MPO Meeting Minutes

Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

May 18, 2023, Meeting

10:00 AM–11:25 AM, Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

David Mohler, Chair, representing Gina Fiandaca, Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 11.

2.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

There was none.

3.    Executive Director’s Report—Tegin Teich, Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS)

T. Teich stated that Sarah Philbrick will join CTPS as the manager of Policy and Planning. T. Teich shared four additional job opportunities.

4.    Public Comments  

Tom Devine, City of Salem Department of Planning and Community Development, stated that the city has a ferry retrofit project included in the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six and offered to answer any questions that may arise.

5.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

Brian Kane, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board, stated that the Administration and Finance Committee met prior to this meeting to begin finalizing the Operations Plan, which will be shared with the board in June.

6.    Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

L. Diggins stated that the May 10, 2023, meeting of the Advisory Council included a discussion of the MPO’s Resilience Program.

7.    Action Item: Approval of April 13, 2023, MPO Meeting Minutes

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    April 13, 2023, Meeting Minutes (pdf)

2.    April 13, 2023, Meeting Minutes (html)


A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of April 13, 2023, was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the MBTA Advisory Board (Brian Kane). The motion carried through roll call vote.

8.    Action Item: FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Four—Ethan Lapointe

E. Lapointe stated that the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Four proposes

·       Programming of a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grant Award for the MetroWest Regional Transportation Authority;

·       two cost increases for Highway projects;

·       MBTA Capital Investment Plan updates; and

·       MBTA Grant Awards

The amendment was released for a 21-day public comment period from April 14 to May 5, 2023. No comments were received at this time.


A motion to endorse the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Four was made by the MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (L. Diggins). The motion carried through roll call vote.

9.    Action Item: FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six—Ethan Lapointe, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six (pdf)

2.    FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six (html)

E. Lapointe stated that the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six proposes the changes found in Tables 1 through 3.

Table 1

FFY 2023 Transit Program

Project Name

Change Type


New Value

MBTA011496: Salem – Retrofit of an Existing Ferry

New Project

This project programs a USDOT Passenger Ferry Grant program grant to retrofit an existing ferry for the City of Salem.


FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. USDOT = United States Department of Transportation.

Table 2

FFY 2023 Regional Target Highway Program

Project Name

Change Type



S12705: Lynn Station Improvements Phase II

Funding Source Adjustment

The funding source for this project has been adjusted based on state guidance. The overall budget for this project remains the same.


S12706: Forest Hills Improvement Project

Funding Source Adjustment

The funding source for this project has been adjusted based on state guidance. The overall budget for this project remains the same.


FFY = Federal Fiscal Year.






Table 3

FFY 2023 Statewide Highway Program

Project Name

Change Type


Former Value

New Value


610919: Lynn– Nahant– Northern Strand Extension

Cost Increase

Explanation forthcoming from MassDOT




S12640: Framingham – High Risk At-Grade Railroad Crossing Countermeasures on Route 126

New Start Year

This project is being accelerated from FFY 2024 into FFY 2023




FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation.


A motion to release the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Six for a 21-day public review period was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the MetroWest Regional Collaborative, City of Framingham (Dennis Giombetti). The motion carried through roll call vote.

10.Action Item FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Seven—Ethan Lapointe, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Seven (pdf)

2.    FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Seven (html)

E. Lapointe stated that the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Seven proposes Ferry Boat Capital allocations for an MBTA Catamaran Overhaul for the FFY 2023 Program. This project uses funding from the FFY 2020 Ferry Boat Program funding, which is being carried forward to FFY 2023 to support the overhaul. The changes must be executed before the MBTA can apply for additional discretionary funding, and before this formula funding expires in FFY 2023. As a result, staff are requesting for the board to vote to waive the 21-day public review period and vote to endorse the amendment.


L. Diggins asked for additional information about the funding from FFY 2020. D. Mohler stated that the funding was made available in FFY 2020 and went unprogrammed. If the funding is not programmed now, it will expire without being used.

B. Kane encouraged board members to support this amendment and spoke about the MBTA’s public review process.


A motion to waive the 21-day public review period and endorse the FFYs 2023–27 TIP Amendment Seven was made by the MBTA Advisory Board (B. Kane) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (L. Diggins). The motion carried through roll call vote.

11. Summary of Needs Assessment Findings—Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff

B. Harvey stated that the Needs Assessment documents the transportation needs of the Boston region, including how people travel, conditions of transportation facilities, interaction of the transportation system with the built and natural environment, and how these could change in the future. The Needs Assessment provides context to support decision-making in the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The Needs Assessment to support the Destination 2050 LRTP is organized by goal area and contains existing needs and travel projections, using 2019 as the base year. It will be released as a series of StoryMaps, which will allow for the inclusion of interactive maps and charts, regular updates, and more accessible access for the public.

In the previous Needs Assessment, Transportation Equity was analyzed as a stand-alone chapter. In the current Needs Assessment, equity is analyzed through the perspective of the different goal areas and most maps and charts contain an equity component.

The Needs Assessment findings can be found in Table 4.



Table 4

Summary of Needs Assessment Findings

Goal Area

Emphasis Area



Facilities and Serious Injuries

Invest in safety interventions in areas with the most vulnerable road users

       Equity populations

       Bicyclists and pedestrians

Invest in preventative countermeasures on roadways that have been identified as high risk before severe crashes happen


Crash Clusters

Invest in interventions in locations with the worst crash clusters

       Crashes are most frequent

       Crashes are most severe

Mobility and Reliability


Improve mobility of buses on high-delay corridors

Increase mode shift from SOVs to public transit and active transportation

Improve bicycle mobility by expanding the bicycle network and Bluebikes

Address congested corridors through strategies such as mode shift, parking demand management, and TOD

Mobility and Reliability

Infrastructure Condition

Upgrade and modernize public transit facilities and rolling stock

Improve state of good repair for transit facilities, especially tracks

Access and Connectivity

Access to Transportation

Continue expanding access to non-SOV transportation, especially for equity populations

       High-frequency transit

       Bicycle network and bikeshare

Access and Connectivity

Access to Destinations

Address disparities in access to destinations for minority and low-income communities


Goal Area

Emphasis Area


Access and Connectivity


Better data on quality and presence of pedestrian facilities

Close gaps in bicycle network, focusing on roads with a high propensity for bicycling

Improve coordination between transit services



Adapt infrastructure to minimize flooding impacts, prioritizing equity areas


Extreme Heat

Adapt infrastructure to withstand extreme heat

Use nature-based solutions to reduce flooding and impacts of heat, focusing in areas with populations sensitive to heat


Regional Coordination

Increase engagement between the MPO and municipalities on climate resilience

Clean Air and Healthy Communities

Single-Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) Emissions

Reduce SOV travel, such as through mode shift, travel demand management, and roadway pricing

Electrify the transportation network, such as by expanding EV charging stations and electrifying the public transit and freight networks

Clean Air and Healthy Communities

Health Impacts

Prioritize air quality improvements in equity communities and in areas that bear a disproportionate burden of air quality impacts

EV = electric vehicle. SOV = single-occupancy vehicle. TOD = transit-oriented development.

B. Harvey stated that the StoryMaps will be released online all at the same time. They will be completed shortly after the LRTP is released for its public review period.


L. Diggins stated that an additional emphasis area for the resiliency goal should be on extreme cold.

L. Diggins asked if different scenarios were explored in development. B. Harvey stated that scenarios relating to the projects in the LRTP were not explored and mentioned that there is interest in exploring scenarios in greater detail in the future.

B. Kane stated that the Needs Assessment should include the following context: the region’s high congestion and the legal requirements that agencies must operate under.

12. Sumner Tunnel Project—John Romano and Michael Drew, MassDOT Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Sumner Tunnel Virtual Public Meeting Information (pdf)

2.    Sumner Tunnel Newsletter Information (pdf)

3.    Sumner Tunnel Newsletter Information (html)

J. Romano stated that the Boston Region MPO contributed $22 million to the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project in FFYs 2022 and 2023. M. Drew stated that the project is a full restoration of the tunnel. JF White in Framingham is the contractor, the projected cost is $135 million plus ancillary expenses, major construction is projected to end on September 1, 2024, and the contract is projected to be completed in December 2024.

M. Drew discussed the project scope and explained how the tunnel’s structure necessitates a full closure to traffic. Weekend closures began in spring 2022. Full closures will occur from July 5, 2023, through August 31, 2023, which will be followed by periodic weekend closures until another full closure in July and August 2024, and weekend closures through October 2024.

M. Drew shared travel options during the shutdown for the ferry, Blue Line, Silver Line, buses, commuter rail, and car travelers. The tunnel construction has been coordinated with adjacent projects to mitigate the total impact of the closure. M. Drew discussed the Mitigation Working Group structure, designed to address any potential impacts of the work.

Efforts to reduce impacts include the following measures:

·       Ambulatory Service with Boston Emergency Medical Services

o   Two additional ambulances during day shift

o   Two additional ambulances during evening shift

o   One additional ambulance during overnight shift

·       MBTA Service

o   East Boston/North End

§  Discounted tolls for the Tobin Bridge and Ted Williams Tunnel (must be in the Resident Discount Program)

§  Free MBTA Ferry service from East Boston to Downtown

§  Free monthly passes for July and August for residents enrolled in the Resident Discount Program

§  Additional parking near Wood Island Station

§  Signal phasing and timing changes

§  Field Monitoring Units

o   North Shore

§  Zone 1A fares for Salem and Swampscott inbound and outbound

§  Salem, Swampscott, Beverley Depot and Rowley Commuter Rail parking lots reduced to $2/day

§  Discounted parking at all Blue Line lots ($2/day)

§  Real Time information

§  Travel Time Dashboard

§  Transit passes

o   Logan Airport

§  Logan Express—25 percent discount and kids younger than 12 years of age are free

§  Real-time data for shuttles from Airport Station to Logan

§  “Skip the Line” Logan for all water transportation users

§  Real-time information on Silver Line shuttles

§  Use of the I-90 Eastbound Emergency Ramp

·       Contract Protections

o   Isolated intersection improvements—Signal phasing and timing changes, turn restrictions, lane utilization/lane changes

o   Disposal of runoff and materials offside

o   Field Monitoring Units—dust, water, noise, pest control, etc.

o   Real-Time Traffic Information

o   Incentives/Disincentives for Design-Build team to ensure compliance with contract timelines

Gary McNaughton, McMahon Associates, discussed MassDOT’s traffic monitoring capabilities and shared the 13 intersections being monitored for traffic impacts. Travel times will be shown on Mass511’s Project Specific Information page. M. Drew summarized public outreach efforts.

Additional information about the closure can be found at https://Mass.Gov/Sumner-Tunnel.


B. Kane spoke of the signage and ornamentation outside of the Sumner Tunnel and encouraged project work to include restoration efforts. M. Drew confirmed that a restoration specialist is working to protect and refurbish the portals of Sumner Tunnel.

L. Diggins spoke of the opportunity to encourage mode shift from increased ridership of the Blue Line while the tunnel is closed.

Sarah Lee, Massachusetts Port Authority, spoke of the impact of the project and encouraged anyone traveling to Logan Airport to avoid personal drop-offs whenever possible.

13. Members’ Items

There were none.

14. Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the MBTA Advisory Board (B. Kane). The motion carried.





and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

John Alessi

At-Large Town (Town of Brookline)

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Matthew Moran

Federal Highway Administration

Kenneth Miller

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

John Bechard

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Ali Kleyman

Massachusetts Port Authority

Sarah Lee

MBTA Advisory Board

Brian Kane

Amira Patterson

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Acton)

Kristen Guichard

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)


North Suburban Planning Council (Town of Burlington)

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Lenard Diggins

South Shore Coalition (Town of Hull)

Chris DiIorio

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)


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

Tom O’Rourke

Steve Olanoff



Other Attendees


Rich Benevento

Sarah Bradbury

MassDOT District 3

Miranda Briseño


Jean Charles


Tom Devine

City of Salem

Michael Drew


Dan Fielding


Amy Getchell


Joy Glynn

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Michelle Ho


Sandy Johnston


Gary McNaughton

McMahon Associates

Ben Muller


Chris Kivior

Chris Klem


Josh Klingenstein


Raissah Kouame


Derek Krevat


Erin Reed

Howard Stein Hudson

Michelle Scott


Derek Shooster


Juan Taveras

Tyler Terrasi


Andrew Wang


Andrew Wiley


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Tegin Teich, Executive Director

Silva Ayvazyan

Logan Casey

Annette Demchur

Hiral Gandhi

Betsy Harvey

Ryan Hicks

Heyne Kim

Ethan Lapointe

Erin Maguire

Marty Milkovits

Rebecca Morgan

Srilekha Murthy

Gina Perille

Bradley Putnam

Judy Taylor

Sam Taylor



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 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