Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

February 7, 2019, Meeting

10:00 AM–1:00 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 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 (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 21.

2.    Public Comments  

Kristen Guichard (Senior Town Planner, Town of Acton) provided an update on 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 programmed with MPO discretionary funds in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022. K. Guichard stated that the Town of Acton has been working to address concerns raised by the community related to the loss of trees and parking spaces. The Town of Acton has hired an arborist to review plans for tree removal and is pursuing a design that retains current parking spaces. A 25 percent design public hearing is scheduled for March 5, 2019. The budget presented at the Acton town meeting on April 1, 2019, will include funding for supplemental engineering, design, and appraisal services. K. Guichard thanked the MPO for its continued support.

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, 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 Wednesday, February 13, 2019, to discuss the MPO’s certification activities.

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

K. Quackenbush reminded members that they would be receiving a survey concerning the creation of an MPO Transit Committee.

K. Quackenbush announced that Robin Mannion, Deputy Executive Director, would be leaving the MPO staff on February 15, 2019. K. Quackenbush and D. Mohler expressed gratitude for R. Mannion’s twenty plus years of service to the agency. R. Mannion thanked K. Quackenbush and the MPO board for their support throughout her time with the MPO staff. D. Mohler noted that with R. Mannion leaving and K. Quackenbush retiring in March, the agency is in a state of flux. D. Mohler stated that following K. Quackenbush’s departure, Annette Demchur and Scott Peterson, Assistant Directors, will jointly cover the duties of Executive Director while a replacement is found. D. Mohler added that there will be an executive search committee consisting of D. Mohler, Paul Regan (MBTA Advisory Board) and either Marc Draisen or Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council [MAPC]), as well as others. D. Mohler stressed the importance of a diverse committee, in particular encouraging female MPO members to participate.

7.    Approval of December 20, 2018, Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 20, 2018, was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the MBTA Advisory Board (P. Regan). The North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly) (Denise Deschamps) abstained. At-Large Town (Town of Lexington) (Richard Canale) noted a correction to the spelling of Melisa Tintocalis’ name on page 6. Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) Alternate (Steve Olanoff) noted a correction to the title of the Route 138 Priority Corridor Study, Milton, MA on page 9. With these corrections, the motion carried.

8.    Proposed CY 2019 Roadway Safety Targets—Michelle Scott, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Memorandum: Federally Required Calendar Year 2019 Roadway Safety Targets

2.    Presentation: Roadway Safety Performance Update and CY 2019 Targets

The United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) requires states and MPOs to establish targets each year for five roadway safety performance measures (PMs). The PMs are outcome-based measures reflecting fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle collisions, and apply to all public roads regardless of jurisdiction or ownership. The intent of these PMs is to minimize values for all measures.

MassDOT and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) coordinated to establish the Commonwealth’s roadway safety targets for CY 2019; these targets reflect 2015–19 five-year rolling averages.  MassDOT and EOPSS will report these targets to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The MPO is required to support the Commonwealth’s targets or set its own by February 27, 2019.

Highway Safety Performance Measure

2016 Safety Measure Value (2012-16 Rolling Average)

2018 Safety Measure Target (Expected 2014-18 Rolling Average)

2019 Safety Measure Target (Expected 2015-19 Rolling Average)

Number of fatalities




Rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled










Number of serious injuries







Rate of serious injuries per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled













Number of nonmotorized fatalities and nonmotorized serious injuries

















The Roadway Safety Targets memo posted to the MPO meeting calendar includes charts illustrating roadway safety performance trends, including historic trends for both the commonwealth and the Boston region, MassDOT targets, and Boston region projections based on historic numbers and draft information for CY 2017. In recent years, the number of fatalities in the Boston region has ranged from 30 to 35 percent of the total five year rolling average for the Commonwealth. Data finalized after the Commonwealth’s 2018 targets were set showed a nationwide spike in fatalities in 2016. Draft data for 2017 showed these values dropping back to 2015 levels. The Commonwealth’s targets account for these fluctuations and consider the impact of various safety countermeasures, including infrastructure programs.

The rate of fatalities measure factors in the number of fatalities and statewide vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), which has been increasing gradually from 2012 to 2016, based on five year rolling averages (around 3.7 percent for both the commonwealth and the Boston region). The Boston region’s share of the average of serious injuries has decreased from 40 percent to about 37 percent in recent years. However, the values for nonmotorized fatalities and serious injury rates have been trending in an undesirable direction. For this PM, the Commonwealth is working to reverse this trend by setting the 2018 and 2019 targets approximately level with the 2011–15 five year rolling average. The Commonwealth’s long term goal is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on all Massachusetts roadways.

When establishing targets, the MPO can support statewide targets for all five safety PMs or take different approaches for different measures. If the MPO adopts the statewide target for a measure, no quantifiable target is required for the MPO area. The MPO would agree to plan and program projects to help reach statewide targets and to work with MassDOT on target narratives for the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and TIP. If the MPO sets a separate target, it must commit to a quantifiable target for the MPO area, define and report MPO VMT estimates and corresponding methodology, and coordinate with MassDOT on target development. FHWA will review the MPO’s progress as part of the certification reviews. No significant progress determination is made at the MPO level and there are no MPO-level rewards or penalties related to progress on targets.

The Commonwealth’s activities to address fatalities and serious injuries will be guided by the newly updated Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), which describes long- and medium-term roadway safety goals and improvement strategies. The MPO’s Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), TIP, and LRTP have specific roles in several of these strategies. Policy and legislation, enforcement, education and awareness, and improvements to emergency response can also impact fatalities and serious injuries.

MPO staff recommends that the MPO vote to support the Commonwealth’s CY 2019 roadway safety performance targets. MPO staff also proposes that the MPO explore other roadway measures and targets for the MPO’s performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) process.


Daniel Amstutz (At-Large Town) (Town of Arlington) supported tracking these measures at the MPO level and noted that one-year targets mean targets are set for the current year, which creates a sense of looking backward rather than forward. D. Amstutz asked M. Scott to elaborate on the state’s long-term goal for moving towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on all five measures.

M. Scott stated that the state’s long-term goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes is not tied to a specific timeframe. The SHSP does include interim goals for CY 2022.

R. Canale asked how the underreporting of pedestrian and bicycle crashes might have impacted the data used in these measures and whether anyone at the state level is pursuing a review of how police collect information on nonmotorized crashes. M. Scott replied that incidents not involving a motor vehicle are not captured in the data sources used for this target-setting effort. M. Scott was not sure whether the data sources captured incidents involving parked vehicles. R. Canale stated that local police have commented that the forms for reporting crashes do not include space to record all of the relevant information.

P. Regan asked whether there is an understanding of the base number of individuals who are bicycling in the region, and whether the investments that have been made in bike lanes and other infrastructure are impacting these numbers. M. Scott replied that the existing data for bicyclist and pedestrian use is not complete enough to capture these figures. M. Scott added that in the past MassDOT has asked MPOs to think about ways to improve this data when developing UPWPs.

E. Bourassa asked whether it is true that the Boston Police Department (BPD) does not report their crash data to the state. Tom Kadzis (City of Boston) (Boston Transportation Department) replied that BPD does report crash data, but does not use a form that is readily transferable to what state agencies need for data purposes. T. Kadzis added that the BPD is working towards an automated system that would make this process easier.

Ken Miller (FHWA) stated that FHWA is concerned about this issue, adding that at the state-level, there is a Traffic Records Coordinating Committee at which FHWA could bring up these issues. K. Miller added that the reason the PMs do not require rates for bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities is due to the lack of data. K. Miller acknowledged that it is harder to draw a direct line between investments and outcomes for these PMs than for some other federally required measures. K. Miller also stressed that the volume of new transportation technologies and local policies related to the measures are likely to impact the data in ways FHWA may not have originally considered.

Jim Fitzgerald (City of Boston) (Boston Planning & Development Agency) noted that as part of its Vision Zero efforts, the City of Boston is looking at Emergency Medical Services data to augment crash data. T. Kadzis stated that the BTD would follow up with M. Scott on this issue.

Tom Bent (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville) noted that the media has reported on the backlog of crash investigations at the State Police, with the final determinations of crashes involving fatalities taking up to five years to complete. M. Scott replied that she was not sure if information from the State Police is entered into the RMV database.


A motion to adopt federally required roadway safety performance targets for CY 2019 was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the At-Large Town (Town of Arlington) (D. Amstutz). The motion carried.

9.    MPO Public Participation Plan Revisions—Karl Quackenbush, MPO Executive Director

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Public Participation Plan: Proposed Amendment 2019

2.    Memorandum: Public Participation Plan Amendment

The MPO’s Public Participation Plan (Plan) documents the MPO’s Public Participation Program, which comprises the various outreach activities that the MPO engages in to ensure that all members of the public—including populations that are described as traditionally underserved by the transportation system and/or have lacked access to the decision-making process—are given the opportunity to participate in the metropolitan transportation planning process. The Plan was approved in 2014. Since then, the MPO has moved to change the public review period for the TIP from 30 to 21 days. MPO staff has updated the Plan to reflect this and other recent changes in both legislation, information and communication technologies, and public participation practices.

Updates to the document include the following:

·         The addition of references to the most recent federal transportation legislation, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and an emphasis on PBPP as a core function of MPOs (Pages 16 and 17)

·         The addition of the vision for the MPO’s new LRTP, Destination 2040 (Page 18)

·         Updated maps to reflect that the MPO consists of 97 communities (Pages 21 and 25)

·         Allusions to the addition of an MPO board seat for a Public Transit Provider representative (Pages 22 and 26)

·         The deletion of allusions to prior updates (Page 28)

·         Changes to reflect current communications practices, including references to Twitter and the MPO’s blog (Pages 29 and 30)

·         Changes to reflect current practice for compiling and responding to comments, hosting conference calls for municipal TIP contacts, and sharing MPO updates for inclusion in MAPC’s monthly newsletter (Pages 31, 34, 35, and 36)

·         Updates to the schedule for public participation and changes to the public review period for the TIP (Pages 41 to 43)

·         Clearer descriptions of populations covered by the MPO’s Transportation Equity Program (Pages 47 and 48)

·         The deletion of Appendix C, which includes research done for the last update

·         Updates to Appendix C (previously Appendix D), which lists public participation meetings held since 2016

MPO staff plan to bring more significant changes to the Plan to the MPO board following the adoption of the new LRTP. K Quackenbush asked members to review the changes and prepare to release the proposed revisions for a 45-day public review period at the meeting on February 21, 2019. This will allow the amendment to be approved prior to the release of the draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP for public comment in April.


T. Teich thanked K. Quackenbush for bringing these changes to the MPO prior to a vote to allow for the Advisory Council to meet and review them, adding that the Advisory Council will review the changes at their meeting on February 13, 2019. T. Teich stated that the important thing for Advisory Council members to understand is the clear case for the shortening of the TIP public comment period. D. Mohler asked that MPO staff be in attendance at the meeting on February 13, 2019, to explain the changes.

10.FFYs 2020-24 TIP: Initial Project Evaluations—Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    FFYs 2020-24 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Development: Project Evaluation Results (Preliminary - For Discussion)

2.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Universe of Projects: Table 1. TIP Projects to Consider for Programming, Revised 2/6/19

3.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Universe of Projects: Table 2. Long-Range Transportation Plan Projects to Consider for Programming

4.    Presentation: FFYs 2020-2024 Preliminary TIP Evaluation Results

M. Genova’s presentation, posted to the MPO meeting calendar, included the schedule for FFY 2019 TIP development, as well as score breakdowns for all the evaluated projects. Scores in the top quartile of projects evaluated in FFY 2019 are highlighted in green. M. Genova’s presentation also included a brief description and information on project cost. MPO staff evaluated a total of 24 projects in FFY 2019, evenly split between new and previously evaluated projects. The funding category with the most projects was Complete Streets, with eight, followed by Major Infrastructure projects, with seven. The average evaluation score was 44.7. Major Infrastructure Projects have the highest average score (54) and Bicycle/Pedestrian projects have the lowest average score (30.8). Projects are evaluated based on projects in the same funding category. Each project is scored in six categories corresponding to the goals of the LRTP. The total point scale is 134 points. The newly evaluated projects are as follows:

Newly Evaluated Projects

1.    Boston: Neponset River Greenway (Phase 3); Score: 42

2.    Peabody: Independence Greenway Extension; Score: 31

3.    Weston: Multi-Use Trail Connection (Recreation Road to Upper Charles River Greenway, Including Reconstruction of Pedestrian Bridge); Score: 24

4.    Lynn: Rehabilitation of Essex Street; Score: 61

5.    Everett: Rehabilitation of Beacham Street, from Route 99 to Chelsea City Line; Score: 54

6.    Wilmington: Reconstruction of Route 38 (Main Street), from Route 62 to the Woburn City Line; Score: 51

7.    Littleton: Reconstruction of Foster Street; Score: 37

8.    Wilmington: Intersection Improvements at Lowell Street (Route 129) and Woburn Street; Score: 49

9.    Ashland: Rehabilitation and Rail Crossing Improvements on Cherry Street; Score: 38

10. Lynn: Traffic and Safety Improvements at Two Locations on Broadway; Score: 34

11. Framingham: Traffic Signal Installation at Edgell Road and Central Street; Score: 26

12. Lynn: Reconstruction of Western Avenue (Route 107); Score: 64

The Neponset River Greenway (Phase 3) is the highest scoring Bicycle/Pedestrian project this year. The Rehabilitation of Essex Street in Lynn is the highest scoring Complete Streets project this year. The Reconstruction of Western Avenue (Route 107) in Lynn is the only new Major Infrastructure Project that staff evaluated this year, and it is also the highest scoring newly evaluated project.

Staff re-evaluated 12 projects that had been evaluated in past years. Changes in scores for previously evaluated projects are indicated in red and green on the project evaluation spreadsheet. The primary reason for score changes from past years was based on newly available data and project documentation.

Previously Evaluated Projects

1.    Framingham: Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Installation at Route 9 and Maynard Road; Score: 26

2.    Hingham: Intersection Improvements at Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary; Score: 55

3.    Newton: Reconstruction and Signal Improvements on Walnut Street, from Homer Street to Route 9; Score: 45

4.    Danvers: Reconstruction of Collins Street, from Sylvan Street to Centre and Holten Streets; Score: 44

5.    Milford: Rehabilitation on Route 16, from Route 109 to Beaver Street; Score: 43

6.    Marlborough: Intersection and Signal Improvements on Route 20 (East Main Street/Boston Post Road) at Concord Road; Score: 35

7.    Somerville: McGrath Boulevard Project; Score: 74

8.    Boston: Improvements along Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) from Alcorn Street to Warren/Kelton Streets (Phases 3 and 4); Score: 64

9.    Natick: Bridge Replacement, Route 27 (North Main Street) over Route 9 (Worcester Street) and Interchange Improvements; Score: 54

10. Canton, Westwood: Interchange Improvements at I-95/I-93/University Avenue/I-95 Widening; Score: 48

11. Saugus: Interchange Reconstruction at Walnut Street and Route 1 (Phase II); Score: 43

12. Danvers, Peabody: Mainline Improvements on Route 128 (Phase II); Score: 32

The McGrath Boulevard Project in Somerville is the highest scoring project overall.

Proponents will have until February 15, 2019, to submit feedback on project evaluations. MPO staff expects to post revised evaluation scores prior to the meeting on February 21, 2019. In March, staff will present a recommended list of projects to fund in the FFYs 2020-24 TIP for discussion.


D. Mohler asked how staff selects new projects to be scored. M. Genova replied that projects must be MassDOT Project Review Committee approved and have the level of detail necessary to evaluate. A Functional Design Report is ideal, however, a Project Proponent Questionnaire also allows proponents to provide staff with the level of detail necessary. D. Mohler asked M. Genova to clarify that staff contacts all municipal TIP contacts to solicit projects for evaluation. M. Genova replied that this is correct. D. Mohler asked M. Genova to confirm that Salem did not submit information regarding a proposed project on Route 107 following the meeting.

David Koses (At-Large City) (City of Newton) asked M. Genova to clarify the Transportation Equity scoring, given the wide range of scores for projects in the same municipality. M. Genova replied that the Transportation Equity scoring considers a relatively small geographical area in the direct vicinity of a project location, which can result in a wider range of scores. D. Koses stated that the MPO should discuss this in the future.

T. Teich asked how the scores account for access to transit. M. Genova replied that multimodal access to transit is considered in the criteria. T. Teich asked why project #605313 (Bridge Replacement, Route 27 [North Main Street] over Route 9 [Worcester Street] and Interchange Improvements) being a bridge project, is being advanced to the MPO and not as a MassDOT prioritized project. D. Mohler stated his understanding that this project is included here because it was not prioritized by MassDOT, and because it is part of a larger roadway project. T. Teich also noted that two of the scoring categories—clean air/sustainable communities and transportation equity—allow for the possibility for negatives scores, and she cautioned against programming projects with negative impacts on air quality in particular, from a regional perspective. M. Genova noted that with the release of the new LRTP, Destination 2040, the MPO and staff will be revisiting the scoring criteria to make sure that they adequately reflect regional priorities.

Dennis Giombetti (MetroWest Regional Collaborative) (City of Framingham) stated that the safety and capacity management and mobility scores for project #608889 (Traffic Signal Installation at Edgell Road and Central Street in Framingham) seemed low given his experience of this roadway, and asked staff to take a second look at the scoring.

K. Miller clarified that all the evaluated projects are unprogrammed and staff does not re-evaluate projects that are already programmed in FFYs 2019-23. K. Miller asked about the definition of Major Infrastructure projects. M. Genova stated that the Major Infrastructure category includes all project types and that the threshold for inclusion is a project cost of over $20 million and/or if the project adds capacity to the system. K. Miller stated that it is hard to compare the scores of Major Infrastructure and Bicycle/Pedestrian projects and stressed that the criteria should account for the scale of the projects. K. Miller suggested that staff separate out limited-access facilities from other types of Major Infrastructure projects.

J. Fitzgerald expressed the City of Boston’s support for the Neponset Greenway, which is a Department of Conservation and Recreation project. J. Fitzgerald asked why MPO staff did not evaluate project #606896 (Reconstruction on [Route 203] Gallivan Boulevard, from Neponset Circle to East of Morton Street Intersection in Boston) this year. M. Genova stated that any projects that were not evaluated either did not have enough data to score or would not feasibly be ready for advertisement by 2024. J. Fitzgerald also stated his belief that the design for project #606703 (Leverett Circle Pedestrian Bridge over Route 28, I-93 Ramps and Storrow Drive in Boston) was advanced enough to evaluate and asked staff to take another look at the possibility of scoring it.

11.LRTP: Universe of Investment Programs—Anne McGahan, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    LRTP Universe of Programs

2.    Presentation: Destination 2040 Universe of Programs

A. McGahan led a discussion of possible investment programs for inclusion in the new LRTP, Destination 2040. The LRTP will include a list of Major Infrastructure projects and recommended investment programs. The MPO began discussing Major Infrastructure projects at the meeting on December 20, 2018, when staff presented the Universe of Projects. The proponents of projects that are programmed in the current LRTP but have not yet been funded in the TIP were invited to present at that meeting.

At the meeting on November 15, 2018, staff presented the Draft Summary of Needs and Recommendations. This memo provides a set of existing and proposed investment programs for the MPO to consider including in Destination 2040. The memo also included existing and proposed study programs for funding through the UPWP. Recommendations from these studies can ultimately lead to projects being funded via one of the investment programs. The decision to continue funding existing studies will be decided during UPWP development. The existing study programs are as follows:

1.    Bottlenecks

2.    Community Transportation Technical Assistance

3.    Regional Transit Service Planning Technical Assistance

4.    Bicycle and Pedestrian Support

5.    Evaluation of LRTP Benefits and Burdens to Equity Populations

6.    Freight

The existing investment programs included in the current LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040 are:

1.    Major Infrastructure Program

2.    Intersection Improvement Program

3.    Complete Street Program

4.    Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections Program

5.    Community Transportation/Parking/Clean Air and Mobility Program

Charting Progress to 2040 was the first plan to establish investment programs and allocate a percentage of the MPO’s discretionary funding to each program. The Major Infrastructure Program includes all projects that cost more than $20 million or add capacity to the transportation system. These projects are required to be listed in the LRTP before they can be programmed for construction in the TIP, so the MPO must have a Major Infrastructure Program in the LRTP. The current MPO policy, established in Charting Progress to 2040, is to program no more than 50 percent of MPO discretionary funding in each five-year time band of the LRTP for Major Infrastructure projects. In the FFYs 2019-23 TIP, 53 percent was programmed for Major Infrastructure Projects (both highway and transit).

Projects that fall into the remaining programs are those that cost under $20 million. These projects can be directly programmed in the TIP because they are included in one of the programs identified in the LRTP. The Intersection Improvement Program includes all projects that modernize existing signals, add signals, or otherwise improve operations at intersections. The MPO policy established in Charting Progress to 2040 is that 14 percent of discretionary funding in each five-year time band of the LRTP should be allocated to intersection improvements. The current allocation in the 2019-23 TIP is nine percent programmed for intersection projects.

The Complete Streets Program includes all projects that modernize roadways to improve safety and mobility for all users. The MPO policy established in Charting Progress to 2040 is that 29 percent of discretionary funding in each five-year time band of the LRTP should be allocated to complete streets improvements. The current allocation in the 2019-23 TIP is 34 percent programmed for complete street projects.

The Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections Program includes projects that expand bicycle and pedestrian networks to improve safe access to transit and other activities. The MPO policy is that five percent of its discretionary funding in each five-year time band of the LRTP would be allocated to bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The current allocation in the 2019-23 TIP is three percent programmed for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

The Community Transportation, Parking, and Clean Air and Mobility Program was a new investment program that the MPO established based on public input about the need for first-mile/last-mile connections and more parking. It includes funding for transit services that support first-mile/last-mile connections, additional parking at transit stations or other viable locations, and additional projects that improve mobility and air quality and promote mode shift. The MPO policy is that two percent of its discretionary funding in each five-year time band of the LRTP should be allocated to this program. The current allocation in the 2019-23 TIP is one percent programmed for community transportation projects.

The MPO must decide whether to continue including these five existing investment programs in the new LRTP, Destination 2040. In Charting Progress to 2040, the MPO did not allocate any of its discretionary funds to Major Infrastructure projects in the last 10 years of the LRTP (FFYs 2036-40). At that time, the MPO was waiting for the recommendations of MassDOT’s Project Selection Advisory Council, MassDOT’s Capital Investment Plan, and the completion of the MBTA’s long-range plan, Focus 40.

The proposed investment programs for Destination 2040 are as follows:

1.    Bus Mobility (Dedicated Bus Lanes and Infrastructure)

2.    Enhanced Park and Ride

3.    Climate Resiliency

4.    Transit Modernization

5.    Interchange Modernization

6.    Connect Elderly Adults with Transportation

The Bus Mobility Program could fund dedicated bus lane projects and other projects that improve bus mobility and reliability. These projects could include lane striping and other roadway geometry and infrastructure improvements to define bus lanes, and installations or upgrades to signals to enhance transit signal priority. This program could alleviate congestion and allow faster and more reliable travel times for bus riders. It could induce mode shift from single-occupancy vehicles to transit, which would reduce emissions, and benefit Transportation Equity populations that rely on the bus system.

The Enhanced Park and Ride Program would remove parking from the existing Community Transportation/Parking/Clean Air and Mobility Program and allocate more funding for park-and-ride at transit stations or other viable locations. During public outreach, staff frequently heard about the need for additional parking at rapid transit and commuter rail stations. There was also an interest in moving toward the CrossTown Connect model of providing parking at off-site locations with a shuttle to MBTA service. This program could help induce mode shift and reduce transportation-related emissions.

The Climate Resiliency Program would provide funding for small-scale transportation network resiliency improvements like storm water management projects and signal upgrades that might not fall under Complete Streets or Intersection Improvements. This program could be coordinated with the Commonwealth's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, which provides support for cities and towns to plan for resiliency and implement key adaptation actions. The state awards communities with funding to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans. Communities who become certified as MVP communities are eligible for MVP Action grant funding and other opportunities. As of October 2018, there are 30 designated MVP communities in the Boston region and 26 communities that are currently completing MVP planning, for a total of 56 communities in the Boston region. In the event that more funding is needed, the Climate Resiliency Program could supplement these projects.

The Transit Modernization Program would flex MPO funding to transit modernization projects. This would require MPO and municipality coordination with MassDOT, MBTA, and regional transit authorities for projects including station or facility improvements, accessibility projects, and climate resiliency projects. This program could improve access to transit and transit reliability.

The Interchange Modernization Program would modernize interchanges like the I-95/I-93 Interchange in Woburn, the I-95/I-93 Interchange in Canton, and the Braintree Split. These Major Infrastructure projects had been included in previous LRTPs but were removed from Charting Progress to 2040 because of the MPO policy to not include Major Infrastructure projects that cost more than 50 percent of the available funding in a five year time band. However, staff continues to hear about these projects during public outreach. These projects could improve safety, reduce congestion, improve mobility, and reduce transportation-related emissions.

The Connect Elderly Adults with Transportation Program would develop a program to connect elderly adults with transportation options, such as transportation network companies. The percent of elderly populations that live within one-quarter mile of frequent transit is lower than their respective non-equity populations. It is also true for those living within one-half mile of public transit. Elderly populations have the lowest access to car-share vehicles, with 15 percent within one-quarter mile and 25 percent within one-half mile. This program could restore mobility to elderly adults who can no longer drive and who might not be familiar with the new technologies and transportation options that now exist. This program could also be considered under the Community Transportation Program.

The MPO must decide whether to continue to fund the existing investment programs or add new investment programs in Destination 2040.


D. Amstutz asked A. McGahan to translate the percentage of allocated funds to specific programs in the TIP into actual dollars. A. McGahan replied that she could do this, and noted that these percentages were based on how the MPO had been programming prior to Charting Progress to 2040.

E. Bourassa suggested that moving forward, the board should create aspirational targets for allocating funds in each TIP, should the MPO adopt these new programs.

T. Teich noted the potential for overlap between the existing and new programs, adding that some projects could be eligible under several programs. A. McGahan replied that the idea of the programs is to communicate to municipalities that they can plan for certain types of projects knowing that funding is available, and that these programs are guidelines.

K. Miller stated that the $20 million threshold for Major Infrastructure projects seems arbitrary and said the MPO should consider redefining it. A. McGahan replied that the requirement for projects that cost more than $20 million to be listed in the LRTP comes from FHWA. K. Miller stated that the programs do not necessarily have to conform to this.

E. Bourassa suggested integrating the existing and new programs.

Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) noted that municipalities are less likely to pursue funding for dedicated bus lanes via the TIP because it is easier to use local monies to achieve small scale improvements quickly and suggested including bus mobility improvements under the Complete Streets Program.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) agreed, and asked what problem staff is trying to solve by creating new programs. A. McGahan replied that staff established regional needs via outreach and analysis and used those to propose new programs that might encourage municipalities to advance projects to address those needs.

Samantha Silverberg (MBTA) stated that the counterargument for having more specific programs is to make sure that projects that address strategic goals are not lost in the mix of other types of projects.

D. Mohler added that while cities might not bring small scale bus lane projects to the MPO, there may be more large-scale bus infrastructure or Bus Rapid Transit projects that a municipality or group of municipalities could not achieve on their own.

P. Regan asked what specific infrastructure improvements might qualify in this category.

Wes Edwards (Assistant General Manager of Service Development, MBTA) stated that signals, curb cuts, and right of way acquisitions to increase capacity within a lane width would be costs associated with supporting municipal partnerships with the MBTA.

K. Miller noted that the MPO does program transit funds and it would be under its purview to suggest changes to MBTA programming.

T. Teich expressed support for shifting to thematic programs that clearly speak to LRTP goals.

P. Regan asked whether any evaluations of park-and-ride programs have been done to assess efficacy. D. Mohler replied that there are numbers about usage of commuter lots, but whether those translate to mode shift is another question. D. Mohler noted that staff has translated public comments regarding the lack of parking at MBTA stations into the Enhanced Park-and-Ride program.

T. Teich stated that it might make more sense to include the Enhanced Park-and-Ride and Connect Elderly Adults with Transportation programs under a larger Community Transportation Program. T. Teich added that the amount of funding allocated to the Community Transportation Program would need to be reconsidered in order to accommodate an increased diversity of project types.

E. Bourassa noted that commuter rail ridership has increased by approximately 20 percent over the past decade, with many lots at capacity, and expressed support for finding ways to address this need. T. Kadzis agreed.

T. Teich stated that the MPO should discuss how it wants to define these programs. Should the programs be designed to promote a specific solution to a problem, or should the programs encompass different ways to address issues?

J. Monty asked how much money is currently programmed for the Community Transportation Program (which also includes parking). S. Johnston replied that there is currently $2 million in FFY 2022 and $2 million in FFY 2023.

P. Regan noted that many of the programs ultimately could be defined as promoting mode shift to transit, adding that perhaps it is more important to talk about how much money the MPO wants to allocate to specific goals.

R. Canale stated that the question is what kind of projects the MPO wants to see proponents advance, and allocating the appropriate money to fund these.

Laura Gilmore (Massachusetts Port Authority) added that the goal is also to respond to the public comments staff received, suggesting that staff bring more information to the board on the volume and kinds of comments related to each program.

T. Kadzis stated that a parking program could be useful if it addressed needs identified by the MBTA or MassDOT, rather than piecemeal by municipalities around the region.

A. McGahan added that when the full Needs Assessment is published, it will include the analysis that staff did to assess the magnitude of the need for parking. S. Silverberg added that the MBTA also has some information on demand which it could share with staff, and agreed with T. Kadzis.

A. McGahan asked board members to provide feedback on the Climate Resiliency Program.

J. Fitzgerald stated that many projects have climate resiliency aspects and asked that staff provide more specific examples of the kinds of projects that could be funded under this program.

E. Bourassa stated that one issue MAPC has heard from municipalities is the need to increase the size of culverts to prevent flooding, which could be a possible project type.

D. Mohler asked whether staff heard about specific transit expansion projects, like the Red Line/Blue Connector. S. Johnston replied that staff received comments specific to the Green Line Extension and other transit projects, but that most commenters expressed a more general desire for increased transit, perhaps knowing that large-scale transit expansion projects are beyond the MPO’s ability to fund on its own.

T. Bent asked that staff send board members the full spreadsheet of public comments received during outreach.

A. McGahan stated that staff would do some work to suggest consolidation of the proposed programs, and the MPO would continue the discussion at the meeting on February 21, 2019.

12.MAPC’s Multimodal Mobility Planning Study Updates—David Loutzenheiser, Travis Pollack, and Kasia Hart, MAPC

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Presentation: MAPC Project Updates

Regional Trail Planning

The LandLine Network Plan envisions the LandLine Regional Greenway as a 1,500 mile network of greenways and foot trails connecting 72 percent of the region’s population within a half mile. Over a third of the greenway is complete, with another 10 percent under construction. D. Loutzenheiser highlighted the Spot Pond Brook Greenway, a greenway concept that extends north from the Malden River through downtown Malden to Oak Grove and into Melrose. The path follows the alignment of the buried Spot Pond Brook. There are two completed segments, with eight to be constructed. MAPC is currently working with the MBTA to encourage the inclusion of one segment at Oak Grove Station. MAPC has also been working with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and 12 municipalities to complete a 68 mile network of aqueduct trails connecting the Wachusett, Weston, Cochituate, and Sudbury aqueducts. D. Loutzenheiser also highlighted the MassTrails program, an inter-agency initiative of the Commonwealth to expand and connect the Commonwealth’s networks of off-road, shared use pathways, and recreational trails, providing matching grants.

Suburban Mobility

T. Pollack provided an update on MAPC’s suburban mobility initiatives. MAPC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the North Shore Transportation Management Association (TMA) to coordinate a pilot shuttle program to increase access to the Beverly Commuter Rail Station. MAPC and North Shore TMA coordinated with local businesses to promote support for the shuttle and plan to sign a contract with a shuttle operator imminently. MAPC plans to survey riders throughout the pilot program. MAPC has also been working with several municipalities in the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC) subregion to promote solutions to local mobility issues, including ridehailing partnerships and microtransit in the region.


D. Mohler asked about the existing demand for transit to Cherry Hill on the North Shore. T. Pollack replied that the demand for access from the commuter rail seems to still be there but that this will be evaluated throughout the pilot. D. Mohler asked whether these commuters are reverse commuters from the Inner Core or commuters from the North Shore. T. Pollack replied that there are both, particularly because service to Beverly is fairly frequent for the commuter rail. D. Deschamps added that there is buy-in from local businesses and local government that see the benefits of shuttle service in reducing congestion in the area.

J. Monty asked about the cost and frequency of shuttles. T. Pollack replied that shuttles generally cost around $120,000 to $150,000 annually to operate. Right now, the pilot is planning for three trips in the morning and three in the afternoon.

K. Miller asked how MAPC plans to evaluate the success of the shuttle and encouraged MAPC to consider specific PMs. T. Pollack stated that one of the benefits of working with the TMA is that there is local ownership and buy-in of shuttle services. E. Bourassa added that MAPC stresses the costs and benefits when working with local partners.

Shared Micro-Mobility

K. Hart provided an update on MAPC’s shared micro-mobility initiatives. The Hubway bike share system launched in Boston in 2011, expanding to Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline in 2012. In 2017, Zagster launched systems in Salem, Lexington, and Marlborough. In 2017, dockless bikeshare entered the US market.

MAPC has played a role in coordinating the Hubway system since the beginning. After hearing about significant interest in dockless bike share from inner suburban communities, MAPC wanted to coordinate a regional effort. MAPC has worked to ensure parking and rebalancing standards, promote data sharing and security, ensure equity, and coordinate with non-participating communities. Twelve communities have launched LimeBike dockless bike share with 1,800 pedal bikes and 200 electric-assist bikes on the ground. In total, nearly 300,000 trips have been taken so far with over 50,000 riders and 200,000 miles ridden to date. The first shared electric scooter system in the U.S. launched in March 2018. Many bike share companies are expanding their fleets to include scooters. There are regulatory operational challenges, and MAPC is working with Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville to explore regional permitting and licensing options. Shared mobility has the potential to expand access to bicycling, encourage active modes of transportation, promote mode shift, strengthen first-mile/last-mile connections to transit, provide data to inform future infrastructure investments, encourage reconsideration of how curb space is allocated, and support urban car-free livability.


D. Mohler asked K. Hart to clarify that municipalities with Hubway/BlueBikes do not also have dockless bikeshare. K. Hart replied that this is correct but that dockless bikes do end up in other municipalities. Dockless companies do a daily sweep to gather bikes in other municipalities.

D. Giombetti asked about other municipalities where systems are imminent. K. Hart replied that Framingham has approved a system and that there is interest on the North Shore in expanding the Salem system regionally.

13.Members Items

K. Quackenbush reminded the MPO board that the meeting on February 21, 2019, would take place at Newton City Hall, preceded by a UPWP Committee meeting at 9:00 AM.


A motion to adjourn was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham) (D. Giombetti). 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)

Daniel Amstutz

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

Richard Canale

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Ken Miller

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Samantha Silverberg

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Paul Regan

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Rajitha Purimetla

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Denise Deschamps

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

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


Sara Scully

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Kristen Guichard

Town of Acton

Jamie Errickson

Town of Natick

Thomas Pechillo

BL Companies

Rich Benevento

WorldTech Engineering

Tim Bethke


Bill Conroy

Boston Transportation Department

Bryan Pounds


Steve Olanoff

TRIC Alternate

Staci Rubin

Conservation Law Foundation

Allison Ruel

City of Quincy

AC Fragoso

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tony Lechuga


Frank Tramontozzi

City of Quincy

Len Diggins

MBTA Rider Oversight Committee


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Robin Mannion

Annette Demchur

Róisín Foley

Matt Genova

Betsy Harvey

Sandy Johnston

Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman

Anne McGahan

Scott Peterson

Michelle Scott