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Author Topic: Massachusetts  (Read 205071 times)

PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #950 on: July 18, 2018, 08:57:03 AM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

I don't see why we would have to listen to NIMBYs. The DOT is not part of the state legislature, so there's no risk of being voted out of office.
While the DOT (State entity) in and of itself is not an elected body; the State's Secretary of Transportation, I believe, is the State's DOT's boss and is determined by whoever gets elected governor.
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empirestate

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #951 on: July 18, 2018, 09:10:20 AM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

I don't see why we would have to listen to NIMBYs. The DOT is not part of the state legislature, so there's no risk of being voted out of office.
While the DOT (State entity) in and of itself is not an elected body; the State's Secretary of Transportation, I believe, is the State's DOT's boss and is determined by whoever gets elected governor.

There's also the whole idea of behaving like a civilized person and not, as a rule, telling people we disagree with to go f*** themselves…
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 09:13:55 AM by empirestate »
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roadman

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #952 on: July 18, 2018, 02:30:54 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?
There's actually a legitimate way to do that without p***ing people off.  Require the people raising their claims against the project to prove those claims.  If it takes reports, studies, etc. to do that, then those people should be responsible for preparing them - and footing the bill.  This would also serve as a very effective filter against the majority of the "we don't want it" objections NIMBYs tend to raise.  It's also consistent with one of the basic premises of the American justice system - that the burden of proof lies with the accuser - which is currently NOT the case when it comes to transportation and other projects.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #953 on: July 18, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?
There's actually a legitimate way to do that without p***ing people off.  Require the people raising their claims against the project to prove those claims.  If it takes reports, studies, etc. to do that, then those people should be responsible for preparing them - and footing the bill.  This would also serve as a very effective filter against the majority of the "we don't want it" objections NIMBYs tend to raise.  It's also consistent with one of the basic premises of the American justice system - that the burden of proof lies with the accuser - which is currently NOT the case when it comes to transportation and other projects.

There is a difference between “persons accused of a crime are innocent until proven otherwise” and “employees of the transportation department are right until proven wrong” and I would assume we’re all above arguing otherwise.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #954 on: July 18, 2018, 04:30:47 PM »

I've got the perfect NIMBY retort: "We don't have to prove anything! Our word is proof enough!"
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odditude

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #955 on: July 18, 2018, 04:37:42 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?
There's actually a legitimate way to do that without p***ing people off.  Require the people raising their claims against the project to prove those claims.  If it takes reports, studies, etc. to do that, then those people should be responsible for preparing them - and footing the bill.  This would also serve as a very effective filter against the majority of the "we don't want it" objections NIMBYs tend to raise.  It's also consistent with one of the basic premises of the American justice system - that the burden of proof lies with the accuser - which is currently NOT the case when it comes to transportation and other projects.
that runs the risk of running roughshod over areas that legitimately can't afford to provide such data. while depressed areas usually aren't the source of NIMBYism, they can't be discounted.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #956 on: July 18, 2018, 07:28:58 PM »

The same NIMBYs that complain about freeways also complain about gridlock. You can't have it both ways. If you have no evidence to sand behind then go crawl back into you single-issue voter hole.
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NE2

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #957 on: July 18, 2018, 07:39:11 PM »

The same NIMBYs that complain about freeways also complain about gridlock.
Bullshit.
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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #958 on: July 18, 2018, 09:26:06 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

The 93/95 issue isn't just NIMBYism; they would have to take numerous homes and possibly some businesses to build it out. There is a difference between a highway coming closer to your property and needing to move somewhere else while the gov't forces you to accept what would likely be below market value for your home (and many homes around there are near $750K in value - because eastern Massachusetts). Telling someone who might have their home taken from them because a state didn't have the foresight to build something properly in the first place and then telling them to fuck themselves while doing it? That's classy...
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #959 on: July 18, 2018, 10:17:14 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

The 93/95 issue isn't just NIMBYism; they would have to take numerous homes and possibly some businesses to build it out. There is a difference between a highway coming closer to your property and needing to move somewhere else while the gov't forces you to accept what would likely be below market value for your home (and many homes around there are near $750K in value - because eastern Massachusetts). Telling someone who might have their home taken from them because a state didn't have the foresight to build something properly in the first place and then telling them to fuck themselves while doing it? That's classy...
You can be for or against a freeway idea. Shooting down ALL of them because you don't like it is foolish.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #960 on: July 18, 2018, 10:42:44 PM »

By law, Massachusetts has to pay fair market value for property taken by eminent domain.

The give-them-a-dollar for a house days from the Pike Extension are long gone.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #961 on: July 19, 2018, 08:59:34 AM »

Looking through the Historic Aerials for that interchange area; the major surrounding change appears to be that the businesses adjacent to the cloverleaf (southern end) came along later on.  The residential homes located north of the interchange (especially towards the northwest) were there prior to I-93 & the interchange being built (early 60s(?)). 

The earliest available Historic Aerials that shows I-93 & interchange is circa 1963.  Its 1955 counterpart only shows only a narrower (4-lane) version of the then-just-128.

One has to wonder when I-93 & that interchange was planned (circa the 1950s); were other more higher-capacity interchange design configurations even considered?  The current cloverleaf design was obviously chosen as the least costly (the only overpasses built were the I-93 mainlines) & least disruptive (at the time) with respect to the northern residences.

Nonetheless, the existing design is clearly obsolete for the current traffic volumes (over 200,000 vehicles per day) and has been for years if not decades.  Something's eventually going to have to be done.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 09:02:24 AM by PHLBOS »
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roadman

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #962 on: July 19, 2018, 09:22:57 AM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

The 93/95 issue isn't just NIMBYism; they would have to take numerous homes and possibly some businesses to build it out. There is a difference between a highway coming closer to your property and needing to move somewhere else while the gov't forces you to accept what would likely be below market value for your home (and many homes around there are near $750K in value - because eastern Massachusetts). Telling someone who might have their home taken from them because a state didn't have the foresight to build something properly in the first place and then telling them to fuck themselves while doing it? That's classy...

Apart from the fact that the number of takings has been grossly overstated by the opponents to this project, minimal takings will be required only if they build the full option - which includes C/D roads on I-95 from south of Washington Street to north of Route 28.  It is both feasible and practical to construct a full set of flyover ramps that meet current design standards within the current footprint of the cloverleaf.

As for businesses, word on the street is that they are looking to relocate anyway and are willing to be taken, and that it's actually Woburn that's raising the objections.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #963 on: July 19, 2018, 09:28:54 AM »

As for businesses, word on the street is that they are looking to relocate anyway and are willing to be taken, and that it's actually Woburn that's raising the objections.
The residential homes along Richard Circle at the northwest quadrant of the cloverleaf (such were there prior to the interchange being built) are indeed in Woburn.  Neighboring Border Road's in Reading.
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roadman

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #964 on: July 19, 2018, 11:00:39 AM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?
There's actually a legitimate way to do that without p***ing people off.  Require the people raising their claims against the project to prove those claims.  If it takes reports, studies, etc. to do that, then those people should be responsible for preparing them - and footing the bill.  This would also serve as a very effective filter against the majority of the "we don't want it" objections NIMBYs tend to raise.  It's also consistent with one of the basic premises of the American justice system - that the burden of proof lies with the accuser - which is currently NOT the case when it comes to transportation and other projects.

There is a difference between “persons accused of a crime are innocent until proven otherwise” and “employees of the transportation department are right until proven wrong” and I would assume we’re all above arguing otherwise.

Obviously, the DOT has to - and should - provide justification to the public - especially those potentially impacted by a project - for their proposals.  However, if and when there are objections once that has been done, the burden of proof should lie with the people making those objections.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #965 on: July 19, 2018, 11:57:26 AM »

That doesn't seem realistic to me.  A neighborhood that may be razed for a project doesn't have the resources or knowledge to even find a firm to argue their position. 

I don't think having the DOT conduct its own study to resolve objections is a perfect solution, either, but putting a loose group of individuals on equal footing against well-resourced government agencies that have a history of making mistakes when it comes to the public interest doesn't seem right to me.
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kefkafloyd

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #966 on: July 19, 2018, 09:10:45 PM »

Seriously, can't we ever just tell the NIMBYs to go f*** themselves?

The 93/95 issue isn't just NIMBYism; they would have to take numerous homes and possibly some businesses to build it out. There is a difference between a highway coming closer to your property and needing to move somewhere else while the gov't forces you to accept what would likely be below market value for your home (and many homes around there are near $750K in value - because eastern Massachusetts). Telling someone who might have their home taken from them because a state didn't have the foresight to build something properly in the first place and then telling them to fuck themselves while doing it? That's classy...

Apart from the fact that the number of takings has been grossly overstated by the opponents to this project, minimal takings will be required only if they build the full option - which includes C/D roads on I-95 from south of Washington Street to north of Route 28.  It is both feasible and practical to construct a full set of flyover ramps that meet current design standards within the current footprint of the cloverleaf.

As for businesses, word on the street is that they are looking to relocate anyway and are willing to be taken, and that it's actually Woburn that's raising the objections.

Woburn Toyota just got done building a huge new building inside the ramp circle for the Washington Street exit on 128 northbound. I grimaced watching it go up over the past few months, because it's yet another case of encroachment that is a bad idea for everyone but that business. I doubt they would have done it if there would have been any kind of movement for the C&D option in this project in the next decade.

Aside from the cloverleaf another large part of the problem is three exits very close to each other (Washington Street, 93, 28/Main Street). There's just a lot of traffic. The flyover would eliminate a lot of the conflicts, but the volume is just high.

On another topic, the restriping made to the US 3 / Middlesex turnpike C&D entrance on 128 southbound has IMO been a net negative. It changed what was just a long queue to a long queue with a series of annoyances. It hasn't done much to address the mainline queuing that happens at that exit.

1. The addition of the striped "exit only" lane for Middlesex turnpike may help get some cars out of the queue, but it has invited people to make mistakes and act aggressively. Since the new signage that went up a few years ago doesn't indicate the new exit only lane, people who aren't commuters don't know that you still have to stay in the rightmost mainline lane to get on to US 3 north. What happens is:

1. People who don't know that the dashed lane is for Middlesex turnpike only but want to get to US 3 get to the end of the lane, realize they made a mistake, and then try to merge back into the queue. This holds up legitimate middlesex turnpike traffic and US 3 traffic.

2. On top of the mistaken drivers, you get aggressive drivers that fly down the lane intending to bypass queued cars, forcing more merges that makes everybody late.

3. The C&D lane for US 3 is helped by having the dual-lane stripe so that even if you're in the left lane you can still exit, and the merge is on the ramp which is great and moves some movements forward. Alas, any gains from this are wiped by the on-ramp from Middlesex Turnpike, which is still a big conflict that causes the source of the queueing that backs up on to the 128 mainline.

None of this stops people blowing past the queue in the second rightmost lane and trying to merge in to the exit queue, but that was happening anyway.

I can't think of a real good way of fixing it that won't cost a ton of money, take a bunch of property, or eliminate the Middlesex Turnpike exit (which would be really bad for locals). The situation here is even more bleak than Woburn because even with Washington street the C&D option eliminated a lot of the choke points. I was hoping the state would have bought the land of the former Dodge dealer there, but alas, new buildings went up a couple of years ago.

On the plus side, the changes made to the 128 Northbound side (exit only lane, two full lanes exiting to US 3 north, a longer merge area for the end of the C&D on to 128) have made an appreciable difference. If only the merge from Middlesex Turnpike on to the C&D could be longer for safety, but overall it's been a very positive update on the northbound side.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 09:13:23 PM by kefkafloyd »
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Alps

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #967 on: July 19, 2018, 11:24:10 PM »

Woburn Toyota just got done building a huge new building inside the ramp circle for the Washington Street exit on 128 northbound. I grimaced watching it go up over the past few months, because it's yet another case of encroachment that is a bad idea for everyone but that business. I doubt they would have done it if there would have been any kind of movement for the C&D option in this project in the next decade.
Dude, you don't know businesses. If they smell that they're about to get taken, they will improve everything they can to claim maximum damages. I'm sure they did the math.

kefkafloyd

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #968 on: July 20, 2018, 06:46:34 PM »

Woburn Toyota just got done building a huge new building inside the ramp circle for the Washington Street exit on 128 northbound. I grimaced watching it go up over the past few months, because it's yet another case of encroachment that is a bad idea for everyone but that business. I doubt they would have done it if there would have been any kind of movement for the C&D option in this project in the next decade.
Dude, you don't know businesses. If they smell that they're about to get taken, they will improve everything they can to claim maximum damages. I'm sure they did the math.

I know exactly how they work. In ten-twenty years, when the project finally moves forward, that building might get taken, or it might not. But I don't think they built it with the intention of being taken; it's just a potential risk. If at the end of the day it does get taken, they would still get paid, regardless if they replaced it or not.

That's why I said it's bad for everybody except that business. Even then, getting taken is not a walk in the park, they have to relocate and that costs money and other secondary effects.

edit: clarifying
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 10:10:01 PM by kefkafloyd »
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vdeane

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #969 on: July 20, 2018, 08:44:21 PM »

How is such legal?  If they make improvements knowing that they'll get taken, they deserve no damages at all.  In fact, THEY should be paying damages to the STATE for even thinking to try such a thing!
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kefkafloyd

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #970 on: July 20, 2018, 09:59:35 PM »

How is such legal?  If they make improvements knowing that they'll get taken, they deserve no damages at all.  In fact, THEY should be paying damages to the STATE for even thinking to try such a thing!

The same way everybody else builds up near a highway; the commonwealth didn't own the land ages ago and it's between the town and the landowners for things like permits. There's also no guarantee that they'll get taken; the C&D option may not be used (even though I think it has to be done as part of that project). Woburn Toyota was already using that area and had buildings there; it was torn down and replaced with a much larger building inside their existing footprint, replacing an outdoor lot. They didn't go beyond any area they didn't already have. The odds of this project happening in the next ten years are remarkably slim, and the land value is going up anyway even if improvements weren't made due to the rising real estate costs of Woburn and Reading. "Getting paid more if they get taken" is pretty low on their list of priorities, I imagine. Even then, there's been buildings there for fifty-ish years, they were probably due to be replaced. If it turns out they have to be taken twenty years from now, then so be it.

However, even with that new building, a potential upgrade road may not encroach upon it, depending on how it would be constructed. Some parking lot might get lost, but the build itself may be safe.

It took me some time to go dig things up from the project website on Archive.org, but all of the potential takings and alternatives are detailed. H3-B was the recommended strategy, which would result in the least amount of takings, and may only slightly encroach on the area I was talking about. Relocating the ramps is part of the options, but it would end up taking a building on the west side of the ramps, not the east side.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160810130707/http://9395info.com/downloads/AlternativesAnalysis.pdf
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 10:49:23 PM by kefkafloyd »
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SectorZ

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #971 on: July 21, 2018, 08:54:37 AM »

How is such legal?  If they make improvements knowing that they'll get taken, they deserve no damages at all.  In fact, THEY should be paying damages to the STATE for even thinking to try such a thing!

So they aren't allowed to make improvements to their own property, while waiting on the state to maybe do construction there?
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vdeane

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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #972 on: July 21, 2018, 11:50:04 PM »

Well, if there's something going in that will likely take your land, it seems potentially imprudent.  At the very least you shouldn't be suing for damages over it since you should have known better.  Any activity like should be at the landowner's risk only, not the state's.
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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #973 on: July 22, 2018, 12:17:55 AM »

MassDOT has announced both spans of the Whittier Bridge over the Merrimack River are open as of tonight and four lanes are open now in both directions north and south of the bridge on I-95:
http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/massdot-highway/whittier-bridgei-95-improvement-project-opening-to-four-lanes-in-each-direction-today/

Years if not decades overdue, it is good to see that slight capacity improvements are being made to the Boston metro area's highway network.  Others being the US 3 reconstruction, the Route 128 add a lane (forty to forty five years in the making) and this Merrimack River crossing.  A Route 128 / I-93 fully directional stack sure would be nice to see, but that might be too much to hope for.   
A northern Add-A-Lane along I-95/MA 128 would be nice as well.  Heck, from the MA 28 to the Walnut St. interchanges, most if not all of the overpasses/underpasses were originally constructed to accommodate a future 7th & 8th lane. 

Why such wasn't done when that stretch was overhauled in 1982 (128 had already received the I-95 designation at the time) boggles the mind.  Yes, the northern I-95/MA 128 interchange was still year away at the time but that widening would move the Woburn/Reading bottleneck away from MA 28 & I-93 and would have been able to handle the additional traffic spurned by development that has taken place along the corridor since then.

Would have figured former Gov. Ed "Can Do" King could have done it..  Remember the Paul Szep cartoons of him in the boston globe, with the beanie cap w/ propeller on top.. 
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Re: Massachusetts
« Reply #974 on: July 25, 2018, 08:30:24 PM »

Did CT 15 ever have a MA counterpart where I-84 currently is from the MA Line to the Mass Pike?  I think on some old maps I did see, I believe, a mention of a MA 15 where I-84 is now located within Mass.
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