Alewife (MBTA station)
Red Line platform. Glowing red vertical lines above train at right are neon art, The End of the Red Line
|Address||11 Cambridgepark West,
Cambridge, MA 02140
|Connections||MBTA Bus: 62, 67, 76, 79, 84, 350, 351|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Parking||2,733 space garage|
|Bicycle facilities||~500 spaces total, 300 in two secured cages|
|Opened||March 30, 1985|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Passengers (2009)||10,657 (weekday average boardings)|
Alewife, located at the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Cambridgepark West in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a local intermodal transportation hub. It is the northern terminus of the MBTA's Red Line, and a bus terminal for several local routes and one intercity route. It opened in 1985.
Its facilities include:
- A 2733-space multi-level "park and ride" garage, with a direct connection to Route 2
- Bicycle parking for approximately 500 bicycles. Two gated bike parking cages were added in 2008. Access is controlled by special Bike CharlieCards
- a Zipcar location in the employee parking area
- Connections to the Minuteman Bikeway, the Cambridge Linear Park and the Fitchburg Cutoff Path
- Pedestrian access to East Arlington, via the Minuteman Bikeway and Thorndike Street in Arlington
- A retail area with food and services
- Several works of public art commissioned for the station, including carved benches in the passenger pickup area.
Terminating bus routes
- 62 Bedford V.A. Hospital via Lexington Center and Arlington Heights
- 67 Turkey Hill via Arlington Center
- 76 Hanscom/Lincoln Lab via Lexington Center
- 79 Arlington Heights
- 83 Central Square Cambridge via Inman Square (terminates nearby at Russell Field)
- 84 Arlmont Village
- 350 North Burlington
- 351 EMD Serono/Oak Park/Bedford Woods
- The Route 128 Business Council provides daily shuttle bus services from Alewife traveling to many companies along the Route 2 and Route 128 corridor.
- As of October 2010, World Wide Bus began providing intercity bus service between Alewife Station, Riverside Station (the terminus of the Green Line's "D" Branch), and New York City.
Boston transportation planners expected to build an Inner Belt Expressway within the Route 128 corridor in the 1970s. MA Route 2 was designed with eight lanes to carry large volumes of radial traffic, east from Alewife Brook Parkway, through Cambridge and Somerville to the Inner Belt at the border of eastern Somerville and eastern Cambridge. When the Inner Belt was canceled, Route 2 became an overbuilt highway that terminated at what was little more than major city streets. When the westward extension of the Red Line was being designed, building a station near the end of Route 2 with a large parking garage seemed like a way to capitalize on the original Route 2 investment.
Until the late 1960s, there was little near the site of the Alewife station besides a largely abandoned industrial park, a chemical factory and a protected wetlands. Following principles that came to be known as transit-oriented development, the City of Cambridge zoned the area immediately near the station for high rise buildings, leading to the construction of the three massive Rindge Towers. Over the next 20 years, a mini-city developed with office and research and development buildings in addition to the high rise housing.
A state law required planning the Red Line Extension so it could later be brought out to Route 128 to Bedford, via Arlington and Lexington, along the route of the former Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad. The Red Line tracks extend past the station, under Route 2, and terminate in a small underground storage yard.
When the adjacent chemical plant eventually closed and was replaced by an office and hotel development, the rail spur to the plant (along a short remaining portion of the Fitchburg Cutoff) was no longer needed and its underpass was converted to an access ramp from the station to Route 2. This design was criticized by local residents, since it forced many pedestrians to cross the fast-moving parkways on foot.
On September 18, 2008, two bike parking cages opened at the Alewife station. The cages can hold up to 150 bikes each. To use these cages, one must obtain a free plastic Bike CharlieCard, similar to the CharlieCard used to board the trains. Cards can be obtained from the MBTA customer service agents at Alewife station, or at the MBTA customer service center at Downtown Crossing station. Though the cages are covered, enclosed with security fences, and watched by security cameras, the MBTA advises riders to lock their bikes.
As of April 2008, the MBTA has said that they do not have funds to add two levels to the parking garage to add capacity, which would cost $30 million to $35 million and add about 1300 spaces. The structure was originally designed to have two more levels, but whether the condition of the structure and building codes would allow that today is not clear.
Arts on the Line
As a part of the Red Line Northwest Extension, Alewife was included as one of the stations involved in the Arts on the Line program. Arts on the Line was devised to bring art into the MBTA's subway stations in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was the first program of its kind in the United States and became the model for similar drives for art across the country.
Six of the original twenty artworks are located at Alewife station. These works are:
- Untitled by Richard Fleischner - A 3-acre (12,000 m2) large environmental work containing an artificial pond and large granite blocks
- Untitled by David Davidson - 200 feet (61 m) of abstractly painted, light blue tiles arranged in various ways
- Alewife Cows by Joel Janowitz - A mural of a false exit to the bus terminal with cows grazing in a pasture outside.
- Untitled (Kiss and Ride) by William Keyser, Jr. - Two sculptural benches for passengers waiting for pick-up at the station's "kiss and ride" automobile entrance
- The End of the Red Line by Alejandro and Moira Sina - 1000 neon art tubes suspended from the ceiling of the station directly over one of the tracks
- Untitled by Nancy Webb - 100 6" square tiles scattered throughout the station lobby with low relief images of plants and animals found in the Alewife Brook Reservation
- Alewife Brook Reservation, a wetlands conservation area with walking trails, adjacent to the station on the north side. The station is named after the fish in the reservation's Little River.
- Fresh Pond reservation
- Fresh Pond Shopping Center and cinema
- The Rindge Avenue Extension office park
- Russell Field and Danehy Park
- The Minuteman Trail
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alewife (MBTA station).|
- "> About the MBTA > News & Events". MBTA. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- "Globe story on T plan, mentions 1985 opening/". Boston.com. 2005-05-13. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- Garrett Nelson (2008-04-25). "Alewife | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "> Schedules & Maps > Subway > Alewife Station". MBTA. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "Route 128 Business Council". 128bc.org. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- Thomas, Sarah (2010-10-19). "NYC-bound buses will roll from Newton, Cambridge". Boston.com. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- User: BigRock (April 9, 2007). "Boston's Cancelled Highways". Google Maps. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- Flint, Anthony Giving density a bad name, The Boston Globe, February 23, 2003
- "> Riding the T > Bikes on the T". MBTA. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- Long, Tom (April 13, 2008). "'T' says it hasn't the funds to expand Alewife garage". The Boston Globe.
- Red Line Northwest Extension Pamphlet page 5. The Davis Square Tiles Project. Accessed May 31, 2010
- Arts on the Line:Alewife Station. Cambridge Arts Council. 2002. Accessed May 30, 2010