Saturday, November 1, 2014

Belmont Center

You gotta love the architectural style of Belmont Center. According to good ol' Wikipedia, it's called "American Craftsman," which was popular from the late 1800s to the 1930s. Yes, this building is pretty darn old. The building itself is now used by the Belmont Lions Club, which does things to help out the community.

You gotta love that building.
Unfortunately, the platform itself isn't anything special. The inbound side has the nice building, but there's nothing much on the outbound side. The best "amenity" here is a wastebasket! What's more, neither of the platforms have even an elevated portion for wheelchair users. There's also no parking. And only eight bike spaces. Geez, this station's lucky to have the wastebasket!

A train coming in.
But there is another cool part of this station: it's the tunnel between the two platforms. Sure, it may be really dingy, but it is absolutely covered in graffiti. I'm not sure if this was intentional or if people just spray painted it over time (because Belmont is such a 'hood), but it looks pretty cool and colorful when you walk through. I do wish they lit it up better, though.

I don't think I would want to walk through this at night.
The station is a stone's throw away from Belmont Center, but unless you want the walk to take a million years, some treacherous jaywalking is involved. There's also a bus stop close by (served by the 74 and 75) that requires jaywalking to get to efficiently. Yeah, this isn't the most walker-friendly area.

In terms of scenery this is the polar opposite of the Waltham picture.
Station: Belmont Center

Ridership: This station only has 159 inbound weekday boardings (according to the 2010 Blue Book), which is pretty shabby even for the Commuter Rail. At least it's more than Waverley, the other Belmont Commuter Rail station.

Pros: The tunnel between platforms is cool and the building is awesome. Oh, and there's the wastebasket. Can't forget that.

Cons: For one thing, it's not accessible. For another, it has no official parking. And although the station's geographically close to Belmont Center, it's pretty hard to walk there efficiently without jaywalking.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Belmont Center; see the 74 review.

Final Verdict: 4/10
This is one of those stations that I thought would get a higher score when I start writing about it. I was only thinking about the building when I began this review, but as I went on the many flaws here became more apparent. Oh, except for the wastebasket. That's the best part.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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