Thanks for all the great feedback on the Green Line post earlier this week! I'll be sure to respond to as many comments as possible over the next couple of days. I agreed with many of you and understood your frustrations about the fallout from the new front door policy. Some of you brought up the safety factor, which is a very important angle that hadn't really been covered. It'll be interesting to see if the T eventually does make some change due to the consistent public distaste and safety hazards that the front door policy brings -- or, rather, what it will take for that to happen ... time will tell, I guess.
Anyway, in today's entry, I've got a profile on the new MBTA general manager, some info on an upcoming work crew in the O'Neill Tunnel, your usual out of town construction, MBTA diversions for the week ahead, and some news on those countdown signs on the Red Line. Enjoy!
Here's to the new boss...
Beverly Scott has been named the new General Manager of the MBTA.
Never heard of her? She's been around for a while on the mass transit circuit. According to a piece from the State House News Service, Scott started off in Houston in 1977 as the manager of that city's public transit system. Her next stop was a position with the MTA in New York City. She eventually headed to Rhode Island to manage the state's buses, planes, and trains. After that, Scott found herself in Sacramento, and then, most recently, she's been in Atlanta, heading up MARTA (the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority).
In a somewhat interesting and probably mildly awkward coincidence, Scott's main competitor was her colleague at MARTA, Dwight Scott. Both were in town conducting public interviews for the chance to head the fifth largest transit system in the country. The board voted to choose Scott just hours after those interviews had been conducted. Scott will receive $220,000 per year for the next three years in her new position. She is set to start December 15th.
Scott says she was able to help turn MARTA around when she arrived there in 2007. The agency had been mired deep in a budget crisis, which is not much unlike what's happening here with the MBTA. After periods of layoffs and working with influential politicians, Scott says MARTA is on the up and up -- and she wants to make that happen here in Boston. She also says she plans on this being her last job, and retiring after she finishes her time here at the T.
Fiscal responsibility is important, and it will be a big challenge for Scott to get the T in line... but it will be a matter of time to see if she can be the one to take the helm and do for the T what she was able to do for MARTA. I would, personally, like her to take a public-centric role and be open with her visions and decisions for the T. I also want her to focus strongly on fare collection and, hey, you never know - maybe we could find a way to get rid of that front-door-policy...!
Do you think Scott is a good choice? What would you like to see her accomplish?
Mother Nature strikes again
Well, I was going to inform you about some construction work going on in the O'Neill Tunnel and on the Zakim Bridge coming up for this weekend, but it looks like Mother Nature is really not in the mood to deal with road work again. (The Ted Williams closures weren't enough for her, apparently!) However, the work has been postponed, tentatively, to Columbus Day weekend.
What were/are they working on? Sara Lavoie at the DOT says a 600-foot section of pavement has to be replaced from the northbound exit of the O'Neill onto the southern joint of the Zakim. The pavement, apparently, has been crumbling:
The concrete pavement, or micro-silica, is cracked and separating from the concrete slab below. This causes potholes to form and chunks of concrete to loosen resulting in the need for emergency repairs, patches and maintenance. Replacing the entire section with hot mix asphalt will allow MassDOT to avoid future problems with the micro-silica surface.
This past June, workers fixed the same problem on the on-ramps from Haymarket and the Sumner Tunnel. When we receive a definitive closure date, I'll be sure to pass those details along. For now, enjoy the rainy weekend.
If you're a Red Line rider, you've probably noticed the new countdown signs popping up in stations such as South Station and Downtown Crossing. The MBTA says they plan to place these signs in all Red, Orange and Blue line stations hopefully by the end of the year.
Those of you who have had the pleasure of being able to count the minutes until your train wheezes into the station are now being asked by the T to take a short survey. The survey asks how you generally feel about the system, if you've been through South Station recently, and if you utilized the countdown clock at all while you were there, among other questions. You can find the survey here.
Silver Line riders - in the coming week you'll have some problems besides traffic holdups to deal with. The T says there'll be a diversion on the SL1 and SL2 routes each night from Sunday to Thursday. They say the diversions are necessary to do work in the transitway (that tunnel between South Station and the World Trade Center stop).
Service will continue, but it will all run at street level between World Trade Center and South Station. The diversions will take place from 9:00 PM until the end of service each night. Pickups for the World Trade Center Station will be on Congress Street, in front of the station entrance. Courthouse Station riders will catch the buses on Seaport Boulevard at the entrance to the Courthouse station. South Station service will be running on Summer Street at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue.
It's another Red Line diversion weekend on the Braintree span. Busing will be in place from JFK/UMass to North Quincy station on Saturday and Sunday, from the start to end of service on both days. Buses will make all stops. The T says necessary track work has to be done, and this is the last scheduled Red Line diversion for the near future.
Orange Line busing is still in place between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square on weekday nights, too. You'll find that happening each Sunday through Thursday night until December 28. Diversions start up at 9:00 each evening and last until the end of service that night. The shuttle buses will make all stops.
You'll find slowdowns here ...
495 northbound at Broad Street (Exit 53), Merrimac: utility work will block the right lane and breakdown lane on Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Route 2 eastbound at US-202/Route 2A (Exit 19), Phillipston: bridge construction will close the right lane and right shoulder Wednesday through Thursday.
Route 3 in both directions at Route 62 (Exit 26), Bedford: two left lanes will be blocked for road work every night in the coming week from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for road work.
495 southbound at Route 105 (Exit 4), Middleboro: road work blocks the left and right lanes Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Route 3 southbound from the Braintree Split past the Burgin Parkway (Exit 19), Quincy: watch for lane shifts and ongoing paving work through most weekday middays and overnights. Expect heavy delays.
Route 128 in both directions, between Route 109 (Exit 16) and Great Plain Avenue (Exit 18), Dedham - Needham: ongoing road widening project blocks the left lane through most weekday middays and overnights. Expect significant delays and possible blockages of the active breakdown lane.
Route 128 in both directions, between Route 38, Woburn (Exit 35) and Route 3, Burlington (Exits 32 A/B): left lane is closed for ongoing median work. Lane restrictions and shifts are in place. Expect heavy delays.
Route 1 Northbound between Main Street and Noah's Motors, Saugus: right lanes are closed weekday nights between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. for water main installation.
North Harvard Street over the Larz Anderson Bridge: Continual lane closures are in effect in both directions for bridge reconstruction work. No left turn onto Memorial Drive from JFK Street.
Tobin Bridge in both directions: Watch for continual lane closures as DOT crews continue to paint the bridge. These will be in effect until November.
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