News vans with microwave antennas in front of Alewife

News vans reporting... news that Alewife is crumbling

PARKAPOCALYPSE? Monday Metrowest Disaster? You choose your disaster title!

Alewife MBTA garage is closed to new traffic; 5 Investigates (broke the story) and other news crews are on scene, I imagine it's almost as good as a snowstorm newscast.

Town of Arlington alerts note that MBTA will be closing the garage over weekend, at least partly closed on Monday, parking at Thorndike field allowed:

Alewife Garage Closures Starting Today Through Weekend

It is anticipated there may be partial closure of Alewife on Monday, Thorndike Field parking area available Monday only.

The MBTA has informed the Town Alewife Garage is closing today for
repairs, will be closed this weekend, and is expected to be partially
closed on Monday. On Monday only, the Town of Arlington will make
Thorndike Field Parking Area available to Redline Commuters to help
mitigate parking issues associated with decreased garage capacity. The
MBTA will keep Town up to date on further developments as they arise.
Read the full statement by the MBTA and future updates at



Free tagging: 



Wait what?

The MBTA has informed the Town Alewife Garage is closing today for repairs, will be closed this weekend, and is expected to be partially
closed on Monday.

So the concrete has been deteriorating for thirty years, but they're going to fix it in 2 1/2 days. Got it.


No Surprise

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They solicited bids in July and never told anyone. This is typical of them, wait till it's a total disaster then close it so they can ignore it some more.


They solicited bids in July

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They solicited bids in July and never told anyone.

They posted it in the same place as other construction contracts put out for bid. I assume you don't work construction, and therefore never look at those solicitations.

No - they *start* real repairs in September

MBTA official announcement posted in the other thread which says:

spin spin spin

Through ongoing assessments and repair work, additional areas of deteriorated concrete that need to be addressed have been discovered. As such, the garage will be closed over the weekend to address these areas and to expedite the repair plan.

Today, engineering teams are focused on ensuring a safe path of travel for vehicles exiting the garage throughout the day.

The MBTA is in the process of developing a long-term plan for the garage, and in early July, solicited bids for an Alewife Garage Structural Repairs contract. Under a $5.7 million contract awarded yesterday, work will begin in September, and will include repairing beams, patching concrete decks, re-caulking deck joints, and cleaning and flushing the existing drainage system.

spin spin spin

More spin, etc.


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"Car park" is a British term. The appropriate derivation is "Carparxit".

What does closed for new

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What does closed for new traffic mean? Cars can't park in the garage or cars also can't pick up and drop off? Are the bus routes effected?

Get there early

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like really really early, Thorndike has about 20 spaces.

(On a dead end with no practical turn around)


And the only way to get there

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And the only way to get there is by Lake St. which is usually backed up anyway. This is going to be such a failboat. You'd have to get there by 6am to get a space.

MBTA Parking Lots

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Alewife- Crumbling
Braintree- Crumbling
Campello- Cars being vandalized
Quincy- Crumbling and falling down
Quincy Adams- Crumbling
Sharon- cars being vandalized
Whitman- cars being vandalized
Kingston-cars being vandalized

On a good note crime in Quincy garages and Alewife should drop significantly so the MBTA will raise the parking rates. A spokesperson for the MBTA will announce as long as you don't leave your valuables such as a motor vehicle or bicycle in our parking lots you should feel safe as long as you don't get beaned with concrete, mugged, or get injured while riding the escalator the death.


And none of this is Baker's fault

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It all someone else's fault but Charlie will conduct a study. Chucking Farlie is never responsible for anything . Ever.


Since you mention it

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While he was governor, the problem was discovered, and steps were being taken to correct it before the public found out.

But sure, maintenance was definitely a priority during the administrations of Patrick, Romney, Swift, Cellucci, Weld, and Dukakis. Shame on Baker. And to think, it only took less than 4 years for this garage to fall apart.


Want to point a finger

If you have lived here a while and whined even once about state taxes, get a mirror.

If you have voted for the same person time and again, and that person likes to tell constituents about how he or she or they are antispending, get a mirror (and one for your rep, too).

This is the stinking legacy of 1980s Brain Dead Anti Tax Crusading come to bite us all in the ass. That day of reckoning has come in my community, too, and it isn't pretty when people who have lived in the community for 20+ years and have tried time and again to ask that things be maintained properly or fixed come up against the GOVERNMENT HAS MAGIC MONEY SOMEWHERE THAT THEY ARE WASTING AND I JUST *KNOW* IT crowd of education cheated boomers who lack the math skills to run the numbers on why the Police Station and Fire Station are collapsing for lack of "magically somehow there my money cut waste" to rebuild them.

(never mind that the magic money crowd refused to allow for line items in the budgets to maintain these things - I started pushing that 18 years ago).

Just expand that conversation to the state level. Somehow, the state has all this magic money despite opposition to maintenance of goddamn anything ever.

Once again, it is massholes all the way up and down.


Raise gas taxes

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Raise gas taxes
Use that money for transit improvements
Make sure nobody's pockets are getting lined

If you have lived here a

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If you have lived here a while and whined even once about state taxes, get a mirror.

Wait. You are advocating that taxes ought to have been spent on repairing parking garages for cars now?

Let me guess, you watch a lot

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Let me guess, you watch a lot of TV news and don't take mass transit. The most significant hazard riders face is being late to work because of a breakdown or delay. Crime on the T is always newsworthy, because it's pretty rare.


Why are garages crumbling so soon?

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I agree with anon 6:39, does the MBTA have anyone inspecting concrete? Or did they have anyone back when these things were built? I see many concrete structures dating back 100+ years. It's along the lines of the UMass Boston garage falling apart after a couple of decades. At least they prosecuted some politicians there. They also prosecuted some of the Big Dig contractors for concrete that was watered down.

As for the crime in suburban MBTA parking lots, the T Police once had a great undercover task force. For instance if Campello in Brockton or Alewife in Cambridge was being hit, they would set up there, 24/7 until arrests were made.
They disbanded the unit because too many minorities were being arrested.

Much like the Seaport, the "locals" won't patrol the T property in Brockton and Cambridge (the city departments have their hands full with house and business calls) and the T police is focused on the city, so fair game for criminals, those stealing tires and those watering down the concrete.


I'm sure you have watched a lot of construction

So you know that concrete lasts a billion years when it gets a-salted each winter, right?

This station is 35 years old. I remember, as a 17 year old, biking around the unfinished bus and drop off areas when it was being built.

35 years is a long time for concrete in a state that looooves to throw salt around in overkill quantities but does not believe in spending any money whatsoever on maintenance. For at least the first 25 years of this structure, MA did not spend anything on structural maintenance because it came out of agency operating budgets and was invisible to the suits that ran those agencies. It also cost more money than they had, and they didn't dare ask for more because OMG TAX AND SPEND OMG!

Washington State had the same antitax tantrums leading to an anti maintenance problem and they had even more spectacular bridge collapses.

That's when the Valley St Overpass crumbled beyond repair, 93Fast14 happened, and the Feds had a little talk with the state over what they needed to start doing if they ever wanted so much as a penny in federal money again.

Note that the 93Fast14 structures were of similar age of Alewife Station when they started failing badly.



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You had some good comments until you felt necessary to import the blame the AntiTax litany

If you look the Commonwealth had a budget of more than $40B this and last year

If you wanted to you could build a number of new Alewifes each year with the rounding errors between the actual budget and $40B

There is more than enough money in the state budget to fix all the crumbling in one year -- it doesn't get done because no-one in the Legislature cares a whit about anything except getting re-elected and then getting their pension

The same goes true for nearly all the state agencies except they don't have to worry about the election part


Since the state had a $40B budget, anything that would cost less than that could be done. That's correct; any one thing or collection of things that cost less than $40B could be done. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that everything costing less than that could be done, because the total of things needing doing far exceeds $40B. Sorry this wasn't obvious to you and Barbara Anderson.

Want to talk budget? Great!

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Want to talk budget? Great! Let's look at FY2018. You can click through each section on that page to drill down into more specific areas. $40 billion sounds like money is overflowing, but it goes quick:

- HHS takes 55% of the budget, just under $22 billion. This covers a lot of areas, but is majority health care expenses.
- Education takes the next biggest chunk, $7 billion. Again, a lot of programs covered, but the majority ($4.7 billion) is transferred directly to cities and towns to pay for their schools.
- A little under $3 billion goes to Administrative overhead (it's listed as $4B in the budget, but about a quarter of that is just money from the state lottery getting passed through directly to cities and towns). About half of this budget is health insurance for employees and retirees.

Remaining is $7.5 billion. The largest chunk of that goes to "public safety" (basically State Police and prisons, with a sprinkling to fire/MEMA/other projects) + the sheriffs offices, together taking ~$1.6 billion.

Another ~$2.3 billion goes to debt servicing, both new and old (yes, some of this is still paying off the Big Dig).

What's left? $3.6 billion for EVERYTHING ELSE the state does. Not hard to whittle that down quickly. The MBTA? They get $127 million out of this budget, otherwise they get to fend for themselves with a mix of fare revenue, fees they charge to cities served, and 1% of the state sales tax. Good luck operating and maintaining the nations oldest public transit system with that!

It's easy to insist "there's more than enough money!", but once you start making an actual budget, it takes real will to actually make the funds happen, whether that's revenue or taking on a big interest groups. To start somewhere, let's be real: the biggest hogs in our budget are the State Police and Department of Corrections, by far.


Sir or Madam. If we wanted

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Sir or Madam. If we wanted facts and thoughtful, logical arguments, we wouldn't have come to the internet. Your thorough, well-phrased explanation is simply too much for me. Now please kindly yield the floor so someone can make an offensive comment about race or cyclists or maybe both.


HHS takes 55% of the budget,

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HHS takes 55% of the budget, just under $22 billion. This covers a lot of areas, but is majority health care expenses.

Thank Mitt for Romneycare. Baker was Mitt's point man.

You get anti-tax tantrums when...

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The tax-man's bite goes up faster than inflation every year while the perceived quality of services received by the taxpayer from the government declines. Funding a social safety net is crazy expensive and many people don't see a direct benefit from it.

California is one of the bluest of the blue states and yet there is little appetite to repeal Proposition 13 or make it easier for the legislature to raise taxes.

No, but

Alewife Garage serves areas to the west. I know people who live in Waltham, Weston and Wayland who use it frequently - in addition to the Rt. 2 Corridor.


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Boston(area)...Because F$%k You. #BestMemeEver

Thanks, TV News "reporters"

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They should call themselves "Hair combers who go where something happened yesterday". When is the last time a TV news crew in their stupid vans actually broke a story or told us something that wasn't part of an official news release?