Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

February 1, 2018, Meeting

10:00 AM–12:05 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

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


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 14.

2.    Public Comments  

Roland Bartl (Town Planner, Town of Acton) and Kristen Guichard (Assistant Town Planner, Town of Acton) provided the MPO board with an update on the status of Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project #608229, Intersection Improvements at Massachusetts Avenue (Route 111) and Main Street (Route 27) (Kelley's Corner) in Acton. This project is currently programmed in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022 of the FFYs 2018–22 TIP. K. Guichard reported that 25 percent design plans for this project will be submitted within the week, with a planned public hearing in June 2018. The project has increased in cost from approximately eight million to approximately 13 million dollars, reflecting the addition of two new signals and a left turn lane. K. Guichard noted that these additions would significantly improve capacity management at the intersection.

Kevin McHugh (Coneco Engineers & Scientists, Inc.) spoke on behalf of the Town of Ipswich as the consultant for TIP project #605743, Resurfacing and Related Work on Central and South Main Streets in Ipswich. This project is not currently programmed and the Town of Ipswich is advocating for its inclusion in the FFYs 2019–23 TIP. K. McHugh reported that Coneco and the Town of Ipswich, at the request of MassDOT, are updating the 25 percent design materials for this project to comply with current standards. K. McHugh anticipates a resubmittal by the end of February 2018. The changes reflect best practices in managing storm water and other environmental concerns. K. McHugh stressed that this project remains a priority for the Town of Ipswich and encouraged the MPO to consider it for programming. Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) asked for the current cost estimate of the project. K. McHugh replied that the cost is approximately three million dollars. Marie Rose (MassDOT Highway Division) asked K. McHugh to notify her via email when the 25 percent design resubmittal is ready.

3.    Chair’s Report—Steve Woelfel, MassDOT

There was none.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

There were none.

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

T. Teich reported that the Advisory Council will meet on February 14, 2018, to discuss the ongoing development of the TIP and Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

There was none.

7.    Action Item: Calendar Year 2018 Highway Safety Targets for the Boston Region—Michelle Scott, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Technical Memorandum: Federally Required CY 2018 Highway Safety Targets

M. Scott presented a follow up to the January 18, 2018, discussion of federally required highway safety performance measures (PMs) and targets. These PMs focus on fatalities and serious injuries. At the January 18, 2018, meeting, M. Scott and Bryan Pounds (MassDOT) presented federal requirements pertaining to five highway safety PMs as well as the Commonwealth’s CY 2018 targets for these safety PMs. States and MPOs are required to set one-year targets for these measures on an annual basis. The MPO can either adopt the Commonwealth’s targets or set separate targets for the Boston region. The MPO must report its decision regarding CY 2018 targets to the Commonwealth by February 27, 2018.

The Commonwealth set its targets for four safety measures—fatalities, fatality rate, serious injuries, and serious injury rate—by following historic trend lines. According to historic trends, values for these measures have been decreasing over time, so the Commonwealth’s CY 2018 targets (which reflect a 2014-18 rolling annual average) show decreases compared to the most recent baseline value, which was the 2011-15 rolling average. The Commonwealth set its CY 2018 target for reducing non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries by setting a target equal to the 2011-15 rolling average value. Historic trends show values for this measure increasing over time. The Commonwealth has been working to counteract this trend through its planning and programming.

These federally required targets are designed to function as management metrics that directly represent the changing condition and performance of the transportation system, as opposed to longer-term aspirational targets. Based on its analysis of requirements, safety information, and feedback received after staff’s presentation on January 18, MPO staff recommends that the MPO vote to support the Commonwealth’s targets for CY 2018.


A motion to adopt the CY 2018 Highway Safety Targets for the Boston Region MPO was made by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (Tom Kadzis) and seconded by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa). The motion carried.

8.      Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2019–23 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Development: Draft Project Evaluation Results—Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Current Evaluation Criteria (without proposed changes)

2.    FFYs 2019–23 TIP Development: Project Evaluation Results (Preliminary)

3.    FFYs 2019–23 TIP Development: Descriptions of All Evaluated, Unfunded Projects

K. Quackenbush reminded the board that at the meeting on December 21, 2017, A. Kleyman presented potential rescoring of previously evaluated, but as yet unfunded, TIP projects using proposed changes to the project evaluation criteria. The goal of the proposed changes is to more clearly define a specific and repeatable methodology for applying certain criteria, define all data needs and sources, clarify the data needed from project proponents, simplify and organize MPO staff’s internal project database, and more clearly communicate project scoring through the online TIP database.

The proposed changes were in the goal areas of Safety, Equity, and Economic Vitality. Proposed changes to the Economic Vitality criteria, developed by MAPC, generated discussion and concern among members. MAPC has since withdrawn this proposal and there are no proposed changes to the Economic Vitality criteria. E. Bourassa agreed with members who expressed concern about assigning the same number of points for new bicycle and pedestrian access as for transit. He added that the upcoming development of a new Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is a better opportunity to comprehensively revise evaluation criteria. K. Quackenbush stated that MPO staff is still suggesting that the MPO go ahead with proposed revisions to the Safety and Equity criteria. These changes do not create massive differences in scores for currently unprogrammed projects. K. Quackenbush then stated that the staff recommends conducting a wholesale reevaluation of the evaluation criteria after the adoption of the next LRTP.

A. Kleyman reviewed the schedule for development of the FFY 2019–23 TIP. In October and November, MPO staff conducted outreach to municipal TIP contacts, MassDOT districts, and MAPC subregional groups. This outreach culminated in the Universe of Projects. The Universe of Projects consisted of all active MassDOT projects eligible for funding via the MPO’s investment programs. The Universe of Projects includes previously scored municipal and MassDOT priority projects that are not yet programmed, new projects eligible for evaluation for the first time, and projects which remain active and are ostensibly municipal priorities but for which MPO staff has not received the necessary information to conduct an evaluation.

The final Universe of Projects consisted of 71 active MassDOT projects. MPO staff evaluated eight projects for the first time this year. Seventeen projects were previously evaluated and remain unprogrammed. There are 46 projects at some stage of design that lack the necessary data to evaluate. In order to conduct an evaluation, MPO staff typically needs a Functional Design Report.

A. Kleyman presented initial evaluation results for new and previously scored unprogrammed roadway projects. The evaluations table shows project scores under both the current evaluation criteria and using the proposed changes to Equity and Safety categories. No MPO board members objected to MPO staff going forward with the proposed changes to the Safety and Equity evaluation criteria.

The initial evaluation results table consists of 25 projects:

·         1 Bicycle and Pedestrian project

·         13 Complete Streets projects

·         5 Intersection Improvement projects

·         6 Major Infrastructure projects

Two of the Major Infrastructure projects are programmed in the current LRTP and four would need to be added through an amendment if they were to be programmed in the TIP. There are seven projects in the Inner Core Committee (ICC) subregion; five in the North Shore Task Force (NSTF); three each in the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) and South West Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP); two each in the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC), the South Shore Coalition (SSC), and the Three Rivers Interlocal Council (TRIC); and one in the North Suburban Planning Council (NSPC).

A. Kleyman reported that although representatives from the City of Boston had requested an evaluation of project #608956, Mountfort Street and Commonwealth Avenue Connection in Boston and Brookline, the necessary data are unavailable. A. Kleyman noted that MPO members have until the beginning of TIP programming discussions in March to review these materials. A. Kleyman will update the board on any revisions to evaluations at the meeting on February 15, 2018. Programming discussions will begin at the meeting on March 1, 2018.


M. Rose asked whether there is still time to evaluate the Mountfort Street project if staff is provided with the missing data. T. Kadzis thanked A. Kleyman for her willingness to accommodate the City of Boston in evaluating this project during this TIP development cycle, stating that the City of Boston, Town of Brookline, and MassDOT must regroup in the next week to collaborate and provide MPO staff with the necessary data.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) stated that he was pleased to see that project #87790, Interchange Improvements at I-95/I-93/University Avenue and I-95 Widening in Canton and Westwood, has been evaluated.

T. Teich asked A. Kleyman to expand on the information members will receive at future meetings. A. Kleyman replied that following the TIP Readiness meeting between MPO staff and MassDOT on February 14, 2018, staff will incorporate readiness and cost information into a First-Tier List of evaluated projects and present this information to members. Some evaluated projects may not be included in the list of recommended projects for programming due to schedule concerns on the part of MassDOT.

E. Bourassa asked A. Kleyman to clarify the difference between project #608707, Reconstruction of Sea Street in Quincy, and project #608013, Intersection Improvements at Sea Street and Quincy Shore Drive in Quincy. Staff planned to evaluate project # 608013 this year, but instead the project will be amended into the FFYs 2018–22 TIP for funding under the State Prioritized Reliability Projects/Safety Improvements (Section 2A) program, provided that the MPO approves Amendment Three at the meeting on March 1, 2018. Project #608707 is the reconstruction of the Sea Street corridor, and Quincy is still seeking regional target funding.

9.    Promising Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Strategies for the Boston Region—Bruce Kaplan, MPO Staff

B. Kaplan presented the findings of a study entitled Promising Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies for the Boston Region, a follow up to the 2016 study, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Alternatives: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. The 2016 report, based upon national research, identified 14 GHG emission reduction strategies for further study. Promising Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies for the Boston Region narrows the 14 strategies to nine, and attempts to identify cost-effective strategies employed by other transportation agencies and MPOs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. MPO staff used cost-effectiveness, defined as the direct cost per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduced, and GHG emission reduction potential, defined as the percentage reduction of projected emissions, to select the nine most promising strategies, listed below.

·         Workplace Transportation Demand Management

·         Teleworking

·         Individualized Marketing of Transportation Service

·         Ridesharing

·         Carsharing

·         Pedestrian Improvements

·         Bicycling Improvements

·         Information on Vehicle Purchases (primarily policies to promote electric vehicle purchases)

·         Parking Management

Two recent GHG-related studies—conducted by MassDOT and the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC)—included Massachusetts in their study areas, and provided useful cost-effectiveness data and data on GHG emission reduction potential. These studies also informed the determination of strategies to pursue. Staff investigated GHG emission reduction practices employed by government agencies geographically close to the Boston region; agencies within this geographic area were thought to be most analogous in terms of experiences with GHG emission reduction given similarities in topography, political and legislative culture, and weather. Ultimately six MPOs, three DOTs, and three other government bodies were interviewed. Data were gathered from a number of other agencies that were not interviewed.

Interviewed Agencies

      Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) – Baltimore, MD

      Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) – Albany, NY

      Capitol Regional Council of Governments (CRCOG) – Hartford, CT

      Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) – Winooski, VT

      Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) – Philadelphia, PA

      Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) – Washington, DC

      Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

      New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)

      Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)

      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

      New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

      Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)

Few of the transportation agencies and MPOs interviewed reported having measured the progress of their GHG emission reduction initiatives. Several have integrated GHG emission reduction considerations into scenario planning. All of the MPOs interviewed have incorporated GHG considerations into their project selection processes. Most use GHG emission reduction as a criterion when reviewing project benefits, but none consider GHG emission reduction potential as the sole reason to advance projects or policies. GHG emission reduction strategies tend to be implemented because of their potential to assist in the progress of achieving statewide and national GHG emission reduction targets, not because they are inherently cost-effective.

Although the Boston Region MPO is very much in line with, and often ahead of, its regional peers in terms of GHG emission reduction strategies, it awards a lower percentage of TIP evaluation points specifically for emissions reduction than all but one of the interviewed MPOs outside of Massachusetts that presently use project ranking systems. Compared to the project evaluation schemes of other MPOs in Massachusetts, the Boston Region MPO ranks eight out of 13 in terms of the focus it puts on emissions reduction. The most concrete area of potential enhancement regarding GHG emission reduction strategies for the Boston Region MPO is in the planning process, specifically the evaluation criteria used for the TIP and the LRTP. A greater percentage of points should be awarded for the emissions reduction criterion. The overall scoring system should be refined to further favor and reward projects that implement any of the nine GHG emissions reduction measures discussed in this report. Potential scoring would thus be structured so that projects could earn points for as many components that characterize the selected strategies as possible and give maximum value to projects that reduce GHG emissions. Staff recommends that the MPO design tools for the measurement and evaluation of the progress of GHG emission reduction initiatives. Future scenario planning efforts by the Boston Region MPO should specifically incorporate the nine strategies previously mentioned.

Methodologies used for estimating and predicting GHG emissions are also discussed in the report, including spreadsheet analyses, travel demand modeling, and sketch planning. Staff recommends that the MPO devote further study to two profiled modeling tools: the Federal Highway Administration’s Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool (EERPAT) and the Levelized Cost of Carbon (LCC).


E. Bourassa asked whether B. Kaplan discussed policy measures relating to pricing or land use with the interviewed agencies. B. Kaplan reported that agencies mainly reported the same limitations related to these strategies as the Boston Region MPO has experienced—mainly that these strategies would have to be pursued at the legislative level and are beyond the scope of MPO investment programs or planning processes.

Laura Gilmore (Massachusetts Port Authority) asked B. Kaplan to clarify why one of the original 14 strategies from the 2016 study, Truck-Idling Reduction, was not included in the list of nine. B. Kaplan replied that this strategy appears to have extremely negligible potential for GHG emission reduction.

David Koses (At-Large City) (City of Newton) asked about the finding that the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), in Burlington, Vermont, has developed criteria to prioritize strategies most effective for climate adaption and mitigation. CCRPC’s prioritization tool is heavily weighted toward GHG emission reduction. B. Kaplan replied that CCRPC weights GHG emission reduction much more heavily than any of the other agencies interviewed, perhaps reflecting the cultural values of the region.

E. Bourassa asked whether any of the agencies are funding vehicle electrification technology. B. Kaplan replied that the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, runs an electric vehicle program and has done studies prioritizing charging station locations. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers an electric vehicle program.

Micha Gensler (MBTA Advisory Board) asked about the impact of increased demand for electricity on GHG reduction efforts. B. Kaplan replied that some agencies have done high level research on whether increased demand for electricity caused by the use of electric vehicles does or does not offset GHG emissions. He added that when the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) conducts scenario planning, it assumes that all vehicles at the horizon year are zero-emissions electric vehicles; however, these vehicles have not been shown to reduce GHG emissions effectively without the conversion of electricity production itself to sustainable methods.

Rafael Mares (Conservation Law Foundation) noted that one frustration in this work is that travel demand models utilized by planning agencies are often not suited to modeling concerns like GHG reduction or electric vehicle introduction, meaning that results like NESCAUM’s are not necessarily totally accurate. R. Mares asked B. Kaplan to elaborate on this and the possibility of moving to an activity-based travel model, which he regarded as more accurate. B. Kaplan replied that most agencies interviewed are not using activity-based models or prioritizing GHG reduction in modeling efforts. 

10. Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs: Progress and Opportunities—Casey-Marie Claude and Bill Kuttner, MPO Staff

C. Claude and B. Kuttner presented the results of a study entitled Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs: Progress and Opportunities, which evaluates the effectiveness of selected regional SRTS programs and suggests future efforts. The SRTS Program was created by the 2005 federal transportation authorization, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Each state was allocated an amount of formula funding dedicated to making walking and bicycling safer and more attractive alternatives for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. The next federal authorization was Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which took effect in July 2012. Under MAP-21, funds were no longer provided through a dedicated program. Instead, SRTS was one option in the new Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP required a 20 percent state or local match. MAP-21 was in effect until the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was enacted in 2015.

As the SRTS Program has taken shape, the National Center and supporting organizations such as the SRTS National Partnership have devised a mnemonic concept that expresses key aspects of SRTS programs. These are known as the “Safe Routes Six Es”:







This study reviewed the SRTS program and related physical and operational improvements that were implemented at nine schools in the Boston region, quantifying recent mode share trends at the sample schools. The tallies of students at the nine sample schools show that of students who traveled less than one mile to and from school, 33.9 percent of them walked or rode a bicycle to school. However, mode share varied significantly between the nine sample schools. For instance, at Manchester Memorial Elementary School in Manchester by the Sea, 60.5 percent of students living within a mile of school walked or biked to school in the fall of 2017. At Hansen Elementary in Canton, 6.4 percent of students living within a mile walked or biked to school. A number of factors can explain the differences in the mode shares for walking and bicycling between schools:

      Distribution of distance from home to school (distances of up to one mile)

      Quality of pedestrian paths

      Traffic level and neighborhood ambience

      SRTS and related program activities

      Local and neighborhood culture

Case Studies: Manchester Memorial, Hanson, and West Elementary

A path through the park to the west of Manchester Memorial connects the school with the nearby residential areas. The SRTS Program funded sidewalk, intersection, and related improvements to the roadways between the main entrance to the school on the east side of the building complex and the intersection of Summer and Lincoln Streets. The SRTS improvements clearly made these sections of Summer and Lincoln Streets safer for all users. About half of the Manchester Memorial students live within one mile of the school, and an impressive 60 percent of these students walk or ride a bicycle to get to school. Manchester Memorial does not have regular programs such as “walk to school day,” but the school’s proximity to residential neighborhoods and the availability of a pleasant pedestrian path make walking and bicycling attractive to students. The school’s arrival and dismissal procedures facilitate use of the travel-friendly geography for those families wishing to use the non-motorized modes.

Conversely, the challenge of using the non-motorized modes at Hansen School in Canton is apparent. An extensive residential area within walking distance of Hansen School is located to the southeast of Washington Street, a very busy arterial roadway 500 feet from the school entrance. Traffic and visibility problems contribute to a perception expressed by parents that Washington Street is an insurmountable barrier for elementary school students who might walk to Hansen School. The SRTS Program funded a new sidewalk on Pecunit Street between Hansen School and Washington Street. These improvements make non-motorized travel along Pecunit Street more appealing, but the problems at the intersection with Washington Street limit the usefulness of this improved corridor.

At West Memorial Elementary School in Peabody, heavy dependence on private autos for student travel burdens the local streets near the school. The SRTS-funded improvements significantly improved safety for students when accessing waiting autos and when walking to some of the nearby neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the use of non-motorized modes for student travel has not expanded since these improvements. Parents expressed concern in the 2009 SRTS assessment that cars waiting at the entrances to the walking paths made these routes from school less safe. This problem would be self-correcting if these paths were simply used for their original purpose.


Expanding and improving safe and practical pedestrian infrastructure on important routes that connect schools with residential areas probably increases the percentage of families that consider walking a viable choice. Indeed, all SRTS improvements made around the five schools clearly enhanced the walking environment. Even with the improved pedestrian infrastructure, some families still avoid walking. Other families embrace walking and bicycling, often tolerating the higher level of risk associated with substandard roads or sidewalks. MPO staff recommends that future research efforts partner with specific schools to create data “test beds,” study ways to change local culture, and integrate school access into municipality-wide bicycle and pedestrian plans. 


D. Koses followed up on staff’s findings related to local culture, noting that although Newton has a lively SRTS program and has made infrastructure improvements at several schools, dismissal still results in long queues of cars waiting to pick up students. This reality points to the complexity of changing local culture.

T. Teich added that parents are often still driving children to and from school because they, in turn, are commuting by car. SRTS efforts are therefore intimately connected to the overall issue of influencing mode shift away from single occupancy vehicles.

Nikki Tishler (MassDOT) thanked MPO staff for their work and added that MassDOT is working on improving data collection for SRTS efforts.

Tom Bent (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville) asked whether some schools specifically disallow biking to school. Erin Reed (MassDOT SRTS Statewide Outreach Coordinator) stated that some individual schools have set this as a policy. She noted that the principal at Manchester Memorial does not explicitly encourage biking, but the local culture does this on its own.

11. Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Needs Assessment: Route 138 Priority Corridor Study—Seth Asante, MPO Staff

Note: At this time, E. Bourassa assumed the chair’s seat.

S. Asante presented the results of a study entitled Addressing Priority Corridors from the LRTP Needs Assessment: Route 138 Priority Corridor Study. This is a recurring study in which MPO staff recommends improvements to locations identified in the regional needs assessment conducted as part of the MPO’s LRTP. The MPO selected Route 138 in Canton for study after considering a number of factors: the need to address poor safety conditions and traffic congestion; the desire to enhance multimodal transportation; the need to maintain regional travel capacity; the interest in ensuring that, over time, corridor studies are funded in all subregions of the MPO’s planning area; and the potential for recommendations from the study to be implemented.

Route 138 is a regional arterial serving several communities in the Boston region: Boston, Milton, Canton, and Stoughton. The highway continues south to Fall River and into Rhode Island. In Canton, the roadway provides access to the Blue Hills Reservation recreational area, large business and industrial areas, and residential areas of single- and multi-family homes. Commercial and residential development significantly increased during the past decade, and this growth may continue. As a result, there are a growing number of pedestrians and bicyclists in the corridor; however, the current roadway configurations there inhibit walking and bicycling, and traffic safety, congestion, and mobility have become challenging issues. The MPO staff, working with the study’s advisory task force, developed a set of improvements that would transform Route 138 into a pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly roadway, as well as a transportation corridor that serves all modes of transportation and maintains regional travel capacity. This study provides the Town of Canton, MassDOT, and other stakeholders an opportunity to review, at a conceptual level, what would be required to address the deficiencies in the corridor, before committing design and engineering funds to a roadway improvement project.

Although Route 138 serves several land uses, the roadway lacks amenities to support non-motorized transportation. The corridor has insufficient sidewalks. There are four signalized intersections in the study area and all of them experience congestion and queues during peak travel periods. Turning into and out of side streets at minor intersections is difficult. There are several high crash locations throughout the corridor, and there have been two crashes involving fatalities recently.

As part of the public participation process for this study, MPO staff designed a survey soliciting input from Canton residents. About 370 residents answered the survey. Residents reported that problems preventing them from walking and bicycling along the corridor include the high volume of traffic, lack of sidewalks and bike lanes, high speeds of vehicles, and difficulty crossing Route 138. For residents who drive, their problems and concerns included congestion, safety, and difficulty turning into or out of side streets. Respondents indicated that they would like to see improvements that reduce congestion, and increase safety and access. The study suggests a myriad of improvements to the area around Blue Hill Reservation, the Ponkapoag neighborhood, and the intersections with Washington and Randolph Streets. Some of the recommendations include:

·         Adding new midblock crosswalks

·         Upgrading existing sidewalks

·         Adding a left-turn lane for the MassDOT park-and-ride lot

·         Retiming signals at Royall, Washington, and Randolph Streets

·         Installing advanced intersection lane control signs on the approaches of Route 138 to indicate the configuration of lanes

·         Adding medians to prevent vehicles from cutting across multiple lanes to turn left

·         Extending bicycle lanes from the Blue Hills Reservation to the Ponkapoag neighborhood

·         Redesigning intersections to improve safety and capacity

The next steps are for MassDOT and the Town of Canton to work together to advance project concepts that incorporate these recommendations.

12. Members Items

There were none.

13. Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by the Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville) (T. Bent) and seconded by the At-Large City (City of Everett) (Jay Monty). 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)

Dave Kucharsky

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Matt Moran

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Nelson Hoffman

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Steve Woelfel

Nikki Tishler

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano

Marie Rose

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Eric Waaramaa

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Micha Gensler

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Richard Reed

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Aaron Clausen

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Kevin McHugh

Coneco Engineers & Scientists, Town of Ipswich

Francesca Brecha

Boston Planning and Development Agency

Roland Bartl

Town of Acton

Kristen Guichard

Steve Olanoff

Nikki Tishler

Rafael Mares

Erin Reed

Abby Swaine

Town of Acton

TRIC Alternate

MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning

Conservation Law Foundation

Massachusetts Safe Routes to School

US Environmental Protection Agency


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Mark Abbott

Lourenço Dantas

Annette Demchur

Betsy Harvey

Sandy Johnston

Ali Kleyman

Bill Kuttner

Scott Peterson

Jen Rowe

Michelle Scott