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Everything posted by ChrisValentine

  1. More or less correct about the dimensions. Pretty much, the simplest boundaries would be Cambridge St., Soldiers Field Road, and the rail line. There is some empty space north of Cambridge St, for what its worth. The rail yard has already been moved. Other than the main line itself, the tracks have already been removed, so thats good. Plus, while this is all right up against Harvard, Harvard was intimately involved the last time Boston looked at bidding, so they might be a good neighbor to have.
  2. Personally, thats my preferred site. I read somewhere (don't remember where) that there's a greater concern about cleanup there. However, I really don't think it could be *that* much worse than Cabot. Beacon has some good things going for it: - Its getting redeveloped anyway, and most of what a potential Olympic Park there would need to make room (such as re-routing the highway) is on the docket regardless of what Boston does with the Olympics. - Its somewhat larger than the Cabot lot. Perhaps woohooitsme83 could draft up the layout. - It has immediate rail access. - Good views of Boston and the river. - Better surrounding neighborhood than Cabot.
  3. - As said, the southern rail yard is Amtrak. - The lot north, next to Foundtry St., would be useful, except that its cut off by two fairly major roads. The Bypass road (N380) does not really carry much traffic, so rerouting that one wouldn't be a big deal. Rerouting Fourth or W. Broadway/Traveler would be more problematic. - There really isn't all that much residential in that corner on woohooitsme83's map. Pull up google maps, and starting from the broadway station, the residential neighborhoods are pretty much east of Dot ave and south of Fourth Street, until you cross back over I-93. There's a a bit south of Southhampton street, and there's a very few houses next to Andrew station. However, thats mostly just very light commercial (towing, demolition, etc.) in that corner. Plus, there's that nice big empty lot there. Plus, if you want to go even more eminent domain-happy (not that I'm encouraging that), there's a fair chunk more of light industry between Dot ave and Old Colony. - As for how 'welcoming' the surrounding areas are: Southie, immediately east of Dot Ave, is Boston's traditionally Irish neighborhood. Very Blue Collar, lots of events and festivals (big St. Patrick's Day Parade), and use to have a significant organized crime presence (but, due to that, surprisingly low street crime). However, its one of the more gentrifying neighborhoods in Boston (much to the chargrin of some of the locals). Northeast of the yard the Seaport District, which is pretty much ground zero for all the new development in Boston; I believe there's 3 midrises going up right now, and at least 3 more in the paperwork stages. Relatively upscale, its all offices, restaurants, hotels, convention centers, and a few expensive condos. Expect quite a bit of the logistical stuff to go there. West of I-93 is the South End and Inkblot district. Relatively gentrified, and the lots near the highway are also getting gentrified (used to be warehouses and newspaper facilities). South of that, and still west of I-93 is Newmarket (big box retail shopping center and various industrial wholesalers, that sort of thing), and south of that is Dorchester (a fairly poor section of Boston, probably the roughest nearby neighborhood). - I think every conceivable Boston proposal involves a string of sites, rather than one concentrated park. Yes, I know that the IOC likes more concentrated areas, but every indication is that Boston will not be offering such a plan. So, for example, the aquatics facility will either be in another parcel of Olympic Park (locations around Somerville, where there's some more rail yards and underutilized lots slated for redevelopment, as well as Revere, around Suffolk Downs), or at one of the many universities. At the moment, the major schools don't have aquatics facilities quite up to Olympic standards in terms of size, but I do know that a few of the schools are already looking at replacing theirs. In fact, Northeastern University is looking at totally replacing their athletics facility in the center of their campus. So, concerns about the fit of the Aquatics facility in that 'main' park would most likely be moot. I'd expect either a warmup track or the... sigh, Velodrome to go there. - As for the rail lines themselves: dropping them down through cut-and-cover (the most likely) or actual tunneling shouldn't be nearly as horrific as the Big Dig, which involved tunneling right under the core of the city, especially if the rail yards themselves get relocated, so it would just be the trunk lines being dropped down. It'll be very easy to cut down through the soil here, because its all in-fill, though there would, of course, need to be some serious consideration of the water due to that infill nature (here's a useful map: http://www.computerimages.com/graphics_court_square/cs_landfill_large.gif ). As for just decking over the facilities, thats certainly a possibility (and might be a decent way to keep the yards mostly intact), especially considering that the surrounding roads (Fourth and the Bypass) are elevated, so any facilities would be level with those roads. Personally, I think that dropping the rail lines would be the simplest course of action. You'd only be digging under existing track, and they're generally 4-6 wide at any given point, allowing the construction crews to gradually phase the lower lines in, without totally disrupting the rail traffic (dig under line 1 to build the new line 1, then, as you close the old line 1 to connect up the new line 1, the other 3-5 pick up the demand).
  4. While we're all eager for details on Boston's plan, the specifics on this one should be taken with a grain of salt. I got the impression this columnist spoke with some of the movers and shakers off the record and got some tidbits and built her column around that. So, is the exploratory committee looking at Cabot Yard as a possible location? I'd say thats likely one of multiple spots. Is the size settled upon? I'm somewhat skeptical.
  5. Very important point here. Lets assume that the stadium would be serviced only by the Broadway Red Line MBTA station (it would probably also use Andrew, but thats a few blocks further away). The surrounding neighborhoods directly serviced by the same line are pretty diverse, and there's many immigrant neighborhoods. I don't know the exact demographics for soccer popularity in Boston, but I'm assuming its a safe bet to target immigrant neighborhoods. The other such neighborhoods are similarly easily accessed by a 2-seat trip on the subway (other than anything on the Blue Line, which does not directly connect).
  6. Good graphic, but I also think you cut out quite a bit from the total space. In particular, you could use the bypass rd (listed as N380 on google maps) as your southern border. That gives you a lot more space.
  7. I've been discussing this topic just as long as you have. We'll see how it works out.
  8. I don't know, that area of the city looks large enough. I compared the London Stadium, its around 800 feet wide, 1000 feet long, and the shortest side of the yard is around 1000 feet, if you assume the perimeter as such: I-93 W 4th St. Dot Ave. Bypass Rd. Thats a pretty decently sized area.
  9. I generally agree with the idea that they'll only do it on their terms, but I do think there's more room for a more... restrained Olympics than some might think.
  10. That falls under 'recreational.' Thats nothing new. There's certainly plenty of local concern about the bid.
  11. Well, in all fairness, the only boats that go up and down the Charles at that point are recreational.
  12. I have no idea how official this is (not very, most likely), but its an interesting presentation. http://issuu.com/figureground/docs/praud_boston_olympics_february_2014 A few too many typos and figures are a bit off.
  13. I have to disagree about the racial angle (not to get things even more heated). Not to dispute your story from 1996, but thats 18 years ago now, will have been 28 years by 2024. And the racial issues in the south these days pale in comparison to various social concerns that other winning Olympic bids have dealt with (and think of some World Cup hosts, if we want to expand out a bit more).
  14. One impression I get in my research into cities like Dallas and Atlanta is that Dallas (and, really, the other major Texan cities) really really wants to be a world-class city. The various Texas boosters, like Governor Perry, really want to raise the cultural standings of their cities to make it more appealing for the families of high level corporate officers of companies that would relocate. I could see Dallas really being more impressive on the world stage in another decade. I think the Olympics could have helped launch that, but I can see why committees would want to wait until after Dallas has 'proven' itself. Anyway, I'm all about Boston 2024 anyway.
  15. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/06/13/boston-makes-short-list-for-summer-olympics/K5EyOKkSWisfXySpNujZWI/story.html Short list is apparently: Boston, San Fransisco, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.
  16. Well, the stadium is not that outdated, it'll be 22 years old in 2024. If thats too outdated, then the Olympics would just be an excuse to build a new larger stadium at Olympic specs. Based on what? LA's got lots of land, and they proved in '84 that they were capable of hosting a profitable games. Other than that, what is so clearly superior about LA?
  17. Points 1 & 2: Fair enough. To points 3 & 4: People keep saying that over and over, but my point is that, if the list of candidates is sparse enough, and Boston has a bid that has numbers that all work just fine, is it really that certain that the IOC wouldn't bend on this point?
  18. Question I've been mulling over, in light of the increased skittish-ness that many potential host cities have been having: How outside the realm of possibility would it be for Boston to use Gillette Stadium? I know back when the idea of Boston bidding was first kicked around, everyone agreed that Gillette was too far away, because the IOC likes stuff to be in the city itself. However: - The stadium has direct rail access to Boston the station is right next to the parking lot), a ~40 minute ride currently. - The land around Gillette is almost entirely owned by the Patriots (or, more accurately, Bob Kraft), and he has developed it into a very tight-knit complex of entertainment and retail venues, called Patriot Place. I could see Patriot Place being temporarily repurposed during the Olympics, with some of the stores being converted into whatever the Olympics needs, and then put back to normal afterward. Its also a fairly easily contained area, so security would not be too difficult (nor would it be anything the existing security is not familiar with). Plus, if they don't want to put it in Boston, there's plenty of parking space on which to build a temporary Velodrome. Again, this is an idea on how to present a more economical bid. While the IOC probably doesn't want more economical bids, it does seem that the publicity from cities dropping out from various bids would nudge them in that direction.
  19. I believe this is the report alluded to in the previous few posts: http://www.scribd.com/doc/209833623/Boston-Olympic-Commission-Report Reading it now.
  20. A valid point, but even a neophyte such as myself had no trouble focusing on those 4 issues as the major ones to solve, since Boston has an abundance of hotels, an abundance of sporting venues, and a shortage of Olympic Villages, Velodromes, and Olympic stadiums. As to the second point, well, what, specifically, about Boston makes it less suitable to host an Olympic games/less likely to overcome the hurdles to do so? Is it the relatively compact nature of the city? Is it the aging infrastructure? Is it the political processes? Or is it simply that they have yet to produce a coherent plan that has caught anyone's imagination?
  21. So, basically, the people in this thread (and other discussions in other forums) were pretty much spot on when we were focused on the Village, Stadium, Aquatics, and (ugh) Velodrome. At the very least, we know that almost every potential competitor would have to build a Velodrome, so Boston has that going for them (well, relatively speaking). I doubt very much that anyone would really rely on the college housing stock to relieve hotel stress to any significant proportion. However, I would not be surprised at all if the various universities decided to take advantage of the opportunity presented to utilize their unused dorms in such a fashion. The idea of utilizing cruise ships in the harbor might be workable, though that presumes that it makes economic sense for the cruise lines. At ports of departure, a cruise ship is rarely there for more than one day, so, during vacation times such as summer, its possible to run a ship a day out of that terminal (a quick google shows 6 different ships using the terminal at this moment, so thats not too far off). You can't, however, dock 6 ships there permanently, and even one docked there for the olympics screws up the other 5 (or however many are running in the summer). Still, its good to know other options, and it worth noting that the Boston area is full of harbors that might be able to serve similar purposes, not that I think thats even remotely necessary, if the city is expected to have 11,000 more real hotel rooms than necessary for the games. As for the venues, nothing to say that hasn't already been said. The stadium is anyone's guess, the velodrome would have to be a temporary thing (what are the dimensions of an olympic velodrome/would it be possible to repurpose one of the pre-existing arenas in the city for that?), and the aquatic center would be best developed with one of the local universities. Many of the schools' pools will be getting pretty old by 2024... Also, why am I not surprised that a polemic against the Olympics (the previous article cited in the thread) got its numbers wrong?
  22. 45,000 hotel rooms needed. Presently, greater Boston is building 2300 rooms worth of hotels, that are scheduled to be open by March of 2016, so really roughly, about 1,000 per year. Presuming that Boston were to bid for the Olympics, that pace could be kept up or accelerated, and the goal reached. Further, I feel that article is disingenuous. It draws comparisons to Montreal, widely considered, even by people who know little about the Olympics, as an utter failure financially, even by Olympic standards, and Sochi, which is an extreme outlier on costs and shows how much things can be inflated when the Russian mob is in charge of getting everything built (yes, thats hyperbolic, I know). The whole thing is really just a list of the risks associated with hosting the Olympics. Almost nothing specific about Boston, other than the fact that the Big Dig was mismanaged.
  23. You know, Detroit has seen plenty of large-scale redevelopment projects attempting to rejuvenate the city. None of them have worked (largely because large-scale redevelopment projects tend to have problems of their own). Detroit is not lacking for housing stock. Its not lacking for stadiums and athletic facilities. Its not lacking for shiny prestige projects. Its lacking for people and economy. Hosting the Olympics, in my opinion, would result in a month where Detroit would be a safe place to live and work, and then everything would be back to normal. The one advantage to Detroit is that there would be nobody to complain about where you decide to put any given Olympic facility. It would be interesting if they took some of the beautiful abandoned buildings and restored and repurposed them, however. Could be a very unique aesthetic.
  24. It would seem to me that it would be best to not insult your supporters, particularly when the entire endeavor is so precarious. Of course, as a Romney voter, maybe I'm just biased.
  25. I'm becoming more inclined to think that the old CSX yard would be the best spot to put a stadium. - The area is just begging to be redeveloped, so we can straighten out the mess of a highway interchange there. Further, its essentially now just an empty lot on both sides of I-90. - Excellent transit access with the main east-west rail line right next door and commuter rail service along it and only a few blocks from the Green line subway. - Easy to utilize the area for future uses; right between BU and Harvard. - Easy to cordon off for security purposes. I'm less enthused about Newmarket now, since the general area is very heavily utilized in its current industrial/retail niche. Might not be what people think an urban area should have, but its not exactly falling apart. It does have similarly excellent transit access, with two commuter rails nearby (and a station opened on-site just this past month), and the Red line subway not too much further than that. Franklin park just seems like an odd man out to me. There's nothing really great for transit (the orange line is a walkable distance, but not nearly as nice as the others), though you could run shuttles up and down Seaver/Columbus and Blue Hill Ave. Its also heavily residential, which would be much less convenient for everyone involved.
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