Talk:Porter (MBTA station)

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The escalators and stairs at Porter scare me. The stairs at least have landings every 20 stairs or such, but the escalators are just one straight shot down. Imagine falling down that... you'd die, literally. I get vertigo just looking down the things. Aquarium used to be similar to this (but not as extreme), but they've fixed it with the new station.

Anyway... anyone else feel the same way? I take the elevator every time! -- DocSigma 15:20, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Glove Cycle[edit]

Whenever I go through the Porter MBTA station, the conversation turns to the bronzed gloves that seem to lie somewhat haphazardly along the escalator. What's the story behind this installation? How old is it? What was the motivation for its creation? If anyone knows, please add it to the article. I noticed that at the very top of the escalator there is even a large glove holding a child-sized glove. NBS525 13:40, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind. I found an external link. NBS525 16:09, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I was part of the motivation. As a teen living in the area, we (myself and other teens) found it immensely fun to SLIDE down the stainless steel surface between the escalators - much to the chagrins of MBTA employees and passengers. The first installation to deter this misuse was to put metal hockey-puck shaped disks down the middle of the surface, every 10 feet or so (the distance is to the best of my recollect). However, these could be avoided by sliding down on ones feet or hands and feet with an appropriate gap left in the middle - instead of the traditional sliding on your bottom or back.

    The finale installation were the bronze gloves for which there was just no being able to slide past, and could cause a great deal of pain when slid into.

    I don't know if this trivia warrants inclusion into the main article, but its what happened. (A former North Cambridge resident) --Mespinola 15:08, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Architect of this station.[edit]

Anyone know who was the architect? And who was the structural engineer of this station. The architecture, ceilings, sweeping forms are top notch. Also, the engineering is very impressive -- this is easily the best station on the MBTA, and -- unlike the rest of the MBTA system -- could hold a candle to some of the best urban transport systems in the world.--Muchosucko 22:43, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

(Editor's note: the designer, Cambridge Seven Associates, was added to the article.)Pi.1415926535 (talk) 15:43, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

How deep is it really?[edit]

If the station is 105 feet deep, as reported, how can the escalators go down 143 feet, as also reported? Editors need to reconcile this apparent discrepancy and, if necessary, correct any erroneous information (with proper sourcing). There's even a third figure to consider; this official document gives the depth as 120 feet. What's the true depth? Hertz1888 (talk) 06:19, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Station depth is measured vertically. Escalator length along the diagonal slope of the escalator (notice the text is "143 feet long", not a "143 feet deep"). I suspect the discrepancy between 105 and 120 feet has to do with what depth is being measured. Likely, the lowest platform, and the deeper bottom of the elevator pit - more research might help in adding an accurate description, e.g. "the lowest platform is 105 feet deep". Lentower (talk) 08:08, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I accept that 143 feet is not the depth of the station. However, if 143 feet is the escalators' total diagonal length and 105 feet their total height, then the average pitch or slope angle of the escalators—and the stairways alongside them—would be 47 degrees to the horizontal, very steep indeed, possibly precarious. A 120-foot height figure only makes matters worse. According to the New World Encyclopedia,[1] the maximum pitch for escalators is 30 degrees.
The 143 feet figure first appeared in the article in December 2005, sans sourcing. I have tagged it for citation, and am inclined to remove it in the short term if none is forthcoming. Hertz1888 (talk) 13:32, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I have always assumed the 143 feet is the length of the longest/middle set of escalators. Lentower (talk) 14:38, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Then the previous text (until yesterday), which read, "An unusually deep set of escalators (143 feet long) descending three levels", is not to be believed. With so much ambiguity, I think all the more that we need sourcing, or to remove the figure. An editor with a laser rangefinder could, I suppose, just go measure, but that would be original research. Hertz1888 (talk) 15:47, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Or would use of a laser finder be WP:Verifiability? ; - }
Be a better add to the article to have good photos of the middle/longest set of escalators. Added to list below. Lentower (talk) 19:14, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
This is one of the things that kindof riles me up about wikipedia. everyone is willing to take time to do math out to find that the figure is wrong, but wont take the 2 minutes that it took me to google and find the correct answer. And i quote "The trainroom will have a split level center platform with an inbound rail approximately 30 m (100 ft) below ground surface and an outbound rail approximately 35 m (115 ft) below ground surface. A 21 m (70 ft) high escalatorway will connnect the mezzanine level to the inbound platform level." [2] --Found5dollar (talk) 13:39, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
That tells us the approximate depth to the outbound rail, and doesn't seem seriously inconsistent with a depth of either 105 or 120 feet, depending on what depth is being measured. It doesn't relate at all to the diagonal length of the escalators and stairs. Maybe your googling can turn up an authoritative figure for that. Hertz1888 (talk) 14:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Here you go. All of 5 minutes. [3] [4] [5] --Found5dollar (talk) 19:58, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the good work. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:31, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
  1. It be useful to leave a query asking for a source on the user's talk page who made the unsourced add in 2005. That editor could have email notification on.
  2. It is more useful to work on content, than to add warning templates.
Lentower (talk) 14:38, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Re 1, a good suggestion, but most likely a lost cause. No e-mail, and that editor has not been active for nearly three years. Hertz1888 (talk) 15:47, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The first & third options at the bottom of Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-personal are:

    Enable e-mail from other users

E-mail me when my user talk page is changed

That editor might have left the third item checked. Lentower (talk) 19:14, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

We have a citation, and a verification. You were correct to assume 143 feet was the length of just the middle, longest span. Using a measured 6-3/4" rise for the steps, of which there are 117 (9 flights of 13 each) alongside the longest escalator, and a typical 27 degree escalator pitch angle, the length calculates as 145 feet, a close estimate. For over six years the article has been misrepresenting the 143 feet figure as applying to the entire set, which, overall, is considerably longer. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:31, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I definitely believe you, Hertz - and thanks for doing that - but I'm not sure that "Verified by Wikipedia editor observations and calculations" works well as a cite. Even calculations as simple as these border on OR. Anyone got a 300-foot tape measure who wants to go out and take a picture of it lying on the stairs? Pi.1415926535 (talk) 05:02, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
In that case, please remove the "verified" cite, and we'll keep this confirmation to ourselves. Hertz1888 (talk) 05:07, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Removed. No need to rock the OR boat. Hertz1888 (talk) 05:26, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Useful additions[edit]

These topics would be useful additions to this article:

  1. A new section on Bus Connections like Davis_(MBTA_station)#Bus_connections
  2. This may be the only station in the MBTA system with five levels. Add description with depth below ground, and/or sea level elevations:
    1. street
    2. commuter rail
    3. subway fare mezzanine
    4. inbound subway
    5. outbound subway
  3. In Article27Mar2012 The addition of redundant elevator access to the subway (but not commuter rail) was the result of a lawsuit brought by a disability advocacy group. The settlement require the addition of elevators at five(or more?) stations. A section on the lawsuit, & what the settlement require for each station would be a good add to this & the other stations' articles. Also to the main MBTA article
  4. The existence of
    1. In Article27Mar2012 a public rest room (currently closed for renovation) &
    2. a vendor booth (with it's location & description of what's sold). Both rare in the MBTA system. Would be a useful addition to any station article that had one or both
  5. A description of the electrical power sub-station.
  6. The Google Street Map view of the Commuter Rail entrance on the other side of Massachusetts Ave could be added
  7. Google satellite view & street maps could be added
  8. Standardize the Arts on the Line text & citations for Harvard, Porter, Davis, and Alewife.
  9. In Article27Mar2012 Add good photos of the middle/longest set of escalators. Maybe both views from the top & bottom. To visually show how long they are.

A review of other MBTA station articles could turn up other useful additions. Lentower (talk) 09:59, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

That's about what I've got planned for this evening. Take a look at Aquarium and Lynn for what I've been doing with station articles. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 12:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Great! Though both Lynn and Aquarium could use more citations.
I just added 8. about Arts on the Line above. Lentower (talk) 13:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC).
And 9. above: Add good photos of the middle/longest set of escalators.... Lentower (talk) 19:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I've just about finished these. About to add pictures from Commons, and then there's just a few minor fixes to make. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 03:22, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Some dubious items[edit]

"A set of rusted stairs leads from Somerville Avenue down to the location of the now-demolished former commuter rail platform" (and the picture caption) imply that the those stairs were from before the Red Line extension. That's not the case. The now rusted stairs were installed in 1980s to provide temporary access to the commuter rail station while the new station complex was under construction. The pre-Red Line stairs were demolished to clear the construction site. The ones rusting away don't have much historic significance.

"When Fitchburg Line service is disrupted between Porter and North Station, Porter is used as a major transfer between the Fitchburg Line and the rapid transit system." Again this seems to inflate things a bit. North Station is the next stop, after all. Maybe something like this would be better: "Because of its Red line connection, Porter Square can serve as a temporary terminus for the Fitchburg Line service when service is disrupted between Porter and North Station. It served this role during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when North Station was closed."--agr (talk) 21:32, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Huh. That I never knew. I'll change the photo description and the text, but unless an image pops up of the previous station then that's about the best we've got for the history section.
Your wording is definitely better. I'll change that. Pi.1415926535 (talk) 01:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Do you have refrences for that?--Found5dollar (talk) 12:31, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

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