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City seems determined to re-open the Northern Avenue bridge to car traffic

The Fort Pointer reports on a meeting last night about the future of the locked and unusable old bridge, says the city and a consultant came ready with a study that claims the bridge has to be reopened for cars to jam up on either side rather than turning it into a pedestrian/bike only bridge, without giving skeptics access to the traffic data or other info on which that recommendation is based.



This area is already a laughingstock of planning - why are they doubling down?

If they could show their work, it might help, but anyone who frequents the area is most aware that adding intersections will amplify the clusterfuck, not remediate the central problems of too little transit = too many cars.

Mayor Marty Carguy needs to wake up and smell the exhaust. Car-centric solutions are never an answer to problems caused by forcing people into cars through shitty planning.

Voting closed 73

The vehicular lane were indeed HOV+ only and only open at peak hours. And the City and/or State need to commit to HOV enforcement. I suspect that the feds and police are pushing hard for a restricted vehicle lane so they can avoid the clusterf* of traffic on the Moakley Bridge.

That bridge is plenty wide enough to carry bikes, pedestrians, and HOVs -- I'm thinking along the lines of devoting the middle span to HOVs and the northern & southern spans to 8'-10'-wide bike & pedestrian lanes on each.

The fact that there's no easy access to 93 north or south from the old Northern Avenue Bridge would hopefully make it an unattractive option for commuters.

Also, FWIW, the number of public parking spaces on the South Boston Waterfront is capped, so pulling some HOV traffic off Seaport Blvd may not create as much induced demand as one might think.

Voting closed 10

They need to show their work.

I'm doubtful simply because it is obvious that the reasons for the backup are the inability of vehicles to get onto I-93 and the excessive number of cars in the area - specifically, Seaport Blvd. completely filling up and locking solid and drivers gridlocking the intersections.

Also consider that an additional intersection in that area is folly.

Voting closed 29

Only a limited number of vehicles can actually get through the area, not because the roadways are too narrow, but due to capacity limitations of I-93, and other streets and intersections beyond the neighborhood.

It's not unlike the Charles Circle intersection, where only a limited number of vehicles can get through during each light cycle. Providing two lanes on the Longfellow Bridge allows cars to queue there while waiting for several cycles.

While reopening the Northern Avenue Bridge wouldn't increase traffic capacity, it would provide more space for idling motor vehicles to wait while stopped in traffic. The mayor's most important constituents never walk, bike, or take the . This provides more space for them to "drive", even though they're going nowhere.

Voting closed 27

Of course Marty "Car Guy" is completely wasting this opportunity

Voting closed 38

"...you’ve got to understand, cars are going to hit you.”

Voting closed 48

You can't turn left onto it from the Greenway, and there's another bridge right there. What purpose could this bridge possibly serve for car traffic?

Is the left arrow to get to the Envoy not sufficient?

Voting closed 32

Not wise.
Not a surprise.

Voting closed 14

MAKE IT A BUSWAY (with large ample sidewalks and bike lanes on each side)

Voting closed 7

If you didn't see this result coming throughout the entire process then you must not be from Massachusetts.

"traffic data or other info on which that recommendation is based."

Plus, we all know this "data" is Marty's antiquated vehicle-centric "more roads = less traffic" kind of thinking that has been proven false.

Voting closed 4

Note that the City held a design competition and invited architects and engineers to look at the site conditions and submit their ideas for the future of the bridge. Not a single one of the awardees proposes opening up the bridge to personal vehicles (and practically none of the other submissions do, either). But I guess we can take all of that professional creative thinking and analysis and throw it in the trash!


Voting closed 5

The bridge is supposed to be part of the Harborwalk yet they are gonna design it for cars. Also making the bridge strong enough for cars will add tens of millions to the cost of the bridge. Who is gonna pay for that? EVERYONE, not just cheapskate, spoiled drivers.

Voting closed 4

You're capable of making smart, agreeable points without attacking car users.

You did so here.

Voting closed 5

Cars did use it and not that long ago (or I may just be old now). But I believe we were still driving on it in the late 90's/ early 00's.

But it's a great little bridge for peds and bikes and should probably stay that way. We really don't have enough ped/bike only areas in this city....it's time to change and start thinking forward and not backward.

Voting closed 15

Can we agree that intelligence discussion of the Bridge Question should avoid ignorant "Brilliant -sounding" concepts such as "Induced demand"

Roads form networks and network theory has developed to the point that statements such as : adding additional paths will "induce demand" is nonsensical. OK there might in the first few weeks of a re-opened Northern Ave Bridge be some "sightseeing / joy riding" demand -- I'll grant you that -- but for commuters -- NOT

The rest of the demand is there because there are people who don't live in the Seaport who work or trade in the Seaport. Some of these can reasonably use the T -- but many can not -- they have to drive and they have a limited number of possible routes.

They form the demand. Adding additional routes will reduce the flows in the existing routes not sharing segments with the new route. Segments which are common to both the existing and new route will probably have minimal change in usage. Of course there may be some small number of existing segments which may experience increased local demand as they are currently not useful for most existing routes.

However, while re-opening the Northern Avenue Bridge would help some -- the real major improvements in traffic flow would come from:
1) re-opening Dorchester Ave by the USPS facility
2) connecting through a couple of the dead-end streets and cut off segments of streets behind the BCEC and near to Gillette and providing well managed intersections with the Alphabet Streets which ultimately can connect to Dorchester Avenue.
3) getting rid of the Silverline Grade Crossing at D Street -- both a traffic and transit benefit

Voting closed 15

Seaport Blvd is immediately next to it and does everything that the old bridge did, but better.

Voting closed 16