Hope your weekend was a nice one, despite the consistent deluges of rain. Today's entry's jam packed with not only the usual downtown construction, but an animal story (because, really, who doesn't like those) and some new info on Amtrak and MBCR commutes.
I've received a couple questions in the past day or so that I'm working on, but as always, if there's anything you want to know, drop me a line at commuting.boston at gmail dot com.
Stocking up while standing around
Trying to bring groceries home on the train is a bit of a pain.
You have to finagle all your bags into the seat, make sure you don't trip anyone, can only buy as much as you can carry, and then have to lug it all either home or to your car from that train once you disembark. One website now says they have the technology to take the tough task of grocery shopping on your commute and make it easier.
According to the Herald, Peapod.com has chosen Massachusetts as one of seven states to roll out their new "virtual aisles", which are meant to closely resemble supermarket shelves. The displays will be implemented at 15 MBCR stations across the Greater Boston area in the coming weeks.
Commuters will be able to use an app on their phones to scan the products they want, place the order, which will then be transmitted to a local Stop and Shop. The order will then be delivered the next day. Peapod says the idea has done well in Philadelphia, where they first chose to test the app.
They've had technology like this in South Korea for a few years now. Check this example out, along with the corresponding Youtube video, of a Tesco "supermarket" in a subway station there.
It might not be the option for bringing home that meal for tonight's dinner party, but if you're trying to get your shopping done for the week, it may be an addictive -- and productive -- way to kill some time while waiting for your train. Full story here.
Pushing the limits
While the Acela is normally a pretty quick way to get between Boston and DC, Amtrak says they want to try and make that ride a bit more reliable.
One way they're doing that is by performing tests this week to see just how fast the trains can go. Officials say the trains have been clocked in some stretches on track at 165 miles per hour. Current speeds of the Acela keep it to a mere 135 miles per hour on the fastest stretches.
Will the uptick in speed, if it's approved, make your ride a quicker one? Sadly, not so much, according to Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole:
The increased speeds will not significantly decrease trip times, Cole said. Instead, he said, “If we implement it, it will be bring more reliable service to customers.”
Amtrak says the tests are being done in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware. Full story here.
A "ruff" time
Dogs often enjoy car rides, but I have a feeling this one didn't so much.
Officials at the East Providence Animal Control Center told the Taunton Gazette they have a small white poodle mix at their shelter ... but it survived a harrowing journey to get there. The dog was hit on September 20th in a stretch of Route 44 near the Segregansett Country Club. The man was driving a Toyota sedan, and took off after checking around to find the dog he thought he'd hit... but it turns out the pup actually got stuck in the grill of the car.
What, I can imagine, was a very scary 11 miles later -- as the driver headed into Rhode Island -- another motorist noticed the suffering pooch and got the driver to stop. Police then arrived on scene to pry the pup out and take her to receive medical attention at East Bay Medical Hospital.
Thankfully, the little one is in much better shape, and only suffered a concussion and a possible ruptured bladder. Police in Taunton and Providence are trying to find the owner, but so far, nobody has reported a dog missing.
From the article:
Anyone with information about the owner of the dog is encouraged to contact the East Providence Animal Control Center by phone at 401-435-7675 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll find slowdowns here... (Downtown Boston edition)
Mass Pike Westbound
The Clarendon St. on ramp to the Pike westbound will close Tuesday through Thursday from 9 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from 93 southbound to the Pike westbound will close tonight from 11 PM to 5 AM. Albany Street access will remain open.
The Albany Street Connector ramp to the Pike westbound will close Wednesday from 11 PM to 5 AM.
The Arlington ramp to the Pike westbound will close Wednesday and Thursday from 9 PM to 5 AM.
The ramps from Congress Street and the Ted Williams Tunnel to 93 will close on Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from Harborside Drive to the Ted Williams Tunnel westbound will close on Wednesday from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
Mass Pike Eastbound
++ COMPLETE CLOSURE ++ at Exit 22 (Prudential Center / Copley Square) tonight through Thursday, Oct. 4 from 11 PM to 5 AM. All eastbound traffic diverted at exit 22.
Expressway / O'Neill Tunnel Northbound
The Essex Street on ramp to 93 northbound will close on Wednesday from 10 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from the Sumner Tunnel to Storrow Drive will close on Wednesday from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
The ramps from Essex Street and Atlantic Avenue to 93 northbound will close on Friday and Saturday from 10 PM to 5 AM.
Expressway / O'Neill Tunnel Southbound
The ramp from Purchase Street at Congress Street to 93 southbound will close tonight from 11 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from Somerville (Stop and Shop) to 93 southbound will close tonight from 11 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from Leverett Circle to 93 southbound will close tonight and Friday from 11 PM to 5 AM.
The ramps from the Surface Artery southbound at New Chardon Street to 93 and the Callahan Tunnel will close tonight and Thursday from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
Left lane closure is in place on Tobin Bridge southbound. All traffic will be diverted off at the ramp from the Tobin Bridge to Rutherford Avenue tonight from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
The ramp from Rutherford Avenue to 93 southbound and Storrow Drive will close tonight from 11:30 PM to 5 AM.
++ COMPLETE CLOSURE ++ tonight at exit 28 in Somerville from 11:59 PM to 5 AM. All southbound traffic will be detoured at the highway.
Storrow Drive Tunnels
The Storrow Drive Tunnel westbound will close tonight through Thursday from 10:30 PM to 5 AM.
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