We're coming up on that season where traffic getting on and off the Cape starts to ratchet up to barely-tolerable levels. Throw construction into that mix and the situation has the potential to get downright nasty. According to recent news from the Army Corps of Engineers, they're going to try to avoid that with their latest project -- but we're going to start seeing some effects sooner than later.
Much like the Tobin Bridge in Boston, the Sagamore's in need of a bit of a face lift. The Corps announced a few days ago that the Sagamore will be receiving a new coat of paint -- and it will take eighteen months to put it on.
The $12 million+ project is set to start up during the second week of April, although crews have already been doing some field work and preliminary setup. And, of course, this project will requite some traffic restrictions in the process. The good news is that the Corps is trying to avoid shutting down lanes during peak travel times, which is a plus.
The first lane closures will show up on the bridge around April 8th, and will be picked up on the 12th. Lanes will be closed again between April 16th and 19th. All travel lanes will be open for the Patriot's Day holiday (and tax day in many places) on April 15th. The Corps says more restrictions will be showing up as needed, but they haven't informed us of any specific dates.
So, what will the lane closures entail? The Corps says they are intending on closing one lane daily between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM. Two lanes will be left open coming on-Cape, and one lane will be open heading off-Cape. The lanes will open up each night, so you won''t have to worry about evening and overnight slowdowns.
What are they doing as part of this project? Well, before they start slapping on some paint, they have to clean the existing (lead!) paint off the bridge. That will be done with blast-cleaning equipment. A containment system will be put up around the bridge so the lead paint doesn't sneak outside the construction zone and drop into the Cape Cod Canal or get into anyone's cars. The paint will then be applied after the bridge is sufficiently stripped.
With the rising cost of gas and maintenance on cars, public transportation is becoming more popular every month for commuters in the Boston area. We've seen evidence of that in the continuous uptick in ridership on the MBTA services. Statistics are also showing a recent surge in residents heading to the cities - be it due to the economic downturn or otherwise. A new study released earlier this month is now showing another reason why living near public transportation might not be a bad idea.
The study, conducted jointly by the American Public Transportation Association and the National Association of Realtors, claims that homes located within a half mile of public transport tend to have more stable and resilient property values. The study focuses on homes that have direct access to subway, light rail, and bus. They called homes living in this direct access area part of the "public transit shed". (Not having anything to do with actual public transit sheds, presumably.)
During the recession period between 2006 and 2011, when home values were struggling nationwide, the study found that homes in Boston within a half mile of public transportation were almost 130% more valuable than others. The trend isn't just here in Boston, though -- while not as stark of a difference, other cities such as Chicago (30%) and Minneapolis (48%) saw improved property values in homes located close to public transit.
The study also shed some light on access to jobs in the areas surveyed. According to the study's results, those living within a half mile of public transit had access to two times more jobs than those living outside the "public transit shed". Now, that's just including the areas where subway, light rail, and the bus service. If you just focus on where the buses serve in Greater Boston, residents had access to five times more jobs than those who don't live with direct access to public transit.
(This makes sense, as areas with greater access to public transportation are generally more urban, where many more jobs are available in general.)
The transportation costs were starkly different as well (even with all the public transit hikes we've been seeing here in the Boston area). The study shows that those living in the Boston area who utilize public transit or live in areas very to close to access save an average of $350 per month on their transportation costs. These days, every dollar counts -- especially when you consider that aforementioned rising cost of gas.
The full survey can be read here.
Do you live near public transportation, but choose not to use it? If you are a public transportation user, did you choose where you live specifically because of the accessibility to said transportation? I'd be curious to see your thoughts on this survey.
A friendly Roads and Rails PSA: do not try to target shoot facing a highway.
It will only turn out poorly for you and pretty much everyone else involved, as four friends are finding out this week. Thankfully, the grand outing in the woods didn't result in any cars or people suffering injury, but I think we can all agree that setting up shop under 100 yards from an interstate highway carrying heavy traffic is probably not a good idea.
The incident took place on Saturday around 4:15 PM in Manchester, about two miles before the southern intersection with 293. Officials say the foursome were shooting toward the highway at the time:
All four men were arrested and transported to the Manchester Police Department for processing. They were identified as: Adam Kelly, 27, of Tacoma, Wash.; Sherif Hashem, 31, from Boston; Bryan Sola, 33, of Southington, Conn.; and Sean Kelly, 20, of Windham. Police seized as evidence an assault rifle, two shotguns, three semi-automatic handguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition.
Next time, they may want to just consider going to the range.
You'll find slowdowns here...
Expressway/O'Neill Tunnel northbound
Two left lanes will be closed in the tunnel from entrance to exit on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramps from Atlantic Avenue and Essex Street to the O'Neill Tunnel northbound will e closed on Monday and Thursday from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The exit ramp to the Mass Pike (Exit 20) will be closed on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM.
The entrance ramp from Furnace Brook Parkway in Quincy to the Expressway northbound will be shut down on Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Expressway/O'Neill Tunnel southbound
The right lane will be closed on the Expressway southbound at Southampton Street / Andrew Square on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM.
The ramp from Essex Street to the O'Neill Tunnel southbound will be closed on Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramps from Congress Street and the Ted Williams Tunnel westbound to the Expressway southbound will be closed Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Two left lanes will be closed from the southbound exit of the O'Neill Tunnel to South Bay on Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
The ramp from Leverett Circle to the O'Neill Tunnel southbound will be closed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramp from Rutherford Avenue to the O'Neill Tunnel southbound and Storrow Drive will be closed on Wednesday from 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramps from Haymarket Square to the O'Neill Tunnel southbound and the Callahan Tunnel will be closed on Wednesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The exit ramps to the Callahan Tunnel and Government Center (Exit 24) will be closed on Thursday and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Mass Pike westbound
Two left lanes will be closed between Clarendon Street and Harrison Avenue in Boston Monday through Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramp from Copley Square to the Pike westbound will be closed on Tuesday from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
The right lane will be closed entering the Weston Tolls from the Pike westbound on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramp to the Ted Williams Tunnel westbound from Logan Airport (Arrivals and Departures) will be closed on Tuesday from 11:45 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramp from Clarendon Street to the Pike westbound will be closed on Wednesday from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
The ramp from Cambridge Street in Brighton to the Allston/Brighton tolls will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
Mass Pike eastbound
++ CLOSED ++ at Prudential Tunnel / Copley Square (Exit 22) on Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. All traffic will be detoured off at the exit.
The right lane will be closed in the Prudential Tunnel (and the right lane also closed on the Exit 22 ramp) on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
The right lane will be closed entering the Weston Tolls from the Pike eastbound on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The left lane will be closed in the Ted Williams Tunnel eastbound Monday through Thursday from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The ramp from Cambridge Street in Brighton to the Allston/Brighton tolls will be closed Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
Inbound: the right lane will be closed from Everett Street to the tolls Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
Outbound: the on-ramp from Rutherford Avenue will be closed Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Outbound: the right lane will be closed in the City Square Tunnel on Monday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Outbound: the right lane will be closed from just after the City Square Tunnel exit to the Beacon Street ramp on Monday from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. The exit ramp to Beacon Street will also be closed.
Outbound: the left lane will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
Outbound: the right shoulder will be closed on the ramp from Rutherford Avenue on Wednesday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Inbound: the two left lanes will be closed between the tolls and Rutherford Avenue on Wednesday from 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM. All traffic will be taken off the bridge at Rutherford Avenue.
Inbound: the ramp from the bridge to the O'Neill Tunnel southbound will be closed on Thursday and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Outbound: the right lane will be closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Upper and Lower Decks of 93
Lower Deck: the carpool lane will be closed Monday through Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Lower Deck: the two left lanes will be closed from the start of the Lower Deck to the Mass Pike exit inside the O'Neill Tunnel (Exit 20) on Monday and Tuesday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Lower Deck: ++ CLOSED ++ at Sullivan Square, Somerville (Exit 28) on Wednesday from 11:59 PM to 5:00 AM. All traffic will be detoured at the exit.
Lower Deck: three right lanes will be closed from the start of the Zakim Bridge to the Government Center on-ramp on Thursday and Friday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Also in Greater Boston:
Route 2 in both directions between Bedford Road, Lincoln and just past Crosby's Corner, Concord: road construction closes lanes Sunday through Friday from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
Route 3 northbound between Route 4 (Exit 32) and Route 40, Chelmsford (Exit 33): construction work closes lanes each Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 PM to 5:30 AM.
Route 128 in both directions between Route 135, Dedham (Exit 17) and Highland Avenue, Needham (Exit 19): continuous lane closures are in effect until further notice as part of the 128 widening project. Expect extra slowdowns, especially during mid-days, for work. Lane split still in effect southbound between Great Plain Avenue and Route 135 - will be until at least the end of 2013.
Route 128 in both directions between Route 37, Braintree (Exit 6) and Route 28, Randolph (Exit 5): the left lane will be closed for guardrail repair Monday through Thursday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Route 3 northbound: the ramp to the Expressway northbound at the Braintree Split will be closed on Monday from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
BU Bridge, Boston: the right lane will be closed in both directions Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will be alternating lane closures in both directions Tuesday through Thursday from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
North Harvard Street over the Larz Anderson Bridge, Cambridge: Continual lane closures are in effect in both directions for bridge reconstruction work. No left turn onto Memorial Drive from JFK Street.
Route 9 in both directions at the Hammond Pond Parkway, Newton: alternate lane closures will be in place for road work Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Sumner Tunnel: the right lane will be closed Monday through Thursday from 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM.
The author is solely responsible for the content.