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Columbus Avenue in Roxbury getting trolley-like bus stops

New bus stop going in on Columbus Avenue

One day, that bus will zoom right down the middle of the avenue.

Construction crews have been busy in recent months building new bus stops between Egleston and Jackson squares for dedicated bus lanes and stops that planners say will mean a faster ride to and from Jackson Square and Ruggles on the 22, 29 and 44 bus routes.

Once completed, what is now a four-lane road will become a two-lane road - with new bus-only lanes running down the middle:

City illustration of the new bus lanes:

Illustration of new bus lanes

In addition to the new lanes and stops, the city will also install better pedestrian crossings, for both passengers and people who just want to get from one side of the avenue to the other would getting pancaked.

Longer term, the corridor could become part of a high-speed bus route from Mattapan to the Longwood Medical Area.

More info from BTD.

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Comments

The southbound bus lane on Washington St, from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square, is still not open for business -- despite the fact that it would benefit 9 bus lines and only requires minor re-striping and a couple buckets' worth of red paint.

It also doesn't help that Roslindale Village is still Zone 1 when Lynn (former Zone 2) is now Zone 1A, along with Quincy Center (former Zone 1).

But wait, there's more! It gets even more hurtful when the mayoral candidate from Roslindale -- a progressive who is supposedly concerned about the T -- hasn't said or done anything about service to her own neighborhood. Unfortunately for her, unlike many other transit-related initiatives, she actually has jurisdiction over this problem: Washington St is a city street, and falls squarely under the purview of the city council.

Yes, transit equity means better service to historically underserved communities. The Columbus Ave bus lane is a good step forward, although installing overhead catenary (and using in-motion charging ETBs, such as those in Dayton OH) would be even better. But transit equity also means making service more reliable and affordable to other (densely-populated) places in the city, so that people can move around and get to jobs, daycare, etc. in a timely manner.

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Voting closed 27

First, the bus lanes did not get the community (and to be clear, I am talking immediate abutters, not the anti car crowd that don’t live on Washington Street) input. I don’t see people going along when they were not consulted.

Second, I don’t see the lane being clear as a priority while traffic is down. Outside of the Square (not part of the bus lane) there isn’t any congestion.

I’ll leave the ignorance about commuter rail pricing alone.

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Voting closed 23

... Washington St and anti car folks do indeed live on Columbus. Washington too.

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Voting closed 26

I was talking about Washington Street in Roslindale, not the Columbus Ave project. The comment I was responding to talked a fair game about the failed rollout of the outbound afternoon bus lanes in Washington Street. Sorry if my comment was unclear.

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Voting closed 16

On the MBTA website: https://www.mbta.com/projects/bus-transit-priority#rapid.

These bus lanes (Columbus Ave, Washington St, and many more) are being implemented because of COVID and the desire to get people to their destinations as quickly as possible, not despite COVID and reduced congestion.

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Voting closed 24

These plans are being implemented regardless of Covid, as they were in the development stage before Covid was declared a pandemic.

Given your logic, the Commonwealth Avenue trolley stop consolidation could be viewed in the same way, but the history of the projects say otherwise.

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Voting closed 20

Also I find the constant bashing of the city council for not getting things done silly given how little power they have. If the mayor doesn't prioritize something, that's a wrap.

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Voting closed 22

String up an electric wire if you care about climate change Baker.

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Voting closed 36

Permit a new modern design nuclear power plant to generate the electricity to run through that wire if you care about climate change, Baker.

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Voting closed 23

Can they put all the existing waste in that triple-stacked fuel pool at Pilgrim in your yard? Even dry cask storage would improve the situation.

Oh, and states don't permit nukes.

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Voting closed 26

If you don't think nuclear power is possible then you don't believe climate change is a serious issue. There is no way we can convert our power needs to all electric with non-nuclear renewable sources for decades. Many countries generate the majority of their energy from nuclear and much of the US Naval fleet is powered by it.

Yucca mountain can store generations of Nuclear waste thousands of feet below ground. I lived in Nevada and understand the arguments against but they are politics and not science. The science says it is safe. We are all told these days that science is fact, not opinion. So storage is not the issue if we got serious about the issue. The problem is no one wants to solve the issue because it is too good of a political issue to win elections with that solving it is not in their best interest.

If not nuclear, then natural gas is the only other solution for the next couple of decades.

Oh, by the way, states are quite obviously one of the players in permitting any nuclear power site. Yes, not the only one, but if the state is pushing for it the Feds would have to give it a fair evaluation unless you are assuming corruption, That is not out of the question.

Everyone is interested in the Paris climate accords. France generates 70% of its electricity from Nuclear. Maybe we can ask how they store the waste.

Quite honestly, I expected better critical thinking out of you.

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Voting closed 33

Pro nuclear environmentalists are trading a hundred year problem for a ten thousand year problem. Pragmatic, survive to try and fix the next problem. But acting like nuclear power is a trivial undertaking in any respect is foolish. The ore extraction, the waste, the catastrophic nature of nuclear accidents, none of these are imagined drawbacks.

We probably will increasingly utilize nuclear energy as the availability of cheap fossil fuels declines, but it is merely trading one kind of poison for another. If we don't figure out how to use less energy, sooner or later we are headed for collapse.

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Voting closed 22

There is enough spent fuel in the pool at Pilgrim to make all of New England and parts of Canada uninhabitable if the pool lost water circulation or accidentally drained.

This problem is repeated globally.

Solve that problem before making more.

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Voting closed 16

...Nevada has plenty of NIMBY opinions about Yucca Mountain.

Nuclear Power has awesome benefits, but no one wants it in their back yard, let alone the waste.

Now the calculus might change if I were a dictator... But I'm not one of those.

*Making a pun on "critical", get it?

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Voting closed 24

Water sources - check.

Seismic risk - check.

It was scientists, not NIMBY or politicians who shut that one down because it wasn't going to work.

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Voting closed 16

In the immediate future, nuclear is by far the better option than any sort of fossil-fuel-based power generation. I think I've posted this before, but: nuclear power in its catastrophic failure state (i.e. a Fukishima-level containment breach in a reactor) is less awful than coal power in its normal operating state. Less radiation, fewer deaths, less environmental damage. Coal mining and burning is that bad. But nuclear has an optics problem, and waste disposal is tricky, so we keep building natural-gas plants that are going to be obsolete in twenty years.

That said, solar panels are coming down in cost so quickly that they'll be the only sane choice to add capacity within about ten years. Arguably they're the only sane choice now, but it's hard to get the kind of scale and 24-hour-availability you need to run a power grid in a place like Boston.

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Voting closed 18

You are just ignorant and want an excuse to play high school debate games.

This is real life, not high school debate. You don't get to make the rules about discussion in either case.

Solve the waste problem and we will talk.

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Voting closed 15

This is the comments section.

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Voting closed 16

Solve the waste problem and we will talk.

Talking things out IS the way people solve problems, remember?

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Voting closed 17

It’s called a nuclear panner plant!

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Voting closed 8

This is the city of Boston setting up a bus lane. The City of Boston can reconfigure its streets with just some minor coordination with the MBTA to make sure everything syncs up properly, but to "string up an electric wire" you also have to run buses that run on electricity, and the MBTA buying more of those would be a much longer process. Electrifying buses is a thing we should definitely do (although maybe battery electric buses would be better than trolleybuses, or for that matter streetcars) but you can improve the bus lanes first and then do that when we can do that.

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Voting closed 33

Baker's MBTA has taken an official stance that electric wires are bad. Not just no new ones - they want to remove the existing ones.

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Voting closed 32

... a few weeks ago it gladdened my heart. This will also change Columbus from a speedway to a safer city street.

Bike lanes are missing though.

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Voting closed 48

Just remember, Seaver Street only became the first leg of the Roxbury 500 when the tracks got ripped up once the street cars were phased out in the early 1950's.

What could possibly go wrong with tracks running from Mattapan up Blue Hill Avenue, splitting at BHA and Seaver, up Warren, to Washington, and up into the old Pleasant Street incline. Other tracks up Columbus to Tremont to Bay Village? Can't say the streets are not wide enough.

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Voting closed 43

The first bit would be to link Nubian Square with the Pleasant Portal. This is particularly applicable because there is still an active MBTA power feed under the street which used to power the Orange Line, so electrification costs would be lower because there would be no need to build a new feed and conduit. South of Nubian is trickier since Warren Street gets narrow pretty quickly.

The Pleasant Portal is quite interesting as well. Tremont Street there was widened, and it would only require taking a small portion of the park to put the tracks back in. Because the street slopes there somewhat perceptibly, the tracks can go from underground to the surface in the course of that one block before transitioning back to the street, and the sidewalk could just be rerouted adjacent to the park. You can get a good idea of what this used to look like using some of the old maps at MapJunction, specifically look at the 1952 aerials and earlier Bromley maps. Connecting to Washington could include a diagonal bridge across the Turnpike with a station there, or maybe zigzag across with a station on Marginal Way.

There's also plenty of capacity in the subway, at least to Park Street, because everything was grade separated in 1897 when it was built. Service from the south would operate on the outer tracks, and by turning some/more service from the west back at the Park Street loop, there's no real worry that it would clog the subway north of Park.

Then there's the question of how to accommodate the SL5 into the Tunnel as well as the SL4 to South Station, but there's no law that says that you couldn't have trains and buses operating on the same right-of-way, splitting off north of the Pike. They could even use a similar power supply, with the trolleybuses using the left wire and offsetting the right wire enough that the pantograph didn't hut the return and fry the system. But those are details …

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Voting closed 15

Sounds like the X 28 is back on the drawing board.

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Voting closed 23

They should be doing this same thing on Mass Ave between Central Square and the river. (The bus lane that they added to some parts of this stretch recently is kind of a lite version, not complete enough to be effective.)

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Voting closed 32

The have the greatest graphics.....move up Columbus towards Franklin Park. So two lanes of inbound commuting traffic coming down Seaver St and merging into one lane at the intersection of Seaver /Walnut Ave. That should flow well..........

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Voting closed 19

on Columbus for the past three months while they've been doing this construction. It's actually much worse right now than it will be when they're done, because it's one lane in each direction and buses block traffic completely when they stop to pick up or discharge passengers at the corner of Walnut and Columbus. Cars making an unprotected left also block traffic entirely.

I drive that stretch of Columbus/Seaver twice a day, and even with all the lane closures, it hasn't been any worse to drive on than normal. Once construction is done, I'm guessing it'll be less congested than it used to be, and bikes/bus passengers won't have to fear for their lives.

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Voting closed 23