February 05, 2012

Nick K!!

I hate to say it but the Telegram on Sunday has become a "not" must read.  It was until I read Jahn's comments about Nick K and Nemeth (I will read next) that they "nailed" it so I decided to read it. 

Back to Nick....  Personally I was never all that excited about the CSX freight yards.   They will be construction to the City and some jobs, but at the same time they are ugly and actually drive down the values of surrounding properties. Why do you think they want them out of Allston/Brighton?   The real estate there is much more valuable utilized otherwise.   

The key has been, is and always will be better commuter lines to Boston.  We have a train station and a parking garage, but not train service.    If we had to turn this area into a freight yard, I was fine with this as long as we got the commuter lines. Worceser could then actually become a "bedroom" community for Boston, which is not a bad thing.  

Without the trains, more so then a rebuilt bridge, we should not have ever turned this area in a train freight yard.   


Jahn said...

Bill, I penned a piece last Thurs or Fri re: City Square entitled "A Tale of Two City Squares" and how in so many respects many key elememts of CS are not falling into place. Maybe it didnt go through to you but I will summarize it here.

1. Depending on who or what we read, either 13 or 20 add'l commuter rail trips were to be added after the rail expansion project is completed. Is the MBTA now talking about reducing CURRENT commuter rail service and the proposed expanded rail service to Worc will not be anywhere near what was originally envisioned??? This was to be a critical element for CS success including the reverse commute factor.

2. Parking garage plans have all of a sudden changed. The under ground garage has been halfed and will now be an above ground garage. Part of The purported reason is that underground garages are essentially a PIA and the other half of the originally proposed underground garage will now be in incorporated into an as yet unnamed structure to be built...rumored by our man in the know to be hotel. Here's to hoping he is on the money :)

3. The originally envisioned 1,600 up scale condos are not even on the drawing board. The entire condo market is completely in the tank (not CS's fault) and will be the last element of the housing market to recover (if at all?). FWIW uscale or even mid scale condos in DT Worc hav enot panne dout too well. Witness the late 1980's projects, The Sophan Tower and condos at Linden & Elms Sts.

In summary the infrastructure necessary to get people to CS (rails & parking) is looking to me like they will both be seriously compromised. I had always kind of wondered if the railroads that were planned could handle anywhere near the proposed add'l trips. The residential component is also incrementally being compromised by what I think may turn out to not be housing the demographic needed to make CS a success and upscale housing is no where to be seen.

All the above said, I agree 110% the economy is not helping CS.

BTW has anyone noticed how the private sector build out of the railroad has been going gangbusters ever since approvals were granted, yet the Commonwealth continues to dither on the widening of the Plantation St bridge and they dont even have any idea of what is it going to cost. And what I have not seen mentioned anywhere is what happens if the construction of the new Lake Quinsig Bridge and the improved Plantation St RR bridge projects both occur simultaneously. East side traffic esp. in the uMASS area will be an unmitigated disaster. Road rage will rule. All of which may be a feigned excuse by the state to delay the Plantation St bridge project??

"IS IT JUST ME" or are some of the wheels coming off CS?

Jahn said...

Bill, the area is, was, and probably always will be a freight yard and a gritty industrial area. Meat packing houses, concrete plant, LTL truck terminal, plastics factories, textile industry, freight yards, and oodles of UPS trucks in and out daily have all been part & parcel of this area as long as I can remember. What better place for an expanded freight yard.

We all have to realize (especially the suburbanites) that our lifstyles are dependent on these very operations :)

So years from now will Worc realize that maybe our hometown boy Lt Gov. Tim Murray sold us a bill of goods as re CS and CSX. Anyone ever realize that CSX and CS are dissimlar by only one letter..."X"

Anonymous said...

With MBTA suffering a multi-million dollar deficit , of course they will be axing plans to increase Worcester service. I don't think csx can be blamed for the T's budget problems. For industry purposes, the freight yard was a great idea for Worcester. The central location provides a great hub for freight as csx can easily access and distribute rail freight from p&w, pan am, necr and the other regional and shortlines that connect to Worcester. What this also does is create a portal for regionals like p&w to reevaluate passenger service. Yes, the old days of taking the train. P&w does have this currently on their drawing board. Its a great prospect for them to provide service west of boston and to neighboring ct and Ri making Worcester and the station as a passenger hub. They have addressed this in numerous transportation meetings.

Frank R.