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ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 13

									ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

TASK 6




MBTA CONTRACT NO. X2PS92
CIRCUMFERENTIAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS
IN THE URBAN RING CORRIDOR
PHASE 2 DEIR/S




PREPARED FOR:
THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (MBTA)



PREPARED BY:
EARTH TECH, INC.




JULY 25, 2002 (DRAFT)

The preparation of this study
was financed by a grant from the
Federal Transit Administration
                                                                                          ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED




INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this document is to describe the key elements of the preferred Urban Ring Phase 2
alternative that was defined in the Major Investment Study (MIS), as well as a limited number of variants
on the preferred alternative. Following discussion with the Urban Ring Citizens Advisory Committee
(CAC) the preferred alternative and its variants will be explored and compared in greater detail during the
balance of the Phase 2 DEIR/S. The preferred Phase 2 alternative was developed through an extensive
public process culminating in the MIS Final Report issued in 2001 that defined a series of overlapping
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and a number of new and improved commuter rail connections in the
corridor. Variants to the preferred alternative were identified based on subsequent input from
municipalities within the corridor and public input received during the Phase 2 DEIR/S scoping process.

This document is organized as follows:

     •    Description of the Preferred Alternative
     •    Identification of Variants
     •    Baseline Alternative



1.0       DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE
Phase 2 of the Urban Ring builds upon the new and improved bus routes of Urban Ring Phase 1 by adding
a number of overlapping Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes throughout the corridor. Some of the BRT routes
in Phase 2 are new, and others are modified or upgraded versions of the Phase 1 CT bus routes. A total of
seven BRT routes are provided in Phase 2, as described below and depicted in the enclosed diagram.
Phase 2 BRT routes will utilize 60’ articulated low-floor, low-emission vehicles, segments of exclusive
busway, ITS features, and supporting elements to improve connections with radial transit and commuter rail
lines.

The paragraphs below summarize the changes to the planned Phase 1 Urban Ring service that occur in
Phase 2; provides a detailed description of each of the proposed seven BRT routes; a general description
of the station locations; and a summary list of the new and improved commuter rail stations that are
supporting elements of the Phase 2 alternative.


1.1       Changes to Phase 1 Routes Occurring in Phase 2
Five of the Phase 1 bus routes (CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT8) are converted to Bus Rapid Transit service in
Phase 2. One of the EC routes (EC1) is dropped because it becomes redundant to a new Commuter
Rail/BRT connection at Sullivan Square, and the CT11 route is modified to follow the former CT4 route north
of Dudley/Hampden corner to provide better coverage in tandem with the new BRT routes.


1.2       BRT Route Descriptions and Stations1
There are a total of seven Urban Ring BRT routes in Phase 2, which together provide service throughout the
15-mile long corridor. Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of each BRT route. Several of the routes
overlap, particularly in the most heavily traveled portions of the Corridor. The enclosed diagram shows the
proposed seven BRT routes within the Urban Ring Corridor. Table 2 contains a listing of the Phase 2
1
  In Phase 2 the proposed BRT1, BRT2 and BRT6 routes would serve locations currently served by non-MBTA shuttle bus
operators. Implementation of Phase 2 service in such locations will need to address issues of vehicle purchase, operating subsidy,
13(c) indemnification, and indemnification of competition claims from current shuttle contractors to the extent that they have not
already been resolved in Phase 1.

Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                                        1
                                                                                                                      Draft 7/25/02
                                                                         ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

stations, the municipality in which they would be located, and the intermodal connections that would be
available to them. A summary list of the seven routes is provided below followed by a full description of
each route with an identification of each BRT station.
        -    BRT1        Logan Airport Terminals to Kendall Square
        -    BRT2        Logan Airport Terminals to Wellington
        -    BRT3        Wellington to Kendall Square
        -    BRT4        Riverside to Kendall Square
        -    BRT5        New Lechmere to Longwood Medical Area
        -    BRT6        Longwood Medical Area to UMass Campus
        -    BRT7        Longwood Medical Area to Airport Blue Line Station

BRT stations listed below in the Route descriptions are underlined.

    BRT1                 Logan Airport Terminals to Kendall Square via Wellington, Assembly
                         Square, Sullivan Square and New Lechmere.

    Route:               Logan Airport Terminal, Terminal Roadways, Airport Blue Line Station, East
                         Boston BRT/Truck Route (new), Chelsea Street, Chelsea Creek Bridge, Eastern
                         Avenue, BRT Busway (new), Downtown Chelsea/Commuter Rail, BRT Busway
                         (new), Everett Avenue/Mystic Mall, Everett Avenue, Chelsea HS, Revere Beach
                         Parkway, Second Street, Downtown Everett, Broadway, Revere Beach Parkway,
                         Santilli Circle, Wellington, Fellsway, Assembly Square, Mystic Avenue, Sullivan
                         Square, Rutherford Avenue (new), Gilmore BRT Busway (new), New Lechmere,
                         First Street, Cambridgeside Galleria, First Street, Binney Street,, Third Street,
                         Kendall/MIT.

The proposed BRT1 route would provide local service with a single seat ride across the entire northern
portion of the Corridor from Logan Airport through Chelsea, Everett, Wellington, Somerville, and
Cambridge. There are 13 station stops planned along this 10-mile long route. Three segments of the
route totaling approximately 3 miles would operate over exclusive or semi-exclusive rights-of-way.

    -   Airport Blue Line Station to Chelsea Creek in East Boston
    -   Chelsea Creek through East Chelsea to Everett Avenue in Chelsea
    -   Rutherford Avenue to New Lechmere in Charlestown and Cambridge

The balance of the BRT1 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features
such as signal priority and coordination.

        BRT2             Logan Airport Terminals to Wellington with Limited Stops via Revere Beach
                         Parkway.

        Route:           Logan Airport Terminal, Terminal Roadways, Airport Blue Line Station, East
                         Boston BRT/Truck Route (new), Chelsea Street, Chelsea Creek Bridge, BRT
                         Busway (new), Downtown Chelsea/Commuter Rail, BRT Busway (new), Everett
                         Avenue/Mystic Mall, Everett Avenue, Revere Beach Parkway, Wellington.

The proposed BRT2 route would provide express service across the northern portion of the Corridor
providing rapid connections between Logan Airport on the east and Wellington on the west with only
limited stops in between where its route overlaps the BRT1 service. There are 5 station stops planned
along this 6-mile long route. Two segments of the route totaling approximately 2.5 miles would operate
over exclusive or semi-exclusive rights-of-way.

    -   Airport Blue Line Station to Chelsea Creek in East Boston
    -   Chelsea Creek through East Chelsea to Everett Avenue in Chelsea


Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                  2
                                                                                                Draft 7/25/02
                                                                         ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

The extent and alignment of the BRT busway in these areas is being analyzed in the DEIR/S. The
balance of the BRT2 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features such as
signal priority and coordination.


        BRT3            Wellington to Kendall Square via Union Square.

        Route:          Wellington, Fellsway/McGrath Highway, Pearl Street, Gilman Square, Medford
                        Street, McGrath Highway, Somerville Avenue, Union Square, BRT Busway along
                        Somerville Avenue or adjacent to north side of Fitchburg commuter rail line
                        (new), O’Brien Highway, New Lechmere, First Street, Cambridgeside Galleria,
                        Binney Street, Third Street, Kendall/MIT.

The proposed BRT3 route would provide service aimed at connecting the East Somerville activity centers
of Union Square and Gilman Square with each other, and with the radial transit and commuter rail lines
and activity centers to the north and south. There are 6 station stops planned along this 5-mile long
route. One segment of the route totaling approximately a mile would operate over exclusive or semi-
exclusive rights-of-way.

    -   Union Square to New Lechmere

The balance of the BRT3 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features
such as signal priority and coordination.


        BRT4            Riverside to Kendall Square via MassPike Bus Ramp.

        Route:          Riverside, Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), MassPike Bus Ramp (new), BRT
                        Busway across Grand Junction Charles River Bridge (modified), BRT Busway
                        along Grand Junction (new), Cambridgeport, BRT Busway along Grand Junction
                        (new), MIT/Mass Ave, BRT Busway along Grand Junction (new), Main Street,
                        Mid-Block Connector, Broadway, Kendall/MIT.

The proposed BRT4 route would provide a single seat ride between suburban locations near the junction
of Route 128/MassTurnpike and employment centers in East Cambridge featuring an exclusive busway
connection between the MassPike and East Cambridge. There are 4 station stops planned along this 11-
mile long route. One segment of the route totaling approximately a mile would operate over exclusive or
semi-exclusive rights-of-way by modifying the Grand Junction Railroad bridge over the Charles River to
include a busway and using a portion of the Grand Junction right-of-way through the MIT campus.

    -   MassPike to Main Street East Cambridge along the Grand Junction right-of-way

The balance of the BRT4 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features
such as signal priority and coordination.




        BRT5            New Lechmere to Longwood Medical Area via BU/Park Drive.

        Route:          New Lechmere, First Street, Cambridgeside Galleria, Binney Street, Third Street,
                        Kendall/MIT, Main Street, BRT Busway along Grand Junction (new), MIT/Mass
                        Avenue, BRT Busway along Grand Junction (new), Cambridgeport, BRT Busway
                        along Grand Junction (new), BRT Busway across Grand Junction Charles River


Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                 3
                                                                                               Draft 7/25/02
                                                                         ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

                        Bridge (modified), BRT Busway Tunnel under MassPike (new), Mountfort Street,
                        BU/St. Mary’s Street, Park Drive, Beacon Street, Yawkey Station, Beacon
                        Street, Green Line D/Fenway, Sears Rotary, Fenway, Avenue Louis Pasteur,
                        Longwood Medical Area.

The proposed BRT5 route would provide a single seat ride in one of the most heavily traveled portions of
the Corridor linking activity centers and neighborhoods on the north and south sides of the Charles River.
It will supersede the Phase 1 CT2 route and provide travel time advantages through use of the
Cambridge busway and Charles River bridge described in BRT4, as well as a busway tunnel beneath the
MassPike connecting the Charles River Bridge to Mountfort Street and Park Drive in Boston. There are 9
station stops planned along this 4-mile long route. Two segments of the route totaling approximately 1-
1/2 miles would operate over exclusive or semi-exclusive rights-of-way by modifying the Grand Junction
Railroad bridge over the Charles River to include a busway and using a portion of the Grand Junction
right-of-way through the MIT campus, the tunnel under the MassPike, and implementation of a contra-
flow bus lane along the Fenway.

    -   Main Street East Cambridge to Mountfort/Park Drive in Boston
    -   Fenway contra-flow bus lane

The balance of the BRT5 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features
such as signal priority and coordination.



        BRT6            Longwood Medical Area to UMass Campus via Uphams Corner.

        Route:          Avenue Louis Pasteur, Longwood Medical Area, Longwood Avenue, Brookline
                        Avenue, Beth Israel Hospital, Brookline Avenue, Fenway, Louis Prang, Green
                        Line E, Ruggles Street BRT Busway (new), Ruggles, Melnea Cass BRT Busway
                        (new), Silver Line at Washington Street, Melnea Cass BRT Busway (new),
                        Harrison Avenue, Boston Medical Center, Harrison Avenue, East Concord Street,
                        Biosquare, Albany Street, Crosstown, Hampden Street, Blue Hill Avenue, Dudley
                        Street, Uphams Corner, Columbia Road, Edward Everett Square, Columbia
                        Road, JFK/UMass, Morrissey Boulevard, UMass Campus.

The proposed BRT6 route would provide a single seat ride linking activity centers and neighborhoods in
Roxbury/Dorchester with the educational, retail, and employment opportunities of UMass to the east,
Medical Center to the north, and Northeastern/Wentworth and Longwood Medical Area to the northwest.
It also links these neighborhoods to every existing and planned radial transit and commuter rail line
located between these points thereby providing connectivity to the entire MBTA system. There are 13
station stops planned along this 6-mile long route. Two segments of the route totaling approximately a
mile would operate over exclusive or semi-exclusive rights-of-way.

    -   Ruggles Street busway between Huntington Avenue and Ruggles
    -   Melnea Cass Boulevard busway between Ruggles and Albany Street

Additionally, some short segments of exclusive busway may be implemented at Uphams Corner to
enable the BRT vehicles to avoid congestion at locations such as the corner of Dudley Street and
Columbia Road. The balance of the BRT5 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated
by ITS features such as signal priority and coordination.




Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                  4
                                                                                                Draft 7/25/02
                                                                              ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

        BRT7              Longwood Medical Area to Airport Blue Line Station via South Boston and
                          Williams Tunnel.

        Route:            Longwood Medical Area, Avenue Louis Pasteur, Fenway, Louis Prang, Green
                          Line E, Ruggles Street BRT Busway (new), Ruggles, Melnea Cass BRT Busway
                          (new), Silver Line at Washington Street, Melnea Cass BRT Busway (new),
                          Albany Street, Crosstown, Albany Street, Biosquare, BRT Connector Road
                          (new), Mass Avenue Connector, South Boston Haul Road, Convention Center, I-
                          90/Williams Tunnel, Logan Terminal Roadway, Logan Terminal, Logan Terminal
                          Roadway, Airport Blue Line.

The proposed BRT7 route would provide a single seat ride linking the LMA-Medical Area corridor with the
South Boston Waterfront and Logan Airport. It also links these neighborhoods to every existing and
planned radial transit and commuter rail line located between these points thereby providing connectivity
to the entire MBTA system. There are 9 station stops planned along this 8-mile long route. Three
segments of the route totaling over 2 miles would operate over exclusive or semi-exclusive rights-of-way.

    -   Ruggles Street busway between Huntington Avenue and Ruggles
    -   Melnea Cass Boulevard busway between Ruggles and Albany Street
    -   South Boston Haul Road

The balance of the BRT7 route would operate in bus lanes and mixed traffic facilitated by ITS features
such as signal priority and coordination.

1.3     BRT Service Frequency
Each of the BRT routes will have all day service with the following headways:

- 10 minute Morning/Evening peak period headway
- 15 minute Midday/Saturday headway
- 20 minute Evening/Sunday/Holiday headway

Where routes overlap in portions of the Corridor the effective headways for BRT service between many
stations will be more frequent than shown. The BRT routes will operate over a combination of separate
rights-of-way and mixed traffic, utilizing Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) features to improve
performance and passenger information.


1.4     BRT Vehicle Technology
The BRT vehicles to be used in the Urban Ring Phase 2 alternative will be low-floor, low or zero
emissions, high-capacity 60’ long articulated vehicles similar to the examples shown in Figure 1.

1.5     New or Expanded Commuter Rail Stations
The MBTA’s extensive commuter rail system still lacks station stops within the Corridor on several of its
lines, and most of the existing stations within the Corridor lack quality transit connections for crosstown trips.
Suburban commuters bound for employment centers located within the Urban Ring Corridor often must take
commuter rail past their actual destination all the way into North or South Station and transfer to a radial
transit line for a trip back out to the Urban Ring Corridor. The MBTA has recently taken steps to address
this problem with the institution of full-time commuter rail service at the Yawkey Station near Fenway Park
and Longwood Medical Area, as well as the opening of a new commuter rail station on the Old Colony Line
at JFK/UMass. However, while radial transit connections are good at these locations, reliable distribution of
these trips along the crosstown Corridor remains a challenge using conventional buses on existing streets.
Similarly, access from Corridor neighborhoods to commuter rail to reach suburban locations in a reverse
commute pattern is also difficult.

Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                        5
                                                                                                      Draft 7/25/02
                                                                          ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED


In Phase 2, the Urban Ring would build upon the considerable investments already made by the MBTA in its
commuter rail system by providing the following new or improved facilities that will enable convenient
transfers between commuter rail and the Urban Ring services:

Downtown Chelsea:        Expand and improve existing station on the Newburyport/Rockport Line
Sullivan Square:         New station stop near junction of the Newburyport/Rockport and Haverhill Lines
Gilman Square:           New station stop on the Lowell Line
Union Square:            New station stop on the Fitchburg Line
Yawkey:                  Expand and improve existing station on the Framingham/Worcester Line
Ruggles:                 Expanded stop with platforms on both sides of Northeast Corridor
Uphams Corner:           Improved stop on the Fairmont Line



2.0       IDENTIFICATION OF VARIANTS
The first step of the Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S process was to define the project scope. The scoping
process included active consultation and participation of the public and all appropriate agencies.
Comments received during the scoping process were used to help identify the range of variants
considered and the significant issues to be addressed by the study.

Upon completion of the MIS for the total Urban Ring project, and initiation of the DEIR/S process for
Phase 2, the MBTA coordinated the scoping meeting agenda with MEPA and the FTA. The purpose of
the joint MEPA/NEPA scoping meeting with the public and agencies was to discuss the DEIR/S process
and to review the MIS preferred alternative. The public and interagency scooping meeting was held to
elicit information from interested parties, agencies and the public, regarding the major issues being
considered, the alternatives being proposed, and the potential impacts of the proposed actions.

The final task in the scoping process was the evaluation of the comments received from the agencies and
public. The comments were subjected to a screening analysis, the purpose of which was to determine
which issues or alternative variants would be considered for the Phase 2 DEIR/S, and which comments
were outside the scope.

The Scoping Summary Report, Circumferential Transportation Improvements in the Urban Ring Corridor,
Phase 2 Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (DEIR/S), MBTA, December 2001 documents the
scoping activities, public and agency comments and screening analysis, and next steps in the DEIR/S
process. The comments were screened to understand and address the public’s concerns about the
project. This is a process by which issues were evaluated for their relevance to the project; whether they
need to be addressed in detail; or whether they can be considered and dismissed from further study. The
screening analysis separated the comments into two levels: Level I and II. Level I comments are identified
as those issues directly relevant to Phase 2 as defined in the MIS. They are addressed in the DEIR/S
process. Level II comments are not directly relevant to Urban Ring Phase 2 and will not be studied in the
Phase 2 DEIR/S.

The Level I comments were used as a source for identifying the alternative variants to be considered for
the Phase 2 DEIR/S. While all Level I comments will be addressed in the DEIR/S, only some of the
comment categories listed below will require the development and evaluation of a variant.

      •   Evaluate alternative propulsion fuels and technology
      •   Evaluate BRT system and operating plan
      •   Evaluate environmental justice impacts
      •   Evaluate and define ITS Features
      •   Review travel market analysis and verify routes and endpoints
      •   Analyze BRT impacts on adjacent land owners

Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                  6
                                                                                               Draft 7/25/02
                                                                         ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED


As a result of input received through the scoping process and additional analysis subsequent to the MIS a
number of variants were identified. The variants are organized into the categories of Corridor-wide and
Area Specific and are summarized below.

2.1     Corridor-Wide Variants
The Corridor-wide variants are those that would be applied throughout the Phase 2 Alternative. The
Corridor-wide variants are listed below and described in this section.
    •   Vehicle propulsion
    •   ITS Features
    •   Fare Collection
    •   Headways

2.1.1 Vehicle Propulsion
The preferred alternative is based on use of 60’ low-floor, articulated, CNG powered vehicles consistent
with those already on-order by the MBTA. By the time Urban Ring Phase 2 is operational there may be
other propulsion systems more appropriate and cost-effective for use. This variant would consider the
impact of using vehicles of similar size and configuration as the preferred alternative, but using an
alternative propulsion system such as hybrid electric or clean diesel instead of CNG.

2.1.2 ITS Features
The purpose of this variant would be to test an alternative Corridor-wide ITS system for the Phase 2 BRT
routes to determine its impact on performance and ridership. The ITS and its variant are in the process of
being defined.

2.1.3 Fare Collection
The purpose of this variant would be to test the impact of an alternative fare collection system on BRT
performance and ridership. By speeding the boarding process, a “proof of payment” system for example,
could reduce station dwell and overall trip times.

2.1.4 Headways
The purpose of this variant would be to test the impact of using shorter headways (i.e. more frequent
service) on the BRT routes throughout the corridor, and to evaluate the impacts on ridership and costs.


2.2     Area-Specific Variants
A limited number of area-specific variants will be evaluated during the DEIR/S process. The categories of
area-specific variants are listed below followed by a brief summary of those variants organized
geographically counterclockwise around the corridor starting in East Boston. Not all geographic areas
have variants in each category
    •   Alignment
    •   Station Location
    •   Type of BRT Priority
    •   Route End-Points


2.2.1 East Boston
In East Boston the BRT is planned to use roadways being completed by others and to interface with the
new Airport Blue Line station and the Logan Terminals. A variant will be considered pertaining to route
end-points.

Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                  7
                                                                                               Draft 7/25/02
                                                                           ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED



Route End-Point: Extending the BRT7 route beyond Airport Blue Line Station to serve Downtown
Chelsea.


2.2.2 Chelsea
In Chelsea variants may be considered pertaining to alignment, station location, and BRT route end-
points.

Alignment: Using an Eastern Avenue and Griffin Way mixed traffic alignment instead of an exclusive
busway along the CSX right-of-way in East Chelsea.

Alignment: Continue the exclusive busway westward along the CSX right-of-way rather than following
Everett Avenue and Revere Beach Parkway. Use this alignment for the limited stop BRT2 route.

Station: Locate the East Chelsea BRT station on Griffin Way rather than near the Massport Parking
Garage.

Route End-Point: Extend the BRT7 route from Airport Station to Downtown Chelsea (See East Boston
variant above).


2.2.3 Everett
In Everett variants may be considered pertaining to alignment and station location.

Alignment: Continue the exclusive busway westward along the CSX right-of-way rather than following
Revere Beach Parkway. Use this alignment for the limited stop BRT2 route (See Chelsea variant above).

Station: Locate a BRT station on Second Street in Everett at the corner of Revere Beach Parkway to
serve the southeast portion of the City.

Station: Variants to the proposed BRT station near the corner of Second Street and Broadway on the
edge of the Everett central business district may need to be explored in coordination with the City based
on site constraints and development plans.


2.2.4 Medford
In Medford variants may be considered pertaining to the BRT alignment and priority treatment in the
vicinity of the Wellington Circle.

Alignment: Explore the feasibility and impacts of a BRT alignment that avoids Wellington Circle by
providing a short-cut from the Fellsway to the MBTA property at Wellington.

BRT Priority: Explore reconfiguration of Wellington Circle to provide physical priority for BRT operations in
addition to the ITS features.


2.2.5 Somerville
In Somerville variants may be considered pertaining to alignment, station location, and BRT priority.

Alignment: At the north end of Assembly Square a variant would enable a station stop at Assembly
Square on the BRT 3 route.



Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                    8
                                                                                                  Draft 7/25/02
                                                                          ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

Station: At the north end of Assembly Square a station stop on the BRT3 route would be tested in
tandem with the alignment variant listed above.

Station: The variant of including a BRT station stop at Broadway along the BRT3 route would be tested.

Alignment: Between Union Square and New Lechmere the variant of using the north side of the Fitchburg
rail right-of-way would be tested and compared to using Somerville Avenue. Additionally, the use of the
McGrath/O’Brien Highway to Water Street would be compared to using a connection into North Point at
the signal across from the Twin Cities Plaza.


2.2.6 Charlestown, Boston
In the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston there is an alignment and a station variant.

Alignment: Using the Rutherford Avenue Bypass alignment as defined in the City of Boston study
completed a few years ago. This would provide a faster and more direct link to the BRT busway near the
Gilmore Bridge.

Station: Include a BRT station at Community College.


2.2.7 Cambridge
In the City of Cambridge there are alignment, station, and BRT priority variants.

Alignment: Use of Vassar Street rather than the Grand Junction Railroad alignment for a two-way BRT
route. A variation of this would be to use the Grand Junction and Vassar Street as a one-way pair for the
BRT routes. BRT station locations would need to be adjusted to accommodate this.

Alignment: Use of Albany Street rather than the Grand Junction Railroad alignment for the BRT. The
MassAve and Cambridgeport BRT stations would need to be at different locations to support this.

Alignment: Test the impact of using the mixed traffic B.U. Bridge alignment for the BRT5 route (same as
CT2 today) rather than the exclusive busway bridge/tunnel to determine performance/cost tradeoffs.

BRT Priority: The use of the Main Street transit area at Kendall Square and access to it from Third Street
would be examined in this variant, as well as the bus priority features within other heavily traveled
sections of the BRT routes within Cambridge.

Station: Include a BRT station on Binney Street for the BRT3 route.


2.2.8 Brookline
In the Town of Brookline the variant pertains to the choice of alignment across the Charles River and
Turnpike in the vicinity of Mountfort Street.

Alignment: Test the impact of using the mixed traffic B.U. Bridge alignment for the BRT5 route (same as
CT2 today) rather than the exclusive busway bridge/tunnel to determine performance/cost tradeoffs.


2.2.9 Boston
In the City of Boston from Fenway through South Boston the variants pertain to choice of alignments and
station location, BRT priority and route end-points.

Alignment: The preferred route to service Yawkey Commuter Rail station is to use Beacon Street inbound


Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                  9
                                                                                                Draft 7/25/02
                                                                          ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

and outbound from Park Drive. The variant would examine use of Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue,
as well as some variations that would include Minor Street, the CSX right-of-way, and
Boylston/Kilmarnock.

Alignment: The variant would examine use of Huntington Avenue instead of Louis Prang to access the
LMA from the south.

Route End-Points: Extend the southern end-point of the BRT5 route from LMA southward to Ruggles in
order to test the impact of providing single-seat rides for a larger catchment area and to remove layover
of this route from the LMA.

BRT Priority: Areas of the corridor such as the Fenway, Ruggles Street, Melnea Cass Boulevard, the BU
Medical Area, and route through Uphams Corner will examine the various methods bus priority to
determine the cost/performance tradeoffs.

Stations: Station location variants may be considered at Biosquare in the BU Medical Area, as well as at
Uphams Corner, Columbia Point, and the South Boston Waterfront.

Alignments: Alignment variants at Uphams Corner involve avoiding the congestion at the corner of
Dudley Street and Columbia Road. At Columbia Point the alignment variant would examine a route and
station along Mt. Vernon Street. Finally, to reach the South Boston Waterfront, the variant of using I-93/I-
90 instead of the South Boston Haul Road will be examined.


3.0     BASELINE ALTERNATIVE
The baseline alternative is the 2025 and 2010 transportation networks in the Boston MPO per the
adopted Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It is the transportation network in those years in the
absence of Urban Ring Phase 2.




Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                   10
                                                                                                  Draft 7/25/02
                                                                                            ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED



                                                   Table 1
                              Phase 2 Urban Ring Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Routes




    Type            Name                              End Points                                 Number of                Length
                                                                                                  Stations
Bus Rapid                                             1
                     BRT1             Logan Airport                  Kendall/MIT                       13                 10 mi.
 Transit
                                                      1
                     BRT2             Logan Airport                   Wellington                        5                  6 mi.

                     BRT3               Wellington                   Kendall/MIT                        6                  5 mi.

                     BRT4                Riverside                   Kendall/MIT                        4                 11 mi.

                     BRT5            New Lechmere                  Longwood/LMA                         9                  4 mi.
                                                                                        1
                     BRT6            Longwood/LMA                 UMass Campus                         13                  6 mi.
                                   Longwood Medical                                 1
                     BRT7                                           Logan Airport                       9                  8 mi.
                                        Area




1
  In Phase 2 the proposed BRT1, BRT2 and BRT6 routes would serve locations currently served by non-MBTA shuttle bus
operators. Implementation of Phase 2 service in such locations will need to address issues of vehicle purchase, operating subsidy,
13(c) indemnification, and indemnification of competition claims from current shuttle contractors to the extent that they have not
already been resolved in Phase 1.




Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                                       11
                                                                                                                      Draft 7/25/02
                                                                                       ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED




                                                       Table 2
                                          BRT Stations and Intermodal Connections

     No.              STATION                 LOCATION               CONNECTIONS
                                                                  Commuter       Transit                 Bus 3
                                                                    Rail
    1      Logan Terminals                     Boston                                                       4
    2      Airport Blue Line                   Boston                                     BLUE              5
    3      Eastern Avenue                      Chelsea                                                      1
    4      Chelsea Commuter Rail               Chelsea           New/Rockport1                              4
    5      Everett Avenue / Mystic Mall        Chelsea                                                      1
    6      Revere Beach Parkway                Everett                                                      1
    7      Second Street                       Everett                                                      5
    8      Wellington                          Medford                                  ORANGE              9
    9      Assembly Square                    Somerville                                ORANGE              2
    10     Gilman Square                      Somerville          Lowell 2              GREEN               1
    11     Union Square                       Somerville         Fitchburg 2                                4
    12     Sullivan Square                     Boston      New/Rockport, Haverhill 2    ORANGE             11
    13     New Lechmere                       Cambridge                                  GREEN              6
    14     First Street / Galleria            Cambridge                                                     0
    15     Second Street                      Cambridge                                                     0
    16     Kendall Square                     Cambridge                                    RED              6
    17     MIT / Mass Avenue                  Cambridge                                                     3
    18     Cambridgeport                      Cambridge                                                     1
    19     BU / St. Mary's                     Boston                                                       2
    20     Kenmore / Yawkey                    Boston       Framingham/Worcester1        GREEN              5
    21     Fenway                              Boston                                    GREEN              6
    22     Beth Isreal Hospital                Boston                                                       6
    23     Longwood / Pasteur                  Boston                                                       4
    24     Huntington Avenue                   Boston                                    GREEN              6
    25     Ruggles                             Boston         Franklin /Stoughton 1     ORANGE             14
    26     Washington Street                   Boston                                    SILVER             6
    27     Boston Medical Center               Boston                                                       2
    28     Blue Hill Avenue                    Boston                                                       2
    29     Uphams Corner                       Boston               Fairmont                                4
    30     Edward Everett Square               Boston                                                       3
    31     JFK / UMass                         Boston             Old Colony               RED              3
    32     UMass Campus                        Boston                                                       2
    33     City Hospital                       Boston                                                       5
    34     Biosquare                           Boston                                                       5
    35     Convention Center                   Boston                                                       6

                 1.   Improved commuter rail station
                 2.   New commuter rail station
                 3.   Approximate number of bus routes connecting at this station based on existing bus route structure




1
1



Urban Ring Phase 2 DEIR/S                                                                                                  12
                                                                                                                  Draft 7/25/02

								
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