Gotsta Get to Charlestown. Starting in Somerville.
March 17, 2009 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Somerville-Charlestown filter: I'm going to school in Charlestown (at the Navy Yard) and would like to live in either Inman or Davis. How would I get to school via public transportation? Which neighborhoods would be most convenient? There's a possibility of Union Square and also some places I know of in Jamaica Plain too.

That's the basic gyst of it. I lived in Somerville for a long time but never had to get to Charlestown. I've looked at the MBTA site but I'm still confused what bus lines I'd be dealing with. If I was in Inman, is there a convenient bus? Would I be better off in Union?

Also how would the bike commute be safety wise? Seems like a lot of big roads between the two areas. Would I be smarter keeping it orange and living in JP?

posted by sully75 to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I take the 89 to Sullivan Station and then either walk (1 mile) or take the 93 to get to the Navy Yard every morning. It's about 45 minutes starting at Powderhouse Blvd. I don't know Inman or Union very well, so I don't know how their options compare. Basically you want to aim for Sullivan.

I've tried biking it and failed. I'm new to biking and Winter Hill has repeatedly kicked my ass. If you can get over that, Broadway seems pretty safe otherwise. There is a rotary by Sullivan that's scary even in a car, but I see people biking it every day. If you're coming from Union you could probably avoid all that, but I can't comment on it since I haven't attempted it myself.

Finally, MGH offers shuttles to the Navy Yard. They're meant for MGH employees, but I've never seen them check ids. If you can get to MGH on the redline, the shuttles are out back. I find Sullivan to be more convenient.
posted by valadil at 1:12 PM on March 17, 2009

I worked in the Navy Yard for a few years and lived in JP (10 minute walk to Forest Hills). You can take The Orange line to North Station (about 22 minutes) or time it right (if you are runnign late) and take the commuter rail (12 minutes). At North Station, catch the Partner's (MGH) shuttle. You can also take the #39 from any point on South St./Centre St. to Copley, and Catch an MGH Shuttle to the main hospital and then to the Navy Yard.

The MGH shuttles are pretty much open to the public. They run every 15 minutes from 7am-9am(?) and 4pm-6pm(?). All other times every 30 minutes (maybe 60..can't remember). They're used by employees and patients. Just be aware that in the mornings and afternoons. To get to the Navy Yard, grab the shuttle from either North Station or from the Back of the main hospital.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2009

I used to live in Inman square and got to Charlestown by walking up Cambridge st., catching the green line at Lechmere, getting off at North Station, and walking across the Charles river locks. The footbridges take you to a little park right next to the navy yard. From North Station you go down Beverly st. under the Zakim bridge and the sidewalk turns into the lock walkway.
posted by gyusan at 3:40 PM on March 17, 2009

Bah, that link should be this.
posted by gyusan at 3:43 PM on March 17, 2009

From Inman or Union you can take the 91 to Sullivan and then walk, or from Inman you can take the 69 to Lechmere and follow the directions above. I've biked from Inman to Charlestown via Union and Sullivan and also via the Gilmore Bridge before, though not at rush hour. If you have experience cycling in traffic you should be fine (always be aware of the possibility of getting doored), but otherwise I'd be wary. Cambridge Street has bike lanes most of the way between Inman and Lechmere (maybe all of the way.. as much as I ride that way I really should remember) but again there's the doors to worry about. The biggest traffic points/places to be wary are Union Square, Washington St. as it goes under McGrath Highway, the end of Cambridge St. by Lechmere, and turning left onto the Gilmore Bridge.

One compromise that might work from Inman or Union would be to put your bike on the 91. In the last couple of years, many of the buses have been getting bike racks on the front, including the 91. There's only space for two bikes and I'm not sure how often they get full, but on the other hand you can use them at all hours and not just during non-rush hours (unlike the subway). From Sullivan, you could bike down Medford St. to the naval yard (I haven't been that way in awhile, but I seem to recall it being flat and not having too much traffic). It would be slower and less convenient than biking the whole way, but faster than walking from Sullivan and would let you avoid biking on some of the busier roads.
posted by komilnefopa at 9:12 PM on March 17, 2009

Can't help you from Somerville but I live in Cambridge near Inman and bike to North Bennet Street School in the North End. Takes 10-15 minutes up Cambridge Street and over the Prison Point Bridge (Gilmore) into Charlestown. Plenty of sidewalks and bike lanes from Inman but it's not a ride for the timid or the out-of-shape. Getting 'doored' is a real possibility on the streets with parking. I have two broken ribs as proof. The Charles River lockes area is a little known improvement and a wonderful choice if you're heading to the Navy Yard. You have to pedal/walk a little out your way to Leverett Circle to get on that stretch of sidewalk.

When the weather is bad I take the Red Line to Park and then the Green to either North Station or Haymarket and walk. Somerville doesn't seem as bike friendly and all the routes toward Charlestown wind up either on the McGrath or going through Sullivan both of which IMHO are very nasty roads even in a car. My advice: move to Cambridge.
posted by birdwatcher at 5:19 AM on March 18, 2009

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