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Tim Sackton
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Another comment re: Copley Square in Boston: I think that Copley is a high-volume transit destination, but not really a high volume transfer point. It has a major office tower (Hancock building), the main public library, tourist attractions (Trinity and Old South Church), a vibrant farmer's market in the summer, and proximity to Newbury St and other Back Bay destinations. So there is heavy all-day transit demand and several bus lines terminate in or nearby Copley. But it doesn't strike me as a place with really significant transfer traffic (certainly nothing compared to Harvard Square or Ruggles Station, which are major subway-to-bus transfer points, or Dudley which is a big bus-to-bus transfer point). As far as the civic heart aspect of things: Copley definitely meets your criteria (a), (b), and (e), possibly meets (f), but doesn't really meet (c) or (d) at least in my opinion. Big rallies (for political or sporting or other causes) are more likely to be on the Boston Common or in Government Center than Copley. The closest thing I can think of in the Boston area to a place that is a civic living room and a major transfer point is Harvard Square, which is undeniably both. However, it doesn't fit the geometry you are describing at all -- many of the transfer happen underground in a bus tunnel, and the square itself lacks a big central plaza, so the activity is spread around a series of smaller hardscaped spaces, not concentrated in one central square.
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Mar 20, 2011