Part of the South End growing way faster than even the BPDA expected

Harrison Albany proposal in the South End

They didn't count on this.

The Boston Sun reports areas between Harrison Avenue and Albany Street will add 32% more development than BPDA planners estimated in 2012. The BPDA will use payments from one of the unexpected projects to hire a traffic consultant to figure out what to do about the unexpected traffic from the unexpected development.

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Koan?

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Why does the train have a child on the back?

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Voting closed 26

THIS.

I work in the SOWA area and "rely" on the Silver Line from Tufts. And by that, I mean I walk to work from Tufts no less than 3 days/week, often 5, and either meet the bus at the stop I'd get off at or never see one period.

I've managed to catch a few on the commute home this week; Wednesday we sat in traffic between the Y and Tufts for almost 10 mins until the driver finally just opened the doors, Thursday was a little better but not much.

Even with the "dedicated" bus lanes, it's a mess.

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Voting closed 42

And in one direction …

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In to a tunnel at Tremont-Oak-Shawmut (that exists, and that leads in to a four-track portion of the Green Line that, because when it was designed in 1898 with a grade-separated crossing, has capacity).

And in the other direction … extend it through Dudley Square, a few blocks down Warren Street, and down the median of Blue Hill Ave to Mattapan.

We'd figure out how to make this cost $5 billion, because Massachusetts.

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Voting closed 41

They already had one in the El, it didn't work out.

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The El was built because Washington is not wide enough. It is not wide enough because it is the first street established on the Shawmut Peninsula, an old path that went up the neck, predating known records. Natives and Puritans Failed to leave room for light rail, the fools. The streets that have light rail like Comm Ave were laid out in the 19th Century modeled on Parisian Boulevards. They built an El but that was torn down because it wasn't decorous and replaced with the current OL, a few blocks away. Er, I mean Fight the Power! Clearly this is all racism and classicism by the car-i-tocracy !!

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Voting closed 18

it is actually

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Moving the orange line away from low income communities of color is actually an example of planned racism those few blocks become very long in the heart of Roxbury.

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Voting closed 18

The relocation of the OL was demanded by the local residents.

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Dr. Eugene Rivers and 2 other local preachers led the charge for the removal of the old OL (it was the source of all the trouble you see), and moving it to the right of way for the abandoned highway project through Boston. It will shock you to learn that The Man was not at all interested in spending many millions of $ to move the train over a few blocks, or did so for social engineering purposes. It was moved within the same community, not out to West Roxbury. I don't know why you think gentrification since then (the 80s) has been slower along Washington Street. Big money condos for elderly suburbanites, (Atelier 505, etc.) are more prevalent along the Old train path.

Our colleges give us an infusion of fresh faces and new ideas every year. It also supplies us with kids from the leafy burbs who have no idea about Boston's history and think they are clever because they think they've figured out a conspiracy.

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Voting closed 23

Not exactly

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The state was going to move the Orange Line anyway as part of the I-95 project (in fact, early plans called for extending the line to Westwood through Dedham alongside the new highway). After Sargent cancelled all the new inside-128 highways (I-95, the Inner Belt, the extension of Rte. 2 past Alewife, etc.), the state somehow convinced the feds to give us the road money for public transit (first time in history - New York later followed our lead with their canceled replacement for the West Side Highway), and the state committed to using the land already taken for the Southwest Expressway for public transit.

You're also leaving out the part about how the community agreed to the move on condition the Washington Street el be replaced with something comparable, like, say, a trolley line and how, of course, the state never fulfilled that promise.

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Voting closed 24

I would love to read the source on that last bit.

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People will tell you that the BL to Lynn project was promised as a part of Big Dig mitigation with the CLF. It was not but people will swear up and down that they've been ripped off and are owed. The only "promises" were by it's own mayor who said he would try to get it done. 30 years later it's tough to determine who knows the truth and who has been told a lie so many times it has become truth.

I never heard that the plan was to replace the OL with another line 3 blocks away And replace it again with light rail line in the original spot. When you say it out loud like that it sounds kind of funny.

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Voting closed 14

Ah yes, cramped tiny Washinton

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Washington surely is a tiny, puritanical street, unworkable for a train line. It's a mere 75' wide from curb to curb, accomodating a miniscule 2 parking lanes, 2 bus/bike lanes, 2 traffic lanes, and a center median lane.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/KW8f5yv.jpg)

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Voting closed 22

Why is the cyclist crossing there?

Lol.

A twitterer asked a question I found naive (stupid) and astute (smart) at the same time.

He (she?) asked, Where is the city going to put the 30,000 housing units it says it wants to build between 2013 and 2030 when there is so little land left to build on (his/her words).

So far, since Mayor Walsh proposed this, the city has built maybe 7-8,000 units (I think they'd say more but I'm skeptical), leaving another 20,000 or so to go.

One response might be, there's plenty of land on which to build. Another would be, with all the neighborhood resistance to growth, there's no place to build but downtown, meaning 1) housing costs will be high, and 2) a saturation point might come or the market may change before those additional 20,000 units can be built.

I'm of the opinion that there's still plenty of places to build housing that won't face lots of resistance. Examples are, outside Andrew Square, Suffolk Downs (within Boston), Allston Yards, Seaport District, along the Fairmont Line, etc ...

Others might feel otherwise.

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Voting closed 29

Why?

To get to the otherside, of course!

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Voting closed 25

Subtweeting on uhub?

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That wasn't exactly my argument. More precisely, brownfield sites near high quality transit (like the developments here) are less common than people think- the South End seems to have a massive quantity of parking lots to build on, but it won't fit more than 1.5yrs worth of new housing at current permitting rates. Beyond that, extreme citywide resistance to redeveloping existing housing means that development is concentrated on commercial and light-industrial land, which raises prices and rents. The Boson 2030 projects are far too low for broad affordability, and if you want to permit 10units per 1k residents per year (a reasonable target) you either A: have to start developing on existing residential lots or B: drive nearly all light industrial out of the city, in addition to most development falling in places with worse transit.

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Voting closed 27

I own the question now ..

I'll interpret your comments as I like, thank you very much, she/he. I think the question (mine, not yours) is a fascinating one but again I haven't had much time to think about it b/c .. work? (In theory.)

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Voting closed 22

Actually better

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Per the BPDA report - they've at least permitted 33% more units than planned for - I believe from 2014 thru 2017. While not all permitted units will eventually get built - it's not a bad proxy. They are building about 6000 units annually for the past several years.

Demand seems to run about 3000 units per year - a bit over 1% growth. We have been building at about 2% - but considering we built almost nothing from 2009 to 2012 or so - we are finally getting caught up a bit. May have another year or two to run - but if they keep up at 6000 units a year - we'll have a glut and crash soon enough. Guessing the market will pace it back over time and we'll adjust, hopefully without too much economic disruption.

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Voting closed 23

Just what we need... another study.

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Stop building places for cars, build places for people.

Insert bike/ped/transit friendly network and make it a PITA for other vehicles.

If anything, at least prioritize traffic by passenger count rather than vehicle counts. Not the other way around...

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Voting closed 49

traffic

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it definitely appears that traffic studies fail to account for the future and the addition of other new projects and growth. Long ago, Terrace Street which feeds Mission Hill, at one time rarely had traffic jams. Now Terrace street is jammed at least twice/day.

Do the traffic studies account for this little side street and the commuters who may be from near and far?

So many developer presentations minimizing or underestimating the impact while so little gets done...

btw: I thought the Mayor was after 57,000 units (he said at a ground breaking once)

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Voting closed 20

Big Projects

Tear down all the city owned housing in desirable locations and rebuild it four times as tall. Move the old residents back in for mixed housing.

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Voting closed 36

The roads are wide enough and

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The roads are wide enough and in close to a grid in this area that there should be enough options if they're smart about it. I'd love to see a dedicated bus lane on Herald St; as well as some way to actually enforce the rule that you need to be in one of the left two lanes at Herald/Albany to merge onto the one-lane on-ramp for I-93 South.

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Voting closed 30

Left lane only

Doesn’t the sign indicate you need to be in the left lane only on Herland to get on the 93 S ramp?p

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Voting closed 22

Here’s a suggestion

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Make sure these developments have enough off street parking. They put in a minuscule parking lot for the InkBlock Wholefoods Market lying to the public and City stating that anybody shopping here will walk or commute to Brioadway Station. Well guess what? I’ve yet to see anyone trudging across the Jimmy Kelly bridge to the T Station with Wholefoods shopping bags in their arms.
And traffic forever circling the block to find a parking space or to get a Cuppacoffee.

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Voting closed 24

I live in the area and see

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I live in the area and see people walking down Harrison and Washington with Whole Foods bags constantly. And I’ve seen plenty of people carrying one of those bags crossing both bridges between the South End and Southie.

But anecdotes aren’t data.

So maybe we should pay traffic consultants to actually collect and analyze data.

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Voting closed 28

Are you saying

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There is no traffic going in and out of the too small Whole Foods parking lot? The lot is big enough for everyone who drives there? There's plenty of parking for all the local businesses and Sowa on Sunday?

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Voting closed 25

BPDA'$ job

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Isn't it BPDA's job to plan and anticipate new development? Don't they keep tabs on who's building what, where, and when so that traffic keeps pace and keeps the city's economy going? Without tran$parency at the BPDA, guess we'll never really know what's going on there.

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Voting closed 28

HA

BPDA can't even spell Planning never mind do any. Their idea of planning is to change zoning and wait to see what happens.

So they take a couple acres a 5 minute walk from downtown and change zoning from light industrial to mixed residential, and are shocked developers want to build there.

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Voting closed 34

Please, Please, Please....

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Eliminate one side of parking on East Berkeley- it goes from 3 lanes to 1 and then opens up again - that run is a nightmare!

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Voting closed 35

This. 100 times this.

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This. 100 times this.
East Berkeley must've been designed by the devil or something. It's actually 4 lanes from Albany to Harrison. The stretch from Harrison to Washington goes down to 1 lane after 10 am—even though there's enough room to accommodate two lanes of parking (prob. should only allow 1 anyways) and two lanes of cars going through. Then it goes back to 3 lanes.

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Voting closed 34

Expand the T

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Build a tunnel under washington and turn the silver line into heavy rail.

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Voting closed 24