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atlrvr

Rivervision 2020

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While this is little more than a winning entry in an academic excercise commissione by the Boston Society of Architects, this is one of the most brilliant plans I've ever seen. And I think it's important that since the state and city are looking to undertake several large infrastructure projects, that it be dusted off and given serious consideration.

http://www.nsaarch.com/plan-Rivervision.htm

The plan at its core, does a couple things:

1. Turns Storrow Drive into a surface street that reconnects with the grid, before going under-ground between Hereford and Mass ave, and having a below-grade interchange with the Pike near the Charles gate. It would handle similar capacities as Comm. Ave. today.

2. It extends the Blue Line from Charles/MGH (once state finally extends it to there) all the way to Kenmore Square. It does this by using the Storrow Dr. right-of-way, with stations at Arlington/Hatch Shell, at Mass Ave., and at the existing Kenmore station. The Blue Line then uses the existing D-branch of the Green Line's track and continues into the west. The D-Line would be eliminated, and replace with something remnisant of the old A, which would serve Harvard's new campus and extend across the Charles to Harvard Sq.

Map showing first two points.

Rivervision_02_lg.jpg

3. Eliminate the Bowker Overpass at Charlesgate, and restore Muddy Creek, having it pass over the Pike. The Bowker Overpass is no longer needed with Storrow rerouted, and Charlesgate East and West extended from Beacon to Boylston.

4. The Esplenade is expanded and continues west past Mass Ave with new civic venue, trails, boating center, etc.

Map and birdseye view showing the last two points.

Rivervision_01_lg.jpg

Rivervision_06_lg.jpg

I understand the substantial cost in this, but now is the time to begin implementing the ideas as many of the infrastructure projects are about to begin, and would not be compatible with this vision. This vision takes the Charles River waterfront, the Back Bay, Kenmore, and the new Harvard Campus areas to whole new levels, while substantially increasing T service to downtown.

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Wouldn't mind seeing the Blue get extended to Riverside instead of being Green D. I highly doubt any of this will ever happen though.

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This would be amazing! I love how the plan includes completely revamping Storrow Drive with an expansion of the Esplande.

However, isn't the city currently planning on fixing up Storrow Drive this year? This could be problematic for the goals of this plan because the city is going to pump millions into it and will then will turn to focus on other infrastructure projects that need to be dealt with. And i don't believe that the ideas put forth in this Rivervision project are current options on the table for the project.

Nevertheless it is still nice on paper.

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Storrow is too important a route to turn into a normal surface street. The traffic issues it would cause would negate any of the benefits you would gain, and just end up requiring other roadways to be expanded. The trick is to find a way to make Storrow Drive fit, and not be such a open wound. You can't fight roadways too much - practicality will always win out over looks in a case like this, and if you try to win an all or nothing fight, you will end up with nothing in the end.

I like the idea of turning the D line into a metro line, but I am not sure it would work that well. The Blue line would be too far away from Park Street, which is the main point of embarkation and connection. You wouldn't really hit the proper main stations besides Government Center. I think you might be better off making a new green line that extends from North Station along Storrow somehow, and then making an express train from Riverside direct to South Station.

I think it is a good start for discussion, though.

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The original plan was to eventually convert the central subway into Blue Line-style heavy rail.

- All below-grade Green Line platforms were built long enough to allow for heavy rail trains. Converting them would be a simple as pouring another layer of concrete to raise them a bit.

- The incline at Northeastern University was built out of wood, to allow it to be easily ripped up when it came time to extend the Green Line heavy/light rail subway to Forest Hills. This incline was replaced with concrete in 1985 as the new Kinki trains were too heavy for the structure. The T used this closure as a means by which they could abandon the Arborway branch.

- The B Line tracks at Kenmore used to be on a wooden platform above a deep Blue Line-esque pit for many years to make the eventual heavy rail conversion easier. The pit was filled in sometime in the '70s.

- The B Line would be buried out to at least Packard's Corner, and then continue along the A-Line route through Brighton. When the A Line was active, the stops along the B past Packard's received far less ridership than they do now and they might have been abandoned.

- The C would continue as it does today, looping at Kenmore (hence the loop you see branching off on the C/D inbound and C/D outbound tracks)

All of these plans are long dead, and the T isn't interested in helping non-suburban commuters anymore.

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I like the idea of turning the D line into a metro line, but I am not sure it would work that well. The Blue line would be too far away from Park Street, which is the main point of embarkation and connection. You wouldn't really hit the proper main stations besides Government Center. I think you might be better off making a new green line that extends from North Station along Storrow somehow, and then making an express train from Riverside direct to South Station.

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So the question is... where does the Blue run between Charles MGH and Kenmore? What would be the best route for it in everyone's opinion?

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So the question is... where does the Blue run between Charles MGH and Kenmore? What would be the best route for it in everyone's opinion?

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