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The Boston Bypass guy is baaaack

Bay Bypass map

Vincent Zarrilli, who's been pushing this idea of a double-decked bridge across Dorchester Bay and Boston Harbor since the 1980s, is still at it. We spotted this flier taped to the side of City Hall yesterday. He's also been busy in his native North End.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

This doesn't make a shred of sense!

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Because encouraging less density, more highways, and more parking (all things which require more public money to maintain) always solves society's ills.

Blue Line, Red Line, Green Line, Orange Line extensions to heavily settled commuter areas would be a better investment. But nope, more interested in highways and commuter rail extensions to nowhere.

Heck, new signals and signal priority for the Green Line can't even get funded. Heaven forbid trolleys be allowed to operate with some semblance of a on time schedule.

Oh sorry, I forgot, the legislature is too distracted by Casinos to even talk about infrastructure spending which isn't a busywork payoff to a connected construction firm.

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So he wants to knock down Marina Bay, the Kennedy Library and Fort Independence?

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Yup, Fuck Him!

Leave Castle Island Alone!

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Create a tax incentive for companies in the city to not mandate that workers drive to work every day at the same time to sit at a computer to work, which they can do from home in 2012.

Seriously, is everybody autistic or ignorant or both? It's the cheapest and wisest solution. Get it done.

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Yes, literally everyone in power is autistic and/or ignorant. I wish they would hire really really smart people like you to decide what to do about traffic in Boston. Unfortunately, all the really smart people (like you) are busy posting their controversial ideals on the internet and living off of their parents... they're simply too smart to work a job.

There are no obstacles to this plan... if the mayor simply asked all corporations in the GBA to have their employees work from home (which is really effective in practice, by the way) and politely asked the red sox to move their stadium to Dorchester... all traffic problems in Boston would be immediately solved. Thanks so much for your really smart opinion that's based on your real-world experience rather than your juvenile cynicism and something your friend said once

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I have been consistently employed my entire adult life. Swing and a miss.

As for my real world experience, you think I don't drive? Hell, I was stuck in an obscene traffic jam on 495 earlier this week while trying to get to a gig. I could do a lot better at planning Boston traffic than some of the people who do it now.

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Why would they be autistic?

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So I like to throw "autistic" around as an invective once in a while, because I can.

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The roads would be in immaculate shape, because anyone who would get involved with road planning who happened to have autism would probably know more about it than nearly anyone else. You should be ashamed of this comment.

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See above

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...shouldn't you also be calling them obnoxious assholes?

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Good one, (expletive).

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'cuz we're number 2.

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This isn't 4chan.

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Wow, because creating an elevated highway over water wouldn't be a maintenance nightmare at all. It would hardly cost anything.

Although I don't agree with his plan, I salute people like this. They have a cause, and they're sticking to it!

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A highway under water and under ground is easier than bridges?
Oh, and Cape Wind isn't feasible either, being way out in the water?

So far, I'm not sure the benefits of burying the central artery have exceeded the costs ... so far. $185k GreenWay salaries? Can't make that in the local garden club!

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Brilliant.

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My idea:
we have these existing highways which are generally most direct.
How about adding an extra lane for non motorized travel - walk, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, scooter, run.
I think a lot of people would use it, there would be no cars to worry about and the right of way is already there.

also agree with above poster about expanding the existing train lines - i don't understand why we need big commuter rail cars to service locations that aren't that far away.
the NYC transit system services places out in the boonies (think cony island from NYC) with regular trains.
I'm sure there is a reason but I dont know it.
You can find info about MBTA -
50% riders use bus, 10% use commuter but T spends something like 50% on commuter trains & only 10% on bus service.
It's total bullshit. and the commuter line from where I am (southeastern mass) has wicked sucky schedule so it's not worth taking!

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Exactly. Many of the CR routes should be rapid transit, but for some reason the state is obsessed with maintaining commuter rail service only. Fewer people would be on the highway and looking for parking in the city if there was frequent rapid transit into the city instead of commuter rail on a limited schedule.

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I'm sure there are a lot of people who would be less than thrilled to have rapid transit roar past their houses every few minutes, 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Personally, however, as someone who lives next to the Needham line train tracks, I'd trade the extra noise of the Orange Line for the convenience of having a frequently available one-seat (and a short walk) ride into the city (not that it's likely to happen now in my lifetime).

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Should be a no brainer -- it's such an obvious and easy rapid transit conversion. Alas, not without another Michael Dukakis type governor.

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Convenient one seat ride is a motorcycle. Convenient one occupied seat ride is a car.

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I suppose you want that to run on Saturdays too...

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The lesson from the B.B is that private citizens have no legal power to affect government roadway plans. One can write letters and speak at hearings all you want and it makes no difference. A plan could be brilliant, and government officials will do what they want anyway.

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So stop voting for the same incumbents and Democrats, you complacent geeks.

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Yup, citizens are powerless to implement their own cockamamie roadway plans, like this one. Occasionally they have the power to stop cockamamie government roadway plans, like 695 Inner Belt ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_695_%28Mas... )

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The lesson from the BB is that just because you scream for 30 years doesn't mean your idea makes a lick of sense.

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Maybe the BB plan was garbage, and obviously so. There is no obligation to consider the ideas of every crank with a megaphone.

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Miles of prime waterfront eaten up by freeways!

Yeah. That.

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why do I picture Vogons showing up to build this?

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to get a permit... to get a pass... to be allowed to use that bridge.

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is pretty damn stupid.

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The plans are on display in the cellar of Boston City Hall in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".

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1) When you said Boston Bypass, I thought that someone wanted to push through the Melnea Cass/Park St/BU Bridge/Prospect St/McGrath Hwy "inner loop" that was designed back in the 70's (50's?) but shot down by pretty much every community it went through (but not before they turned Melnea Cass into a 5-lane islanded anomaly). But after seeing the map, all I can think is...

2) Is that entire thing over the water? Does he want car ferries or is he talking about a bridge that disconnects the city from the water? Right next to Logan??? He drew the runways on the picture, does he not see a problem with the SE ends of all of the runways?? Which leads me to...

3) How do I get on the Committee for Better Boston Traffic Management? I really think that if 2 or 3 of us did, we could steer all of the votes and maybe even vote to disband the committee.

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The loop you describe was called the "Inner Belt" and was to have been designated I-695. The remaining vestiges of it are, as you note, the state of Melnea Cass Blvd., and in addition, the "ghost ramps" off of I-93 that were re-used for the Leverett Connector and a road through an industrial park in East Somerville known as "Inner Belt Road".

The mural on one wall of Microcenter commemorates the community activism that stopped the Inner Belt. The Belt would have gone right by Microcenter, possibly right where it sits although I don't recall what the exact proposed routing was.

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But the planned route for the Inner Belt would have been to the east of Microcenter, over the BU Bridge, and between Kendall and Central.

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I believe the span proposed was just west of the BU Bridge as sister bridges (one sister just being bigger, taller, and more beefy than the other). It wouldn't have been as far around the bend in the river as Microcenter. It would have gone over the water treatment center and then the Morse School's baseball field.

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If you're heading from Storrow to 93, you'll see a stubby thing jutting out from the upper deck that was supposed to funnel traffic to the never-built highway. Way more visible than the remains of the full cloverleaf that was supposed to go where 95 joins 128 in Canton - where the Southwest Expressway was going to begin its swath through Boston to the inner belt.

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The original highway system should have been built. This is a google map of the missing/blocked highways that were in Boston's master highway plan.

Southeast Expressway wouldn't be overburdened with 95 extending up along the present orange line, surface traffic would be up on the freeways and Rte 2 wouldn't just end at Alewife, relieving 93 north of the city. These highways would have spurred development and kept major companies in the City instead of along 128.

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We've had plenty of development in the city that didn't require destroying multiple neighborhoods. The highways in this plan were designed to make things easier for people who choose not to live in the city by destroying the city for those of us who choose to live in it. It's a shame it got as far as it did, but at least only about a quarter of the total damage was done.

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Fortunately, the powers that be at the time decided to keep Boston a liveable city rather than turning it into a giant office park surrounded by superhighways (such as the one that would be roughly two blocks from our house had the Southwest Corridor been built).

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Any large road project needing to acquire significant land seeks to minimize costs. That means crappy, run-down, less expensive properties with OLD HOUSING STOCK, and property already owned by the public. Cambridgeport was one of those crappy places with run down houses. Only after decades of housing shortages and the removal of rent control have brought yuppies into Cambridgeport. The poor who used to live there and in many parts of Cambridge can no longer afford to and moved out. Building a highway would be the quicker way to displace the poor than gentrification, and the much greater population would have much needed transportation and resulting economic stimulation. NIMBYism at its worst.

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One of Boston's major transportation problems [in the city itself; I'm not even talking about suburban commuters] is the lack of 'freeways' going, for example, east to west; generally, if you need to drive from say Hyde Park or Dorchester to Allston you must take heavily congested surface roads or somehow get on 128 to i-90, or 93 to I-90, or even make a big loop i-93 to Storrow Dr or something. There's literally no expressway/freeway east west through the heart of the city. I-695 was not perfect but some variation of it should have been built [an inner belt, along with a new Orange line] and this would have greatly alleviated traffic and congestion at the street level. I don't understand why some people don't comprehend or care that city residents use highways and need to get places in a reasonable time just like suburbanites. And Boston doesn't exist in a vacuum. It and the whole metro area [and by extension the whole state and New England] needs a good and efficient road system for the 21st century. What we have now may have been OK for the mid 20th century.

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I live in about as "remote" an area of the city as you get, on the Rosluindale/Hyde Park line. To get to Rte. 9, we have to go through four rotaries and to go north, the Jamaicaway is our main artery north (is there a more dangerous arterial in the Boston area, with all those narrow curves?).

Doesn't really bother me, for a couple of reasons. One thing I've finally learned in the three+ years I've been doing Universal Hub fulltime is just how small Boston really is. I used to think Dorchester was halfway to Europe or something. It's not - and it's a lot easier to get to, say, the old Bayside Expo Center via American Legion/Morton/Gallivan/Morrissey than 128/93. At the same time, we mostly don't have neighborhoods bifurcated by noisy, noxious superhighways (Allston/Brighton and Dorchester, of course, being the exceptions).

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I agree in general with some of what you said. Indeed the City of Boston itself is not geographically huge, it's pretty geographically small, I think around 45 sq mile land-wise, roughly the same size as San Francisco by the way. By comparison the City of Atlanta is around 130 sq miles, land-wise. The City of Houston is 600[!] sq miles in land area. What these two cities have in common with each other and what they don't have in common with Boston is population density. Boston is much more densely populated, more 'urban', and metro Boston is comparable to metro Atlanta and Houston. Boston [the city] is congested, very congested. That's why I suggested that a better highway system and a more extensive one would have eased congestion on many city surface roads and in the metro area as a whole.

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Building more highways and bigger roads would lead to more congestion, not less. The saving grace of Boston is that it's a relatively livable, walkable city compared to most in the United States. Building more roads would force more people into cars for even the most minor of trips. It would destroy even more neighborhoods and force people to live further away from the places they need to go, also forcing them into cars for those trips. There is no possible way to build enough highways and big enough parking lots to accommodate all that traffic without congestion, it is simply geometrically impossible.

Once upon a time, idealistic planners believed that it was possible to use the automobile for every trip and that nobody would ever walk anywhere again. That's part of what urban renewal was about. Here, we rightfully abandoned that thinking and it would be a huge mistake to resurrect it. Many places in this country are still trying to hold onto the cars-only ideology, but they are constantly struggling with congestion no matter how many new lanes of highways they build, and no matter how many parking lots they expand. We don't need or want to become like Fresno, San Jose, or New Haven.

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First you claim building highways and bigger roads lead to more congestion. Can you give some examples? The reverse is true, with NYC as an example. Roads and the LIRR to Long Island allowed the overcrowded population in the city to move out of the very dense, dirty, and contagious disease prone tenement buildings. Buildings with the worst living conditions could not even get tenants resulting in many vacant ones in Bronx and Harlem in the 1960s and 1970s.

Then you contradict yourself by saying lack of roads force people to live near the places they need to go, thereby increasing density.

Urban renewal started after people fled to cheaper and more desirable housing in the suburbs. Business followed consumers while others followed workers, besides also enjoying lower property costs and having parking for both. Its only by constraining transportation that choice can be restricted and people forced to live near where they need to go. "Visionaries" are all about forcing people into their plans, be it housing or bicycling.

Downtown Crossing is a perfect example of such failed dreaming. With constrained transportation (roads and parking), Lafayette Place, Filenes, and other retailers went broke. Opening the roads again won't help much because parking is still scarce and intentionally overpriced. Captives (residents w/o car mobility) are needed, with businesses to serve them daily food and coffee. Clothing, books, and jewelry are not daily purchases, so a larger and more distant population must come for these occasional needs when not available closer to them. Adult entertainment, Filene's Basement, a few specialty shops, and jewelry were reasons to make the trek. In NYC there are many districts (diamond, camera, piano, theater, kitchen, electrical, fashion, Indian, Chinese, Italian etc.) where consumers go for largest choice to be worth the trek. Downtown Crossing is seldom worth the trek now, so most retail businesses have left.

Dense neighborhoods can still only support retailers for frequent needs - the ones we see everywhere, Starbucks, sandwich shops, nail salons, hair salons, pizza places and other food. Monthly, yearly etc purchases need to be near transportation and parking. This is why Best Buy at Newbery and Mass Ave failed - electronics needs occur in months or years and most people can satisfy them more easily elsewhere. The captive market isn't big enough with frequent enough electronics needs to support a Best Buy.

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There are decades of statistics, research, and information from around the country and around the world. Go find it and read it.

My dad was a road building guy - 40 years on the job - and he would routinely say, from the 1990s on "you can't build your way out of a traffic jam". If a career road builder understood this from reading research twenty years ago, I think you can find enough on the web to convince you.

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can't be convinced, no matter how strong the evidence. He'll just continue to spout his nonsense and demand that we destroy half the housing stock in Boston so that he has his choice of traffic jams to sit in.

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Anyone that has sat through a traffic jam seems to think they are qualified to propose THE God-given truth about how to fix our transportation problems. Reading posts like these gives me a headache, I guess that makes me qualified to be a brain surgeon.

I can only assume that you're one of these folks who thinks the bike lane running down Mass Ave in Arlington is the apocalypse. Your defense of the use of imminent domain in run-down areas where the poors live (in reference to Cambridgeport many moons ago) was atrocious:

Building a highway would be the quicker way to displace the poor than gentrification...

Jumpin Jeezis, why not just kill the motherfuckers and run that highway through! It's the second coming of Robert Moses!

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Yeah, Boston isn't huge. It just takes forever to get across it when the Green Line or buses are involved.

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going into the Sumner Tunnel and coming out of the Callahan on light poles. Also, he had one on the old ramp to the SE Expressway at Haymarket.

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Jeezum, just expand the antiquated MBTA rail system. After the Big Dig the last thing we need is to throw more money at car infrastructure.

How about that North Station-South Station rail connector? Or light rail along the Rose Kennedy Greenway? Or adding another track to the Green Line central subway. Or extending the Orange line out beyond Forest Hills? I'd still like to see the E line depressed from Brigham Circle out to Forest Hills and then on to Franklin Park.

The Urban Ring was a good idea, too; sad that it got lost in a political no-man's land.

Ah, the dreams of a transit junkie!

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