Did everybody abandon the T for cars this afternoon?
By adamg on Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:48pm
Because it's sounding like downtown and surrounding areas are at gridlock right now - and it can't possibly be because of people heading to the Beanpot, can it?
Two lanes are trying to exit at Charles MGH off Storrow. Those two lanes are not moving.
Ashley Steriti adds:
Revere to Back Bay via car. 75 minutes and still in the tunnel. Can't even see the light of Storrow Drive yet
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this is what happened last thursday. I'm taking bets on the evening commute will be repeat. Once it starts in one area, it just gets worse elsewhere.
Both State and Congress (northbound) look completely jammed
This is just looking out my window.
I would have taken the T today, but instead drove, given the the status of the red line.
No functioning T and most roads are minus 0.5-1 lanes. The math isn't too difficult.
Something for drivers to
Something for drivers to remember when they say they don't care about funding for the T, since a dysfunctional and underfunded MBTA (or expensive) will lead to increasing traffic. People won't disappear if the T keeps breaking down and isn't expanded to reach more people, they will just drive to work.
Sadly I think most of the
Sadly I think most of the drivers in the Boston area actually do favor T funding. The tricky thing is getting those people in the under-served suburbs (you know, like where the house speaker lives), to favor it.
from my office window...looks like Atlantic Ave is backed up (northbound). Southbound isn't there yet (but close).
Summer Street coming from SoBoston is backed up to Sleeper Street and beyond.
Northbound 93 is backed up thru the tunnel.
Southbound 93 is clear (which is odd because its usually the first to back up)
Roommate had to go to Woburn this afternoon. Left DTX (Macy's complex) @ 2:30. Arrived in Woburn at 345.
Yeah its brutal out there.
Almost glad I have to stay for this install at 6pm. That is if the guy even can show up (or can make it here)
...what's the view out your work window now?? Have to venture from downtown to South Boston and wondering how badly the #7 buses will be stuck in traffic in the South Station area. You mentioned Summer Street being backed up to Sleeper....that early in the afternoon, it isn't a good sign for the rush hour.
Thanks for any updates. Might just stay in the office to get some work done and wait out the rush hour.
see for yourself..
sorry for the blurryiness. Office building windows need to be cleaned again.
Thanks for the birds-eye view! I'm heading towards SB so it doesn't look too bad at the moment. Was worth hanging around the office for a bit.
Good. This is the only way
Good. This is the only way the idiots at the state house will think (for at least a second) that the T is valuable and worth funding, but only because it saves them time on their drive.
Yes, yes, of course narrowed lanes due to snow are contributing to the delays, but theres a shit ton of people who didnt use the T today because every single line failed.
Unfortunately you're dreaming on this one. I'd like to think it would wake legislators up but it doesnt.
'sides.. Charlie says he's gonna CUT 40 MIL from the transportation budget. Good move Charlie.. not. You and Mahty can share the dog house you're both going to be in soon...
Charles will cut most of it
Charles will cut most of it from public transit, I am sure it won't be an equal % cut from roads/highways and transit. It will be the T, he screwed it when he was last in the state house with Weld and he will do so again.
like I said
in another post..
Stating its is unacceptable, yet will cut money from the T. How can you fix 'unacceptable' when there's no funds to fix it? You can't.
I hope you like your new roommate (mahty) in the dog house, Charlie.
I wouldn't be so sure.
I wouldn't be so sure. Stephanie Pollack whom he appointed as transportation secretary is about as a staunch supporter of public transit investment as they come.
This is the only way to get drivers to support the T.
"You should support a better T because each person who rides it is not in front of you."
It must be made very, very clear to everyone that this is what happens when many of your neighbors who normally ride the T cannot do so because it is a complete and utter shambles.
Even if the roads were not narrowed today, this cluster would be apparent. Of course, however, since the narrowing variable is in play, it will give license to the crazies to say that the narrowing was the cause (rather than the many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) who avoided the T today (at the T's request!) were the cause).
That would make an excellent
That would make an excellent bumper sticker. Or something to the effect of, "If the Ⓣ were better funded, I wouldn't be in front of you right now."
More travel lanes needed
Is the take away from this situation! Get rid of some of the shrubs and fences blocking snow from being pushed back further!
As to the state house: Many members represent cities and towns not served by the MBTA. Voters in those places already give 20% of sales taxes to the MBTA along with millions in gasoline taxes and RMV fees. There is far more to Massachusetts than just Boston.
Why stop there?
Get rid of the houses and businesses and we'll have even more room for cars, glorious cars!
Ok, Let's break the state in two.
We can have the Commonwealth of Metro Boston and the Commonwealth of the Rest of Massachusetts. Then the Rest of Massachusetts's sales tax proceeds won't go to the MBTA.
I'm fine with that. But guess who gets screwed (financially) in that deal?
You could fit dozens of cars
You could fit dozens of cars in the Boston Common if you just paved over that thing already!!!1!
You want to close the Jamaicway for the benefit of locals.
Parking on the Common
Don't forget to leave room for the beach volleyball stadium.
Cambridge and Longfellow construction to blame
Much of the gridlock is near MGH and Leverett Circle is from motorists not able to get out of Boston. The single open lane of the Longfellow bridge greatly worsens traffic patterns.
There is the loss of a travel lane on the Longfellow bridge due to construction hurting the exodus from Boston.
Worse is the ongoing campaign in Cambridge to remove vehicular travel lanes throughout the city and worsen signal timings while adding ever more instant change pedestrian signals. It all impedes flow and gridlock propagates into its neighbors. Worse, alleged engineers at MIT (urban studies, planning, car hate, and bicycling department) support this failure.
The stupid that was burning? IT EXPLODED!!!
RUN FOR YOU LIFE!
Worse is the ongoing campaign
I don't even know how you can stand to live there. It must be literal hell on earth. When are you moving?
I happily left Cambridge in 1988
I think that was around the time Cambridge narrowed Mass Ave in Central Square from 4 lanes to 2. Since then, more lane removals on Memorial Drive and Mass Ave towards Boston with resulting congestion and last night's parking lot on the Mass Ave bridge. Lane removals around Kendal are more recent, also contributing to the gridlock.
Elsewhere in the US, instead of removing and wasting transportation as done in Cambridge and Boston, roads are expanded to satisfy demand and economic growth.
Texas awaits you
You don't seem to like the weather or the fact that old cities built before the car have realized that they aren't built for cars.
Plenty of tech jobs. Any reason you are waiting?
Elsewhere in the US, there is
Elsewhere in the US, there is enough empty space to expand roads to meet demand (until there isn't, of course; see LA and Atlanta, for example).
In any case, there are vast swathes of our great nation where the auto is king and you never have to worry about any unsightly public transit offending your eye (unless you're near a shopping mall or housing project). While you may have left Cambridge, it's obvious that living in such close proximity to it is still causing you an incredible amount of stress, and that you'd be much happier elsewhere.
Let us know when you get settled in. The UHub community won't even hold it against you if you continue to read and post as an expat.
Local aid to cities and towns
I believe that a fair bit of money flows from greater-Boston-area economic activity to the western cities and towns, via state aid.
How would western MA do if that money were no longer there? Would you trade an aid cutoff for not having that percentage of the sales tax go to the MBTA?
I think some tax money also goes to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, etc.
Regret not biking today
Figured the roads would be terrible enough to warrant a dry ride on the bus to green line to work. Hell I even had the thought of "Gee, you might get in more drivers way then normal, maybe I should stay off the road just for today."
10 buses and 2 hours of waiting followed by another hour or so getting to Kenmore and walking to North Station.......
I was going to post the exact same thing. I figured it would take only a little longer on the T and be a lot warmer. Turns out it took a lot longer on the T and was colder then I was expecting.
I had never seen so many people at Park Street this morning yet it was surprisingly quite without at least one train in idling in the station. It was also really cold.
I biked. It was a lot slower
I biked. It was a lot slower than normal and I had to walk in parts, but it was, in retrospect, absolutely the best way to get to work. And I suspect it would have been even easier if I had something more suitable than a road bike with slick tires.
Did everybody abandon the T
Did everybody abandon the T for cars this afternoon?
MGH issued congestion alert
Severe congestion in and around Mass General Hospital. Difficulty getting in and out of the garages, dropping off patients etc.
What's with these sick people not wanting to walk, bike, or take the T? How selfish of them needing to use motorized transport.
There WOULD be a lot more room on the roads for those who are ill if all the able bodied people didn't drive.
The trains might suck but the buses would be running just fine if it wasn't for so many people hogging the roads with big hunks of steel containing only a single person.
I take it you agree there should be a urban congestion fee that personal drivers pays (like London) with the money going to the T. It would solve a lot of the problems we've had today.
We know you're angry, Mark
But please don't post Internet comments and drive at the same time
Exhaust get to your brain?
The congestion alert isn't about sick people driving - because sick people drive to MGH all the time. In the big snow winters of the mid-90s, I did my share of helping some of the chemo center patients navigate the ice and snow piles when they parked along the street that my lab was on.
Those people will always drive, and in steady numbers. This mess is about everyone else driving because the MBTA has been so messed up.
In the last year of his life, my father enjoyed having a handicap placard in part because living in Portland meant that he could go downtown to shop or get lunch without encountering much traffic or fighting for parking. Why? Not very many people who work downtown commute into the central city by car, that's why. Consequently, if you are willing to pay for the privilege of parking downtown or have a handicap placard, you enjoy the benefits of transit and bike commuting share, too.
If there are fewer cars on the road because transit and human powered options are available and useful, those who lack the choice are all the better for it.
The people who unnecessarily
The people who unnecessarily drive into Boston every day block ambulances on a regular basis yet protesters slow down one ambulance and drivers complain about it for weeks(not that I agree with that protesting tactic, it was a huge waste of gas).
I have serious asthma issues. I get sick very easily when I ride the T when it is crowded (yes, I had a flu shot), and I could not bike this morning even if the roads were clear (10F is my absolute lower limit).
My current commuting choices are bronchitis for the next three weeks, severe asthma and ice hazards, or drive.
While I agree with you in theory and do my best to not wastefully commute, I still have to get to work and stay healthy. Riding a bike satisfies this much of the time. These are extreme times.
On the other hand, I don't drive alone.
Communism has fallen
I'm sure you miss the days when the central planning committee would decide what products the people would get to have. What they want didn't matter.
How do you think we ended up
How do you think we ended up with all of these paved roads?
Leave the guy alone!
Who wouldn't want to go back to those thrilling days when they just loaded the bodies onto carts?
I'm not dead yet!
I'm feeling better! In fact, I think I'll go for a walk!
You'll be stone dead in a minute.
Subdued, almost orderly, quiet acceptance today...
The roads were packed during my mid-afternoon break, with intersections pretty close to jammed up. There was a certain element of capitulation in the air today. It seemed pretty peaceful, but it certainly comes across as a quiet acceptance...
It has been century(s?) of the same old same old, the outcome is the same, we still mostly push snow, and this ignores the sidewalks. It is time for some for some crazy (or not so crazy) innovations...
*meh* (personal quiet acceptance on my part)
Would reversible lanes help?
I'd like to see the city experiment with having some lanes change direction by time of day: one way until 11:55 am, the other way after 12:05 pm.
Queue Danny Glover quotes from Lethal Weapon...
"Im too old for this @#$%..."
And it would be echoed by cities, neighborhoods, residents, and car users... Mostly because simply trying to get the word out will fail hard.
I do see potential in this as a way to do larger scale snow removal projects, at least on a temporary basis. Otherwise, this sort of stuff just adds to the confusion of driving in downtown Boston...
Freak out in 5 ... 4 .... 3 ...
This would only work for those who know the roads. I have suburban friends (I'm talking Westford or Pepperell) who Freak Out at the mere idea of having to come into the Big City for a meeting down at the Seaport. Near Tears Freak Out.
I grew up north of the City and we came in for Christmas Eve services at a Beacon Hill church for a number of years (la di dah, right?). The first year we did this, we went down one street with the intent to take another turn. I'll never forget my father muttering, "this used to be one way the other direction!" and then quickly having to spin the wheel to keep moving in order to not piss off the people behind us. (he used to work in town until that company moved to Wakefield for cheaper rent)
Add in the many tourists and out of town livery drivers ... sheer insanity. It's not uncommon to stand at The Tam and see someone driving the wrong way up Tremont St. Bets are taken to see just how far they get ....
I could see that they might work, but you would need some major signage upgrades. And some serious planning to get people in the mindset. Maybe a puzzle master in there with traffic engineers. :)
Since the T said to stay away
Since the T said to stay away from the Red Line, and the commuter rail was delayed (and there aren't many spaces in the lot because of the snow), I worked from home until 11 and when i tried getting on the expressway in Neponset at 11, it was still backed up solid. thankfully, Morrissey was surprisingly a breeze. Either way, I'm not leaving the Back Bay to go home until at least 7. It's a disaster out there. if they haven't already, i really hope (pray?) that they delay the parade!
Imagine what it will be like tomorrow when the suburbanites stream in for the parade. The roads can't handle it and the T can't handle it.
But the show must go on!
let's have a parade downtown where no one can park and the T is broken
think today's a shit show? wait till tomorrow
I have a friend who works in PR
He tells me that it took him two hours to get to work today. I asked him "was there something going on at the college today for which you absolutely positively had to show up in person?" He told me no. He's no liar.
This guy can do all of his work via telephone or e-mail. So why didn't he? This is clearly a problem that impacts the whole damn community. Employers need to get realistic about travel demands in Boston.
Why? Because despite all the
Why? Because despite all the hype of working from home, there's still value in seeing your co-workers in person.
Barely anyone has been in my office the past week and finally tomorrow most are going to try to make it in, even though we have a very generous work-from-home policy.
Otherwise, what do you propose? That no one who absolutely needs to be at the office commutes for the next week?
I agree on the value of seeing co-workers
But it's not tenable every day there's this much snow on the ground for hundreds of thousands of people to go into the same small area at the same two times each day and do that. I would also like a pony and to have a diet that consists entirely of ice cream.
I mean, just look at the picture. There is nobody in that picture who is helped by sitting in that line.
So when will it be a good
So when will it be a good time to commute, with more snow forecast? Should there be a system where if your company name starts with A-M you come in certain days, and N-Z the others?
Unless you propose that everyone who can work from home just stays off the roads and trains and buses for the next ___ weeks, what do you suggest?
Half the city works 9-5 M-W-F-T-Th the next two weeks and 12-8 T-Th-M-W-F the next two weeks. The other half works the opposite hours.
I'm reading above about the MGH thing. Does anybody want an appointment at 10 PM? If I were sick today, I would visit a doctor at 10 PM to avoid the traffic if I could and my condition permitted it. If I were a doctor, I would work from 2 PM to 10 PM because I don't like to get up early. I would serve the population that would want to avoid traffic or doesn't like to get up in the morning. It's a big city, the population is there to support that, in theory.
Tell the schools this
Easy for someone without kids to make these pronouncements. If you have younger ones who can't get off and out on their own, you are at the mercy of the schedule the school sets.
I mean, I was a kid once
I got to school every day. I walked or took a bus. Mom didn't drive or work, and Dad drove the family car to work early in the morning way before school.
Every child 13 and under should have a parent in the home who sees them off to school and is at home when they return from school. I hate to make that argument, because people misinterpret it as "Will thinks women shouldn't have jobs," at which point, I remind them that I said PARENT in the home, not MOTHER.
We used to sustain families in this country on one household income. Then both parents started working and drove up the price of everything for everybody else. I mean, okay, but there's real consequences to that.
We used to sustain families in this country on one household income. Then wages were systematically suppressed in order to "prevent inflation", and eroded relative to the price of everything, and both parents started working to keep families out of poverty.
I don't recall that from any history classes
I sure wish that phenomenon had been taught to me in 11th grade when I studied 20th century America. No sarcasm.
Will, there are A LOT of factors that have driven up the cost of living over the past 50 years. Dual income families are one, sure, but hardly the only one or the most important. And the factors are variable by location/region.
You are arguing that one or two adults combine to give up a minimum of 13 years of income and professional progress, more if they have more than one child. I don't know what your field is, but most professions I know of are constantly adding knowledge and skills that don't allow gaps of 6.5-13 years without permanent damage to your hireability. And does a 13 year old really need a parent waiting at home for him every day?
I think it would be great if we did more to allow all parents to spend more time with their kids, but staying home for 13 years is not necessary.
13 years might be pushing it
But I also sincerely believe that I have better intelligence and manners than most people...and that the path to that was my upbringing, which consisted of my mom being in the home when I returned from school in the early grades. I have the best parents in the game. They taught me hard work and the value of education and never once stuck me in a daycare.
My field? I host trivia nights at bars (and write them), and I drive rideshare on the side.
I can't tell if you're being
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or serious about the governor's office dictating when employees of private firms should be allowed into their offices.
I'm not big on government intervention
So, make it a tax incentive and not an edict. "Help us with traffic. Send us timesheets verifying that you staggered employee hours during snow periods and you get a 1% corporate tax break."
How about we just charge
How about we just charge congestion pricing on drivers in the city during peak hours so that we don't punish the majority of downtown office workers that do actually take the train to work?
I'm in the same boat.. I had the flu the 2nd week of January so I was out for a week. Then I came back for a week and worked. Then snow day(s) (two)last week, and one this week.
My job requires me to be in the office, there's very little I can do at home since I need to physically be here to do a good portion of my job.
I'm getting behind because of all these days out of the office....
What is your job and where is your job?
Our elected officials won't fix this, I guess it's up to me to ask every Bostonian what they do and how we can fix their work commuting circumstances.
IT Support Personnel (Systems Engineer)
You need to handle computers
Okay, that calls for going to work. Next!
We had in-person meetings
We have had several telecommute days, but we don't have the VPN capacity for that to work smoothly.
Even if we could fix that, we have people in from all over the US today, and all over the US and Europe at the end of the week.
Then I get to be one of those people who goes to another part of the country to be a part of a meeting of people from all over the world, because what I need to do has to happen in-person.
Have you ever had a day job, Will? If not, go get one and learn. Consider as well that people who work in laboratories cannot telecommute, nor can custodians, or people working in hospitals or maintenance people or people who maintain networks and keep computers running.
I have not
Radio station/music research/trivia host/rideshare driver. I've made it to 31 without working 9 to 5 in an office.
I'm not trying to dump on workers here, I'm trying to gauge how many workers are sitting in traffic for no good reason.
And VPN is only good if it works and if your remote site you are VPN'ing into is up. Unlike my office who's ISP decided to do a router upgrade IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY which hosed routing tables, made our VPN server go down.
*shakes fist at Windstream*
Ask me how many IM's and calls I got between 12:30p and 3pm of "I can't connect to the VPN".. ugh.
State shut an I-93 exit
Exit 24, to be exact, because there was no place downtown for the cars to go.
I've got a bad feeling about this
The Spouse has an appointment at MGH on Thursday. We were there last Thursday, as well, in the Storrow-to-Cambridge-Street Gridlock from Hell, because circumstances made us think this would be a better option than commuter rail. HA!
I will be conducting healing prayers for the Fitchburg line for the next 36 hours. I'm agnostic, but also desperate.
state and congress
I've been sitting at this intersection for six light cycles. pretty sure I could walk to charlestown faster. (but I can't today because I have the chest cold of death)
What could we learn from other cold, northern cities?
Some other places routinely get the amount of snow and cold that we've had the past few weeks. Could we learn some lessons from Minneapolis-St Paul, Buffalo, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, or Moscow?
Pedestrian inter-building networks would be nice
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Stockholm, and Helsinki (as well as Chicago and Winnipeg, which you didn't mention) all have some amount of pedestrian interconnection between bulidings (either above or below street level, or in some cases both) covering major portions of their downtown and connecting to their rapid transit systems. We have the Westin/Copley Place/Prudential Center...and that's basically it.
The best thing to learn from other cold northern cities, such as
Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, etc., would be to invest in better snow-removal equipment and manpower, as well as more funding and manpower, not only for snow removal, but for our MBTA/public transportation system, instead of cutting funding for such things, and investing in weapons to make war on, invade and kill innocent people in other countries.
Do you mean Cold Northern
Do you mean Cold Northern Cities with decling populations?
City, 1990 2013
Buffalo 328,117 258,959
Detroit 1,203,339 688,701
Chicago 2,783,726 2,718,782
Or they interconnected Cold Northern city?
Minneapolis 368,804 400,070
Saint Paul 272,338 294,873
Or did you mean public transportation that are newer and smaller then Boston?
Like the Buffalo Metro Rail opened May 1985 and only has 13 stations?
Or the Detroit that a completely separate urban and suburban systems? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_in_metropolitan_Detroit#Tran...
And has Man Walks 21 Miles to Commute Each Day Because of Detroit’s Awful Transit
Like Metro Transit (Minnesota) - averaging 267,700 established in 1967 ?
It is a good question but we should be looking at NY, NJ and Chicago
Kendall was completely
Kendall was completely gridlocked up when I left around 6. Heard some dude honking and cursing. Standard.
Red line (inbound from Kendall) was actually okay, fwiw. 17 minute wait for the next outbound train though, and Park St looked disastrous when we passed by.
Economic impact of our aging
Economic impact of our aging and underfunded public transit system willl be telling . We as a state should be investing as much updating/expanding public transit as we did in the big dig. People / businesses will eventually get fed up they will move to better equipped / wArmer climates. Forget the Olympics we need immediate investment and big ideas on regional transit that welcomes users ! And offers shelter from the elements. So sick of the politicking.
I was on the express bus to
I was on the express bus to Watertown at 3 PM. Downtown was a total shit show. That bus wasn't going express anywhere.