Work Program

Intersection IMprovement Program

April 29, 2021

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 13305


Boston Region MPO

Project Supervisors

Principal: Mark Abbott
Manager: Casey Claude

Funding Source

MPO Planning Contract 112310

Schedule and Budget

Schedule: Six months after work commences

Budget: $75,000

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: safety, system preservation, capacity management and mobility, clean air and clean communities, transportation equity, economic vitality.


In 2014, the Boston Region MPO participated in an intersection improvement program with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division to provide low-cost, small scale, and quickly implementable improvements, including signal retiming, signing, and pavement markings. The program was funded in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality dollars. The primary goal of the program was to identify low-cost improvements that would help alleviate congestion at problem intersections. These types of improvements, known as transportation system management or management and operations, enjoy a high benefit-to-cost ratio. Through the Congestion Management Process (CMP), MPO staff selected candidate intersections and contacted the relevant municipalities. A consulting firm then visited 35 intersections around the region, implemented signal timing improvements, and proposed other low-cost improvement recommendations that municipalities could implement.

The Intersection Improvement Program for this FFY will primarily select a set of municipality-owned intersections based on CMP performance metrics, bicycle and pedestrian travel metrics, equity considerations while consulting with representatives from the respective communities to validate the poor operations and safety issues at the selected locations. Staff will then study the selected intersections, develop recommendations for low-cost improvements, and present the safety and traffic operation recommendations to the relevant municipality. The municipalities can use the recommendations to develop an implementation plan that the municipality would be responsible for funding.


The primary objectives of this study are to

Work Description

Task 1  Inventory and Selection of Candidate Locations

This task will compile a list of intersection locations throughout the Boston Region MPO that experience poor traffic operations and high crash rates where low-cost improvements could suitably correct the intersection problems. Identified locations that are not selected for this current iteration of the Intersection Improvement Program will serve as a database of locations with study potential for future projects. MPO staff will generate this list of intersections by

The intersections selected for consideration will be based on criteria in the following categories:

Locations that would potentially require major geometry redesigns, such as grade separation or adding travel or turn lanes on an arterial roadway, will not be selected.

Finally, staff will discuss level of interest with municipal officials in following up with implementation of the study recommendations. This input will be in addition to the input solicited from municipalities during the process of selecting candidate locations. Staff will then select as many intersections as budget allows for detailed study.

Products of Task 1

A database of intersection locations with study potential for future projects; a summary of the selection process, including a table listing selected locations

Task 2  Collect and Gather Data

Once the locations have been selected, staff will collect detailed data pertaining to each location. This will involve visiting each site and creating an inventory of all relevant geometric, land use, and signal features. Data will include:


Products of Task 2

A summary of count, signal, and geometric data for the selected locations

Task 3  Evaluate Selected Locations

Staff will evaluate each intersection using various types of analysis. First, the crash data for each intersection will be analyzed regarding crash type, severity, and whether bicycles or pedestrians were involved in the crashes. Second, capacity analysis will be performed to determine the operational level of service at each intersection. Particular attention will be given to evaluating existing pedestrian signal phases (if any) or the need for them. Third, field observations will be performed to yield a complete understanding of safety levels and the operations of vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians at each location. In addition to the analysis on safety and operations, this evaluation will be based on goals and principals of the statewide pedestrian and bicycle plans, and guidelines from the municipal resource guides for walkability and bikeability. 12 3 4              

Products of Task 3

A summary of each selected intersection’s frequency and type of crashes, its operational level of service, and an overall assessment of the location’s safety and traffic flow

Task 4  Develop Improvement Recommendations

Based on the evaluation performed in Task 3, staff will develop potential low-cost, short-term improvement recommendations. The recommendations will include improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit service. The recommendations will primarily involve signal timing improvements, signing, and pavement marking modifications. Staff will contact municipal officials in each of the communities involved to discuss the intersection summaries, receive input on the analyses and findings, and discuss potential recommendations.

Products of Task 4

A summary of potential recommendations discussed with municipal officials

Task 5  Document Findings and Recommendations

Staff will produce technical memoranda for each of the municipalities involved in the study describing the analysis and recommendations for the intersection locations in that municipality.

Products of Task 5

Draft technical memoranda for each municipality involved in the study, including documentation of correspondence with municipal officials

Task 6  Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation 

After receiving comments on the draft memoranda from municipal officials, MPO staff will address these comments and finalize the study. The final study results will be presented to the MPO.

Products of Task 6

Final technical memoranda and MPO presentation

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)


1 Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan, MassDOT, May 2019.

2 Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan, MassDOT, May 2019.

3 Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability, MassDOT, May 2019.

4 Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability, MassDOT, May 2019.

Exhibit 1
Intersection Improvement Program

1 2 3 4 5 6
Inventory and Selection of Candidate Locations
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 2, Week 2.
Delivered by Month 2, Week 2.
Collect and Gather Data
From Month 2, Week 3 to Month 4, Week 2.
Evaluate Selected Locations
From Month 3, Week 1 to Month 4, Week 4.
Develop Improvement Recommendations
From Month 3, Week 2 to Month 5, Week 2.
Delivered by Month 5, Week 2.
Document Findings and Recommendations
From Month 4, Week 1 to Month 6, Week 1.
Delivered by Month 6, Week 1.
Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation
From Month 6, Week 1 to Month 6, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 6, Week 4.
A: List of Suggested Intersection Study Locations
B: Improvement Recommendations
C: Draft Technical Memos
D: Final Project Deliverables

Exhibit 2
Intersection Improvement Program

Direct Salary and Overhead


Person-Weeks Direct
M-1 P-5 P-4 P-3 P-2 Total
Inventory and Selection of Candidate Locations
0.1 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 6.2 $7,995 $8,475 $16,470
Collect and Gather Data
0.1 1.0 1.0 1.9 0.0 4.0 $5,725 $6,068 $11,793
Evaluate Selected Locations
0.1 1.0 1.0 1.9 0.0 4.0 $5,725 $6,068 $11,793
Develop Improvement Recommendations
0.1 1.0 1.0 1.9 0.0 4.0 $5,725 $6,068 $11,793
Document Findings and Recommendations
0.5 0.8 0.0 2.0 0.0 3.3 $4,679 $4,960 $9,638
Finalize Study and Prepare for MPO Presentation
1.7 0.0 0.5 1.8 0.5 4.5 $6,417 $6,802 $13,220
2.8 4.8 4.5 11.5 2.5 26.1 $36,265 $38,441 $74,707

Other Direct Costs



MPO Planning Contract #112310