The Codcast: Add parking, cut emissions

The Massachusetts Port Authority believes the best way to reduce emissions at Logan International Airport is to add 5,000 parking spaces.

It sounds counterintuitive, but Massport CEO Tom Glynn makes the case on this week’s Codcast that more parking spaces will mean fewer people getting dropped off by friends, taxis, Ubers, and limousines. Those types of dropoffs typically involve a total of four trips to and from the airport — two when dropping off passengers and two when they are being picked up.

By contrast, passengers who drive themselves to the airport and park there cut the number of trips in half. Massport estimates the extra parking spaces will reduce vehicle emissions at the airport by 23 percent.

Glynn said the additional spaces are badly needed. He said the number of parking spaces at the airport was increased to 18,000 in 1990, when Logan’s airlines served 18 million passengers. Now, Glynn said, the airport has the same number of parking spaces but it serves 36 million passengers.

To help win state approval for the parking proposal, Glynn recently enlisted the support of the Conservation Law Foundation by agreeing to additional measures to reduce emissions. The airport has agreed to expand the capacity of the Logan Express bus service to the airport by 10 percent and to increase the share of Logan-bound passengers using high occupancy vehicles from the current level of 30.5 percent (the highest in the country) to 40 percent by December 2027.

Massport also agreed to pay for studies of charging more for parking spots at peak-demand times and imposing a so-called pass-through fee on people dropping off passengers at the airport.

“It’s really less about parking than it is about emissions reductions and preparing the airport for a more sustainable future,” said Bradley Campbell, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

We also talked about Massport’s willingness to pay for eight more Silver Line buses, its desire to use electric vehicles to help jets taxi out to the runway, and its free but poorly promoted Silver Line service to downtown.



Gov. Charlie Baker proposes a cabinet-level IT czar. (State House News)

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg predicts a ballot question fight over family medical leave if lawmakers don’t act first. (State House News)


Police are beginning to carry naloxone, the overdose reversing drug, to administer to police dogs who can be overcome by sniffing toxic opioid fumes. (Associated Press)

The Nantucket fire chief is resigning and returning to Cape Cod after less than two years on the job because of the difficulty of finding housing on the island, where the median home price is $1 million. (Cape Cod Times)

Scot Lehigh applauds what he says is Boston’s improved civic climate under Mayor Marty Walsh, who he says tolerates criticism and dissent far more readily than his notoriously grudge-holding predecessor, Tom Menino. (Boston Globe)

The Mashpee Board of Health, charged with the oversight and licensure of restaurants and other food-related businesses, is in crisis after a second member announced her resignation, leaving the three-member board unable to field a quorum and conduct  business. (Cape Cod Times)

The Globe looks back at the racial unrest and riots that engulfed Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood 50 years ago this month.


President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, putting the efforts to combat global warming in danger. (New York Times) Ernest Moniz, the MIT nuclear physicist who served as energy secretary under President Obama, decries the decision and writes, “History will judge the president harshly.” (Boston Globe) The Washington Post fact-checks Trump’s analysis and comments. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is part of large chorus of city and state leaders who say they’ll continue to follow the climate agreement goals. (Boston Globe) The Herald finds some residents who want Hizzoner to stay focused on crime and parking issues. With his fixation on the Paris accords, while ignoring mundane municipal matters, Walsh has gotten so good at grandstanding “he should have a section named after him at Fenway,” writes Joe Battenfeld. (Boston Herald)

Ohio sues five major drug manufacturers, alleging their marketing efforts have fueled a painkiller addiction crisis that is claiming thousands of lives each year. (Governing)


Tito Jackson, the Boston city councilor who is running for mayor, seems to live in two places (Roxbury and Dorchester) at the same time, but the confusion is understandable. (CommonWealth)

Gus Bickford, the head of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, says the Trump “train wreck” has delegates to this weekend’s convention energized. (CommonWealth) Who said it, Trump or Baker? That’s the theme of a two-page handout of inflammatory quotes Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Gonzalez will be distributing to delegates that is meant to fuzz up the distinction Baker has tried to draw between himself and his party’s man in the White House. (Boston Globe)


Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. wants to change to a mutual company owned by policyholders. (Boston Globe)

Boston’s Kenmore Square is booming, with two new hotels proposed this week for the busy crossroads near Fenway Park and Boston University. (Boston Globe)


A year after the Boston Archdiocese ended a 12-year vigil by parishioners at the St. Frances Cabrini church in Scituate, the archdiocese has put the property up for sale for $2.2 million for residential development. (Patriot Ledger)


The Boston Teachers Union, unlike the Massachusetts Teachers Association, intends to welcome Codman Academy’s Sydney Chaffee, the National Teacher of the Year, to address its members. (CommonWealth)

A Globe editorial, responding to the low representation of black and Hispanic students at Boston Latin School, says it’s time to revamp the admissions process to ensure an even playing field for poor families that can’t afford costly test preparation courses.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, under withering criticism for her conservative, free-market approach to education, has quietly filled her administration with people whose progressive backgrounds and experience are contrary to her public perception. (New York Times)


Sketchy operators are cashing in on the state’s opioid crisis by opening fly-by-night treatment clinics. (Boston Globe)

Boston area hospital executives huddle to strategize ways to fight the Trump administration’s proposed massive cut to the National Institutes of Health. (Boston Herald)

Has a Harvard scientist found the Fountain of Youth? He’s got some mice that say so. (Greater Boston)


A policy paper by the Union of Concerned Scientists says a fire in any of Pilgrim power plant’s 90 spent fuel pools could release more radiation than the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in 2011. (Cape Cod Times)

With the return of migrating black sea bass to Buzzards Bay, a black market has developed for poachers exceeding the legal catch limits for the in-demand fish. (Standard-Times)


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission fines Plainridge Park Casino $650,000 for lax security staffing. (State House News)


Kevin Cullen ponders the murder case against Michael McCarthy, charged with killing 2-year-old Bella Bond, which rests almost entirely on the testimony of the little girl’s mother  Rachelle Bond, who “at the very least, participated in the disposal of her daughter’s body and the coverup of her own child’s murder.”

William Marchant, the CFO of the Massachusetts Trial Court, was among those arrested earlier this week in a sting operation against men soliciting prostitutes that also nabbed a Dorchester pastor who gave the benediction at Gov Charlie Baker’s 2015 swearing-in. (Boston Globe)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, not to be confused with those he considers soft on crime, commuted the sentences of 17 male prisoners and is considering the same for some female inmates on the condition they find jobs in the state, which is struggling to find workers, especially in the seasonal hospitality industry. (New York Times)


The Globe is not the only newspaper on the move: GateHouse Media has informed MetroWest Daily News employees it plans to sell the paper’s Framingham headquarters, where the paper has been put out for nearly 40 years, and find office space elsewhere. The printing operation has already been consolidated in Auburn with other GateHouse outlets. (MetroWest Daily News)

The circulation and revenue of the newspaper industry continues to fall. (Pew Research Center)