Title: Regional Transportation Advisory Council - Description: RTAC Letterhead


Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

October 12, 2022, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–4:15 PM, Zoom

Lenard Diggins, Chair, representing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Rider Oversight Committee

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

L. Diggins called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. Members and guests attending the meeting introduced themselves. (For attendance list, see page 5.)

2.    Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Visioning Workshop—Michelle Scott, MPO staff

M. Scott stated that the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is the long-range plan that provides a vision and goals for the Boston region’s transportation system over the next 25 years and beyond. The LRTP prioritizes major projects and programs to meet the vision and shapes annual MPO decisions about projects and studies to fund. The current LRTP is Destination 2040 and was adopted in 2019. The LRTP is updated every four years. M. Scott gave an overview of the Destination 2050 schedule.

M. Scott gave an overview of the planning framework for the Destination 2050 LRTP. The planning framework is a set of concepts that guides the MPO’s decision-making and can include visions, goals, objectives, metrics, and more. The purpose of the planning framework is to communicate the MPO’s values and priorities, to guide decision-making for spending of MPO discretionary funds on projects and studies, to support MPO review of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MBTA, and regional transit authority projects for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and to support MPO review of work programs.

M. Scott gave an overview of the existing Destination 2040 framework. The vision of Destination 2040 a safe and resilient system that incorporates emerging technologies to provide excellent mobility and varied transportation options and to provide equitable access envisioning an economically vibrant region, and a region that is sustainable, healthy, and livable. Destination 2040 goals include safety, clean air and sustainable communities, system preservation and modernization, transportation equity, capacity management and mobility, and economic vitality. M. Scott explained that inputs to refreshing the current MPO planning framework included MPO member feedback, partner and public input, partner plans and policies, and MPO staff suggestions.

M. Scott presented questions regarding the existing framework and invited discussion from Advisory Council members.


Franny Osman, Town of Acton, stated that the existing planning framework made sense and stated that it is hard to make recommendations for change based on her background. F. Osman suggested that the framework should touch upon changes in technology and that there should be follow up on completed projects to understand how the MPO funds are being used.

L. Diggins suggested giving more time for input on projects that are added at the last minute to the TIP or other MPO documents before their final approval.

Jon Seward, MoveMassachusetts, stated that the LRTP should focus on updating long-range demographic metrics around industry, business, and residential sectors, as well as focusing on the effects of a changing climate and the threats of sea-level rise.

M. Scott stated that the LRTP Needs Assessment inventory is a large part of what is analyzed when deciding how to modify existing LRTP goals and objectives. Currently, MPO staff is looking at changes in safety outcomes, condition of assets, congestion, transit ridership, and several other metrics in the near term. MPO staff is also involved in developing projects looking out to the year 2050. At a previous MPO meeting, the MPO was given a presentation by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council titled First Look at 2050 Demographic Projections and Land Use Scenarios, which is important to the MPO planning process, specifically for updating the LRTP vision, goals, and objectives.

L. Diggins asked J. Seward if 2050 was far enough in the future for planning, or if J. Seward was suggesting the LRTP should plan farther in the future. J. Seward replied that when he plans municipalities, he typically plans 50 to 100 years in advance. Planning today will have effects in 50 to 100 years. The rate of climate change is at a rate never seen before. J. Seward stated that he would like to see MPO funds prioritized towards projects that promote resiliency to ensure projects are competitive in the future.

David Montgomery, Town of Needham, suggested that it would be helpful to educate MPO members and participants on the MPO processes and practices. If the MPO’s goal is to integrate newcomers, the MPO should have opportunities for education.

Jen Rowe, City of Boston, suggested that some of the MPO’s LRTP goals are described using jargon and are hard to explain to the average person. J. Rowe suggested simplifying the framework to make each goal easy to understand.

L. Diggins suggested having metrics to measure the performance of projects across the TIP and the LRTP, with the caveat that different projects have different timings.

M. Scott stated that every year, the performance impacts of TIP projects are highlighted in a specific chapter of the TIP, which could be used to help develop long-term performance metrics.

M. Scott asked Advisory Council members what guiding principles should be considered as the MPO works to refresh the LRTP framework.

L. Diggins suggested that the vision statement could be modified to support transportation planning in the wellbeing of the entire Commonwealth, and that the LRTP should encompass visioning for the entire state, due to the Boston Region MPO’s “hub”-like nature in the state.

John McQueen, WalkBoston, suggested the MPO consider redefining the region’s boarders as the demographics of the region has changed since the boarders had last been decided. M. Scott stated that changing the boundaries of the MPO may not be a short-term solution, but the boundaries of the MPO are an opportunity to make planning connected inter-regionally.

M. Scott asked the Advisory Council members to discuss their visions for the region’s transportation system.

J. Seward suggested that the region needs to come to terms with the recent changes in transportation patterns due to the Pandemic and suggested that the LRTP vision should work to plan for different transportation patterns going forward.

L. Diggins suggested that the MPO as an organization is not very aspirational and suggested that one factor could be due to lack of funding. L. Diggins suggested making transit more equitable by finding ways to incentivize using public transportation and promote the use of shared vehicles.

AnaChristina Fargoso, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, suggested TIP projects could focus on sustainability by being scored higher based on improved sustainability metrics.

D. Montgomery suggested working to create a transportation system that naturally brings support for itself by designing the system to work well for many people.

F. Osman suggested the Advisory Council could reach out to more organizations to improve membership as well as use past MPO projects to describe how the MPO process works and how projects are funded.

3.    Elections: Nominations—Lenard Diggins, Chair

F. Osman stated that she had not received any nominations by email and requested nominations for the positions of Chair and Vice-chair.

A.C. Fargoso nominated F. Osman for the position of Vice-chair, D. Montgomery seconded the nomination.

F. Osman nominated L. Diggins for the position of Chair, A.C. Fargoso seconded the nomination.

4.    Discussion: Bylaw Changes—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins discussed a proposal to amend the Advisory Council bylaws so that the Advisory Council’s elections committee is formed in September, nominations for the election of the Chair and Vice-chair are held in October, and the Chair and Vice-chair elections are held in November.


D. Montgomery stated that nominations for the Chair and Vice-chair positions close after the meeting today, and that the Advisory Council will elect a Chair and Vice-chair at the November meeting of the Advisory Council. D. Montgomery stated his support for revising the bylaws as described.

L. Diggins stated that he wanted to amend the bylaws by the first quarter of 2023 to allow time for development of the necessary language and to understand what is involved in making the changes to the bylaws.

F. Osman stated her support for revising the bylaws and suggested a motion to change the bylaws.

D. Montgomery stated that the Advisory Council should create a proposal before approving a change to the bylaws.

L. Diggins stated that he would create a proposal for the next meeting for the Advisory Council to consider. The Advisory Council will then hold a discussion to decide what to do.

D. Montgomery suggested that the revisions to the bylaws may first have to be reviewed by MassDOT and other agencies before their approval by the Advisory Council.

5.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins stated that at the last MPO meeting, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council presented First Look at 2050 Demographic Projections and Land Use Scenarios. L. Diggins requested the slide deck be added to the MPO calendar page.

Stella Jordan stated that the video of the meeting will be posted online, and the presentation will be available in that format.

L. Diggins stated that at past MPO meetings, the MPO also received a presentation from Sandy Johnston on a Travel Demand Management follow-up study.

6.    Approval of Meeting Minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2022, meeting was made by the Town of Acton (Franny Osman) and seconded by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (AnaChristina Fargoso). The minutes were approved.

A motion to approve the minutes of the June 8, 2022, meeting was made by the Town of Acton (Franny Osman) and seconded by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (AnaChristina Fargoso). The minutes were approved.

A motion to approve the minutes of the July 13, 2022, meeting was made by the Town of Acton (Franny Osman) and seconded by WalkBoston (John McQueen). The minutes were approved.

7.     Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

There was none.

8.    Adjourn 

A motion to adjourn was made by the Town of Acton (Franny Osman) and seconded by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (AnaChristina Fargoso). The motion carried.


Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates


Franny Osman


Jen Rowe


Todd Kirrane


David Montgomery


Owen MacDonald


Citizen Advocacy Groups


American Council of Engineering Companies

Fred Moseley

Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaChristina Fargoso

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins


Jon Seward

National Rural Transit Assistance Program

Scott Zadakis


John McQueen


Agencies (Non-Voting)



Tyler Terrasi

Old Colony Planning Council

Bill McNulty


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Michelle Scott

Srilekha Murthy

Stella Jordan

Ethan Lapointe

Sean Rourke

Meghan O’Connor



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

By Telephone:
857.702.3700 (voice)

For people with hearing or speaking difficulties, connect through the state MassRelay service:

·        Relay Using TTY or Hearing Carry-over: 800.439.2370

·        Relay Using Voice Carry-over: 866.887.6619

·        Relay Using Text to Speech: 866.645.9870

For more information, including numbers for Spanish speakers, visit https://www.mass.gov/massrelay.