To Logan Airport Mostly By … Foot/Bicycle? [Part 1 of 2]
(Looking for the 100% by bicycle route? check out my follow up post!)
[6/29/2021 edit: Check out this 2018 NYT article on biking to airports]
Here’s an insider tip that you might be surprised to learn: just a 3–5 minute walk from Terminal A is a beautiful, tranquil waterfront pedestrian and bicycle path that feeds into East Boston and the Maverick Blue Line T Stop:
If you feel like stretching your legs/getting a bit of fresh air after a long flight, this 20 minute walk is one way to do it. It blew my mind discovering that I could casually stroll by foot past the chaos of taxi lines, buses, and impatient travelers, and then just a few minutes later experience the reward of a tranquil waterfront sunset. It feels totally badass to bypass all of that airport stress, not to mention get in some steps and stroll through quaint and cozy East Boston. Why not give it a try.
Terminal A -> Maverick Blue Line By Foot (or Bicycle)
For even the most traditional traveler, consider taking this 20–25 minute pleasant walk to Maverick Blue Line T-Stop, where you can continue your journey home.
‘Hotel Drive’ and ‘Bus and Taxi Ln’ leading into the airport were clearly designed with a cars-first mentality, but there are sidewalks the entire way so you can wheel your luggage if necessary. The general idea is:
(1) make your way to Terminal A
(2) Keep walking past the taxi stands and bicycle parking (more on that in the next section), then keep left at a fork in the road to get on the “Bus and Taxi lane”. You’ll walk along a mess of concrete that quickly merges onto Hotel Drive. Continue briefly around a curve, eventually reaching a cross walk where you’ll see the beginning of the riverfront path in the distance.
From here, you’re free !
Home <-> Boston Logan by Bicycle
I’d advocate for us to go even further and normalize the choice to do the entire trip to or from Boston Logan by bicycle and a bit of Blue Line. By getting more people to make this choice, we can challenge the deeply ingrained notion that all transit experiences to the airport must inherently be chaotic and gas-powered.
After some trial and error, here is the path I’ve determined is best (yes, it does still require one stop on the Blue Line).
(1) Navigate by bicycle from your starting location to Aquarium Blue line station, which is equipped with elevators if you choose to use them.
(2) Take your bicycle one stop on the Blue Line (Aquarium -> Maverick). Note that bicycles are not technically allowed on the Blue Line from 7am-9am inbound and 4pm-6pm outbound on weekdays. This is indeed sometimes enforced.
(3) From Maverick, follow the path described in the first section of this article.
Some readers of this post over on Reddit are also advocating for the path to Logan through Chelsea via Beacham street that is 100% by bike. I’ve heard mixed reviews of safety, through have yet to try it out myself.
Logan has bike parking available at multiple terminals. Below are photos of the Terminal A parking options. Some of the bike posts include wheel attachments for added theft protection. Personally I like Terminal A the best for proximity to the harbor walk, but have also used the covered parking at the Rental Car center before. You can check out the Boston Cyclist’s Union Guide for a list of all of your bike parking options.
A final side note, especially if you do opt for the covered Logan Rental Car Center bike parking — the airport is right on the East Boston Greenway Connector, a beautiful new bike path that passes by a glass-walled Boston Public Library (only 5 minutes by bike from the Logan Rental Car Center bike parking) and continues through marsh and parkland to Constitution Beach (only 13 minutes by bike from the Logan Rental Car Center bike parking). I’ve enjoyed both of these destinations! Note that the path recommended below takes you through Bremen Street Park, which is gated and only open from 8am-8pm daily. There is an airport shuttle connecting the Rental Car Center to the various terminals, or if you prefer to bike all the way to Terminal A, you can continue by bike along Transportation Way and take a left on hotel drive (not shown).
One of the most interesting effects of having journeyed to Logan a number of times now by bike/foot is how tangible the area now feels to me. Rather than the blurry mess of chaotic truck, bus, and car roads it was to me for many years, I now have a more intuitive sense for how the area around Logan fits into greater Boston, which helps me feel more connected to the city.
This is my first experiment with a blog post. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or summaries of your trip experience. Also, if you found this post helpful, consider upvoting !
If you have to cheat and use the subway, why bother biking at all?
I too wish biking all the way were possible. Might try the northern route up through Chelsea at some point, which is indeed 100% by bike, but requires venturing onto currently notorious Beacham street. Would certainly still emphasize — even with one stop on the blue line required, a bunch of exercise and calm sea breeze moments before entering the airport is amazing. It’s SUCH a contrast to the chaotic Lyft/Uber driver scene and slow and often crowded Silver Line, in addition to all of the car owners.
Really, it’s just brain habit telling you that biking needs to stop when it’s cold. People voluntarily ski and jump in cold oceans!
For short trips, consider just using a large backpack. For longer trips, you can strap a small bag onto a bike rear rack, or if you’re really all in you can invest the money you might have spent on Lyft on a bike trailer.