ceo wrote:Where are you thinking of putting these 128 stations (and presumed giant parking garages) on Green and Orange? The crossing on the potential Green ROW is pretty built-up, and Orange is smack in the middle of a wetland and some distance (through a residential area) from the nearest interchange.
See the linky up the page from the City of Newton presentation; URL lands on p.50 of the document at start of the GL content. Scroll up to Page 60, and you get a map that pegs the exact location of New England Business Center stop: east side of 128, abutting the Charles River bridge, street access from Fremont St. on the NEBC/Highland Ave. side and Reservoir St. from the north/Central Ave. side. Note that they are planning a circulator bus to board from there and loop around the whole of the NEBC development...a 2.5 mile circuit spanning the GL stop, Highland, and Kendrick. That stop, as the slides on the prior 10 pages details, is primarily TOD-serving. They don't want a parking sink right there. Garage access is less of a cluster on the Highland-Kendrick block between the two exits, which would put said garage on the circulator bus and NOT in front of the GL station.
As this is a City of Newton study, they were primarily interested in the Newton-serving angle...which is NEBC a mere 250 ft. over on the Needham side of the city line. They weren't concerned with anything on the other side of 128. Now...City of Needham, with its own parallel GL advocacy, is also redevving the TV Place area on the other side of 128, up Gould St. bookending both sides of the ROW. They have alternately toyed around with stop concepts at Gould. That is the far better place to plunk a garage, out in front of Channel 5 studios where the Muzi Ford/Chevy dealership currently chews up a big slab of asphalt. Traffic patterns from the Gould/Hunting Rd. intersection are much more amenable to that since Hunting goes straight to Kendrick at the other exit and would disperse some traffic in/out of a garage without turning from Highland.
Both TOD sites are big, but no one stop can cover them both because they're almost 1/3 mile apart with a giant highway in the middle. And some segmentation is necessary because one is more amenable to P&R's but the other has enormously bigger redev square footage. Therefore, it's a fair bet that two stops 2000 ft. apart get studied in the plan, and the chips fall where they may on Recommended Alternative final selections. Gould St. is a grade crossing
, so it would make an ideal stop just because a trolley signal is going to sit there barring an expensive and probably not necessary overpass build (Note: crossing is well north of the Muzi/Channel 5 driveway, so the garage wouldn't be dumping its load in that direction). 2000 ft. stop spacing between NEBC and TV Place is longer than the spacing between Fenway-Longwood and Beaconsfield-Reservoir, and only a few feet shorter than Woodland-Riverside...so it isn't as close as it seems. You actually have a bit of a problem with over-long gaps if skipping right from NEBC to Needham Heights, because that's a full 1-1/4 miles. It ends up evening out the spacing pretty effectively to segment it Upper Falls<-->NEBC<---|128|--->TV Place<-->Heights<-->Center<-->Junction.
Orange, as previously mentioned, has had zero official study west of W. Rox. The map placement of a stop at 128 is strictly a placeholder to pick up for further study later, and they haven't hashed out anything else. Yes, the wetlands and single-family residential surroundings not conducive to TOD are a problem. I'm not sure how you can do much more than build a parking sink here, there are zero buses crossing Great Plain or 135 from either direction, and the crater in off-peak utilization would be very problematic for the extra +2 route miles across the swamp from W. Rox as well as very divergent from the neighborhood characteristics of every other OL stop all the way to Oak Grove.
Personally, I'm not sure going past W. Roxbury is needed if you're building the Green branch, and even less so if both NEBC and TV Place merit flanking stops by 128. But that opinion is informed more by there being reams of data about likely demand at the GL-128 candidate sites and literal bupkis collected about any OL-128 sites. You can hazard a guess...but it'll be an incomplete at best guess until they collect some first-time data about rapid transit headways vs. demand down there. Most definitely a formal study of either/both extensions needs to fill in that data gap down by Hersey to help inform major decisions on either build. Even if Orange throws up a caution for going past W. Rox in any initial build, you do need to crunch demand around Great Plain/Hersey to complete the picture around Green because the 59 bus will probably be re-routed down Great Plain from Needham Ctr. to eliminate the total 1:1 route duplication with Green between Heights-Junction. The Yellow Line is a key supporting player in all things Green-Needham; it isn't so much for Orange once you decide to cross VFW Parkway and head west.