Just 4 weeks ago we reported on the renovations at North Station and since then much progress has been made. Joel sends this report to the mailbag at email@example.com
Joel here from HubArts.com. I think you ought to get over to North Station and take a look at the new, vastly expanded commuter rail waiting room that's nearing completion. I like the old-school oval bench islands and the snazzy signage for the track numbers. Not so sure about the regular benches that will apparently fill out the space. But anything is better than the current chaos and gridlock.
Well, almost anything. There's one awful development: this morning the coffee-breaking construction workers were enjoying a big diamond vision screen that was hooked up even though it hadn't been attached to the wall yet. And the very bright and vivid picture was showing A BANK NORTH GARDEN AD. Let's hope they're not going to put this ten-foot screen to work brainwashing their captive audience into attending Rod Stewart concerts and Celtics losses, no doubt accompanied by a decibel level that will make us all bleed from the ears. That would be ten times more annoying than any airport departure lounge screen.
It's great that they finally figured out the existing space wasn't enough for train passengers alone, much less on the night of a game or concert. It's too bad that they didn't figure it out when they were designing the building in the first place. It's also too bad that at that time they didn't design a direct connection from the commuter-rail lobby to the subway station. It's asinine that everyone has to march outside and then ten feet later go through another set of doors to get back inside. And there's quite the bottleneck there at busy times.
Northside Commuter Rail passengers are finally getting a decent terminal again at North Station, something that has been lacking since the Boston Garden closed in 1995 to make way for the now TD Banknorth Garden.
Don't blame the T for the long delay as the station is the responsibility of Delaware North Companies of Buffalo the owner of the Garden. DNC has been trying for a decade to develop the land the former Garden was on ( and currently a parking lot ) and they put the train station on the back burner. I'm told the reason there is not a direct entrance into the station was that the Garden and the T didn't exactly know where everything would wind up. The T plans a ribbon cutting ceremony this week and crowd control should be much improved at the station especially on event nights at the Garden.
The T itself did an excellent job with the Green and Orange Line superstation and now transferring between lines is much easier.