Absolutely no margin for error at Forest Hills these days

Weld Hill Street in Jamaica Plain this morning

The roads around the Forest Hills T station, already a rough ride in these days of Arborway work, became even more gridlocked this morning when at least some of the traffic lights failed.

State troopers, responsible for the Arborway, rushed, well, crawled with everybody else, to direct traffic, but the damage was done.

Casey Brown shows us the 17 cars backed up on Weld Hill Street just trying to get onto Hyde Park Avenue around 7:30 a.m. "This traffic is an actual nightmare," she said, understatedly.

Things hadn't gotten any better by 8:45 a.m, when Sheri Ann Cheng took a look down Weld Hill towards Hyde Park Avenue. "Forest Hills the hottest of messes this morning," she affirmed. She added:

Been like this for 2 hrs today and since start of school yr. Hours of honking has been more unbearable than barrage of low-flying planes.

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Yep, I was there at 7:30.

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Yep, I was there at 7:30. It normally takes me 15 minutes to get over to Washington St, past the bus yard. Today, I just sat. And watched the time go by.

Thought that things were getting better after those new apartments were finished. Thought that the whole project was close to finished when they started planting trees. Guess I was wrong.

There's really no way around this mess for me. I get on Brookside Ave to go into Dudley Sq. and onto 93.

What's the actual status of this project?

I see progress here and there but isn't the surface work supposed to be largely done by now? I know the 3-4 guys that seem to be the entire work force on this are moving as fast as they can but progress seems glacial.

This, to me, represents the downside of infrastructure projects here but I don't know if it's different elsewhere. Seems like it would be better to have three times as many people working on this one project and getting it done sooner than the small crew approach used here. Sure there are long lead times for stuff like the ventilation system, etc... but why couldn't the 203 to Ukraine Way stretch of Centre St have been done like a year ago? I feel like 80% of the project is 80% vs getting parts 100% done and reducing the overall chaos of the project for walker, biker, T rider and driver alike.

The delayed the completion

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The delayed the completion date by more than a year. They claim it was because of the bad winter of 2015. How can 6 weeks of bad weather delay a project by 14 months you ask? It can't. They just suck at their job and were looking for an excuse.

In a better world the drivers honking would be given tickets by police. Your honking solves nothing and no one wants to hear it, especially the people who live there. You are the one who decided to drive during rush hour. Don't take it out on other people.

Also

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I thought they also postponed because they were waiting for the exhaust fan or whatever that needed to be installed underground (the part of the project that has service running on one track for months at a time). While they were waiting, literally nothing happened on the project for months - I think all of last summer. Surely there was some other component they could have been working on.

Theoretically

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They haven't budged from their delayed schedule that says that major work should be finished by "fall 2017" and the whole thing should be wrapped up by "spring 2018."

Of course, they still haven't demoed the northern Orange Line headhouse, which is where one of the roads is supposed to go, and don't get me started on the upper busway, because something tells me I'll be screaming at all of those who said this project would be a great addition to the area every time I'm caught in the rain waiting for a bus in the once great busway that is now the most pathetic one on the Orange Line.

If you think they'd have demo

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If you think they'd have demo'd and put in a new overpass in a smaller timeframe than they've done any of this, you're a fool.

And the old one was about to fall down on people. Nonaction was not an option on the table.

For the umpteenth time

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Yes, the bridge would have been coming down one was or another, but that doesn't excuse the utter incompetence of the construction job. For example, New Washington Street. They tore down the upper busway roof and made unusable the sidewalk adjacent to the Arboretum at the outset of the project, but they did no work in those areas for 2 years! They knew that the needed a new roof for the redesigned busway, but as of 2016 they design was 80% complete. For a project that began back in the spring of 2015! How do you start a project without having all the parts set? Would they have done that with the road itself?

At the end of the day, they cared nothing about transit users and only slightly more about pedestrians and cyclists.

But sure, the whole project has been nothing but rainbows and sparkles, which is why this article was written.

Hold on

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You would have preferred an incompetently built bridge?

Wow.

Not at all - just sick of

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Not at all - just sick of people whining about how the project that was picked was SUCH A MISTAKE when the only other option was putting up a new overpass, the construction of which would have been just as much of a nightmare. The addition of the northern headhouse and the bike improvements will have made this worth it, alone.

Northern headhouse is gone

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The old headhouse was torn down in the last week or so. I live a few blocks up South St and can't wait for the new entrance. Crossing New Washington is risky, though thankfully pedestrians now get a 2-3 second head start before traffic gets a green light.

Are there any designs/plans available online that show where the new headhouse will be located? I've searched but haven't found any, which concerns me.

I don't even drive...

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I swing a ride with my husband usually.

A lot of folks are just trying to get to FH to get on the train.

I live in Roslindale and work near North Station. The bus that runs through my neighborhood once every 35 minutes in theory but it reality runs with less frequency. By the time it reaches the closest stop to me, it is standing room only and we haven't even turned onto Metropolitan or up Washington yet. This leaves me with the following options:

Walk the mile or so to the square (which I have done on occasion in nice weather because I am able bodied) to grab one of the other overflowing buses headed to FH OR take the Needham Heights commuter rail train (which is more than doubles the cost of my commute and adds additional travel time because I have to switch trains multiple times).

I have lived in Roslindale for 13 years and the commute has never been as bad as it is currently.

Yeah?

If you live in the southern part of the city and work say, in the medical area, the transportation links are bad. HP or Mattapan to Longwood is probably double via public vs private transport. Similarly if you work in Cambridge (where there are lots of great high paying jobs) and can't afford to live north of the city and/or don't want to move from say Roslindale to Medford, you're also stuck in a car or stuck spending way more time on public transport. Public transport which is overcapacity and unreliable too boot.

Hopefully in two years we'll be dealing with a new bike path, new orange line stock and a finished FH project and this will all be much better. We shall see.

I feel bad for all these

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I feel bad for all these people who are moving into the city for a better commute. Every time I check this page, there is another delay on the T. I grew up in JP, and took the T for the first 30 years of my life. Don't ever remember it being this unreliable.

What's the problem?

I'm sure the people on Hyde Park Ave were perfectly happy to let one car at a time merge in from the side street, right?

time to walk

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I looked down Washington this morning and saw the traffic and decided I was better off walking than trying to catch a bus to the station. Not only did I get to the station before the bus I would have gotten on, I ended up passing several buses that were stranded in the traffic ahead of me and got to the station before any of them. When Washington jams like this it's a nightmare, because so many buses bringing people to the station follow Washington from down by Adams Park; 35, 36, 37, 51, 34/E, 40, 50, 30 - all those routes ground to a halt. What a mess.

Washington Street was a different mess this morning

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I hopped on a bus at Corinth Street, got off at Cummins Highway, walked to Firth Road, and got on the bus in front of the bus in front of the bus I was on. This was at 7:30. The light on Washington at Firth/South was green for Washington for about 10 seconds a cycle, with the side streets having over a minute.

This afternoon Hyde Park Ave was better, but I noticed a backup on Washington Street starting at Ukraine Way. I was going HPA (walking) so I’m not sure how bad the traffic was.

Honkkkk...

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Honking is a pastime in Boston. If you don't get it, you are a transplant. It's part of the charm here sitting forever and "blowing" off some steam. It's also one of the few cities left where a honk generally doesn't mean some douche is gonna get out and try to shoot you. So just go along with the chorus people...

Forget evening rush

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Came through there Monday night in a taxi with my wife after she had day surgery so we opted to take a taxi rather than try the MBTA. Needless to say we were in gridlocked traffic from Columbus Ave all the way into Roslindale.

The T would have been faster actually.

Hand traffic?

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I don't frequent Forest Hills at rush hour but an experienced police officer(s) doing hand traffic might work wonders, especially pulling traffic from the side streets.

Yep

While I understand the argument about where the money comes from, etc... this is what I'd rather have cops doing that traffic detail. From 7-10 and from 4-7 - this would make a huge improvement in the flow of traffic for everyone through these two intersections.

They'd have to train them first

Do BPD officers even know how to direct traffic by hand anymore? They almost never do it, even when traffic lights are out, and when they do, they can be incompetent. I once had a shit-for-brains cop wave me directly into the path of a moving MBTA bus that had no intention of stopping.