Thursday, February 5, 2009

Salem Depot Garage inches forward

The state has released money for design of a new Salem Depot.  New figure for the garage and depot is $46 million; one commenter on the Salem News wonders why it’s so high.  It is a lot of money that would have been better off spent sooner.  I suggest charging the amount to those people who held up this for years until more “studies” could be done.  If  a neighborhood association knew it could be liable for unwarranted delays, it might be more careful in judging just how its positions might affect other neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

No more studies.  Just build it.  Mayor Driscoll thinks the same.

Another commenter asks why we don’t have double-decker trains, which are desperately needed on the Rockport line (try finding a seat on the 7:25).   The MBTA has let out a contract to buy double-deckers from a Korean firm.    Here’s a image—presumably an artist’s conception—from eDaily, Korea:

There’s been a lot of concern about the build quality of these trains, but it’s a done deal.  I’ve heard, though, that these trains will have electronic signs and automatic stop announcements, like on the Blue Line.  At a station like Salem where any given train can go to one of three places on the same track, this will be helpful.

Now, if the T could just get some new locomotives…


Anonymous said...

You are spot on about the garage being long overdue.

But... what is with the weak accusation that a neighborhood association has held up this project thus far? You have proof or is this yet another display of the chip on your shoulder with NA's? geez, gotta blame everything on the NA's. Let's just be happy that the design has been funded and it looks like the train is finally pulling out of the station.

Anonymous said...

I am VERY happy to hear about the new garage, it's desperately needed. But as a Northfield's homeowner you bet I am interested in the actual design and size and how it will impact the neighborhood. I like the view going over that little bridge into Downtown and don't want a huge concrete box ruining it.

Anonymous said...

BUILD THE DAMN GARAGE ALREADY! I don't care if it is a concrete box (the plans call for brick, by the way) or if detracts from the view on your drive. I'm sick of parking a mile away when I get there at 8:00am. It's ridiculous. Man.

There are doubledecker commuter rail trains on the South Shore. I wonder if one of the issues on the Rockport/Newburyport line is the ceiling height in the tunnel under downtown Salem?

David Moisan said...

The doubledeckers will fit the tunnel in Salem. If you see one on the South Shore lines, you'll note they use the space between the wheels that is empty on a regular one-level coach. It's sort of 1-1/2 decks. They're no taller than the locomotive.

David Moisan said...

To the guy in Northfields (learn a new neighborhood every day, yes!): I doubt it'll be 5 stories let alone 10. The Alewife garage on the north end of the Red Line is only 4 stories and is arguably more congested (in size and traffic) than Salem would be. (That garage was designed to have levels added to it, which many have asked for, but which has never been considered.)

I like looking out from the overpass every once in a while, but I admit I'm not as concerned with the view. It seems like the new courthouse will be the most prominent feature, from what I saw when the church was moved. Looking out from the overpass, I see a small slice of the river, the parking lot, Washington St., the courthouse complex, and Leslie's Retreat Park.

How is a garage worse than a parking lot for the view? You'll never confuse the North River for the Charles.