has a large volume of pedestrian traffic?

But maybe I'm missing something: How would you direct tourists to walk from the North End to the Constitution without the North Washington Street bridge?

I've always walked between

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I've always walked between the North End and the Constitution using the pedestrian bridges over the dam locks. Never occurred to me to go up to the bridge.

Thankfully the new bridge

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Thankfully the new bridge will have a bus only lane, wide sidewalks and a cycle track. If you don't want to sit in traffic you have those 3 superior options for getting across the bridge.

I suggest you re-read the presentation slides

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The dedicated bus lane is only an option being considered at this point. And it appears to be contingent on either the T or somebody else running additional shuttle buses between Downtown Boston and Charlestown.

Will it have a bus lane?

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Will it have a bus lane?

The lane diagrams and renderings say nothing about buses. For example, see page 38 -- cars in all 4 lanes.

Then buried on page 69, it says:
"POSSIBILITY for dedicated bus lane
• Dedicated bus lane providing expedited service INBOUND"
[emphasis added]

So it hasn't been decided yet? And what about outbound?

What exactly will happen, they'll build 4 regular lanes, and then have a big public fight about restricting one of them to buses? Should we assume it will be as poorly designed, marked, and enforced as the Essex Street bus lane on the Silver Line?

the DOT PDF that Adam linked

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the DOT PDF that Adam linked to is 6 months old.
there is a bus lane, that option was chosen.
you can see the diamond pavement markings and solid line separating the bus lane in the pics on DPW twitter acct.


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Maybe all the driving commuters can find a different way into the city and we can take these areas of the neighborhood back, making them safe and enjoyable for pedestrians, bikes and residents.


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It will need some Jurrasic Park colorings...

The Purely Decorative Eyelashes Are A Terrible Idea

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It would be nice if they served some useful function, such as providing a modicum of shelter to pedestrians. Instead, the custom steel components do nothing but increase the cost of construction. It might be different if the state had a track record of properly maintaining things, but everyone knows it will soon become dirty, rusted, broken and ugly.

At least the pigeons will like it — the eyelashes have lots of places for them to roost.

          Just two years old — Wonderland bridge crumbling, handrails broken and missing.

They will drip right onto people below

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When piled with accumulated snow and ice that begins to melt. As cool as it looks, this will be a problem, just as it is with the awning at One Washington Mall, next to City Hall.

north end greenway

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It doesn't appear in the render, but I wonder if they didnt have in mind something like what the N End Greenway was supposed to be: trellis-y and full of lush vine action. Which is sort of is.

Its dumb, but also consider that it may be incomplete shelter as a deterrent for loitering and variations thereof.

So You're Saying It's Just There To Tease? — A "Shelter Mirage"?

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I suppose that's not unlike the so-called "bus shelters" at Haymarket, Kenmore Square and along the Silver Bus route on Washington Street. Something pleasant to look at by people driving by in cars, yet simultaneously so unpleasant for actual users that the "riff raff" is kept out of sight.


Mitigation for the heat island effect on the Charles River and the neighbourhood.

If vegitated, the light attenuation is seasonal.

I bike that bridge almost daily and the summer heat load is considerable.


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just like short walls, borders and ledges that have spikes or other "decorative iron work" in them. a city with a voluntarily unattended homeless problem and a penchant for image maintenance knows better than to create spaces hospitable to those who have nowhere else to go.


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       ( there's no way to delete double-posts, so I turned over the duplicate )

TV Antenna

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Reminds me of those old TV antennas (antennae?) that used to be on roofs years ago. Every once in a while you still see one.


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I like it. The design makes me thing of a horizontal version of the Zakim Bridge. While the extra steel adds to the cost, building a bridge that is stripped down, rudimentary, without any design other than vertical supports and flat surfaces is boring. Boring architecture - bridges included - is as exciting and interesting as pile of mud.

A Bridge's Actual Structure Can Be Beautiful Unto Itself ≠ Prax

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          Providence, Rhode Island

          Wonderland Station

That's one thing — and I'm not opposed to spending a reasonable amount of money to choose esthetically pleasing designs. The eyelashes are something quite different — they're not part of, nor do they even represent the structural forces in play on the crossing.

They have no function and provide no tangible benefit to anyone (except the contractors, of course). At the end of the day, the eyelashes are nothing but a needless adornment — someone's idea of "style" that nips at the heels of "going too far". Gaudy? Pretentious? Tacky?

To me, it is the epitome of Prax.

Explain "way less"

You are assuming that this is "extra stuff" and it is expensive. Can you support these assumptions?

Knowing that bridge and it's use and design life and heat hump problems around the expansion joints, I'm betting that the heat mitigation will save on maintenance and make it more useful and attractive to non motorized users.