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Maneuvering the T on Marathon Monday, and mapping it for the future

Posted by Nichole Davis  April 11, 2013 05:38 PM

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Ahhh, Marathon Monday. For many, it's a chance to seize the day, power through 26.2 miles and have bragging rights for the rest of their lives. For others, it's a chance to set up shop along the marathon route, eat a bunch of tasty food and have some drinks, rest, and relax. Others may use the day to check out Patriot's Day activities set up around Eastern Massachusetts. (It's looking to be a gorgeous day for re-enactments, should the forecast hold.)

However, it's one of the biggest days for traffic reporters here in Boston. We'll be glued to cameras and map sensors trying to get you to where you have to go among the sea of road closures and public transit diversions that will inevitably be set up. (Anyone want to bring us some cheeseburgers or something?) It's going to be a doozy of a travel day, that's for sure. (By the way, if you're new to the area, don't forget to check out the primer I put together last Marathon Monday to help you get around.)

I can tell you, from personal experience, that public transit is absolutely going to be the best way to get around. The roads are going to be gridlocked in the city, street closures are going to be rampant (and often changing), and parking is going to be hard to find.

Speaking of parking: the T has announced that all of their garages on Marathon Monday/ Patriot's Day/ next Monday / Tax Day / whatever you want to call it will be cash-only. Be sure to hit the ATM before coming into the city.

Thankfully, the MBTA's already giving us a heads up on their Marathon Monday weekend plans, so check out this list before you make yours.

Saturday

- Keep in mind that a road race is scheduled on Boylston Street on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Marathon officials also say they will be closing Boylston from time to time through the Back Bay so they can prepare for the race on Monday. If you're planning on catching a bus through that area, and Boylston is closed, you can meet up with the 9, 39, and 55 buses at Back Bay Station.

If you're planning on taking the 39, you can also grab it either at Huntington Ave at Mass Ave, or Huntington Ave at Belvedere. The Copley Square area of Boylston Street will also be closed from time to time on Sunday for marathon planning and prep events, so you can follow the same advice then as well.

Sunday

- A 5K will be run through the Park Street and Boylston Station areas along Tremont Street. Red and Green line service will continue to operate at those stations, and the Silver Line will also make regular stops at Tremont Street, but the 43 bus will not stop there between 7:45 AM and 9:30 AM.

- Also, the Patriot's Day Parade will cause some delays and diversions on bus service in Arlington. Massachusetts Avenue will be shut down between 11:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Seek alternate connections on the 77, the 80 and the 350.

Now, for Marathon Monday...

Subway

  • The Red, Orange, and Blue lines will all be on a regular weekday schedule. Before and after the race, however, service will be bumped up to rush-hour levels (trains every 5-10 minutes, extra trains in service).
  • The Silver Line will operate on a normal weekday schedule with no breaks in service.
  • Green Line riders will see extra service on all lines before and after the race. Copley Station will be shut down all day. The South Street (B), Kent Street and St. Mary's Street (C) stops in Brighton and Brookline will be closed from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Commuter Rail

All lines will run on a regular weekday schedule with no diversions.

Commuter Boat

All lines will run on a regular weekday schedule with no diversions.

The Ride

A modified weekday schedule will be in place for all The Ride service. Contact your local provider for more scheduling details.

Bus

All buses will operate on a Saturday schedule, except for these routes, which will be cancelled for the day:

CT1, CT2, CT3, 4, 19, 52, 67, 68, 79, 84, 85, 114, 121, 131, 170, 217, 221, 245, 424, 424W, 428, 434, 439, 448, 449, 451, 456, 459, 502, 503, 505, 554, 556, 558

Expect to be diverted at various times on these routes due to the race or other Patriot's Day events:

Route 8: service terminates at Landmark Center, Fenway. No service to Brookline Avenue between Park Drive and Kenmore Square during the Marathon.
Routes 9/10: service terminates at Back Bay Station. Make connections on the Dartmouth Street side of Back Bay.
Route 39: service terminates at Back Bay Station. Make connections on Huntington Avenue for both inbound and outbound service.
Route 47: no service in either direction between the BU Bridge and Brookline Avenue. Outbound service terminates at the Old Sears Building - make connections on Brookline Ave at the Fenway. Inbound service terminates at Memorial Drive at Granite Street - make connections at Granite Street at Brookline.
Route 52: No service on Centre Street between Newton Center and Ward Street.
Route 55: No service on the line until the Marathon is completed and all streets open.
Route 57: Service terminates at Blandford Street by Boston University - no service will go into or out of Kenmore Square.
Route 59: Inbound service terminates at Newton Highlands. No service will run on Walnut Street between Newtonville and Newton Highlands.
Route 60: All inbound service terminates at Landmark Center. No service will run on Brookline Avenue between Kenmore Square and Park Drive.
Route 62: No stops will be made at Lexington Center between noon and 5:00 PM.
Route 65: Service to Kenmore Square will terminate at Landmark Center, Fenway. Connections can be made on Brookline Avenue. No service will run on Brookline Avenue between Park Drive and Kenmore Square.
Route 66: Service will not run on Harvard Street between Brookline Village and Union Square in Allston. Outbound connections to Harvard can be made in Union Square. Inbound service to Dudley Square will begin at Boylston Street, Brookline Village.
Route 76: No stops at Lexington Center between noon and 5:00 PM.
Route 86: Service will be suspended between Cleveland Circle and Chestnut Hill Avenue at Winshop Street.
Routes 94/95/96/101/134: Expect delays and detours due to the Ride of Paul Revere re-enactment. Connections can be made on Main and Winthrop Streets at High Street.
Route 504: No service will run to Stuart Street or St. James Avenue in Copley Square. Outbound connections will be at Back Bay station. Inbound connections will be made at Kneeland and Washington Streets.
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If you're a fan of cartography, or just transit-nerdy design, then this is going to be the contest for you.

As part of National Transportation Week (in May), the T and MassDOT have announced that they're looking to you for a spicing up of their transit map. The contest will run through the month of April, and you can enter in one of two categories, which will be judged thusly:

Open Tier Criteria
  • Creativity (1-5 points - to what extent does the map represent a re-imaging of current MBTA mapping tools?)
  • Aesthetic Quality (1-5 points - from a purely artistic and graphic design perspective, how successful is the map?)
  • Readability / Visual Clarity (1-5 points - how accessible is the map? How quickly can the viewer retrieve desired information?)
  • Informative Quality (1-5 points - how useful is the map to someone relying on it to navigate the system?)

Classic Tier Criteria

  • Creativity (1-5 points - to what extent does the map represent a re-imaging of current MBTA mapping tools?)
  • Aesthetic Quality (1-5 points - from a purely artistic and graphic design perspective, how successful is the map?)
  • Readability / Visual Clarity (1-5 points - how accessible is the map? How quickly can the viewer retrieve desired information?)
  • Informative Quality (1-5 points - how useful is the map to someone relying on it to navigate the system?)
  • Accordance with MBTA map standards - All criteria must be met, if failed on any criteria the entry will be placed in the Open Tier category.

If your map is chosen from either category as the winner (or one of the five honorable mentions), it will be presented at an event during National Transportation Week, displayed on the MBTA website and hung up at the State Transportation Building in downtown Boston. Pretty cool. As to whether it will actually be part of a true redesign... the T hasn't announced that yet. I suppose that depends on what types of submissions they receive.

More information on the contest, as well as entry dates and submission instructions, can be found here. I'm curious: what would you like to see in your perfect Boston subway map? Do you think the map is fine as is? Is it too confusing for friends and family coming out of town? Will you be submitting? Let me know in the comments.

You know, speaking of this whole thing, there's been a few redesigns floating around as of late that I've really enjoyed. xkcd fans may remember this one from a recent entry. It's not exactly Boston-centric, but I dig the idea of a subway system linking the entire North American continent. (Do-able? Probably not as possible. But let a transit nerd dream.) If you're a Simpsons fan, there's a reference on there you'll enjoy.

Here's another that I stumbled across on etsy. You have to look closely to see which station is which, etc, but it's a sleek and modern redesign. I wouldn't say it's probably the most tourist-friendly, but a resident can appreciate the aestheticism.

This one is probably one of my favorite redesigns that I've seen yet. StoneBrown Design is responsible for it. Not only is it functional, but it is true to the actual layout of the system. The approximate times on the map are also helpful to plan off-peak trips (if you don't count signal failures, medical emergencies, and other issues of the like). I would feel comfortable giving this one to family and friends from out of town.

Are there any redesigns you've seen out there that you like?
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Here, have a fail moment to start off your weekend:

The ads on the T are hard to avoid. They do that deliberately. Oftentimes it's easier just to stare into space in the direction of one or two of them as opposed to actively trying to avoid making awkward eye contact with other riders.

There's plenty of ads on the T that have to do with medical studies, new tests for medicine, etc - but there's also a few that reach out to those in need of help with mental problems like depression or suicide. I find that to be a very positive, active way of using advertising and I'm completely supportive of it.

What I'm not too supportive of - and can understand why others wouldn't be either - is when restaurants take that sort of idea and try to equate life-crippling depression with a lack of cheeseburgers. Now, I love cheeseburgers, and I really would miss them if they weren't in my life, but I think that's taking it a little far. Apparently, so did plenty of other people. The ad agency responsible has pulled those ads, and McDonald's is doing some back pedaling this week over it. Big facepalm there.

Have you seen any ads on the T that really make you cringe?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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