0 Five Steps to Alleviate Traffic in the Boston Seaport

Traffic in front of South Station Boston Seaport

Credit: Boston Globe

The time it takes from here to there can be frustrating, especially if you are trying to get from the Seaport to Back Bay for a 5:30 client meeting. The distance, just 2.9-to-3.3 miles, can feel like eternity when you are in your car sitting on Congress Street heading towards the Financial District.

The Boston Globe has detailed the following 5 steps to reduce traffic and congestion in the Seaport:

1. Experiment with bus-only lanes on Summer Street
2. Free the South Boston Bypass Road and Silver Line ramp
3. Create a business improvement district in the South Boston Waterfront
4. Battle for the curb
5. Don’t forget to bike or walk

Boston Seaport Listings
Seaport Office Space for Lease

0 Port of Boston Benefits from Panama Canal Expansion

Photo taken at the Port of Boston

Credit: aimnet.org

Boston’s maritime operations will expand thanks in part to the expansion of the Panama Canal.

An article posted on the aimnet.org blog notes:

The Port of Boston is already benefitting from the expanded Canal. COSCO—China Ocean Shipping Company—is a longtime partner of the Port of Boston; the company recently committed to doubling the capacity of their ships calling on Boston from China. This will enable Massport’s Conley Terminal—the only full-service container terminal in New England—to handle significantly more volume. This translates into jobs and positive economic impact.

The U.S. Government has committed to funding a major dredging project for Boston Harbor, though the appropriation has not yet been finalized. In the meantime, some inner harbor dredging is taking place along with dock improvements. (Among the imports and exports moving through Conley Terminal are seafood, footwear, waste paper, scrap metal, furniture, beer and wine, and apparel.)

0 Fish Pier Remains Central to Boston Seaport

Fish Pier in South Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

Boston’s Seaport is far more than just home to GE and Vertex, it is also home to a thriving fish business.

From the Boston Globe:

“Just like a Ford has parts from different parts of the world, I think Boston is becoming this seaport hub, and that allows us to be very successful,” said Richard Stavis, chief executive of Stavis Seafoods, a Boston-based national seafood distributor with offices on Fish Pier.

“Fish Pier is one of the handful of places in the world where you can actually dock vessels and unload fish and have it processed. . . . That’s a big draw,” said Lisa Wieland, the port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns Fish Pier and the neighboring Marine Terminal where other seafood dealers are located.

Fish Pier generated $4.7 million in revenues for Massport in fiscal 2015 and barely broke even on an operating basis, the agency said.

0 Seaplane from Boston Waterfront to NYC

Seaplane planned for Boston harbor

Credit: The Boston Globe

The Boston waterfront will eventually be host to another form of transportation to NYC: Seaplane. Two companies, Tailwind and Cape Air, are lining up for the $1,000 round trip fares.

Some expect this service will arrive in Boston Harbor in 2017 and will depart from a pier in the Seaport.

From the Boston Globe:

After at least two years of preparations and behind-the-scenes discussions, the rival companies Tailwind and Cape Air will each test a nine-passenger Cessna Caravan in Boston Harbor this week as they seek Federal Aviation Administration approval to use the harbor as a take-off and landing zone. One factor the agency will be watching: whether the seaplanes can safely navigate the busy airspace next to Logan International Airport, along with a harbor often crowded with boats. If they receive the federal approvals they need, both companies could launch service within a year.

“You’re really going to be able to . . . get on an airplane at 8 a.m., be at a morning meeting in New York, and turn around and be back by lunchtime,” Wolf said. “We think demand is going to be strong.”

0 Seaport Car Race Faces Contention

Race car in Boston Seaport

Credit: Boston.com

This is a great venue for our city and should move forward.  The impact is minor and the venue is only over a weekend, while the benefit extends our city to a new audience.

According to Boston.com, “Residents at a Seaport condo building want Boston to nix a planned IndyCar race in the neighborhood next Labor Day weekend, and sent a letter to Mayor Marty Walsh Tuesday detailing their problems with the event…It argues against the race series on several fronts, including: a lack of public input or meetings prior to the announcement of the race; concerns about noise, traffic, safety, the environment, and access to the condo building; legal claims arguing state law bars street racing and that the use of the roadways should have been put out to public bid; the possibility that the city will be on the hook to pick up some related costs; and more.”

You can read the full article on Boston.com

0 Seaport Traffic Relief Sought

The Seaport snarl of traffic is about to get some trialed relief.  The bypass road will be opened to general traffic for a six-month trial.

map of proposed Seaport Traffic changes

Credit: Boston Globe

From the Boston Globe:

The biggest change begins Monday, when officials will open up a long stretch of the South Boston Bypass Road to all cars as part of a six-month pilot program. The street, created in 1993 for truck traffic from the Big Dig construction project, has been open only to commercial vehicles.

Cars will now be allowed to drive on the portion of the bypass near the convention center at any time, and on the eastbound section from Interstate 93 to Richards Street during the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. rush hour.

Officials will also allow all passenger cars to travel on the barely-used High Occupancy Vehicle ramp on the northbound side of I-93 near downtown Boston, which brings traffic directly to the Ted Williams Tunnel, removing some airport-bound traffic from local streets.


0 MassChallenge Accepts 128 New Startups

boston startup accelerator logoWho are the newest inductees into MassChallenge?  Have a look.

The BBJ remarked on the program’s intrigue, “part of the four-month long no-equity program, startup teams will be granted free office space at MassChallenge’s headquarters in the Seaport and work with expert mentors in the area. Hardware startups will also have access to the MADE@ MassChallenge hardware lab, where they can prototype and manufacture products.”

Jump over to the BizJournals.com website to see the complete list of all 128 startups accepted to the accelerator program.

0 Northern Avenue Bridge will be Restored for Motor Vehicle Traffic

northern avg bridge leads to seaport office buildings in Boston

Credit: B&T

The Northern Avenue bridge built in 1908 is recommended to get another lease on life.  The bridge is one of the last remaining swing bridges in New England and is an engineering marvel to watch when it’s in motion.

The bridge was not only designed for pedestrians and cars, but also the Union Freight Railroad.

A study on the Seaport, referenced in Banker&Tradesman, cites the following:

The overall volume of commutes into the Seaport will increase 63 percent by 2035…The study committee’s consensus: restoring the three-lane bridge, with one lane dedicated for motor vehicles. Pedestrian and bicycle access also would be preserved.

“There was some concern in the pedestrian and bicycling community about opening it up to traffic,” said Rick Dimino, CEO of Boston-based planning organization A Better City Inc. “But at the end of the day, there was pretty substantial support that the bridge needs to be opened up to traffic again.”


0 Northern Avenue Bridge Closure Impacting Local Businesses

View of the northern avenue bridge in Boston illuminated by purple lights at night

Credit: The Boston Globe

How do you get from the Financial District to the Seaport?  This question sounds simple enough; drive, public transit or walk.  All three have their challenges and with the closure of the Northern Avenue bridge, some pedestrians and business are feeling the pinch.

A recent Boston Globe article assessed the impact the bridge closing is having on local businesses:

“The short answer is yes, it has,” says Alex Blake, director of operations at The Barking Crab, when asked if the closure of the footbridge has affected business. “Our pedestrian business. The Northern Avenue Bridge was an easier bridge to cross than the Moakley Bridge is. We are more difficult to find, because the Northern Ave. Bridge would drop people right off at our front door.”

You can read the full article on the Boston Globe’s website.

0 Boston Employs Parking Sensors to Vary Seaport Meter Limits

Sensors added to Seaport parking meters

Credit: The Boston Herald

The growth of the Seaport area has put a tremendous strain on parking spaces and the City of Boston is trying to accommodate.  Gone are dirt lots from Summer Street to Congress Street to the Seaport Boulevard, and now the residents and visitors are battling over metered spots.

According to a Boston Herald report, “new sensors embedded in on-street metered parking spaces in Boston’s Seaport District have yielded the first changes aimed at better addressing traffic demand.” Specifically, “based on data gleaned from the new smart parking system, the city yesterday changed 81 metered spaces from the 350 Summer St. block to the 425 Summer St. block in South Boston from two-hour to four-hour maximum parking limits. Another 63 metered spaces on the 250 Summer St. and 300 Congress St. blocks were changed from maximum four-hour to maximum two-hour spaces.”

Follow the link to read the Boston Herald article.