The 32 bus is too damn crowded

The Bulletin reports a recent meeting of the Clare Avenue Neighborhood Watch focused on how crowded the 32 bus on Hyde Park Avenue is. State Rep. Russell Holmes said the T might be able to add buses, but then the problem is that Hyde Park Avenue is too damn congested and the extra buses would only make that worse.

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I'm not sure that that

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I'm not sure that that summary is totally accurate-what he really said is that adding more busses would simply create more bunching (busses come 3 and 4 at a time and then there is a long service gap) and not help the problem-on some routes I would agree with this, but not on the 32, which is one of the only routes where I have seen multiple bunched busses full, especially at rush hour. If you are interested in the bus bunching problem that plagues the T, you can look up bus bunching online and I think amateur planner did something on it-must be 3-4 years ago now.

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When I rode 71/73 I never

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When I rode 71/73 I never understood why when the buses bunched up, the driver in the front bus didn't skip more stops or declare "Express Bus".

It was frustrating and painful to watch bunching happening, and drivers not attempting to do anything about it.

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Why do buses come in threes?

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These is a book titled that concerning, well, that, along with other topics like how reducing the speed limit during rush hours increases the speed of traffic. Totally worth reading.

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Yes, buses add to congestion

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but probably not as much as Uber's and Lyft's.

NYC did a study after complaints that it took too long to get a cab. They modeled what would happen if more cab medallions were issued. The findings were that getting a cab would be a little faster but the overall time to get to destinations would take longer due to the added cabs and added traffic congestion.

A bus may be just one vehicle that sits many more people, but its size and actions entering and exiting bus stops have much more impact than two 20 foot long cars.

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Yeah but...

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if it’s carrying even ten people who’d otherwise be driving...

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That’s not quite the problem

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Ironically, the problem is that it’s too popular. The last 2 or so miles, including the stretch that parallels Clare Avenue, is on a road that is 2 lanes in each direction. It gets a lot of use, which causes bunching with long gaps between buses. The same thing happens on the B line, and they’ve got their own reservation.

I took this bus a lot as a teenager, then took it less, then not at all, but now I take it one way 4 days a week, though I walk a bit going outbound. A dirty little secret I discovered is that the T starts a run inbound at Cummins Highway during morning rush hour.

Pie in the sky, the best thing the T could do would be to extend the Orange Line to Hyde Park. Then I get on the almost 40 year old cars on the line and realize that won’t happen.

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They will be doing that from

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They will be doing that from forest hills down Washington st heading to roslindale as! During the morning rush no cars allowed to park on right side heading inbound, and the afternoon rush no cars allowed parking on right side heading outbound from the hills between set times

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Maybe

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Nothing's been cast in stone yet and the T still has an amazing way of dragging things out forever and then one day saying "What? What are you talking about? We're not doing that."

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But but but

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The problem isn’t congestion, until you are basically at Forest Hills (the backups at worst are two stops back, but usually after the last stop before the station). The Clare Street folk are basically griping about how full the buses are, which comes from bunching, that is an odd side effect of frequency.

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Eliminate parking on one side

and install a center turning lane. A lot of the congestion is due to people taking left turns tying up one lane of traffic behind them. Of course people on HPA drive TERRIBLY in my experience - it's like once they are past Forrest Hills, people think they are now on a highway or something.

Also bar left turns from Neponset Ave - that is an inlet road where people block traffic on HPA after pulling out in front of cars, a real nexus of terrible driving.

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32 is overall a great bus

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Starts very early am and goes to early am. Is VERY frequent, even wekends. It can get crowded.

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Rush Hour Loop Buses

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Forest Hills needs several rush hour loop buses to relieve congestion.

Anyone who uses the buses there into Roslindale knows quite well that most fo the buses will travel to Roslindale Sq. It does not matter which fo these you get on for that one mile. So when any of these buses, 9 in all, some in, the crowd moves to it like a flock of pigeons. These buses then make all fo the local stops in that mile between FH and the square. A continuous loop bus for that one mile during rush hour would work wonders. You might even expand that to West Rox Parkway then loop back

-- 34X - Washington St to West Rox Pky
-- West Rox Pky to Belgrade Ave
-- Return to FH

-- 35X - opposite to the above

Same is true of the #32. Run a loop up Hyde Park Ave. The route would be:

-- HPA to Cummins
-- Cummins to American Legion
-- American Legion to HPA (at the 700 block)
-- Return to FH

This is approx 2 miles out on HPA.

You'd only run these for a couple of hours each morning and evening.

As to "congestion"... well, regardless of how the surface configuration ends up at FH after all of the construction is completed, this is not going to get any better.

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Look West

I think of Seattle, which does buses much better than we. I have family there, travel frequently, and have the ORCA geezer pass (a buck for any trip, light rail or bus, even the long ride to the airport). They don't have a subway, but buses are more more frequent and efficient than ours and a higher percentage of residents take them as a result.

It is rare to wait more than five minutes for a bus. They keep their schedules. Generally they are half or third full. That might give our MBTA folk the shivers, but it sure works there, and again, people trust the buses will get them there on time and take buses as a result.

How about we think how many buses per route will it take at various times to serve our customers? Then we can work back from there. The MBTA can babble about intent, but it clearly doesn't do that, particularly on the 32 route.

Here I know from many sad experiences that late evening and night 32 rides often are too full for those waiting. When shift workers arrive at FH, they overcrowd the platform and buses. The MBTA doesn't serve its customers. You often have to watch two or three 32s leave before there's space for you. Triple boo.

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One of the most dangerous

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One of the most dangerous crosswalks in the City is right across from Forest Hills Station on the lower bus section. When bumper to bumper vehicles pour in from Hyde Park Ave and drive thru the red light (an all-day, all-night occurrence) they end up right on the cross walk when the light changes to red because the congestion is so bad. Especially during the morning commute, I never walk across when the walk signal lights up because drivers are still trying to creep by. Really bad traffic flow pattern. You sort of have walk around the vehicles and use experience to survive.

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Holmes caved

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If the Fairmount Line was reliable and frequent: aka a DMU line: then the 32 and several other buses pushing Fairmounters toward the Red and Orange wouldn't be jammed. Holmes caved to our two-faced transportation secretary, Miss Pollack. The money slated for bus and rail improvements from Readville to Uphams has been given over to the Green Line Extension. Meanwhile the buses running the length of the proposed GLX route, empty every day all day.

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Not quite

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Anyone living on the 32 north of, say, West Street, would not benefit from a more frequent Fairmont line. Not that I don’t support the idea, but the benefits just aren’t there for the bus line.

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Yes quite

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If a few people per trip from Readville to Boston decide to take the Fairmount: in this fantasy its reliable: instead of the 32, then it means more open seats and more breathing room for 32 passengers north of West St. Hence, better Fairmount service is a benefit to 32 riders north of West. Take the 32 to:from Rozzie. We might bump into each other

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