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February 2014

The Red Line [Future MBTA]

Park StThe Red Line is the longest subway line in the T. It is made up of two branches and a High Speed Light Rail Line. Both branches start at the Arlington/Cambridge border at Alewife. They both travel along the line into Somerville, Cambridge, Central Boston, and South Boston. In Dorchester the lines split after the JFK/UMass stop. The A branch travels to Ashmont and is the oldest branch, finished in 1924. At Ashmont you can transfer to the Mattapan High Speed Line which is a high speed light rail line which runs along the border of Boston and Milton, terminating in Mattapan. The second branch, the B branch, splits off after JFK/UMass, skipping Savin Hill, and makes its way to Braintree via Quincy. This branch was started in 1971 and was finally completed in the early 1980s. There is also a C branch which is any train headed towards Alewife from either branch.

The Red Line was originally envisioned as an elevated line, like the old Orange Line, that would go from Harvard Sq in Cambridge to Bowdoin Sq in Boston where it would connect with the Tremont St subway. After it was decided to keep trolley traffic and subway traffic separate in the Tremont St subway, a new plan emerged which had trains running elevated from Harvard Sq to Bowdoin Sq but then diving under Boston Harbor to Maverick Sq in East Boston, but due to disputes between the Boston Transit Commission (created by the state to plan the subway system) and the Boston Elevated Railroad Company (BERy, the corporation building the system) the tunnel under the harbor to East Boston was only built for trolleys. Eventually the tunnel was converted to heavy rail for the Blue Line but the clearances were far too narrow for the larger and wider elevated trains. {….}

MBTA Late Night Sponsorship Program

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is pleased to announce the Late Night Sponsorship program, a unique opportunity for a limited number of firms to show support for extended public transportation service in the core of Boston.

Late Night T Sponsorship is a high profile community service opportunity which will improve Boston’s night time experience by providing patrons and workers worry-free, safe, affordable and convenient transportation.

latenight-box

Your Sponsorship Advertising Will Get Noticed!

  • 22 million tourists visit Boston and Cambridge every year
  • 14 million people view T bus advertising every month
  • 90% of Bostonians live less than 5 minutes from a train station or bus stop
  • 80% of adults 18-34 years of age in Boston are exposed to T advertising every week
  • 1/3 of Bostonians use the T to commute to work every day
  • Greater Boston has 100+ major colleges and universities
  • Metro Boston is home to 20+ major hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other health care facilities, operating 24/7 and employing shift workers

For more information, click here

White Plains Mayor Gives His OK To Metro-North Station Recommendation

Suzanne Samin | White Plains Daily Post

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach is satisfied with the Mass Transit Task Force’s recommendation to re-develop the White Plains Metro-North Station, he said in a statement.

The 31-person task force is recommending White Plains to study a multi-modal transportation center via a $1 million state grant, saying the facility could be a hub for public transit, according to a report by Lohud.com

The task force, which Roach was a part of, issued a 26-page executive summary, where it recommends “a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system that is simpler, faster and more reliable than what is provided today,” according to the report.

“At the very first meeting of Mass Transit Task Force, I voiced my concern that the future of mass transit for the region cannot be just about getting people onto trains and into Manhattan,” Roach said in the statement. {….}

The studies undertaken and evaluated by the Task Force showed that the majority of commutes happen within one’s county of residence or between Rockland and Westchester County, according to Roach.

In 1931, a parking lot in Cleveland Park changed how Washington shopped

Neil Flanagan | Greater Greater Washington

Many people are perplexed as to why Sam’s Park & Shop in Cleveland Park is a historical landmark. While it may look like an ordinary strip mall, the Park & Shop was one of the first examples of retail architecture designed around the automobile.

In the May 1932 Architectural Record, the author praised the Park & Shop in contrast to a traditional main street retail strip, which he derides as “Coney Island Architecture.” He might as well have been describing the Connecticut Avenue service lane, which many neighbors are now trying to have removed.

It’s easy to look back on the beginnings of autocentric planning and think that the people who conceived it must have been deluded, but to them these choices seem eminently rational. Modernism and Le Corbusier often get blamed for the rise of the automobile during the 20th century, because its supporters posed it as the only way to solve urban issues like traffic and overcrowding.

But this magazine is unequivocal about the need to redesign retail for the automobile, and merely reports on the International Style as an interesting trend in Europe. {….}

The Park & Shop’s parking lot made it the vanguard of modern design in 1931. Image from Architectural Record.

A Vision for the Next Los Angeles: Transportation Equity and Just Growth

Manuel Pastor | KCET

If you ask people — including Angelenos — about Los Angeles, a range of images immediately come to mind: our car culture, our suburban sprawl, and our stark divisions by race and income — that are now characterizing the rest of America.

But is that old version of Los Angeles really who we are now?

The fact is that the next Los Angeles is being remade before our eyes — and while there is much to be done, there is a lot that is going right. We are in the midst of a reinvention of sorts: from sprawl to community development, from car dependence to transit orientation, from rising inequality to a growing commitment to equity and inclusion.

Indeed, Los Angeles has been a place for innovation around matters of equity for some time, particularly in the field of transportation. We successfully insisted on better bus service, pioneered clean trucking and shipping at our ports, and have even taxed ourselves to expand our transit network. {….}

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Photo: victoriabernal/Flickr/Creative Commons

Santa Monica’s Former Mayors Sound Off on Bergamot Transit Village

Jason Islas | Santa Monica Lookout

While the City Council approved the Bergamot Transit Village Tuesday night, the conversation about the mixed-use, transit-oriented development is far from over.

A group of residents has called for a referendum on the project and some have threatened legal action in order to stop Texas-based developer Hines from building the 767,000 square-foot residential and commercial project on the site of the abandoned Papermate factory.

Whether there is enough political will among residents to actually stop the project remains to be seen, but opinions about the project, which would be built walking distance from a new Expo light rail station, are as strong as they are varied.

“We failed as a community” to negotiate a better project, said former mayor Michael Feinstein. Feinstein belongs to a camp that believes the project should have had more housing.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmember Ted Winterer proposed a motion that would have kept the project the same size but would made 70 percent of the project housing instead of the current 55 percent.

“There should have been five votes for that motion,” said Feinstein.

But the motion failed 5-to-2 partly because, according to City staff, the change would have delayed the project for months at the expense of the developer.

And, the City risked losing the development agreement (DA). Since Hines could simply convert the current building to office space without a DA, the City would lose out on housing and the attendant $32.2 million dollars in community benefits proposed in the current DA. {….}

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