Commapocalypse is upon us

Workers getting Comm. Ave. bridge ready to be blocked

Workers gearing up to shut off traffic. Photo by Greg Hum.

The long awaited, little anticipated shutdown of the Comm. Ave. bridge began at 9 p.m., affecting motorists, Green Line and bus riders, Worcester Line riders and the braver souls heading to Springfield and Chicago on Amtrak. Boston Magazine runs down the details of the work, which the state says is pretty necessary on account of the bridge falling apart.



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Darn, I was hoping the "Commapocolypse" had something to do with the Oxford Comma.

I was just saying this out loud

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Works much better to my ears as Comm Ave-pocalypse. I've already seen it billed like Adam wrote in the story, though, so I take it it's a lost (albeit silly, anyway) cause.

But yeah this seems like the destruction of something comma related. Missed branding opportunity or something.

If you already have a 90-120 min commute...

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If you already have a 90-120 min commute daily, it just might.

Heck, the B line was already it's own version of hell with all the track crossings and incessant number of stops BU tricked the MBTA into providing so their snowflakes didn't have to use the common people's 57 bus.

So glad I live in one if those walkable Boston neighborhoods and gave up the daily slog in a car or train from Metro West.


BU tricked the MBTA into providing so their snowflakes didn't have to use the common people's 57 bus.

I hate to break it to you, but what is now the B line has existed long before BU was founded, including those stops. (The station names have changed over the years but the T is just following the convention of naming stations after landmarks.)

I agree there are too many stops but BU hasn't pressured the MBTA/City/State. The school runs it's own private bus service so students do not need to use the T. You should be thankful -- it's less kids on the T.

As for the bridge replacement, people need to relax. It's going to add 10-15 minutes to some commutes, if that. Not the end of the world.

Whoa, whoa, whoa

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BU was founded in 1837, thus predating Commonwealth Avenue.

That said, the gist is right. The stops predate the school's move to its current location.

Good point

Looking at the history it seems BU purchased a plot of land on Comm Ave in 1920 to relocate from various buildings downtown.


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Wake me when those changes mean the train can beat a man running in a hamburger suit down the sidewalk...

...and they had a round of

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...and they had a round of stop consolidations several years ago.

Further west, I think it was the stops immediately east and west of Washington Street.

I think BU Central and BU East were consolidated, too.

Not quite

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They removed the stop between Harvard and Packard's Corner (Fordham), the stop between Warren and Washington (Summit), the stop between Sutherland and Washington (Mt Hood), and the stop between BC and South St (Greycliff). That was about 13 years ago now.

BU Central and BU East were consolidated while they refurbished both stops and included ADA compliance measures. They separated back again once construction was done because "there are too many people boarding for a single stop".

What's really stupid is that even though Fordham was removed, the TRAIN is the one given a stop sign at Linden instead of forcing cars to yield to the train...even though Summit was removed, the TRAIN still has as stop sign it has to obey at the station anyways...even though Mt Hood was removed, the TRAIN still has a stop sign at the hole in the fence for a pedestrian crossing. Greycliff is the only ex-stop where the train doesn't have to come to a complete stop due to all the extra damn stop signs on the tracks. So, it didn't speed *anything* up to remove those stops.

It did speed things up, just

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It did speed things up, just not as much as if the stop sign weren't there. A combined station stop plus a stop sign is quicker than two station stops.

My office

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My office has pulled us aside and allowed that we may need to change our hours of work or even work from home or take vacation days. I'm not convinced that my route to and from work will be affected, so I'll be holding out to see the actuality prior to changing anything formally.

And of course

There's a 10 game homestand smack in the middle of the project. This couldn't have gotten done during the All-Star break?

A two-to-three week project

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A two-to-three week project with a really intense 8 day middle period fit into a three-four day All-Star break?

Sure, no problem.

I'm sure it would have been nicer if they could have arranged with MLB to have the Sox out of town, but Fenway Park traffic isn't the Armageddon issue some think.

It would be interesting to look back at last year's Sox schedule and see if they had programmed for it that August - which was supposed to have been the first half of this work before the contractor had some problem. I wouldn't be surprised if they had done that for what was supposed to be the first year just in case an extra margin for error was needed.

Also, MLB and especially the players' union resists the really-long road trips unless there's something really monumental that they know will be happening.

I mean

I wasn't expecting the Sox to pull a 1996 Braves during the Olympics and peace out for three weeks, but if there's a built-in four days with no baseball guaranteed, and a 10-day road trip which precedes that, then maybe that's a two-week window to be included in a three-week project which calls for closing a one mile stretch of major artery approaching Fenway Park.

Red Sox games aren't the

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Red Sox games aren't the issue. Beacon, Boylston and Brookline Ave are open. Not that many attendees park on Comm Ave anyway. And the All-Star break coincides with July 4th festivities which is its own transportation and security clusterf&%k, so no one is gonna want to interrupt that.
The issue is getting it done before BU returns for the fall session and everyone moves in, and the moving trucks stream in over the BU bridge. They likely didn't have to check in with the Red Sox schedule - they had to check in with BU's. I'd also wager you have far more people using the B line and walking down Comm Ave once school is back in session than for Red Sox games.
That's also why EVERY construction project in the city gets a summer schedule. Aside from July 4th and weekend festivals here and there, summer is pretty much a dead time (I drive for Uber almost every day, and you'd be surprised how much business we lose just by losing the college population in the summer. Tourists don't really make up the difference). It's the only time of year you can guarantee a light population of auto, pedestrian and transit traffic, and a snow-free street.

So what's the verdict for

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So what's the verdict for today? I wish I had a couple weeks of vacation days to just take the time off.

Not so bad.....

Force everyone into Brookline to drive in circles on all those one-way, no access streets!

It does appear that they don't have enough room for all the trucks and equipment that showed up. There is a line of trucks backed up on Comm Ave that I don't think they were expecting.

People who left 30 minutes early today will leave 60 minutes early on Monday and that should help.