Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

August 17, 2017 Meeting

10:00 AM – 10:48 AM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 & 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

David Mohler, Chair, representing Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization agreed to the following:

·         approve the minutes of the meeting of July 20, 2017

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 5.

2.    Public Comments

State Senator John Keenan (Norfolk and Plymouth Counties) asked the MPO board to consider moving Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project #606501 (Reconstruction of Union St. (Route 139) in Holbrook), currently programmed in FFY 2021, to an earlier year. Senator Keenan noted the readiness of the project would allow for advertising the project for construction in an earlier year. He added that Union Street is an important connection to Commuter Rail and is not currently well-marked or safe.  

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

There was none.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

There were none.

5.    Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Tegin Bennett, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

There was none.

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Robin Mannion, MPO Staff

R. Mannion noted that the MPO meeting on September 7 in Bedford may be cancelled due to a light agenda.

7.    Approval of Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of July 20 was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (T. Bennett). The motion carried.

8.    Action Item: Draft Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2017-21 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Amendment Four—Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman, MPO Staff

1.    Draft Amendment Four to the FFYs 20172021 TIP: Full TIP tables

2.    Draft Amendment Four: Summary of Proposed Changes

3.    Public Comment on Draft Amendment Four

The MPO received one comment on Draft Amendment Four during the 21-day public review period that ended on August 14. The comment related to the design of project #604761(MultiUse Trail Construction (South Bay Harbor) From Ruggles Station to Fort Point Channel, Boston), in which the commenter encouraged the City of Boston to construct bike lanes on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester.

Amendment Four includes cost increases for projects #604761 and #604173 (Bridge Replacement (B-16-016) North Washington Street over Boston Inner Harbor). There are also changes to the Advance Construction (AC) cash flow of #604173 and the project description for #604761. Project #608003 (Improvements at Pingree Elementary School, Weymouth) has a cost decrease and a change in funding source.


A motion to approve Amendment Four to the FFYs 2017-21 TIP was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (Jim Gillooly). The motion carried.

9.    Action Item: Representation of Regional Transit Agencies (RTAs) on the MPO Board—Lourenço Dantas, MPO Staff

D. Mohler postponed this item to a future meeting. L. Dantas noted that the MPO has received one comment letter regarding this matter, from the 495/MetroWest Partnership, which was provided to members and posted to the MPO website.

10. Intersection Improvement Program Summary—Ryan Hicks, MPO Staff

R. Hicks presented an overview of the program, providing background information and results from its implementation. In the FFY 2014 TIP, the MPO allocated Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds to pilot the Intersection Improvement Program. The program aligns with the goals of the MPO’s Congestion Management Process (CMP), which encourages the implementation of low-cost improvements at congested locations. The objectives of the Intersection Improvement Program were to identify short-term improvements at signalized intersections, implement signal retiming, and recommend capital improvements for municipalities to implement with other funding sources. The MPO collaborated with MassDOT to hire a consultant to implement this program. Intersections were selected by MPO staff based on crash data and refined with the following criteria:

      Located on a roadway that is municipally owned

      Located on a federal-aid eligible roadway

      Not located near a programmed TIP project

      Has congested traffic conditions

A total of 44 intersections in 16 municipalities were evaluated. The consultant team visited each intersection, documented traffic conditions, inventoried signal equipment, and developed recommendations. Of the $350,000 in CMAQ funds, $294,000 was spent to retime 44 intersections and recommend other low-cost capital improvements that municipalities may implement. The average cost to complete the signal timings and document recommendations in a mini-report is approximately $6,700 for each intersection. Benefits from this program included a regional reduction of 526 daily peak period vehicle hours of delay from the implementation of the signal retimings, resulting in an estimated program cost of $2.24 per vehicle hour of delay reduction over the course of one year.


Paul Regan (MBTA Advisory Board) suggested the inclusion of transit signal priority in any future efforts, noting that the MBTA was at one point looking for municipal partners to participate in a transit signal priority study at selected intersections.

T. Bennett asked R. Hicks to elaborate on ways the pilot program could be improved. R. Hicks responded that streamlining the communication process between the program team and municipalities would improve the process.

Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) asked whether R. Hicks had a sense of how many municipalities were implementing additional suggested improvements. R. Hicks replied that follow-up is needed to determine this.

Dennis Crowley (South West Advisory Planning Committee) (Town of Medway) asked whether there is funding in the current TIP to continue this program. Marie Rose (MassDOT Highway Division) replied that there is not.

Denise Deschamps (North Shore Task Force) (City of Beverly) asked how long it took to conduct each intersection assessment, and whether the consultant interfaced with the municipality during the study. R. Hicks responded that the consultant was granted access to signal cabinets by municipal officials, but mainly interacted with municipalities after the assessment. R. Hicks estimated that the consultant team spent several hours at each location over the course of several days.

Ken Miller (Federal Highway Administration) asked how many intersections in the region would qualify for this program. R. Hicks responded that approximately 2,300 intersections in the region would qualify for the program, although not all need signal retiming. K. Miller noted that the cost effectiveness of this program suggests potential for scaling up and seconded interest on implementation follow-up.

D. Crowley added that future efforts should include more input from municipalities in the initial stages to ensure buy-in on implementation. He added that he would like to see a continuation of this program.

11. Members’ Items

E. Bourassa reminded members that elections for four municipal MPO seats will take place at MAPC’s Fall Council meeting on October 25 at the Quincy Marriott. The seats up for election are one municipality (city or town) from the North Shore Task Force (NSTF) subregion, one municipality (city or town) from the South West Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) subregion, one town from any part of the Boston region, and one city from any part of the Boston region. Nominations are due by the end of September and all election information is available on the MPO’s website. E. Bourassa added that MAPC’s Fall Council meeting will be held in conjunction with a Plug in America Ride and Drive event, with electric vehicles available for attendees to test.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/NVCC) thanked MassDOT for approving the Foxborough Commuter Rail pilot program.

12. Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by Regional Transportation Advisory Council (T. Bennett). The motion carried.






and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)

Jay Monty

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

David Kucharsky

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Jim Gillooly

Federal Highway Administration

Kenneth Miller

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

Marie Rose

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Eric Waaramaa

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Paul Regan

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (Town of Framingham)

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Richard Reed

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Denise Deschamps

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Bennett

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

Christine Stickney

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Dennis Crowley

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/NVCC)

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Carl Seglem

Joy Glynn

Bryan Pounds

Tom Kadzis

Jim Arsenault

John Keenan

Steve Olanoff

Anthony Christakis

Boston Resident




Town of Braintree DPW

Massachusetts State Senator

TRIC Alternate

MassDOT Highway District 6


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Robin Mannion

Lourenço Dantas

Sandy Johnston

Ali Kleyman

Scott Peterson

Jen Rowe