Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

March 28, 2019 Meeting

10:00 AM–12:10 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 15.

2.    Public Comments  

State Senator John Keenan (Norfolk and Plymouth District), Timothy Gordon (Town Administrator, Town of Holbrook), Chris Pellitteri (Superintendent of Public Works, Town of Holbrook), and Tony Lionetta (BETA Engineering Group) advocated for TIP project #606501 (Reconstruction of Union Street [Route 139], from Linfield Street to Centre Street/Water Street in Holbrook). This project is currently programmed with MPO regional target funds in FFY 2021, but is recommended to move to FFY 2022. Senator Keenan stated that 100 percent design plans would be submitted within the next two to three months and work has begun on securing right-of-way (ROW) and appraisals. Senator Keenan stressed that this project modernizes a dangerous corridor that connects the center of Holbrook to commuter rail. Senator Keenan asked that the MPO keep this project programmed in FFY 2021. T. Gordon stated that this project is the top infrastructure priority for the Town of Holbrook, which will improve drainage, American with Disabilities Act accessibility, and pedestrian safety. A project fact sheet was submitted to the MPO, which is posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

Keith Bergman (Former Town Administrator, Town of Littleton) advocated for two TIP projects in Littleton. Project #608443 (Intersection Improvements on Route 2A at Willow Road in Littleton and Ayer) is a MassDOT prioritized project currently programmed in FFY 2023 with MPO regional target funding. The programming scenarios presented at this meeting show that this project could move into FFY 2021. K. Bergman thanked MassDOT for taking on this project, which he stated would address a congested and unsafe corridor. Project #609054 (Reconstruction of Foster Street in Littleton) is recommended for programming with MPO regional target funds in FFY 2024. K. Bergman stated that this project would address Complete Streets needs near the Littleton commuter rail station. Upgrades to the pedestrian environment would complement recent improvements to the Fitchburg Line, which serves the Littleton commuter rail station, as well as housing development in Littleton.

Jim Kupfer (Planner, Town of Bellingham) advocated for TIP project #608887 (Reconstruction of South Main Street [Route 126]—Douglas Drive to Mechanic Street [Route 140] in Bellingham). This project is currently programmed with MPO regional target funds in FFY 2023. The programming scenarios presented at this meeting show that this project could move into FFY 2022. J. Kupfer reported that the project is ahead of schedule and stressed Bellingham’s support for moving the project ahead. The Bellingham Board of Selectmen also submitted a written comment letter, which is posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

Jeffrey Hull (Town Manager, Town of Wilmington), Paul Alunni (Town Engineer, Town of Wilmington) and Valerie Gingrich (Director of Planning, Town of Wilmington), advocated for two TIP projects in Wilmington. Project #608051 (Reconstruction of Route 38 [Main Street], from Route 62 to the Woburn City Line) and project #609253 (Intersection Improvements at Lowell Street [Route 129] and Woburn Street) are both recommended for programming in FFY 2024 with MPO target funds. Project #609253 also has the possibility of being programmed in FFY 2023. J. Hull stated that both projects will address crucial safety, accessibility, and operational concerns. J. Hull stated that project #609253 is fully funded through 100 percent design, and Wilmington expects to be ready for construction in FFY 2021. J. Hull stated that project #608051 is funded through the 25 percent design phase and will transition to MassDOT control through final design. The 25 percent design plans are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, with the project anticipated to be ready for construction in FFY 2022. J. Hull noted the support of the Wilmington Board of Selectmen and thanked the MPO for its support of both projects.

Len Simon (Board of Selectmen, Town of Sudbury) and Beth Suedmeyer (Environmental Planner, Town of Sudbury) advocated for and thanked the MPO for its support of project #608164 (Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Phase 2D in Sudbury) and project #607249 (Intersection Improvements at Route 20 and Landham Road in Sudbury). Project #608164 is currently programmed with MPO target funding in FFY 2022. Project #607249 was programmed with statewide highway funding in FFY 2019 and has already been advertised for construction. L. Simon noted that the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a regional project, connecting Lowell and Framingham through completed phases in Chelmsford, Westford, Carlisle, Acton, and Concord. B. Suedmeyer stated that this project is on schedule for advertisement in FFY 2022 and thanked the MPO for its support.

Jim Johnson (Town Administrator, Town of Walpole), Tino Capobianco (Office of State Senator Paul R. Feeney), and Bill Buckley (Office of State Representative John H. Rogers) advocated for TIP project #602261 (Reconstruction on Route 1A [Main Street] in Walpole). This is a MassDOT-prioritized project that is currently programmed with MPO regional target funding in FFY 2020. J. Johnson stated that 100 percent design plans are now complete and asked that the MPO keep this project programmed in FFY 2020. T. Capobianco noted that the main concern with this project is safety, and submitted a letter of support from the Walpole state legislative delegation, which is posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

Yolanda Greaves (Board of Selectmen, Town of Ashland), Paul Milewski (Green International Affiliates), and Sara Hines (Pond Street Working Group, Town of Ashland) advocated for two TIP projects in Ashland, #604123 (Reconstruction on Route 126 [Pond Street] and #608436 (Rehabilitation and Rail Crossing Improvements on Cherry Street). Project #604123 is currently programmed in FFY 2020 with MPO target funds but has been identified as high risk for being unable to advertise in that year. MassDOT is the proponent for this project. Project #608436 is recommended for programming with MPO target funds in FFY 2024. Y. Greaves stated that project #604123 has the full support of Ashland and Ashland’s State Senator, Karen Spilka. Y. Greaves stated that Ashland is committed to working with MassDOT to keep this project on track for FFY 2020. P. Milewski stated that project #604123 is on track for the submittal of 100 percent design plans in May 2019. P. Milewski stated that MassDOT ROW has indicated they will approve the ROW plans shortly. S. Hines stated that the corridor is unsafe and keeping the improvements on time are important for economic development in Ashland and the region.

Rich Benevento (WorldTech Engineering) advocated for TIP project #607652 (Reconstruction of Ferry Street in Everett). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2020 but has been listed as at risk for moving into a later year of the TIP. R. Benevento stated that the 75 percent design plans are anticipated to be submitted this summer. Everett has been working with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on incorporating bus priority improvements into the project design. R. Benevento stated that the critical issue for this project is ROW, with 313 necessary easements, 16 of which are permanent. Four of the 16 are for properties owned by the city, and none affects residences or private businesses. R. Benevento stated that Gregory St. Louis, Director of Engineering and Public Works in Everett, was formerly director of Public Works in Beverly where he dealt with a similarly sized project. R. Benevento stressed that this experienced staff gives Everett confidence that the ROW process is under control.

Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) and R. Benevento advocated for project #609257 (Rehabilitation of Beacham Street, from Route 99 to Chelsea City Line). This project is recommended for programming with MPO regional target funds in FFY 2024. J. Monty expressed the full support of the city for this project, which would improve a major access corridor to Boston Harbor. J. Monty stated that this is a crucial corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing from Somerville and Cambridge to Everett, which the project will accommodate with a shared use path. J. Monty noted several comment letters in support of this project that were submitted by the LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclist’s Union, Mystic River Watershed Association, and other advocacy groups. These letters are posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

Jamie Errickson (Director of Community and Economic Development, Town of Natick) advocated for project #605034 (Reconstruction of Route 27 [North Main Street] in Natick) and project #605313 (Bridge Replacement, Route 27 [North Main Street] over Route 9 [Worcester Street] and Interchange Improvements in Natick). Project #605034 is currently programmed in FFY 2019 with MPO target funds, with advertisement planned for August. The project has increased in cost by approximately $6.5 million. Project #605313 is a MassDOT-owned facility that is programmed in an outer year of the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). J. Errickson reiterated Natick’s support for both projects.

Roger Fernandes (Town Engineer, Town of Hingham) advocated for project #605168 (Intersection Improvements at Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary in Hingham). This project is recommended for programming in FFY 2024 with MPO target funds. R. Fernandes stated that 25 percent design plans were submitted in March 2019.

Eric Johnson (City Engineer, City of Framingham) advocated for project #608228 (Reconstruction of Union Avenue in Framingham). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2021 with MPO target funds and has been recommended by MassDOT to move to FFY 2022 because of ROW concerns. E. Johnson stated that Framingham has dedicated staff for accomplishing ROW tasks and has a proven track record for remaining on schedule. MassDOT was concerned about ROW takings for this project that would require legislative approval under Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution. E. Johnson stated that Framingham has looked at the project design and decided to remove the section that would require Article 97 approval, which should solve this problem. E. Johnson stated that Framingham Director of Public Works submitted a comment letter explaining this development. This letter is posted to the MPO meeting calendar. E. Johnson stated that Framingham has invested approximately $19 million in improvements on the corridor to date in advance of the TIP-funded portion of the project.

Brendan Callahan (Assistant Director of Planning, City of Peabody) advocated for project #609211 (Independence Greenway Extension in Peabody). This project is recommended for programming with MPO regional target funds in FFY 2024. B. Callahan stated that this is an important project for the City of Peabody and the region, which will connect with Essex County’s regional bikeway network, and move towards connecting the existing Independence Greenway to Downtown Peabody. B. Callahan stated that Peabody expects to submit 25 percent design plans by September 2019.

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

D. Mohler provided an update on the proposed process for hiring a new Executive Director for MPO staff. D. Mohler distributed a memo detailing the proposed process, and noted that the goal is to post the job by the end of March. Paul Regan (MBTA Advisory Board), Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council [MAPC]), Marc Draisen (MAPC), and D. Mohler collaborated to design this process. MPO board members Tegin Teich (Regional Transportation Advisory Council) and Denise Deschamps (North Shore Task Force) (City of Beverly) have agreed to participate. The process will consist of an initial interview committee that will recommend two to three finalists, who will then be interviewed by the final selection committee. There will also be a staff committee that will solicit staff input and provide feedback to the interview and selection committees.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports—Bryan Pounds, MassDOT, Chair, Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee

B. Pounds stated that the UPWP Committee would meet immediately following the MPO to discuss the Universe of Potential Studies for inclusion in the FFY 2020 UPWP.

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

T. Teich reported that the Advisory Council would meet on April 10, 2019, at 3:00 PM to discuss the ongoing development of the TIP, UPWP, and LRTP.

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Scott Peterson, Co-Interim Executive Director, MPO Staff

S. Peterson reminded the Board that the next MPO meeting would be April 11, 2019.

7.    Approval of March 7, 2019, Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 7, 2019, was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway) (Glenn Trindade). The motion carried.

8.    LRTP Update—Anne McGahan, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    MPO Target Funds Available for Destination 2040 Projects and Programs

2.    Presentation: Destination 2040 Finances

Note: This item and agenda item 9 were switched.

A. McGahan reviewed the development schedule for Destination 2040, the MPO’s next LRTP, as well as highway finances projected to be available for the plan. A. McGahan presented a summary of possible programs to address regional transportation needs to the MPO in November 2018. A. McGahan presented a draft list of projects eligible for inclusion in Destination 2040 in December 2018. These two lists are called the Universe of Programs and the Universe of Projects. Eligible projects are those costing more than $20 million and/or adding capacity to the transportation system. Staff has provided project descriptions to MassDOT and municipalities to get a sense of state and local commitments. Staff will provide this information to the board, and project proponents who wish to present to the MPO will do so in April. A survey soliciting feedback on the content of the Universe of Programs and the Universe of Projects will be available online until mid-April. Staff is currently compiling information on the proposed programs and project types—specifically dedicated bus lanes and transit modernization. This information will be brought to the board in April.

In Charting Progress to 2040, the baseline for MPO target funds was the FFYs 2016–20 TIP. A 1.5 percent increase in funding was assumed to project out to 2040. For Destination 2040, the baseline is the FFYs 2020–24 TIP. A 2.2 percent increase in funding was assumed to project out to 2040. This means there is more funding available during the lifetime of Destination 2040, an increase of approximately $491 million. In Charting Progress, the MPO established investment programs and set goals for the funding it would like to program for each program. At that time, the MPO established that it would program no more than 50 percent of the available funding to Major Infrastructure projects. The goal was to program 29 percent for Complete Streets, 14 percent for Intersection Improvements, 5 percent for Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections, and 2 percent for Community Transportation/Parking and Clean Air and Mobility. The handout posted to the MPO meeting calendar includes information about what program sizes would be if those percentages were applied to the expected funding for Destination 2040. Staff will bring additional information in April when the MPO continues its discussions of investment programs and major infrastructure projects.


Daniel Amstutz (At-Large Town) (Town of Arlington) asked how staff determined projected funding. B. Pounds replied that MassDOT and Federal Highway Administration worked together to determine the average funding in the last four years of the current federal transportation legislation, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and project that out to 2040.

9.    FFYs 2020–24 TIP: Continued Discussion of Draft Programming—Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Programming Recommendations: Scenarios 1 and 2, Revised Post Meeting

2.    Programming Scenario Summary

3.    Programming Update and Supporting Information for Projects under Consideration

4.    MassDOT Project Programming: Changes from FFYs 2019–23 TIP, Revised Post Meeting

5.    FFY 2019, FFY 2020–24 MBTA Federal Capital Program (Federal Share Only)

6.    FFY 2019, FFY 2020–24 MBTA Federal Capital Program Project List and Descriptions

7.    Distribution of Regional Target Funding, Revised Post Meeting

8.    Final Programming Recommendation, Revised Post Meeting

9.    All Written Public Comments Received RE: FFYs 2020–24 TIP Development as of 3/21/19

10. Written Public Comments Received Following March 21, 2019, FFYs 2020–24 TIP Development

D. Mohler stated that at the meeting on March 21, 2019, MassDOT agreed to return with a proposal for FFYs 2020–24 TIP programming, and the results are the two programming scenarios presented at this meeting. D. Mohler stated that these scenarios represent a range of possible programming given readiness and cost considerations.

D. Mohler stated that MassDOT and the City of Boston have agreed to program project #606226 (Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue in Boston) in FFY 2022. Scenario 1 includes all the readiness determinations made by MassDOT and allocates the $33.4 million surplus in FFY 2021 left by the removal of Rutherford Avenue to a new program, tentatively called MBTA Modernization. This project would flex MPO target highway funds to the MBTA for transit projects. D. Mohler stated that MassDOT Highway Division does not yet have a list of additional highway projects that could be ready for programming in FFY 2021, and the MBTA is a member of the MPO, so this program has tentatively been proposed to use the funding available.

Scenario 2 includes all the readiness determinations made by MassDOT and moves project #602077 (Reconstruction on Route 129 [Lynnfield Street] in Lynn) from FFY 2020 to FFY 2021. This leaves a surplus of $15.1 million in FFY 2021. In scenario 1, Rutherford Avenue reconstruction is in FFY 2022 for $13.8 million. In scenario 2, it is in FFY 2022 for $32.8 million. This is because Rutherford Avenue reconstruction is using all available funding remaining in FFY 2022.

T. Teich asked whether it might be possible to change the amount programmed for Rutherford Avenue reconstruction in FFY 2022 and allocate funding to an additional year of MBTA Modernization, with approximately $15.1 million in each year. D. Mohler stated that there is currently no actual cash flow projection for Rutherford, because of the project being pre-25 percent design. To a certain extent, D. Mohler acknowledged that the cash flows for this project have been manipulated to accommodate other programming. D. Mohler added that the MPO could decide to add another year of MBTA Modernization, but given that the MPO has agreed to fund Rutherford Avenue reconstruction for $152 million, the more that can be programmed to this project in a shorter period of time the easier it is to program other projects in outer years of the TIP.

At the request of Tom Bent (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville), D. Mohler clarified that changes to the Green Line Extension cash flows to accommodate cost increases will have no effect on project delivery.

John Bechard (MassDOT Highway Division) reviewed the status of each project that MassDOT had initially recommended for moving into a later year of the TIP, or indicated as at risk of doing so in the future, because of ROW or other readiness concerns. MassDOT’s recommendations for the FFYs 2020–24 TIP are essentially those in scenario 2, with the exception that MassDOT believes it would be wise to delay project #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Avenue and Related Work in Hull) by one year, moving it from FFY 2021 to 2022.

D. Mohler stated that if the MPO wants to move project #601607 into FFY 2022 without creating a ripple effect that would impact projects throughout the later years of the TIP, the MPO will have to reduce the first year of funding for project #606226 (Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue in Boston). This does not reduce the full cost of this project, only moving this allocation to a later year, likely FFY 2025.

Steve Olanoff (Three Rivers Interlocal Council [Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce] Alternate) asked that the MPO restore funding for the Community Transportation program in FFY 2022. During development of the FFYs 2019–23 TIP, funding was split between FFY 2021 and FFY 2023 to accommodate other projects. D. Mohler stated that MassDOT is not opposed to this but it is not part of its recommendation.

M. Genova reviewed the new projects that MPO staff has recommended for programming in FFY 2024. These are the same as those presented at the meeting on March 21, 2019, with the addition of project #608045 (Rehabilitation on Route 16, from Route 109 to Beaver Street in Milford). M. Genova noted that, pending the changes discussed so far, the MPO would have approximately $48 million left to fund for Rutherford Avenue in the last two years of the five years of funding the MPO is committed to.

Samantha Silverberg (MBTA) reviewed the two handouts listing the MBTA’s Federal Capital Program for FFY 2019 and FFYs 2020–24. S. Silverberg stressed that this list is preliminary and has not been approved by the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) or the MassDOT Board and stated that, in all likelihood, the final list, which will be amended into the TIP following the approval of the Capital Investment Program, will be different. In the context of a possible MBTA Modernization program, this list represents option one. S. Silverberg stated that some of these projects will be ready to expend funds in FFY 2021. If the MPO decided that a project on this list aligned with its goals, it could potentially be moved from the MBTA’s Federal Capital Program to the MPO’s target-funded TIP list. The MBTA would then choose another project from its universe of projects to include in its Federal Capital Program. Because these projects have already been identified as good candidates for federal funding, and many have already been vetted by the MPO board and other bodies, it would be easy to pair MPO funding with other funding sources depending on the amount available.

Another option would be MPO support for implementation of the MBTA’s Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure (PATI). S. Silverberg stated that Laura Brelsford, Assistant General Manager for System-Wide Accessibility (SWA), could attend the MPO meeting on April 11, 2019, to provide an update on PATI. S. Silverberg stated that MPO support for PATI would make sense given the MPO’s equity goals and the regional impact of the plan. S. Silverberg noted specifically that there are 20 new and 14 replacement elevators that the MBTA believes could be ready for construction in the FFY 2021 timeframe. These elevators are located at Davis, Sullivan, Wellington, North Station, Chinatown, State, Broadway, Jackson, Massachusetts Avenue, and Arlington MBTA stations. These are all in the Inner Core but are spread out geographically. S. Silverberg stated that work on the Downtown Crossing connection is also in the pipeline.

Another option would be support for modernization of the MBTA’s bus fleet, which includes replacement of the Silver Line and the oldest diesel buses with a mix of hybrid and battery electric buses. Sustainability is a goal of the MPO, and buses serve many of the MPO’s 97 member communities.

S. Silverberg stated that the MBTA could consider other options at the MPO’s discretion, as long as they come from the “Next Priorities” list of the MBTA’s long-range plan, Focus40, and are feasible to execute in FFY 2021.

S. Silverberg stated that she would take ideas and suggestions from members and return on April 11, 2019, with a more fulsome set of options.

P. Regan advocated for flexing MPO target funding to the MBTA, noting that the MBTA serves the entire region, and projects such as modernizing the Silver Line fleet are important because of the ongoing and planned expansion of the Silver Line into Chelsea and Everett. P. Regan added that he had no issue with supporting accessibility projects given that many of the complaints that the MBTA and MBTA Advisory Board hears are about accessibility issues. P. Regan stated that if the MPO does not actively support the largest transit provider in the region, it will ultimately fail to reach its goals for managing congestion. P. Regan stated that it is fine for the MPO to choose which projects to support, but added that the MBTA has made a commitment to spend $8 billion in five years and wants to expand its capital spending to make a difference sooner rather than later.

E. Bourassa asked whether there are certain types of projects that are easier to accomplish, given that the MPO money available is only in FFY 2021 and the MBTA sometimes struggles to spend available money.

S. Silverberg stated that the best bet is to identify projects that are already moving and use MPO funding to fill a gap or substitute for another funding source. All types of projects have execution issues, and it might be better to pick projects that are already well on their way through the design process. S. Silverberg stated that she could certainly support this with material related to project schedules. Generally speaking, S. Silverberg stated that vehicle procurements are easier than projects that require environmental permitting or ROW takings.

D. Amstutz asked whether this flexing could be used to supplement funding for a larger project or only to fund discrete projects entirely. S. Silverberg replied that it would be up to the discretion of the MPO. If the MPO wanted to fund a program that provides smaller allocations to a wide range of projects, it could do so, or it could put as much money as possible towards one project.

D. Mohler advised that the MPO invest wisely and ensure that its funding is additive. The MBTA identified a certain amount of projects it can fund, but those will obviously not meet all the needs of the system, and the MPO should find ways to fund, for instance, more elevators than originally planned, or some other need that is not currently being met by the planned capital program. The MPO should think about what its priorities are given the money available. The MBTA does a good job of prioritizing its needs and the MPO should work to add to what is possible. D. Mohler noted that it is also still possible that some to-be-identified highway project could emerge that could use the funding.

J. Monty expressed full support for the MPO flexing its funds to transit but added that it is important for the MPO to have input on the projects that are being presented as options and know which specific projects it is supporting. If the program is to proceed and provide funding in future years, it will be important for members to feel that they understand the prioritization process and have input on the projects being advanced.

S. Silverberg replied that she is happy to meet with any MPO members of committees that want to better understand the MBTA’s project prioritization process, noting that the MBTA uses the same Project Selection Advisory Council standards as MassDOT.

D. Mohler reminded the MPO that while the MBTA is happy to use the MPO’s funds, the FMCB sets its priorities.

P. Regan replied that, notwithstanding, these are the MPO’s funds and S. Silverberg has brought these projects for consideration prior to the FMCB.

D. Mohler assented but stated that there are limits to what the MPO can do even with supporting information supplied by S. Silverberg.

T. Teich thanked S. Silverberg for the project information in advance, stating that it is important for the MPO to have this information when making these decisions. T. Teich noted that it has been a strong interest of the Advisory Council to talk about how to further support transit in the region. T. Teich added that while the opportunity for this program has arisen given the gap in FFY 2021, it would be positive to regularize the process and create a program that can proceed in a clear way. T. Teich added that it would be helpful to have preliminary timelines for projects as discussions continue.

D. Mohler stated that the expectation is that by the time the MPO actually adopts the FFY 2020–24 TIP, the MBTA’s Federal Capital Program list should be more or less decided.

S. Silverberg asked whether there are specific projects that the MPO is really interested in funding that her staff could then research and create a proposal.

D. Amstutz asked what the overall MBTA spending is for the years of the TIP. S. Silverberg replied that the MBTA’s Capital Plan is $8 billion. D. Amstutz asked what the MBTA plans to spend on Operations in that time. P. Regan replied that the operations budget is closer to $9 billion.

J. Monty stated that it would be meaningful for the MPO to support bus improvements, given the recent work that municipalities such as Everett have done on bus lanes.

A. Clausen asked about one of the projects listed on the MBTA’s Federal Capital Program list, “Locomotive Overhaul,” and S. Silverberg explained that it is to replace all the single level commuter rail vehicles with bi-level vehicles. D. Mohler added that this means it is almost exclusively for lines served by North Station. A. Clausen asked whether that would be near-term project, but S. Silverberg said that that project would not likely be ready to spend funds in FFY 2021.

D. Amstutz seconded support for bus improvements and accessibility projects.

P. Regan noted that there are numerous near-term projects for improvements to heavy rail and asked, from the MBTA’s perspective, the best way to allocate funds, in other words to make a blanket investment or to target it towards specific projects. S. Silverberg stated that she would prefer the funds go to projects that are ready to proceed in the timeframe.

D. Mohler encouraged the MPO not to over-subscribe the list of potential projects.

S. Silverberg stated that this is why she noted accessibility, because this is a large need that is not fully funded.

T. Teich noted that climate change preparedness is also an MPO goal that tends to be postponed, and asked about the Charlestown Bus Seawall Rehab. S. Silverberg replied that the MBTA could not accept MPO funds for that project because it is fully funded by a Sandy Recovery Act grant.

J. Romano stated that given the money available, the elevator program seems to make more sense, because vehicle procurement is generally much more expensive, and asked if S. Silverberg could explain how far the MPO’s funding could go in different projects. S. Silverberg replied that, in her opinion, the elevator program is the project where the funding has the most incremental additive impact, and stated that she would bring more information on this.

T. Bent advocated for funding accessibility improvements, noting that this is particularly an issue on the Green Line and citing recent controversy around the design for Union Square Station.

J. Bechard stated that he has directed his staff to look at highway projects that might be able to capture some of the available funding in FFY 2021.

A. Clausen asked that MassDOT consider moving project #608348 (Rehabilitation of Bridge Street in Beverly) into FFY 2021 to capture some of this funding. This project is currently programmed in FFY 2023.


A motion to adopt scenario 2 with the following changes was made by South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway) (G. Trindade) and seconded by the MassDOT Highway Division (J. Romano).

·         Move project #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Avenue and Related Work in Hull) to FFY 2022, thereby increasing the amount allocated to MBTA Modernization in FFY 2021. Program project #608045 (Rehabilitation on Route 16, from Route 109 to Beaver Street in Milford) in FFY 2024.

A motion to amend the prior motion to include the following changes was made by the Advisory Council (T. Teich) and seconded by MAPC (E. Bourassa).

·         Move funding allocated to the Community Transportation Program in FFY 2023 into FFY 2022, thereby reducing the allocation to project #606226 (Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue in Boston) in FFY 2022.

The motions carried.

10.Members Items

D. Mohler announced that he would be out on medical leave in April and May and Steve Woelfel (MassDOT) would chair the MPO in his absence.


A motion to adjourn was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway) (G. Trindade). 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)

Sheila Page

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Amy Sullivan

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

John Bechard

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Samantha Silverberg

Massachusetts Port Authority

MBTA Advisory Board

Paul Regan

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Thatcher Kezer III

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

David Manugian

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Aaron Clausen

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)

Glenn Trindade

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

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Timothy Gordon

Town of Holbrook

Chris Pellitteri

Town of Holbrook

Tony Lionetta

BETA Group

Keith Bergman

Town of Littleton/MAPC

Jim Kupfer

Town of Bellingham

Jeffrey Hull

Town of Wilmington

Valerie Gingrich

Town of Wilmington

Paul Alunni

Town of Wilmington

Len Simon

Sudbury Board of Selectmen

Sarah Bradbury

MassDOT Highway District 3

Jim Johnson

Town of Walpole

Yolanda Greaves

Ashland Board of Selectmen

State Senator John Keenan

State Senator, Holbrook

Bryan Pounds


Rich Benevento

World Tech Engineering

Jamie Errickson

Town of Natick

Roger Fernandes

Town of Hingham

Eric Johnson

City of Framingham

Paul Milewski

Green International Affiliates

Greg Thompson


Steve Olanoff

TRIC Alternate

Tino Capobianco

Office of State Senator Paul R. Feeney

Bill Buckley

Office of State Representative John H. Rogers

Sara Hines

Town of Ashland

Sara Scully


Beth Suedmeyer

Town of Sudbury

Brendan Callahan

City of Peabody

Kristiana Lachiusa



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Scott Peterson, Co-Interim Executive Director

Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director

Mark Abbott

Róisín Foley

Hiral Gandhi

Matt Genova

Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman

Anne McGahan