Tag: Hook Wharf

WalkBoston, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union Hook Wharf Project/15-17 Northern Avenue Comment Letter

WalkBoston, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union Hook Wharf Project/15-17 Northern Avenue Comment Letter

February 12, 2021

Ebony DaRosa
Boston Planning and Development Agency
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Via Email:  Ebony.DaRosa@Boston.gov

Re: Hook Wharf Project/15-17 Northern Avenue

Dear Ms. DaRosa:

WalkBoston, LivableStreets Alliance and the Boston Cyclists Union write with our comments regarding the redevelopment of the Hook Lobster site.

Project Concept

We see a number of things to like about the project including its addition to the Harbor Walk, its support of Hook Lobster with both indoor and outdoor space, its addition of new dining venues, the incorporation of separated bike lanes along Atlantic Avenue and the provision of no on site parking spaces. We believe that the mix of Harbor Walk, Seafood store and restaurants, and hotel are appropriate for this very public site.


We are also pleased that the developer will ensure that full Atlantic Avenue sidewalk access with overhead protection will be provided throughout the construction period. We also hope that the proponent will be able to use barges to move materials onto and off the site as was described during the January public meeting. We look forward to seeing more details about construction methods during subsequent filings with the BPDA and MEPA.

We do have several concerns which we ask that the proponent address in future filings, several of these concerns will require extensive coordination with City and State agencies.

Delivery and drop-off access to the site

Given the density of public facing uses on the site, including retail, restaurant, hotel and event space a significant number of vehicle trips will need to be accommodated on the site. As described in the PNF, these operations will take place both inside the loading dock within the building footprint, and alongside the hotel, both within the site and along the site in City-owned land in and adjacent to the Northern Avenue Bridge (NAB) right-of-way, including trucks and vehicles exiting the property via the NAB approach to Atlantic Ave.

We request that the proponent’s next filing include detailed information including:

  • The number of service deliveries and drop offs onto and off the site and into the building’s loading bays
  • The number of guest drop offs and pickups to/from the site per day
  • A diagram of the paths of vehicle movements on and off the site
  • Commit to providing personnel to manage the movements of vehicles

Alignment with the Northern Avenue Bridge

While the proponent has suggested a new layout for the Northern Avenue Bridge (NAB) approach area which straightens out the City’s proposed design and makes such use more feasible from a geometric perspective, we do not believe that the mix of shuttle buses, pedestrians, bikes, delivery trucks, cabs and TNCs that are now being proposed for this area will be safe or comfortable for people walking and biking.

We are also concerned that the elevation and alignment of the NAB is not properly reflected in this plan. To date the City has not provided a detailed design for how the approach of the bridge will connect to Atlantic Ave.

We would prefer that the proponent join with the overwhelming support from community members and our walking, biking and transit advocacy organizations to urge the City to reverse its decision to allow vehicles (other than emergency vehicles) on the NAB, and rather to develop a walking and biking bridge that could much more readily allow reasonable service access for the Hook Wharf Project and the Coast Guard Building which will also need to use the NAB approach for its service vehicles.

As people walking and biking will be the primary users of the NAB, and the users that the public has urged the City of Boston to make the focus of the NAB design, if an acceptable design is possible we believe that the proponent will need to develop an improved design for the NAB approach and the hotel service area. A detailed management plan, including dedicated staffing, will be needed to ensure the safety of people walking and biking onto and off the NAB and along Atlantic Avenue.

Future North-South Rail Link

The Hook site is where the tunnel would leave the Central Artery right-of-way to access South Station. Thus a Hook Wharf building piling at the wrong location could sever this route and prevent the Rail Link from ever being built. Since a final alignment for the N-S Rail Link has not been determined, the right-of-way must be preserved. And we urge the BPDA decision on Hook Wharf to explicitly require a design that allows for the future feasibility of a N-S Rail Link via the Central Artery alignment.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the project and we look forward to the next round of information and public meetings.

Stacey Beuttell, Executive Director, WalkBoston

Wendy Landman, Senior Policy Advisor, WalkBoston

Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance

Becca Wolfson, Executive Director, Boston Cyclists Union


Jonathan Greeley, Boston Planning and Development Agency
Elizabeth Stifel, Boston Civic Design Commission
Andrea Leers, Boston Civic Design Commission
John Moriarty III, Moriarty Partners
David Manfredi, Elkus Manfredi Architects
William Zielinski, SKW Partners
Carol Chirico, GSA
Kim Janey, Boston City Council
Annissa Essaibi George, Boston City Council
Michael Flaherty, Boston City Council
Julia Mejia, Boston City Council Michelle Wu, Boston City Council
Ed Flynn, Boston City Council
Greg Galer, Boston Preservation Alliance
Sara McCammond, Fort Point Neighborhood Association