Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

April 14, 2021, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–3:55 PM, Zoom

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

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

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

2.    3C Documents Committee: Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Universe of Proposed Studies—Chris Porter, Chair, 3C Documents Committee

Chris Porter, MassBike, reported on the 3C Documents Committee’s April 13 meeting regarding the Draft 2022 UPWP Universe of Proposed Studies. He said the committee gave overarching consideration to two issues that frame the discussion:

·       How the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic affect the timeliness, accuracy, and relevance of data collection and analyses

·       For studies that require involvement of other agencies, assure their buy-in and avoid redundancy

C. Porter summarized the committee’s discussion of each proposed study. He also indicated which studies from each category have the most support from the committee:

·       Active Transportation: “A-2 Healthy Streets Lookback”

·       Land Use, Environment, and Economy: “L-3 COVID Recovery”

·       Roadway and Multimodal Mobility: “M-4 SWAP Warehousing, Logistics, and Mitigation”

·       Transit: “T-3 Microtransit Tracking and Integration,” “T-7 Paratransit Operations in the Boston MPO Region,” and “T-10 Innovative Transit Financing”

·       Transportation Equity: “E-2 Measuring Inequities in Transportation Impacts in the Boston Region”

·       Resilience: “R-1 CTPS Resilience Program”

C. Porter explained that he would be submitting the Advisory Council’s survey comments to the UPWP Committee prior to its next meeting on May 6.


Laura Wiener, City of Watertown, and Andy Reker, City of Cambridge, spoke in favor of the proposed study “L-1 Trip Generation Follow-Up.” L. Wiener said there is a need for research on the employment density of numerous new life science labs and the traffic impact of those development projects.

A. Reker spoke in support of the proposed study “A-2 Healthy Streets Lookback.” He cited how challenging it has been from a municipal operational perspective to mobilize and manage these measures, which Cambridge calls Shared Streets. A. Reker also spoke in support of the proposed study “E-2 Measuring Inequities in Transportation Impacts in the Boston Region,” which he feels would provide a very useful baseline metric for transportation inequities going forward.

3.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins and Matt Archer, MPO staff, reported on the discussion of the FFYs 2022–26 TIP development and approval of a draft programming scenario at the last Boston Region MPO board meeting. L. Diggins discussed some decisions that came from that meeting:

·       A change in federal funding of the Green Line Extension (GLX) led to some funds getting reallocated to other projects.

·       Columbus Avenue Bus Lanes in Boston will receive continued funding of $14.8 million.

·       No new projects are planned for FFY 2026.

A. Reker asked whether the infrastructure plan that’s been proposed by President Biden would free up more funding for the Boston Region MPO.

Jon Seward, MoveMassachusetts, and L. Diggins discussed whether the MPO was considering accelerating GLX phase 1. J. Seward said that in 2019 the MPO, with the Advisory Council’s support, reallocated $100 million from phase 2 to phase 1 of GLX.

J. Seward and L. Diggins agreed that it is important for the Advisory Council to push for completion of GLX phase 2 in the MPO’s next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

John McQueen, WalkBoston; AnaCristina Fragoso, Boston Society of Civil Engineers; Fred Moseley, American Council of Engineering Companies; and L. Diggins discussed whether the MPO should be more involved in helping municipalities get their projects to the shovel-ready phase. F. Moseley said he has heard that, unlike past stimulus funding, the new Biden-era stimulus would allow for some spending on the design phase of projects. L. Diggins indicated he would try to program an appropriate guest speaker on the subject for an Advisory Council meeting, possibly in June or July.

4.    Approval of Meeting Minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2019, meeting was made and seconded. The minutes were approved.

5.    Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

M. Archer said that the Transportation Improvement Program public review draft will be released on April 27, so the Advisory Council will need to have a meeting of its 3C Documents Committee soon thereafter.

6.    Destination 2040 Needs Assessment—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins led a discussion of Chapter 6, Capacity Management and Mobility Needs, of the Needs Assessment for the current LRTP for the Boston Region.


J. McQueen and L. Diggins discussed inviting speakers to a future Advisory Council meeting to present on the topics of active mobility and climate initiatives. They also discussed the growing awareness that convenient access to safe active transportation modes improves not only physical health but also mental health.

J. McQueen questioned whether travel patterns will be returning to pre-pandemic levels given the increased prevalence of remote work.

A. Reker discussed a few issues regarding Chapter 6 of the Destination 2040 Needs Assessment:

·       Could the plan be implemented in ways that give people in the region more travel mode choices that are both viable and safe?

·       The LRTP should gather data about how various communities or demographic groups have different experiences with the transportation system.

·       The LRTP should use travel time rather than speed as the primary metric for measuring congestion.

7.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by WalkBoston (J. McQueen) and seconded by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (A.C. Fragoso). The motion carried.



Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker

City of Watertown

Laura Wiener


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins

Acton Transportation Advisory Committee

Franny Osman

American Council of Engineering Companies

Fred Moseley

Association for Public Transportation

Barry Steinberg

Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaCristina Fragoso


Galen Mook


Chris Porter


Jon Seward


John McQueen


Other Attendees


J.R. Frey

Town of Hingham


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Matt Archer


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.