Saturday, February 7, 2015

Broadway

I wanted to head down to Quincy Center, but the first train that had come was an Ashmont train. Rather than just wait it out for the next Braintree one (in ten minutes), I decided to just get on the Ashmont train. I didn't want to have to change trains at JFK/UMASS, though, because it would be freezing. And I would have a few more chances to go to Andrew because there are some buses that terminate there. Broadway it is, then!

I love this platform!
The bulk of Broadway's platform is really awesome. It's a bunch of white pillars lined up, and each one has four different colored tiles. Each of those tiles has a different image on it - 200 in all, done by school students. The platform does have random pipes, but an effort is made to hide them. Take that, Prudential!

An old sign on the wall!
The MBTA even left an old Broadway sign on the wall when they renovated the station in 1985. Speaking of the walls, this may sound weird, but I really like them! They're just white squares, but, I don't know, they make the place seem brighter or something. I can't say I'm really a fan of the dingy ceiling, though you can't see it when you're standing between the columns.

The "dodgier" end of the platform.
But there's another part of the platform. I believe this is where they extended it for six car trains, because it looks like they really didn't care about aesthetics when they built it. The columns turn from bright white to a blood-red color. Also, the ceiling stops trying to hide its dinginess and random pipes, while the walls turn from white to "gross tunnel gray." I think I'll head back to the nice part, okay?

Some really cool artwork.
Leaving the platform and turning around, there's some excellent artwork above the stairs. It's a bunch of steel sculptures of "domestic objects" that look fantastic. As for the stairs themselves, they also have an upward-only escalator to go along with them.

The mezzanine.
Alas, the mezzanine is a bit of a mess. Long and thin, it stretches between the staircases to both entrances. The white tiled walls are nice, but the ceiling is low and ugly (random pipes galore). And if my memory serves me right, there are only fare gates on one side of the mezzanine and none for the other entrance. That's just ridiculous.

The secondary entrance.
The western entrance of Broadway is in this weird island in the middle of what becomes the Broadway Bridge. The entrance itself is nice, with glass and a T symbol facing an intersection. The weird thing about it is the sheltered bench on it. There aren't any buses that stop here - why is this set up like a stop, then?

A rather tight place to take a picture.
The main entrance makes itself obvious, with a larger-than-average "Broadway" sign on the outside. Although somewhat cramped, this one also has glass, as well as some newspaper boxes and a wastebasket. There's also a sheltered bench, but you know, buses actually stop at this stop. Broadway's connections are pretty slim, though, with only the 9 and 11 to City Point, and the 47 to Central Square, Cambridge.

My camera didn't seem to like Broadway, so it gave me a bunch of blurry pictures.
Station: Broadway

Ridership: This is one of the lesser-used Red Line stations, with only about 5,250 riders per day. This can probably be attributed to the lack of bus connections, as well as the fact that the station has mostly industrial surroundings. The exception is to the east, where there are apartments and businesses.

Pros: I love the main part of the platform. From the art to the colors to the old station sign, this is really nice. Also, the entrances are pretty good.

Cons: The extended part of the platform is kind of dumpy and dark, though. The mezzanine is quite bad, and this station doesn't have too many bus connections.

Nearby and Noteworthy: The Red Line's Cabot Yard is to the west of the station, and you can get a good view of it (as well as of the Boston skyline) from the Broadway Bridge.

Final Verdict: 6/10
This is one of those "meh" stations that has good elements to it, but isn't worth seeing because of the other bad bits. Broadway has a great platform, as least the main part of it, and the art in the station is great. But the platform gets much worse at its extended portion, and the mezzanine is terrible. The station doesn't get much ridership, either - it's one of the lowest-ridership Red Line stations, in fact.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
I feel bad for not being able to report about the MBTA of the past week. Um...well, basically, snow + old MBTA trains = bad things. Pretty much.

1 comment:

  1. That secondary entrance at the foot of the bridge is where the old main entrance and bus/car shed was. It was closed and torn down in 1988 or 1989. Originally there was a lane that fed right into the new entrance (the lanes were redone when the new bridge opened 10 or 12 years ago). I think the idea was for inbound buses to stop there and outbounds to stop at the corner stop -- FYI, that corner entrance didn't exist before the renovation. I tried doing a Google for images of the old bus shed, but came up empty. Perhaps Historic Aerials might have something.

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