Memorandum for the Record

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

March 30, 2023, Meeting

1:15 PM–2:15 PM, Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

Derek Krevat, Chair, representing Gina Fiandaca, Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer of the 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.    March 16, 2023, meeting summary (pdf) (html)

2.    Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2024 Universe of Proposed Studies (pdf) (html)

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

See page 5 for attendance.

2.    Public Comments

There were none.

3.    Meeting Summary of March 16, 2023—Approval of this summary

A motion to approve the summary was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Council (Amira Patterson). The motion carried.


4.    Agenda Item: FFY 2024 Universe of Proposed Studies—Srilekha Murthy, MPO Staff

S. Murthy asked for committee members to discuss the merits of each of the studies in the FFY 2024 UPWP Universe of Proposed Studies. S. Murthy noted that following this meeting, a ranking survey will be sent to committee members, the results of which will be discussed at the next meeting.


E. Bourassa raised an issue brought up at the March 30, 2023, MPO Board Meeting, that the MPO should develop a stronger pipeline of projects. Annette Demchur, MPO Staff, responded that overall, the MPO’s budget for FFY 2024 provides higher budgets for ongoing program work, including the Multimodal Mobility Infrastructure program. E. Bourassa suggested that staff follow up with the Federal Highway Administration.

Sandy Johnston, MBTA, asked how staff are prioritizing work within ongoing programs. D. Krevat responded that he will follow up offline and will discuss potential avenues for staff to connect with the committee on their work.

Study, A-1: Parking in Bike Lane: Strategies for Safety and Prevention. Casey Cooper, MPO Staff, outlined this study as a potential pilot of different approaches to reduce parking in bike lanes, resulting in a white paper report, which would include techniques for addressing this issue drawn from case studies around the United States and the world.

Lenard Diggins, Regional Transportation Advisory Council, asked approximately how much this study would cost. C. Cooper responded that this study could be scaled down to fit a lower budget, with next steps such as liaising with municipalities rolled into the Bicycle/Pedestrian Support Program in future years.

Tom Bent, Inner Core Committee/City of Somerville, stated that he ranked this study relatively low. Somerville is currently dealing with this problem and there is a lack of public education as to what new rules and traffic patterns mean to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

C. Cooper discussed A-2: Separated Bike/Pedestrian paths. The MPO will be establishing a Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee, which will look at projects that cannot necessarily be funded through the existing Bicycle/Pedestrian Program or through the discrete studies program. This study would likely be one of those projects, and how it gets funding would be up to the committee.

D. Krevat shared that this study would aid in building up a pipeline of projects, as it is region specific. This study would offer opportunities to understand connections with public transit, housing and land use questions, and coordination with MassDOT and the Department of Recreation.

Study A-3: Pedestrian Safety Inventory offers a safety lens to understanding pedestrian conditions around the region. S. Murthy stated that this topic, as well as other safety-related work, would likely be put on pause as staff begin work on the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant project.

Study L-1: Opportunities for the MPO to Support Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) would take steps to developing the MPO’s policy on TOD. S. Murthy stated that this study is timely due to the recent passing of the MBTA Communities law to have at least one zoning district that permits multifamily housing in proximity to MBTA service.

Claire Ricker, Town of Arlington, stated that the Town is working to implement the MBTA Communities law and supports study L-1. E. Bourassa responded that the MAPC is working with municipalities to find strategies for the new housing units from the MBTA Communities law to generate fewer automobile trips and employ multimodal strategies.

A. Patterson spoke in support of study L-1 and encouraged the study to focus on policy development.

E. Bourassa discussed how study L-1 intersects with the MAPC’s land use work.

Study M-1: Lab and Municipal Parking Phase II proposes a continuation of the FFY 2023 UPWP Lab and Municipal Parking discrete study. Phase II will focus on data collection.

T. Bent stated that additional research on parking requirements could be used to encourage developers to reduce facility parking minimums.

Study M-2: Exploring Roadway Pricing: Engagement with Local Stakeholders is a continuation of the FFY 2023 UPWP Exploring Roadway Pricing discrete study and will focus on engagement and consensus building. Rebecca Morgan, MPO Staff, stated that the proposed engagement in this study will focus on local stakeholders addressing common concerns with roadway pricing, with a strong focus on equity concerns.

Study T-1: Effective Ways to Reduce School-Related Vehicle Trips explores mechanisms to provide funding for congestion and traffic issues around schools. D. Krevat stated that MassDOT has a Safe Routes to School program and discussed potential funding programs that can be researched.

L. Diggins stated his support for the T-1 study. S. Johnston stated that study T-1 is also related to land use issues.

Steve Olanoff, Three Rivers Interlocal Council, asked how the T-1 study can be integrated with on-demand shuttle services.

A. Patterson stated that study T-4 proposed the creation of a regional transportation plan to identify gaps in the network and noted that study T-1 can be an extension of T-4.

T. Bent stated that there will be different findings in the T-1 study for Inner Core and more suburban municipalities.

L. Diggins asked for study T-25 to be removed from consideration and to replace it with study T-3: Carsharing Overview and Opportunities in the Boston Region.

5.    Members Items

There were none.

6.    Next Meeting

April 20, 2023

7.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by the Inner Core Committee (T. Bent) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (L. Diggins). The motion carried.




and Alternates

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Office of Transportation Planning)

Derek Krevat

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Lenard Diggins

At-Large City (City of Newton)

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Claire Ricker

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

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

Tom O’Rourke

Three Rivers Interlocal Council alternate (Town of Westwood)

Steve Olanoff

City of Framingham (Metrowest Regional Collaborative)



Other Attendees


Sandy Johnston

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Miranda Briseño


Amira Patterson

MBTA Advisory Board

Juan Huicochea Mason



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Silva Ayvazyan

Paul Christner

Casey Cooper

Annette Demchur

Hiral Gandhi

Betsy Harvey

Stella Jordan

Ethan Lapointe

Erin Maguire

Rose McCarron

Marty Milkovits

Rebecca Morgan

Srilekha Murthy

Sean Rourke


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