Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
Unified Planning Work Program Committee Meeting Summary

September 17, 2020, Meeting

9:00 AM–9:30 AM, Zoom videoconferencing platform

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


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee agreed to the following:


Materials for this meeting included the following:

1.    Summary of the August 6, 2020, meeting

2.    Amendment Three to the FFY 2020 UPWP

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

B. Muller introduced the meeting and called the roll.

2.    Public Comments

There were none.

3.    Approval of Meeting Summary of August 6, 2020

Tom Bent (City of Somerville/Inner Core Committee) made a motion to approve the meeting summary. Tom O’Rourke (Neponset River Regional Chamber/Town of Norwood) seconded the motion. The motion passed. Daniel Amstutz (Town of Arlington/At-Large Town) abstained.

4.    Action Item: Approval of Amendment Three to the FFY 2020 UPWP—Sandy Johnston, UPWP Manager

Sandy Johnston recapped Amendment Three. The MPO voted to release this amendment for a 30-day public comment period at the August 6 meeting. No public comments were received. The amendment is fiscally neutral, neither adding to nor subtracting from the overall UPWP budget. Traditionally, staff have presented a number of reallocations between task lines within the UPWP budget to the MPO board at or near the beginning of the fourth quarter of each given fiscal year. Having the flexibly to reallocate funding with the support of the MPO board is a major benefit that allows the MPO staff to complete all of their work at the end of the FFY and to adapt to changing conditions and MPO goals. At this point in the year, staff are working off of UPWP budgets that were prepared as many as 18 months earlier.

Per the Federal Highway Administration’s guidance issued earlier this year, any change of 10 percent or more to a UPWP budget line must now be a formal amendment, rather than an informal adjustment as was done in the past. Thus, this amendment moves some money within the FFY 2020 UPWP (as it reflects the changes made in Amendments One and Two) but is overall net neutral. This year, there are some unique complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic and some unanticipated project challenges. As in other years, staff  also adjust the budget to reflect staffing changes, such as when individuals leave the agency, or staff shortages, such as when someone takes leave. The total amount of money reprogrammed in this amendment is $137,500.

Lenard Diggins (Regional Transportation Advisory Council) asked about the large proportional change to budget line 2720, Traffic Data Support. Mark Abbott (Manager of Traffic Analysis and Design, Central Transportation Planning Staff) responded that there are some special concerns related to the COVID-19 situation, including special requests for data on traffic. L. Diggins also inquired about several other budget line items and discussed the reasoning behind the changes with Annette Demchur (Director of Policy and Planning, Central Transportation Planning Staff).

D. Amstutz asked about MPO staff’s strategies for collecting travel data given the lengthening timeline of the COVID-19 emergency. M. Abbott responded that many data collection efforts had been delayed and that staff expect to resume some counts in October. D. Amstutz also inquired about the relevance of staff shortages to budget line 8120, Long-Range Transportation Plan, and 8820, Performance-Based Planning and Programming. A. Demchur explained that there had been one position open at the beginning of the year, and another relevant staff member had been out on maternity leave.

B. Muller remarked that MassDOT had posted a mobility dashboard showing changes in travel patterns.

T. Bent made a motion to approve the amendment and T. O’Rourke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

5.    Members Items

S. Johnston and Hiral Gandhi (Director of Operations and Finance, Central Transportation Planning Staff) explained to the committee that the Schedule of Operations and quarterly updates for the third quarter of FFY 2020 are now available and will be emailed to members of the committee. Reports for the fourth quarter are expected to be available in October.

6.    Next Meeting

B. Muller mentioned that there are no UPWP Committee meetings scheduled for the fall, but members should notify him or Sandy Johnston if they have anything they would like to discuss.

7.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by L. Diggins. Erika Oliver Jerram (City of Framingham/MetroWest Regional Collaborative) seconded the motion. Without objection, the meeting was adjourned.




and Alternates

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Office of Transportation Planning)

Ben Muller

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Lenard Diggins

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Daniel Amstutz

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

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

Tom O’Rourke

City of Framingham (MetroWest Regional Collaborative)

Erika Oliver Jerram



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Annette Demchur, Director of Policy and Planning

Hiral Gandhi, Director of Operations and Finance

Mark Abbott, Traffic Analysis and Design Group Manager

Jonathan Church, Manager of MPO Activities

Sandy Johnston, UPWP Manager

Kate White, Public Outreach Coordinator

Matt Archer, Transportation Planner



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 http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. 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)