Title: Regional Transportation Advisory Council - Description: RTAC Letterhead


Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

April 12, 2023, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–4:15 PM, Zoom

Lenard Diggins, Chair, representing the MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

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 6.)

2.    Public Comments

There were none.

3.     Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2024 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Study Selection—Srilekha Murthy, MPO Staff

S. Murthy introduced the agenda item and stated that the goal of the discussion is for the Advisory Council to develop a list of recommended studies from the FFY 2024 UPWP Universe of Proposed Studies. This list, along with a staff-generated list, will be presented to the UPWP Committee on April 20, 2023, before the committee is asked to make a final decision on which discrete studies to fund in FFY 2024. 


Franny Osman, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, spoke in support of studies T-1, Effective ways to reduce school-related vehicle trips; T-2, Review and Analysis of Community Connections Shuttles; and T-4, which was submitted by Susan Barrett (Town of Lexington) and proposes mapping out the most ideal transportation network in the Boston region.

L. Diggins stated that at a prior UPWP Committee meeting, MPO staff stated that study T-1 could be addressed in the work for the Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program.

John McQueen, WalkMassachusetts, raised a concern about the scope of the studies and spoke of the limited budget in the UPWP.

AnaCristina Fragoso, Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES), spoke in support of study R-3, MPO Support for Transportation Network Electrification, and expressed concern about studying parking in M-1, Lab and Municipal Parking Phase II.

J. McQueen spoke in support of study A-1, Parking in Bike Lanes: Strategies for Safety and Prevention, and suggested expanding the scope to study the impacts of double parking on a street or road. AC Fragoso expressed support for the study.

J. McQueen spoke in support of study T-6, Demographic Change and Transit Propensity in Eastern Massachusetts, and spoke of the study’s importance to understanding the region post-COVID.

F. Osman asked how the Advisory Council’s recommendations are included in the MPO’s decision-making process. S. Murthy stated that the Advisory Council’s recommendations, along with staff’s recommendations, will be shared with the UPWP Committee and they will be asked to decide which studies to fund.

J. McQueen spoke in support of study T-3, Toward Regional Transit Fare and Service Integration. F. Osman advocated for implementation to be included in the scope of the study.

Stella Jordan, MPO staff, spoke about study R-2, Strategies for Environmental Outreach and Engagement, and discussed how it fits with existing work the MPO does.

Logan Casey, MPO staff, spoke about study T-2, Review and Analysis of Community Connections Shuttles, and the Community Connections shuttles at large.

Members of the Regional Transportation Advisory Council decided to rank their top studies in a Qualtrics survey.

4.     FFYs 2024–28 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Final Project Programming Scenario—Ethan Lapointe, MPO Staff

E. Lapointe stated that the FFYs 2024–28 TIP final project programming scenario was approved by the MPO board on March 30, 2023.

E. Lapointe stated that due to insufficient funding, the MBTA’s FFY 2024 Forest Hills and Lynn Station improvement projects were removed from the TIP. Four new MBTA projects are programmed in the FFYs 2024–28 TIP

The MPO board voted to approve Scenario 5, Performance, with modifications, and include it in the draft FFYs 2024–28 TIP. New projects in Scenario 5 are as follows:

·       New Programmed Community Connections Projects

o   MetroWest Regional Transit Authority—CatchConnect MicroTransit Shuttle Expansion Phase II

o   Lynn—Broad Street Corridor Transit Signal Priority

o   Medford—Bluebikes Expansion

o   Medford—Bicycle Parking Tier 1

o   Canton—Canton Center Bicycle Racks

o   Canton—Canton Public Schools Bike Program

o   Acton—Parking Management System

·       FFY 2024

o   MBTA Projects

§  Deprogram Forest Hills project due to insufficient funding

§  Jackson Square Station Accessibility for $21 million

·       $11 million in FFY 2024 and $10 million in FFY 2025

§  Rail Transformation—Early Action Items at Wilbur Interlocking and Reading Stations for $11.2 million

§  Columbus Avenue Bus Lane Phase II for $9.4 million

o   Community Connections

§  MWRTA MicroTransit Expansion Phase II

§  Acton Parking Management System for $15,000

§  Electric Bike Procurement for the City of Boston and the City of Cambridge for $1.02 million and $352,575 respectively

·       FFY 2025

o   BikeShare State of Good Repair (FFYs 2025–28)

§  $1 million per fiscal year from FFY 2025 to 2026, and $2 million per fiscal year from FFY 2027 to 2028

o   Project Design Support Pilot for $4 million

o   Project #609532—Chelsea—Targeted Safety Improvements and Related Work on Broadway, from Williams Street to City Hall Avenue

·       FFY 2026

o   Project #612989—Boston—Bridge Preservation, B-16-066 (38D), Cambridge Street over MBTA

·       FFY 2027

o   Project #613088—Malden—Spot Pond Brook Greenway

o   Everett—Targeted Multimodal and Safety Improvements on Route 16

o   Boston—Bridge Replacement B-16-365–Storrow Drive over Bowker Ramps

§  $15 million MPO contribution in FFY 2027 only

o   Rebalance of Advance Construction for Project #607981—Somerville—McGrath Boulevard Construction

§  Adds $15 million to FFY 2027, reduces by $10 million in FFY 2029 and $5 million in FFY 2030

o   Advance Construction for Project #606226—Boston—Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue, from City Square to Sullivan Square

§  $8.6 million in FFY 2027, $33.5 million in FFY 2028

§  Funding will continue into FFY 2032

·       FFY 2028

o   Project #610691—Natick—Cochituate Rail Trail Extension (MBTA Station to Mechanic Street) Natick Center Connection

o   Project #613145—Wakefield— “Envision Wakefield” Comprehensive Downtown Transportation Improvement Project

o   Project #608158—Westwood/Norwood—Reconstruction of Canton Street (East Street Rotary to University Drive)

E. Lapointe stated that the scenario is subject to change due to ongoing MPO board discussion and project cost changes.


L. Diggins asked what the estimated cost of the deprogrammed MBTA Forest Hills project is. E. Lapointe stated that the project is estimated to cost between $80 million and $90 million. The MPO’s reserved funds for FFYs 2024 and 2025 was approximately $60 million, meaning the MPO did not have the funds to fully fund the project.

AC Fragoso asked why the Peabody—Multi-Use Path Construction of Independence Greenway at I-95 and Route 1 project budget was updated from $6 million to $15 million. E.  Lapointe stated that the project reached its 25 percent design milestone, where the need for additional culverts was indicated.

5.    Approval of Meeting Minutes


S. Jordan stated that previously the Advisory Council requested that staff work though the backlog of older Advisory Council meeting minutes, and staff has brought five sets of minutes to the Advisory Council for approval.

Advisory Council members discussed rationale for voting to approve, disapprove, or abstain on meeting minutes.


A motion to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2023, January 11, 2023, January 12, 2022, December 8, 2021, and November 10, 2021, meetings was made by the Acton Transportation Advisory Council (F. Osman) and seconded by the BSCES (AC Fragoso). The motion failed.


A motion to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2023, meeting was made by the Acton Transportation Advisory Council (F. Osman) and seconded by the BSCES (AC Fragoso). The motion carried.

6.     Destination 2050 Investment Priorities Activity—Stella Jordan, MPO Staff

S. Jordan asked members to participate in a Destination 2050 Investment Properties activity. The results will be shared with the MPO Board at the April 13, 2023, meeting to help inform decisions on investment priorities within the Long-Range Transportation Plan.

Investment Priorities Activity Results

Transportation System Improvements

Percent of 100 “Tokens” Allocated

Major transit infrastructure


Community shuttles


Bus improvements


Transit improvements


Major road infrastructure


Bicycle and pedestrian improvements



7.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, MBTA ROC

There was none.

8.    Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

There was none.

9.    Adjourn 

A motion to adjourn was made by the BSCES (AC Fragoso) and seconded by the MBTA Advisory Board (Amira Patterson). The motion carried.



Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

Town of Needham

David Montgomery

Town of Weymouth

Owen MacDonald


Citizen Advocacy Groups


League of Women Voters of Massachusetts

Franny Osman

Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaCristina Fragoso

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins


Jon Seward

Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce

Scott Zadakis


John McQueen


Agencies (Non-Voting)



Derek Krevat

MassDOT Highway Division

Ben Muller

MBTA Advisory Board

Amira Patterson


Other Attendees


Mary DeCourcey

Mount Auburn Health

Andrew Jennings

Town of Billerica

Scott Peterson



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Tegin Teich, Executive Director

Logan Casey

Stella Jordan

Ethan Lapointe

Erin Maguire

Srilekha Murthy

Sean Rourke


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.

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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:
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