State to start $1.2-billion re-do of the turnpike in Allston in 2020

The Crimson reports the latest on the state's plans for the Allston/Cambridge interchange and curve. Now up in the air is the future of the commuter-rail station that was planned for the former rail yards there; the state and Harvard had agreed to split two-thirds of the cost but could never get BU to kick in the rest.

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This

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is easily the worst idea I have ever seen in my years as a MA resident. The big dig at least had a purpose.

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The viaduct is decrepit and

The viaduct is decrepit and needs to come down anyway, so yes there is a purpose: replace the interstate viaduct. While they're at it, they realized they could open up 100 acres of prime real estate and improve public transit.

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Does BU have property in that

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Does BU have property in that area? I don't remember seeing prior references to BU putting up some cash.

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Their property is right next to the rail yards

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And the turnpike there goes right by Nickerson Field and the like.

In the past, the issue was that BU said it would put up the money if it could ban non-BU traffic from the public roads that bisect its property there (the side streets, not Comm. Ave.) and the state and city said, um, nope, so BU said, see ya.

Yeah, but that's it

BU and Harvard got into a bidding war when the CSX land came on the market. Obviously, Harvard won. Given that Harvard has a lot more to gain from this realignment I'm not surprised BU is balking at putting up 1/3 of the cash considering it will mostly help their uncooperative neighbor.

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They were only asked to pitch in on the commuter rail station

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The station that would benefit the school? The one that their employees and students could use to get to and from the school, minimizing traffic in that area. The one that they will use regardless once it's built? It was an asshole move on their part to try to ban non BU traffic in the cross streets - BU considers both sides of Comm Ave (and Comm Ave) to be theirs and benefit greatly from the public transit in that area. They were part of the reason why T stops were going to be eliminated by nursing homes but not passing through the BU stops. The cross streets would be needed for buses to connect the train station to the area, making the commuter rail that much more attractive.

Think BU ISN"T a bad neighbor? Go by Nickerson while there's a game going on and try to hear yourself think - their broadcast sound level (along with loud music) seems to be set so it can be heard back on the main campus.

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Why in the world would they

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Why in the world would they not build a commuter rail station? Especially when Harvard is chipping in for the cost. Have they not noticed that the population of Boston is rising? Have they missed the tall new buildings? When you add people you need to add public transit. They'll spend a billion dollars on a tiny stretch of highway for drivers but not a fraction of that for a more responsible, sustainable, safe mode of transportation?

Because

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It's pretty much the case that the old guard at MassHighway doesn't believe that anyone rides Commuter Rail.

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Just wait

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Over/under on them announcing delays in the GLX and the new Red/Orange cars because state resources are scarce and this project is a priority?

I'm going with next March for the announcement.

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Necessary highway projects are hardly immune

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from "letsdelaythemitis." Just look at I-95(128)/I-93 in Woburn, a total nightmare that was supposed to have been reconstructed in the 1990s were it not for the snobbish NIMBYs in Reading and the mindless politicians in Woburn.

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I've got one from the south for you

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The rebuild of the 24/128 interchange (that's right, I use state road designations.) That went from some kind of priority to nonexistent. And there are no neighbors at all.

Of course, the lane add between there and route 9 started a while before I was married. We're now married for 11 years and the project still is not done. The argument could be made that the Commonwealth likes highways over transit, but the highway projects do tend to drag on for seemingly decades.

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I say next month

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The GLX is cut by the feds. Stephanie Pollack goes back to screaming at a wall in Newton. The money is distributed to I-90, the Orange, the Red, the Silver in Chelsea, the Fairmount, and the buses. Side note: If the Commonwealth cuts the GLX: MassDOT is solvent and has enough money for every slated initiative until 2040; even with the $400 million PTC loan and the Big Dig payments

If they cancel it, they have

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If they cancel it, they have to return all federal dollars already spent on the prepwork, bridges, etc.

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