Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways: FFY 2021


addressing safety, mobility, and access on subregional priority roadways: ffy 2021

December 3, 2020

Proposed Motion

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) votes to approve this work program.

Project Identification

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Classification

Boston Region MPO Planning Studies and Technical Analyses

Project Number 13421


Boston Region MPO

Project Supervisors

Principal: Mark Abbott
Manager: Chen-Yuan Wang

Funding Source

MPO Planning Contract #112310

Schedule and Budget

Schedule: Ten months after work commences

Budget: $127,900

Schedule and budget details are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2, respectively.

Relationship to MPO Goals

The Boston Region MPO elected to fund this study with its federally allocated metropolitan planning funds during federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021. The work completed through this study will address the following goal areas established in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): safety, system preservation, capacity management and mobility, clean air and clean communities, transportation equity, and economic vitality.


During outreach for the development of the Boston Region MPO’s UPWP and LRTP, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional groups and other entities submit comments and identify transportation problems and issues that concern the region. Often these issues are related to roadway bottlenecks, safety, or lack of safe or convenient access to abutting properties along roadway corridors. Such issues not only affect mobility and safety along a roadway and its side streets, but also livability, quality of life, economic development, and air quality.

To address these issues, MPO staff administers the Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways study each year to identify and evaluate roadway corridor segments in the MPO region that are of concern, but have not been identified in the LRTP regional needs assessment.1 The roadways selected for study are not necessarily major arterials; they can also include arterial or collector roadways that carry fewer vehicles daily. The studies are meant to emphasize the issues that are identified by relevant subregional groups and offer recommendations for short- and long-term improvements. In addition to safety, mobility, and access, other subjects considered are bicycle and pedestrian transportation, transit feasibility, and truck-related issues.

Roadway corridor segments are selected for study based on criteria that are used to evaluate safety and mobility needs; agency, municipal, and MAPC subregional group input; and the feasibility of implementing study recommendations. A segment selected for study may span multiple municipalities, or it may be restricted to a few intersections in a town center, shopping area, or office park.  

A roadway corridor study is a logical way to address subregional multimodal transportation needs, since it evaluates a roadway corridor segment comprehensively and considers all users, including people who walk, bicycle, drive, and take public transportation, and owners of adjacent properties. A holistic approach is taken to analyze the issues and develop recommendations for improvements within the roadway’s right-of-way. The recommendations are intended to improve transportation facilities and traffic operations, and to increase safety and quality of life for all users. People should be able to walk or bicycle across the street safely on their way to shops, schools, or recreation; buses should be able to run on schedule; and transit riders should be assured safe access to and from transit stations.


This work program has three objectives:

  1. Identify safety, mobility, access, and other transportation-related problems of the study roadway
  2. Develop and evaluate multimodal transportation solutions to address problems, maintain, and modernize roadways, and use the existing roadway more efficiently and increase transportation options for people who walk, bicycle, drive trucks, and take transit
  3. Select a roadway segment to study in FFY 2022 based on prioritization criteria and input from agencies, municipalities, and MAPC subregional groups

Work Description

For this work program, the selection of candidate study corridors was completed in FFY 2020. This was done to allow the MPO staff to complete field data collection before the winter and expedite the study process. MPO staff reviewed over 20 potential corridors in the region and will present the final selection to the MPO. The staff will perform the following tasks in FFY 2021:

Task 1  Establish an Advisory Task Force and Identify Problem Locations

The MPO staff, in conjunction with agencies, municipalities, and subregional groups, will establish an advisory task force to participate in the study. The task force members’ jurisdictions would include areas in which the selected roadway segment is located. The task force would also include representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Office of Transportation Planning, MassDOT Highway Division, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and regional transit authorities (if the segment is in the service area of the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority or Cape Ann Transportation Authority).

These stakeholders will advise the MPO staff about the study area and data sources; help identify transportation-related problems; and help develop multimodal transportation solutions and recommendations. The recommendations from this study will be implemented by either municipalities or the MassDOT Highway Division; therefore, it is important that the recommendations reflect those entities’ experience and MassDOT design standards.

Products of Task 1


Task 2  Collect and Gather Data

Once the issues have been identified on the roadway segment selected for this study, corresponding recent and historical data will be gathered from existing sources, including studies performed by municipalities or proponents of private development projects, and databases maintained by the MPO and MassDOT Highway Division. Staff will also review statewide pedestrian and bicycle plans and municipal resource guides for walkability and bikeability to identify existing databases for planning, evaluating, and designing pedestrian and bicycle facilities.2   In addition, staff will use INRIX/RITIS data to collect roadway speeds and trip origin/destination data.3 Some of the data may need to be collected in the field, such as the following:

Products of Task 2

Task 3  Analyze Data

The analysis performed in this study will be guided by the goals and principles identified in the statewide pedestrian and bicycle plans. MPO staff will perform the following tasks based on analyses conducted in similar past studies and with consideration to providing Complete Streets and connectivity, so that people of all ages and abilities can traverse streets safely:

Products of Task 3

Task 4  Develop and Evaluate Improvement Strategies

Based on the results of consultation with the advisory task force and the analyses described above, staff will develop short- and long-term recommendations that include Complete Streets improvements, geometric and traffic control improvements, pavement rehabilitation, roadway enhancements, and other changes to improve traffic safety and operations. In addition, MPO staff will recommend improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities that provide safe accommodation and connectivity and support goals and principles of the statewide pedestrian and bicycle plans. Additional recommendations will suggest improvements to allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk and bicycle to and from bus stops and train stations. Adaption recommendations for climate change will also be included to ensure that proposed improvements will be viable in the long-term.

Products of Task 4

Task 5  Document Methodology, Findings, and Recommendations

MPO staff will produce a report on the background of the study, agency and municipal input, identification of problems, data collection, analyses, and recommendations. The document will follow the MassDOT Highway Division’s guidelines for preparation of functional design reports as much as possible, taking into consideration the study’s budget. A draft document will be made available for review by municipal officials, members of the subregional groups where the study segment is located, the MassDOT Highway Division and the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning prior to being finalized.

Product of Task 5

Task 6  Select Roadway Segments for Study in FFY 2022

During the review period for the draft report, MPO staff will start the process of selecting roadway locations to study in FFY 2022. Staff will review public comments gathered during the development of the LRTP, UPWP, and from other FFY 2021 outreach activities, and construct an initial list of roadway segments to consider. Subsequently, staff will invite input from the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning and Highway Division District offices, and relevant municipal officials, MAPC subregional representatives, and regional transit authorities. Staff will seek their comments on the candidate roadway segments, and their advice and input regarding data, the selection of study segments, and the identification of major transportation problems associated with those roadways.

MPO staff will develop a ranking system and apply it to the candidate roadway segments to select a roadway corridor for study. The ranking system will use metrics based on the following criteria:

The proposed selection, along with the list of candidate segments, will be presented to the MPO board.

Products of Task 6

Task 7  Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation

After receiving comments on the draft report from municipal officials, MassDOT, and other study advisory groups, MPO staff will address these comments and finalize the study report. The final study report will be presented to the MPO board.

Products of Task 7

1 Destination 2040, the Long-Range Transportation Plan of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, endorsed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization on August 29, 2019. The Plan was reviewed by the MPO’s federal partners and went into effect on October 1, 2019.

2 Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan,  Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan, Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability, and Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability, May 2019.

3 INRIX is a private company that collects roadway travel times and origin-destination data for most roadways that are collectors, arterials, limited-access roadways or freeways. Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) provides INRIX data to MassDOT, which provides access to the Boston Region MPO. The data are archived and provided to transportation planning organizations that use the data to monitor congestion through performance measures.

4 MC-FRM is the Massachusetts Coast Flood Risk Model for analyzing flood risk for coastal communities. FIRM is the Flood Insurance Rate Map for assessing and planning for flood risk. The maps are produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides data, tools, and information to help understand and prepare for climate variability and change.




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)


Exhibit 1
Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways FFY 2021

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Establish an Advisory Task Force and Identify Problem Locations
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 1, Week 4.
Collect and Gather Data
From Month 1, Week 3 to Month 2, Week 4.
Analyze Data
From Month 2, Week 3 to Month 5, Week 4.
Develop and Evaluate Improvement Strategies
From Month 5, Week 3 to Month 8, Week 4.
Document Methodolgy, Findings, and Recommendations
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 10, Week 4.
Select Roadway Segments for Study in FFY 2022
From Month 8, Week 1 to Month 10, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 10, Week 4.
Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation
From Month 10, Week 1 to Month 10, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 10, Week 4.
A: Technical memorandum about selection process
B: Final report

Exhibit 2
Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways FFY 2021

Direct Salary and Overhead


Person-Weeks Direct
M-1 P-5 P-4 P-3 P-1 Total
Establish an Advisory Task Force and Identify Problem Locations
1.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 2.5 $4,152 $4,401 $8,553
Collect and Gather Data
0.2 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.5 $3,426 $3,631 $7,057
Analyze Data
0.3 3.0 1.0 0.8 1.8 6.9 $10,134 $10,742 $20,876
Develop and Evaluate Improvement Strategies
1.0 6.8 0.8 0.4 1.4 10.4 $17,108 $18,135 $35,243
Document Methodolgy, Findings, and Recommendations
3.4 5.6 0.6 0.2 1.0 10.8 $18,201 $19,293 $37,494
Select Roadway Segments for Study in FFY 2022
0.4 2.0 0.2 0.0 1.0 3.6 $5,639 $5,977 $11,616
Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation
0.5 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 1.9 $3,195 $3,386 $6,581
6.8 20.4 2.8 1.4 7.2 38.6 $61,854 $65,566 $127,420

Other Direct Costs



MPO Planning Contract #112310