MPO Meeting Minutes

Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

July 16, 2020, Meeting

10:00 AM–12:19 PM, Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

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:

·         Approve the minutes of the meeting of June 11, 2020

·         Approve the work plan for the Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study

·         Approve the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)


Meeting Agenda


1.  Introductions

See attendance on page 15.

2.  Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

There was none.

3.  Executive Director’s Report—Tegin Teich, Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

T. Teich stated that MPO staff would hold a focus group for MPO board members concerning TIP criteria revisions. The focus group would discuss options for point allocations under the new criteria. T. Teich also noted that the MPO’s Pilot Transit Working Group would meet on Monday, July 20, 2020, at 2:30 PM. The meeting will feature MBTA service-planning staff and be a forum for coordination between the MBTA and other transit service providers.

4.  Public Comments  

Olivia Nichols (Transit Justice Organizer, Green Roots) expressed Green Roots’ support for the Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study and requested that the study findings be presented to the Chelsea Transportation Task Force and other interested stakeholders. O. Nichols expressed support for the option of a Tobin Bridge southbound and northbound bus-lane pilot program, commencing no later than 2021. O. Nichols stated that the MBTA’s Route 111 bus, which crosses the Tobin Bridge, is notorious in Chelsea for the long wait times riders experience in traffic on the way into Boston. O. Nichols stated that a bus lane would prioritize public transit and serve the large numbers of transit dependent riders in Chelsea. O. Nichols noted that municipalities including Chelsea have already taken steps to implement bus lanes, such as the one on Broadway in Chelsea, but that they cannot achieve success alone. O. Nichols stated that a pilot program on the Tobin Bridge would be a step in the direction toward prioritizing transit dependent riders.

D. Mohler stated that the project would include public outreach meetings in Chelsea and the project team would work with Green Roots to address concerns.

Saritha Ramakrishna (Conservation Law Foundation) expressed support for the Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study. S. Ramakrishna recommended that the study scope include modeling for both the northbound and southbound lanes. S. Ramakrishna advocated for the study to examine lane configurations that include two lanes open for all vehicle use, one lane open only for bus use, and one lane open for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs) or high occupancy tolls that would result in HOVs paying a reduced toll or no toll at all. S. Ramakrishna stated that the outputs for each model run would ideally include bus travel time from the start of the route to the Tobin Bridge crossing, volumes for all roads in GIS format, and average occupancy vehicle rate by lane for each of the three lanes. S. Ramakrishna echoed Green Roots’ comment in requesting that the study findings be presented to the Chelsea Transportation Task Force and other interested stakeholders, as well as for a Tobin Bridge northbound and southbound bus-lane pilot program to commence no later than 2021. S. Ramakrishna stated that a bus lane on the Tobin Bridge would reduce trip times for bus riders and be a significant step towards achieving transit justice for the residents of Chelsea.

5.  Committee Chairs’ Reports—Benjamin Muller, MassDOT, Chair, UPWP Committee

B. Muller reported that the UPWP Committee met prior to this MPO meeting and unanimously voted to recommend that the MPO board approve the draft FFY 2021 UPWP.

6.  Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

L. Diggins reported that the Advisory Council met the previous week and Betsy Harvey, MPO staff, presented on the revisions to the TIP criteria with a focus on equity. L. Diggins stated that there would be another meeting featuring Casey-Marie Claude, MPO staff, presenting the Pedestrian Report Card tool on July 22, 2020, at 2:30 PM. L. Diggins added that the Advisory Council meeting on August 12, 2020, would be an extended meet-and-greet event with current members of the Advisory Council.

7.  Action Item: Approval of June 11, 2020, MPO Meeting Minutes—Ariel Patterson, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of June 11, 2020, was made by the At-Large City of Newton (Daniel Amstutz) and seconded by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa). The motion carried.

8.  Action Item: Work Plan, Tobin Bridge Managed Lanes Feasibility Study—Drashti Joshi, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.    Work Plan: Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study

2.    Presentation: Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study

D. Joshi presented the Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study work plan. In March 2020, MassDOT completed an initial Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Study. MassDOT now wants to further evaluate travel impacts and perform sensitivity testing regarding different configurations of managed lanes. MassDOT requested that Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) provide modeling support for an analysis of various bus and HOV lane treatments for US Route 1, including the Tobin Bridge, and help analyze the potential benefits as part of a continuation of MassDOT’s study. All scenarios will represent the creation of a managed lane on US Route 1 over the Tobin Bridge with different exclusions. The study will take place in two phases. The first will look at the feasibility of a bus-only lane. The second phase will consider several options for HOV, bus, and other lane alternatives. This study is not funded by the MPO. The work plan pertains only to tasks that CTPS will complete. This study is expected to take approximately one year and cost $114,388.


Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) asked about the metrics that would be used to evaluate the managed lane options. D. Mohler replied that MassDOT’s consultant team, Kittelson, would conduct the non-CTPS travel demand model traffic analysis and consider the logistics of instituting a managed lane on the Tobin Bridge. D. Mohler stated that the project team has not yet devised metrics for the second phase of the study.

J. Monty asked whether MassDOT has committed to a pilot. D. Mohler replied that MassDOT has not committed to a pilot. The first round of this study determined that it was worth pursuing more outreach and analysis.

D. Amstutz asked for clarification of the options being considered. D. Mohler stated that the study would look at converting one general-purpose lane in each direction into either a bus-only lane or a bus and HOV lane. The pilot would test a bus-only lane and the ultimate decision about converting to an HOV option would depend on the results of the modeling.

Jim Fitzgerald (City of Boston) (Boston Planning and Development Agency) asked if the study will look at potential travel-time savings and run times for the bus routes. D. Mohler noted that D. Joshi’s slide states that the outcome of the study would be a recommended build alternative including a revised transit service plan.

J. Fitzgerald asked if emergency vehicles or private shuttles would be allowed to use the bus lane. D. Mohler replied that a shuttle would be allowed in the HOV lane, while buses, whether operated by the MBTA, private companies, or regional transit providers, would be allowed to use the bus-only lane. Emergency vehicles are allowed to use any lane necessary.

Brian Kane (MBTA Advisory Board) asked whether the work plan or pilot would consider enforcement models. D. Mohler stated that this is not part of the CTPS scope but is part of Kittelson’s work.

L. Diggins asked about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic might have on the second phase of the study. D. Mohler stated that the work plan would use pre-COVID traffic as a base in the modeling.


A motion to approve the work plan for the Tobin Bridge Managed Lane Feasibility Study was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville) (Tom Bent). The motion carried.

9.  Action Item: FFY 2021 UPWP—Sandy Johnston, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.    FFY 2021 UPWP

2.    FFY 2021 UPWP Public Comments

S. Johnston stated that the draft FFY 2021 UPWP document presented at this meeting included minor updates to budgets, mostly to reflect changes to work that has had to be delayed due to COVID-19. S. Johnston stated that the document incorporates additional changes to correct errors or address public comments. S. Johnston stated that MPO staff received six public comment letters regarding the FFY 2021 UPWP. These letters are available in Appendix B of the UPWP document.

S. Johnston gave a brief summary of each of the six comments. MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning (OTP) provided a number of helpful comments and verified that the draft meets requirements. The Advisory Council encouraged the MPO to keep a strong focus on equity in studies and supported opportunities to comment on study work scopes while in development. The MBTA Rider Oversight Committee expressed enthusiasm about a number of studies and stated that they were impressed by the MPO’s public outreach efforts. The 495/MetroWest Partnership raised a number of concerns about the regional distribution of study work products. The Partnership expressed support for several FFY 2021 tasks and asked the MPO to reconsider a Framingham mobility study that had been removed from the UPWP Universe during the FFY 2021 development process. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) expressed support for analyses related to bus rapid transit in several studies programmed in FFY 2021. Clark Frazier of Hingham requested that the MPO study bottlenecks in the Southeast Expressway and Old Colony commuter rail line corridor, and advocated for additional funding for studies concerning the future travel needs of older residents of the region. All commenters have received a written response from S. Johnston.


B. Kane asked how CTPS prioritizes the work funded in the UPWP versus other work conducted on contract. D. Mohler stated that CTPS prioritizes MPO-funded work with specific deadlines, such as the development of the UPWP or TIP.


A motion to approve the FFY 2021 UPWP was made by the Advisory Council (L. Diggins) and seconded by MAPC (E. Bourassa). The motion carried.


10.   Action Item: FFYs 2020–24 TIP Amendments Five and Six—Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Amendment Five Full

2.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Amendment Five Simplified

3.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Amendment Five Comments

M. Genova stated that TIP Amendment Five was released for a 21-day public review period at the MPO meeting on June 11, 2020. The public review period ended on July 7, 2020, and MPO staff received fifteen public comments.

Amendment Five addresses one project: the mid-life overhaul of MBTA ferry vessels. This project is proposed for programming using Federal Highway Administration Ferry Boat Program funds, though these funds are being flexed to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to carry out the project. For this reason, the project is shown in the highway portion of the TIP, rather than the transit portion. The project’s total cost is just over $1.1 million and is proposed for funding in the current federal fiscal year, FFY 2020.

M. Genova stated that all fifteen public comments were in support of the amendment and came from community members on the South Shore. Collectively, the commenters highlight the importance of the MBTA ferry system in providing transportation options and alleviating congestion for residents and commuters of the South Shore. They advocated for the continued maintenance of the ferry system and noted that this project is crucial in supporting the long-term reliability of this vital resource in the years to come. 


D. Mohler noted that Amendment Six to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP was not on the agenda for this meeting and suggested that the MPO board also take a vote on the approval of Amendment Six.

M. Genova stated that Amendment Six to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP was released for a 21-day public review period on June 25, 2020. .The public comment period ended on July 15, 2020, and no public comments were received. Amendment Six addresses four projects: one highway project and three transit projects all programmed in FFY 2020. To the highway element of the TIP, Amendment Six adds project #610843 (Boston—Milton Bridge Maintenance, B 16 265, B 16 270, and B 16 252, and Related Resurfacing Work). Three MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) projects are proposed for addition to the transit element of the TIP. These projects include the purchase of six Type E and eight Type D compressed natural gas vehicles, as well as funds to study increased evening and weekend service on high-ridership MWRTA bus routes.


A motion to approve Amendment Five to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP was made by the MBTA Advisory Board (B. Kane) and seconded by the North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (Tina Cassidy). The motion carried.

A motion to approve Amendment Six to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP was made by the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham) (Thatcher Kezer III) and seconded by the At-Large Town of Arlington) (D. Amstutz). The motion carried.

11.   Action Item: FFYs 2020–24 TIP Amendment Seven—Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.    FFYs 2020-24 TIP Amendment Seven

M. Genova stated that Amendment Seven to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP includes one project: the awarding of a Mobility for All grant from the FTA to MWRTA. This grant will support MWRTA in exploring a new demand-response accessibility model along with complementary technology. This service will expand access to transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities within the MetroWest region by supporting strategic partnerships with Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility agencies. The FTA Mobility for All grant is for $300,000, with $75,000 in matching funding coming from State Contract Assistance. The project is proposed to be amended into the FFY 2021 element of the TIP.


A motion to release Amendment Seven to the FFYs 2020-24 TIP for a 21-day public review period was made by the Advisory Council (L. Diggins) and seconded by MAPC (E. Bourassa). The motion carried.

12.   Discussion: TIP Project Selection Criteria—Initial Proposed Capacity Management/Mobility Criteria Revisions—Matt Genova and Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.      Proposed Capacity Management/Mobility Criteria Revisions

M. Genova stated that MPO staff has scheduled office hours for MPO board members to discuss TIP criteria revisions on Monday, July 20, 2020, at 1:00 PM. A focus group for board members will be held on July 27, 2020.

M. Genova presented feedback received related to the Capacity Management and Mobility MPO goal area and the initial staff proposal for changes to the TIP criteria. Capacity Management and Mobility is the second largest MPO goal area. This goal area aims to use existing facility capacity more efficiently and increase overall transportation options. The objectives of this goal area can be summarized into four themes:

·         Increasing access to and reliability of all modes, especially for alternatives to single-occupant-vehicle travel

·         Connecting destinations and travel modes by closing network gaps and implementing first- and last-mile solutions

·         Emphasizing low-cost operations improvements over expensive, capacity-adding projects

·         Eliminating freight bottlenecks and enhancing connections

M. Genova highlighted feedback received on this goal area from MPO members and from two key stakeholders: the Regional Transportation Advisory Council and Transportation for America. MPO member survey respondents believe that mobility options are key to promoting an economically vibrant and equitable region. Respondents also believe that expanding the transit system should be a primary goal of the MPO, specifically increasing dedicated bus lanes as a means of promoting equity, reducing emissions, and alleviating congestion. In a focus group in December 2019, MPO members expressed a similar interest in prioritizing transit and non-auto modes, noting that solving congestion through increasing vehicle capacity alone is a not a viable long-term option. Creating new and better connections between non-auto modes also emerged as a critical need to promote mode shift. The Advisory Council indicated that biking can only become a viable option for many people if better connections and safer infrastructure are created and the Advisory Council noted the negative impacts of congestion on quality of life. The Advisory Council highlighted the importance of creating more transportation choices for people by focusing resources on creating facilities that are truly multimodal.

M. Genova stated that the current approach to evaluating projects largely awards points based on specific infrastructure improvements. Through a technical assistance project with Transportation for America, MPO staff explored moving to a system that measures increases in accessibility to jobs and services that result from a project, including the implementation of a tool to measure accessibility. There are outstanding issues concerning this approach that need to be addressed before it could be adopted as a long-term solution for the TIP project evaluations, though MPO staff will continue to investigate this option moving forward.

M. Genova outlined the overall approach staff used to craft recommendations for the criteria addressing the Capacity Management and Mobility goal area. Staff endeavored to

·         incorporate new transit elements, including bus lanes;

·         focus pedestrian and bicycle criteria on creating new high-utility links;

·         move from vehicle-delay to person-delay measures;

·         recognize additional improvements, including loading zones, bike share stations, and additional accessibility structure; and

·         tailor criteria to specific investment programs.

The proposed criteria focus on enhancing transit usability, improving pedestrian and accessibility as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), bicycle networks, and truck movement, and reducing delays for people using the system.

M. Genova proposed that one criterion be removed from the Capacity Management and Mobility goal area: Improving intermodal accommodations and connections to transit. Due to the reorganization of criteria, project features that formerly would be scored under this criterion will be recognized under other criteria.

M. Genova proposed that a new criterion be added in this goal area: Project enhances transit usability. This criterion incorporates the calls in last year’s Long-Range Transportation Plan to encourage dedicated bus infrastructure. This criterion includes points for dedicated bus lanes, queue jumps at intersections, and transit signal priority. The new criterion also allows projects to score points for improving bus stop locations or spacing and implementing bus stop upgrades. This criterion would not be used for scoring Bicycle and Pedestrian projects and would be adjusted for the Transit Modernization Program to recognize transit station parking enhancements. Transit Modernization and Major Infrastructure projects could score points for transit expansion by this criterion.

M. Genova then discussed the criterion Project Improves the Pedestrian Network and ADA Accessibility, which is a revised version of an existing criterion. This criterion would use MAPC’s Local Access tool to award points to projects based on the relative utility of new sidewalks being added through the project area. In this context, utility refers to how useful segments are for connecting pedestrians with schools, shops, restaurants, parks, and transit stations. The updated criterion would also increase the focus on closing gaps in the existing sidewalk network and clarify how points are awarded for ADA improvements. Bicycle and Pedestrian projects would be eligible for more points under this criterion, emphasizing that improving connections for people walking is one of the core elements of these projects. Additionally, Transit Modernization projects would be awarded points through this criterion if they improve transit stations through investments in elevators, ramps, level boarding platforms, and other features that improve accessibility.

M. Genova then highlighted the proposed changes to the criterion Project Improves the Bicycle Network. This criterion awards points to projects that add new bicycle facilities to high-utility links, with higher point values awarded to projects that implement separated or protected facilities. This criterion also increases the focus on closing gaps in the network and awards additional points to projects that make specific accommodations for bike parking or the future inclusion of bike share stations. Bicycle and Pedestrian projects would also be eligible for more points under this criterion, and Transit Modernization projects would be awarded additional points for enhancing bike parking and providing connections to transit stations for people biking.

M. Genova then discussed the criterion Improving Truck Movement, a revised version of an existing criterion that now has a specific focus on improving conditions for trucks on freight corridors. The proposed criterion aims to implement the lessons from last year’s Future of the Curb study, which was conducted by MPO staff, as projects can score points for making accommodations for freight deliveries through dedicated curbside loading zones. This criterion would not be applicable to Bicycle and Pedestrian or Transit Modernization Program projects.

M. Genova then discussed the final criterion for the day: Project reduces person delay. This revised criterion is a combination of two current criteria: one focused on transit vehicle delay and one focused on auto delay. This revision creates a unified criterion that measures anticipated reductions in person delay. The revision to this criterion is an effort to implement feedback that expressed the desire to limit the focus on reducing auto congestion and move towards a holistic measure of mobility that takes into account the movement of people. This new criterion would award additional points to projects that address mobility on specific types of routes, including bus routes that are below on-time performance standards and National Highway System routes designated as unreliable for all modes. This criterion would not apply to Bicycle and Pedestrian projects and would focus on transit passenger delay for Transit Modernization projects.

M. Genova stated that MPO staff’s proposal is to add a multiplier to criteria in each goal area that are designated as “equity criteria.” For Capacity Management and Mobility, staff propose to award additional points to projects for these three criteria based on the concentration of equity populations served by the project:

·         Project enhances transit usability

·         Project improves pedestrian network and ADA accessibility

·         Project improves bicycle network

These needs were identified through public outreach and data analysis as critical to equity populations.

M. Genova then discussed next steps in the TIP revision process. At the MPO meeting on August 6, 2020, the MPO will hear proposed changes to the TIP criteria for the final goal area, Economic Vitality. MPO staff will conduct a second round of public outreach based on the proposed changes, including the release of a survey, and the results of that outreach will be discussed at another upcoming MPO meeting.


D. Amstutz asked how pedestrian crossings are considered as part of the scoring. M. Genova stated that points for pedestrian improvements relating to signals and crosswalks are included in the Safety goal area.

Ken Miller (Federal Highway Administration) asked if there is a limit on the added bonus points a project can receive. M. Genova stated that the base and bonus point totals are still being determined and will be addressed in the coming months.

K. Miller suggested that actual travel time may be a better way to analyze the transit usability criteria and asked how total person delay would be calculated. M. Genova stated that MPO staff would consider these recommendations as they continue to refine the proposed criteria.

David Koses (At-Large City) (City of Newton) asked whether private shuttles would be included under the definition of transit.  M. Genova replied that historically transit refers to fixed-route service provided by regional transit authorities because private services generally do not have publicly available data.

Sheila Page (At-Large Town) (Town of Lexington) asked whether the MAPC Local Access Score tool will be updated as new developments arise and transit routes change. E. Bourassa replied that the tool is kept current and is used by MassDOT for Safe Routes to School planning and by municipalities applying for Complete Streets grants.

13.   Discussion: MassDOT Project #608611 (Randolph—Quincy— Replacement and Rehabilitation of the Highway Lighting System at Interstate 93 and Route 24)—John Bechard, MassDOT

Documents posted to the MPO calendar

1.    Presentation: Randolph-Quincy Highway Lighting I-93/Route 24

J. Bechard presented updates on the design of MassDOT project #608611. J. Bechard stated that Lenny Velichansky and Todd Libengood from TranSystems, MassDOT’s engineering consultants, were in attendance to provide input into the discussion. J. Bechard stated that the MPO board voted to remove this project from the FFYs 2020-24 TIP in response to public comments regarding the project’s design. J. Bechard stated that the goals of the project are to improve roadway lighting conditions, increase driver and maintenance worker safety, improve system reliability, and reduce maintenance costs. J. Bechard detailed crash volumes in the area, stating that the loss of poles due to crashes has worsened lighting conditions and has reduced the safety of motorists and maintenance crews. J. Bechard gave examples of light coverage and measurements in foot candles (FCs), detailing the recommended average roadway illumination from the Illuminating Engineering Society Manual (IES). J. Bechard stated that the project proposes to

·         replace 133 existing cobra-style poles with 11 high-mast towers located outside the clear zone or behind the guardrail;

·         install all new conduit and wiring;

·         replace two existing Lightning Load Centers (LLCs) and transformers;

·         upgrade the housing  for LLCs and transformers; and

·         provide a level of illumination that adheres to current illumination design standards.

J. Bechard stated that high-mast lighting is designed to illuminate the roadway and areas immediately beyond the roadway to provide better visual comfort and peripheral vision by illuminating roadside obstacles and fixed structures, and to provide a greater field of view for the driver. The high-mast towers have the additional benefit of being located behind barriers so as to minimize collisions, reduce maintenance costs, and reduce power consumption. J. Bechard noted that the design proposes 11 high-mast light towers that are each 150 feet tall. There is a ten-fixture ring assembly on each mast. To minimize light trespass, the average roadway illuminance level would be reduced from 1.8 FC to 1.0 FC. The design would include cut-off shields on fixtures facing environmentally sensitive areas and have a light color temperature of 4000K (on the kelvin scale). T. Libengood added that high-mast lights are more uniform and enable a driver to see vehicles stopped alongside the road and animals coming towards the roadway.


S. Page stated that it appears light spills fairly far over on the north side of I-93 and asked how MassDOT decided how far the light spill would be allowed and whether consideration was given to reducing the lighted area. S. Page asked whether MassDOT has conducted outreach to the Appalachian Mountain Club and Friends of the Blue Hills, two advocacy groups that expressed opposition to the project design.

J. Bechard replied that public comments were received from the International Dark Sky Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Sierra Club in April 2020. Responses were returned prior to this meeting discussing items that were addressed as part of the new design.

T. Libengood added that the options for reducing light trespass onto the stream north of the roadway were studied. As a result, MassDOT plans to lower the fixtures and light temperatures. T. Libengood stated that it is important to keep the lighting on the lanes to reduce potential issues during an accident, breakdown, or required service.

L. Velichansky stated that the levels of illumination are reduced closer to the stream.

Kelly Beatty (Massachusetts Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association) stated that he was pleased with the good faith effort on the part of the project team and the fact that some of the recommendations had been adopted. K. Beatty suggested painting the poles black to reduce inadvertent light scatter. K Beatty noted that the IES document states that when designing high-mast lighting systems, it should be determined whether the use of such a system is economically justifiable or whether a conventional lighting system can achieve the established roadway criteria at lower cost and with greater efficiency. K. Beatty asked whether using a standard cobra head with LEDs in this installation would be more energy efficient

T. Libengood stated that the proposed lights are 240 volt LED lights versus the existing 120 volt cobra head lights. This saves wattage and energy. The 133 existing lights use a little more energy than the 11 fixtures proposed because of the different voltage.

Steve Olanoff (Three Rivers Interlocal Council alternate) stated that safety is a concern but so are greenhouse gas reduction goals. T. Libengood replied that the energy efficiency of the high-mast lighting is better than the existing lights. S. Olanoff expressed concern that the energy use was not being decreased.

L. Diggins stated that California does not light intersections like this one at all and wondered if this was a consideration. J. Bechard responded this is not something that has been considered.

K. Beatty asked whether MassDOT explored replacing the existing system with modern LED fixtures. T. Libengood responded that it had not because poles are missing. J. Bechard stated that there have been a significant number of accidents in this area that have damaged the lighting system and he stressed that installing new cobra heads is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth. J. Bechard stated that the intent is to explore improvements to the lighting system that will illuminate the roadway for improved driver awareness and safety. J. Bechard stated that the current lighting infrastructure on the corridor is hit frequently, is a maintenance problem, and is not providing safe illumination.

S. Olanoff suggested that MassDOT convene an informal conversation with commenters to address their concerns. J. Bechard stated that MassDOT has responded to all commenters. MassDOT intends to request that the MPO amend this project back into the TIP at a later meeting. All interested parties will be invited to attend that meeting.

14.       Members’ Items

There were none.

15.       Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville) (T. Bent). 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

Ken Miller         

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent                  

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler       

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano      

John Bechard        

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Samantha  Silverberg        

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore           

MBTA Advisory Board

Brian Kane                 

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa            

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Thatcher Kezer III     

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Acton)

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Darlene Wynne          

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy             

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Lenard Diggins           

South Shore Coalition (Town of Rockland)

Jennifer Constable     

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


Todd Libengood


Lenny Velichansky


Kelly Beatty

MA Chapter- International Dark Sky Association

Steve Olanoff

TRIC Alternate

Olivia Nichols

Saritha Ramakrishna


Conservation Law Foundation


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Tegin Teich, Executive Director

Annette Demchur

Hiral Gandhi

Matt Genova

Sandy Johnston

Drashti Joshi

Anne McGahan

Ariel Patterson

Scott Peterson

Barbara Rutman

Michelle Scott

Kate White



The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.

The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.

A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact

Title VI Specialist
Boston Region MPO
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116
857.702.3700 (voice)
617.570.9193 (TTY)