Consider the idea of having a Belmont Park and Ride. What if the building at the corner of Hittinger and Blanchard was purchased by the town for the joint purposes of the electrical substation and also a satellite parking garage for the Alewife train station. Alewife is a straight shot down the bike trail. What if there could be some kind of shuttle service, tram, golf carts, bike taxi, etc, that would ferry passengers back and forth? Just an idea. Even if a parking garage is not built, make the path more user friendly for commuters willing to walk the path to the train station. My commute to the far end of Cambridge by the court house past Kendall Square by car is getting so long and so bad that I am going back to taking the T. I find paying $7 a day for the Alewife garage expensive, and am considering the idea of walking the bike path to the station. In good weather it wouldn’t be a bad bike ride.
I’m lukewarm on park-and-ride there, because anyone in Belmont not too far up a hill (even as far as Waverley Square) can bike there pretty easily, and it seems that we already have a heap of traffic in that area on Brighton Avenue at rush hour. Bikes in Belmont would mostly take other roads, so they wouldn’t hit quite so much traffic (the high school is a notable problem, however). If we do the routes right, they’re even comfortable when there’s snow on the ground.
I would think that the right place for a park-and-ride, would be on Route 2. There’s some blobs of spare land at some of the interchanges. Keep the cars on the freeways, whenever possible.
And the Alewife garage ought to charge even more on weekdays, since it completely fills up, and the T has money problems. They’re not overcharging until a good fraction is empty; ideally, you’d like it to almost always have a few empty spaces, so that you wouldn’t need to worry about being able to park if you absolutely positively had to come in a car.
I think I agree with David that the congestion at that location is pretty bad already.
But once we get the path in, we can look at ways to make it even easier to access. I think it will really be a very nice walk — it’s under a mile.
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