By John Lynds
State’s Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton ruled last week that Massport must prepare a Mandatory Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its plans to add an additional 5,000 parking spaces at Logan International Airport.
“I have reviewed the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and hereby determine that this project requires the preparation of a Mandatory
Environmental Impact Report (EIR),” said Secretary Beaton in his ruling.
In Massport’s ENF, the project includes the construction of 5,000 additional commercial parking spaces at Logan. The parking spaces will be located on additional floors within the existing Economy Garage and at a new parking garage in the location of the existing Terminal E surface parking lot. The ENF indicates that the parking spaces are intended to accommodate existing and anticipated air passenger demand for parking at the Airport. According to the ENF, the project will reduce drop-off/pick-up activity at Logan and will reduce regional air passenger-related vehicle miles traveled and associated air emissions.
As currently drafted, Massport’s plan would increase Logan commercial parking freeze limit by 5,000 spaces, from 18,640 to 23,640 spaces, and increase the total cap to 26,088 commercial and employee parking spaces that are comprised of 23,640 commercial spaces and 2,448 employee parking spaces.
Secretary Beaton ruled that that Massport must complete the several studies to identify ways to further support alternative transit options to the airport.
Massport now must conduct a study to evaluate the costs, feasibility, and effectiveness of potential measures to improve HOV access to the Airport. The study would consider, among other things, possible improvements to Logan Express bus service and the benefits of adding Silver Line buses with service to the Airport.
Another study Massport must complete is a study of costs and pricing for different modes of transportation to and from Logan to identify a pricing structure and the use of revenues to promote the use of HOV modes of transportation by Airport air travelers and visitors. The study will include evaluation of short-term and long-term parking rates and their influence on different modes of Airport transportation.
Finally Massport must complete a study of the feasibility and effectiveness of potential operational measures to reduce non-high occupancy vehicle pick-up/drop-off modes of transportation to Logan, including an evaluation of emerging ride-sharing and transportation network company modes.
“Since the project includes more than 1,000 parking spaces we knew submitting an EIR would be the next step in the regulatory approval process should the amendment be adopted,” said Massport in a statement.