RTAC Letterhead


Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

June 9, 2021, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–4:15 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. Introductions were skipped. (For attendance list, see page four.)

2.    Discussion with Matthew Raifman—Matthew Raifman, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University

M. Raifman presented findings from his research paper “Active Mobility, Health, and the Transportation Climate Initiative” (TCI) and discussed how health, climate, and transportation are interrelated.

M. Raifman defined “active mobility as any transportation mode that burns calories. He said that active mobility modes such as walking and bicycling are particularly healthful but also entail greater exposure to pollution and higher risk of traffic fatality.

M. Raifman described the TCI as a set of discussions among 13 states aimed at creating a market for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allowances specifically from the transportation sector. The end goal is to reduce transportation sector GHG emissions for the entire northeast and mid-Atlantic region. The TCI would reinvest the proceeds from GHG emissions allowances into sustainable transportation projects, including the following:

·       Personal vehicle fleet electrification

·       Charging infrastructure

·       Transit electrification

·       Public transit capacity

·       Active mobility (walking and cycling infrastructure)

M. Raifman said that their research shows a number of key findings:

·       TCI active mobility investment would result in a net reduction in mortality

·       Monetized benefits exceed direct investment costs for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure

·       Active mobility benefits tend to be larger than air quality impacts

·       Benefits are concentrated in urban counties


Andy Reker, City of Cambridge, and M. Raifman discussed whether the introduction of new bicycling facilities has changed the bikers’ exposure to pollution or risk of traffic fatalities in ways that is not reflected in some older research.

Galen Mook, MassBike, asked whether research shows that increases in the bicycling mode would bring a corresponding decreased risk of traffic fatality—a “safety in numbers” benefit.

John McQueen, WalkBoston, and M. Raifman discussed whether any infrastructure reinvestment from TCI proceeds could be directed to obtaining rights-of-way for biking or pedestrian projects.

AnaCristina Fragoso, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, asked how compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act factored into investment in active mobility infrastructure.

3.    Destination 2040 Needs Assessment Discussion—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins led a discussion of Chapter 8, Transportation Equity Needs, of the Destination 2040 Needs Assessment.


A. Reker and Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff, discussed whether pockets of racial and ethnic populations sometimes get overlooked by counting methods used in Long-Range Transportation Plans.

L. Diggins suggested that a web resource page be created for the Transportation Equity Program.

Chris Porter, MassBike, suggested that quality of bike routes be factored in when calculating accessibility to various services.

4.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins and Matt Archer, MPO Staff, discussed an expected update from the Governor of Massachusetts about requirements for physical versus remote meetings of groups conducting commonwealth business.

L. Diggins and A. Reker discussed the use of two-way left turn lanes in the context of the Route 53 Corridor Study in Norwell.

L. Diggins and A. Reker discussed the recent first meeting of the Transportation Improvement Program Project Costs Ad Hoc Committee.

5.    Approval of Meeting Minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2020, meeting was made by the Town of Needham (David Montgomery) and seconded by the Town of Burlington (John Strauss). The minutes were approved.

6.    Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

C. Porter announced that June 9 is his last meeting as a member of the Advisory Council.

M. Archer announced that Karl Quackenbush, the former Executive Director of CTPS, had passed away in February.

7.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (A.C. Fragoso) and seconded by the Town of Burlington (John Strauss). The motion carried.



Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker

Town of Needham

David Montgomery

Town of Westwood

Steve Olanoff

Town of Burlington

John Strauss


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins

National Rural Transportation Assistance Program

Scott Zadakis

American Council of Engineering Companies

Fred Moseley

Association for Public Transportation

Barry Steinberg

Boston Society of Architects

Schuyler Larrabee

Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaCristina Fragoso


Galen Mook


Chris Porter


Jon Seward


John McQueen


Other Attendees


Sheila Page

Town of Lexington

Matthew Petersen


Laura Wiener

City of Watertown

Todd Kirrane

Town of Brookline

Matthew Raifman

Boston University, School of Public Health

Patrick Kinney

Boston University, School of Public Health


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Matt Archer

Betsy Harvey


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.