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State to shut turnpike on ramp from Clarendon Street next month

Clarendon on ramp to turnpike

On ramp set to be shut. Photo by MassDOT.

MassDOT reports it will permanently shut the on ramp down to the Massachusetts Turnpike from Clarendon Street on Sept. 3 because hardly anybody uses it and it's really a pretty crappy little on ramp.

This on-ramp has limited sight distance for drivers, meaning they have little visibility of other vehicles when they are merging onto the highway, and it is too short for vehicles to accelerate to the appropriate speed at the access point. The crash rate at this on-ramp is also higher than the rates at other on-ramps in the local area.

Back Bay drivers with the need for speed will still be able to get onto I-90, which would take them clear across the country if only they had the time, at Arlington and Dartmouth (and, of course, Mass. Ave.).

Just to bring final closure to the benighted lramp, MassDOT will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the BPL in Copley Square, at which residents can express their feelings on the ramp's impending demise, not that anything they say would much matter, given how definite MassDOT already is about shutting the thing down.

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Comments

Eureka! Shut down a ramp to the highway!
My favorite part is them citing folks not being able to get to speed to merge. They can't make it to 5mph during rush hour? Is it a wheelchair ramp?
What a joke.

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Voting closed 17

i never even knew it existed!

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Voting closed 13

It's really awkward, poorly marked and makes it feel like you're going into the garage.

https://goo.gl/maps/p8FHyPDmagp4kt5G8

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Voting closed 28

And make it an off ramp to the back bay.

I think they did look at this a few years ago and determine various clearances didn't work - but maybe they should think about it some more?

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Voting closed 8

I think there might be some engineering challenges, given that it's, um, on the wrong side of the highway.

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Voting closed 43

I think if HotWheels can figure it out, so can MassDOT.

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Voting closed 23

No it is on the right side I.E I-90 West Bound -- but it does have the wrong slope -- going down to I-90 W instead of rising up from it

That's always been the most important missing link since I-90 now goes to Logan and beyond to Rt-1 and the beach. Well it also goes the other way as well -- beginning @ Seacoast in Revere to heading west to Seattle -- yet you can't get off it until you are all the way across the core of Boston.

Remember -- Back when there was a giant trench across Boston waiting for a road to be built and things like the Pru were yet to crouch above -- the highway [Mass Turnpike Extension] was viewed as a means to bring people from Newton and beyond into downtown and the Back Bay and get them home again after work.
http://www.bostonstreetcars.com/uploads/2/0/7/4/20744966/7491640_orig.jpg

Since it ended just a few blocks from the Back Bay at the Central Artery -- No one thought that you needed to get off I-90 when you are headed West in the Back Bay -- nor could they imagine why you would want to get on @ Mass Ave to go a couple of blocks to the East.

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Voting closed 4

Yup! A big pet peeve of mine. If you're heading West through the Ted Williams, you can take an offramp to the BCEC or to South Station, but then not again until Allston. Meanwhile, there's Pike WB onramps at Albany, Arlington, Clarendon, Dartmouth, and Mass Ave. Closing the Clarendon onramp for safety reasons and turning the Arlington one into a WB offramp would be a good move.

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I like it because it feels like a secret. It's tucked under the garage and you just go. Merge carefully and just go.

Is this where that guy in the wheelchair got on the pike?

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Voting closed 6

And I drive by there all the time!

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...if this has anything to do with the mega-projects in various stages of planning and development for that area, the garage at Dartmouth/Stuart, tower above Back Bay Station, the former hotel on Trinity Place. If/when any or all of these things start to happen, it's going to be a bloody mess.

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Voting closed 19

You mean, city stuff happening in the city?

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Voting closed 12

Yes I wonder if this more has to do with development above or nearby. There's also an onramp near Cortez street and I wonder if that will go away also.

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The statement says that the Arlington onramp will remain open.

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Voting closed 7

Shutting down this ramp will make it a convenient area for parking and storage of construction vehicles and equipment for those mega-projects..

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Voting closed 9

They'll probably keep the ramp usable but limit it to emergency and maintenance vehicles. There are many of these ramps.

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Voting closed 8

Better yet, in Marty Walsh's Boston I'd assume developers will be granted the right to make a building with exclusive 'residents only' on ramps to the Pike.

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Voting closed 11

Yes, it is certainly related. The Back Bay/South End Gateway project plans to modify the existing garage and remove the two drum ramps. But that means that they need another access point for cars into the garage. If the Mass Pike ramp is closed, as is being done now, they can create that access to the garage on that private road that currently feeds the ramp. If the Mass Pike ramp is NOT closed, they have proposed an exit from the garage directly onto Dartmouth St. That would be a disaster for pedestrians. So while MassDOT is saying that they are closing the ramp for safety reasons, I'm pretty darn sure that it's also to allow this project to move forward with the better garage ramp option.

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Voting closed 6

MassDOT is not exactly a very proactive agency. If something is motivating them to change "the way things things are," chances are it's because someone with deep pockets or connections has reached out and requested it of the Governor or someone who can tell MassDOT what to do.
Just doing something because it makes sense or is better design? ....why risk having people mad at you or spending money?
"THIS IS THE WAY IT'S ALWAYS BEEN. THE ONLY WAY IT CAN EVER BE."

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Voting closed 3

This is a fine idea. The ramp is little used most of the time, and has crappy visibility for merging traffic. Just like DOT noted.

Only thing is... There are a few multi-year construction projects planned for Dartmouth St, which is the main on-ramp to I90. When these begin, they'll mess up Dartmouth St, and the Clarendon ramp might become more important.

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Voting closed 12

It was my new secret way to get on the Mass Pike!

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Voting closed 26

As long as they never touch this one!

https://goo.gl/maps/Vbvpg7YsB76nRhRz8

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Voting closed 12

Everything about that ramp is wonderfully bizarre - the way it just sort of shows up there, right in the middle of a major intersection, where you least expect it, to that weird down arrow, to, yes, the way it proclaims "NEW YORK," as if that city is off the very next interchange, rather than pointing to, oh, I don't know, Waltham or Worcester or even just "Points West" or something.

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Voting closed 20

I believe the correct signage should read "SEATTLE".

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Voting closed 1

I was in Chicago a few weeks back and the exit for I-55 off Lakeshore Drive by Soldier Field/ the museum area says "St. Louis"

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Voting closed 5

Because the Stevenson goes to Saint Louis. The Eisenhower goes to Des Moines.

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I knew that- was pointing out another case of a faraway control city- especially when 55 goes through Springfield & Bloomington on way to St Louis

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There was, maybe still is, a sign for I-80 westbound in either Manhattan or New Jersey with the destination "Cleveland". Which actually makes sense, as the road passes no town or city of any significance in all of Pennsylvania or eastern Ohio.

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Voting closed 3

Perfect spot for a new pedestrian space. That's always been a dead zone for walking between the entrance and parking garage entrance. Could be turned into a fun plaza area.

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Voting closed 10

Aside from the tunnel end, the street end of the on-ramp is a dark overhang of the garage.

Honestly, as a pedestrian, the on-ramp is less of a dead zone as the garage entrance/exit area or even the T busway, mainly because it is the narrowest of the three.

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Voting closed 7

n/t

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Voting closed 7

The Arlington on ramp is a way better one, the Clarendon one is a bad. I only use it after midnight when it's safest. The rest of the time it's not worth it. It's really suppose to free up congestion coming from that part of downtown.

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Voting closed 6

Their current tag line is "The only garage in the city with MASS PIKE access."

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https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/6/20756945/uber-lyft-tnc-vmt-traffic-con...

With $45/day parking and continued efforts by anti-car officials to remove parking, ride share is less expensive and more attractive than driving oneself.

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Voting closed 3