Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Newmarket

Well, I have to give the city an A for effort. They took an industrial area and completely turned it around by putting fancy new signs up that advertise it as...an industrial area. Newmarket even has a website, which calls the neighborhood "Boston's most vibrant industrial area." I'm not if I would use that word to describe ANY industrial area, but...well, they tried, I guess. Anyway, Newmarket also has a Fairmount Line station.

Hm..."vibrant."
The Commuter Rail station certainly is easy to find. Those fancy signs I mentioned handily point the way there, although I'm not really sure why. I mean, Newmarket Station doesn't have any parking, so the only people who would utilize the signs are pedestrians. And let me tell you, this is not a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. Plus, the signs call it a "T Station", implying it gets frequent rapid transit service. HA!

The entrance to the outbound side.
The entrances to the inbound and outbound platforms are on separate sides of the tracks. Each one has a long ramp that leads to the elevated station. They're so long, in fact, that they have periodic benches in case people need to rest! A staircase alternative would be much appreciated.

And the inbound entrance.
The entrances have T symbols, which is good, even though again, they'll only attract pedestrians. Although there is a fairly generous amount of street parking space next to the station on Newmarket Square, to my understanding, it's a two hour limit! Why not just make it official station parking? Newmarket does have some bike spaces, though, as well as a Hubway station.

The platform.
The whole platform is high-floor, and the part near the entrances is sheltered. It has a few benches, as well as "pitch in" wastebaskets. Like most Commuter Rail stations, there are screens saying the date, time, and info on the next train if it's close. As a bonus, the benches have some great drawings of Boston before the land around it was filled up, along with a star to represent where Newmarket is.

A train coming in.
But this is a long platform. I'm not sure why Commuter Rail stations are always so lengthy, considering the trains are never that long, but I guess it's a standard or something. Anyway, there really isn't much of note along the large unsheltered part of the platform - kinda like the neighborhood this station is in.

Next stop, South Station!
Station: Newmarket

Ridership: This station is still new, so the MBTA hasn't published ridership data for it yet. I can say that it was pretty much empty on a Saturday, with only about two or three people waiting. I guess commuters to factories might use this station, but it seems like it'd be easier just to take the bus.

Pros: As this is a new station, it has a full high level platform. Of course this means it's accessible, with the long ramps driving the point home.

Cons: The ramps, however, are also quite annoying. If they could install a staircase so the ramps aren't the only way of getting to the station, that would be much appreciated. Something else that would be appreciated is proper station parking, since the existing 2-hour street parking seems useless. In addition, modern Commuter Rail stations have this problem where they're just so...bland. Newmarket fits right into that trend.

Nearby and Noteworthy: I know that mixed-used development is being encouraged in Newmarket, but that seems a long way off. For now, Newmarket's only claim to fame is that it's the closest station to the South Bay Center, but Andrew has much more frequent service and isn't that far away.

Final Verdict: 4/10
Well, I'll say this for Newmarket Station: it's just as "vibrant" as the rest of the neighborhood! Sigh. Not only is it bland, but it doesn't have parking and its ramps shouldn't be the only entrances. It may be a high level station, but that's pretty much the only good thing about it. Oh, and the bike parking. But who rides their bike in Newmarket of all places?

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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