Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

March 30, 2017 Meeting

10:00 AM – 1:05 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2&3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

Steve Woelfel and David Mohler, Chairs, representing Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization agreed to the following:

·         approve the minutes of the meeting of March 2, 2017

·         approve Amendment One to the Public Participation Plan with the change that the 21-day public comment period will apply for the duration of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 and the MPO will revisit the issue in Fall 2017

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 16.

2.    Public Comments  

Setti Warren (Mayor, City of Newton), Nicole Freedman (Director of Transportation, City of Newton), Deb Crossley (Councilor At-Large, City of Newton, Ward 5), and Matt Borrelli (Chair, Needham Board of Selectmen) expressed support for Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project #606635 (Reconstruction of Highland Ave., Needham St., and Charles River bridge). This project is currently programmed in FFY (Federal Fiscal Year) 2018 but MassDOT has indicated it will not be ready for advertising for construction until FFY 2019. [Projects cannot be programmed in a year prior to the construction advertisement date.] Mayor Warren underlined the desire of both Newton and Needham that the project stay in FFY 2018 and be completed in the original timespan, adding that a substantial housing development underway on Needham Street may be impacted by any delay. N. Freedman noted that there is a proposal to update bike facilities in the project design, stating that both municipalities feel the cost and time increase associated with any changes are not safe for the corridor. N. Freedman added that there are other designs that would not impact the right of way or the project timeframe. She asked that the MPO keep the project on time and on budget. D. Crossley agreed that the corridor can be improved without design changes that would increase the timeline or expense, adding that delaying the project would be disruptive to Newton’s economic development plans. M. Borrelli expressed his gratitude to the MPO for programming project #606635 and disappointment in the proposed delay. M. Borrelli stated that both communities oppose any delay related to redesign. The corridor is critical to the economic development strategy of both communities and the current design of the project is satisfactory.

State Representative Joan Meschino (3rd Plymouth, Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset) and Phil Lemnios (Town Manager, Hull) spoke in support of TIP project #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Ave. and related work). Rep. Meschino stated that the project is fundamental to economic development in Hull and the surrounding towns, highlighting the unique location of the project adjacent to the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) Nantasket Beach Reservation, which receives over 400,000 visitors every year. The corridor is one of only three ways into Hull making it a critical connector with Cohasset and Hingham. The Town of Hull, which has a relatively small budget of $33 million, has invested a significant amount to bring the project to its current 75% design status, square away work related to utilities, and invest $3 million of town and state money in the reconstruction of the sea wall that runs along the corridor. This project has been in the TIP universe of projects since 1995 and its completion would have a dramatic impact on the economic revitalization of Hull and surrounding areas. P. Lemnios added that adjacent to the roadway is Straits Pond, one of the state’s 27 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. The roadway design considers this designation and meets Complete Streets criteria. Hull has one of the highest shares of low and moderate income housing on the South Shore. P. Lemnios asked that the MPO consider that the town has been hosting citizens from all over Massachusetts for years which points to the project as a regional roadway that serves residents and visitors.

Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) noted to members that the project has advanced to 75% design without any committed construction funds (TIP programming).

J. Meschino added that utilities have also been taken care of, including investing in new water and sewer pipes for the roadway.

Dennis Crowley (South West Advisory Planning Committee) (Town of Medway) asked for the cost of the engineering that the town has spent, and whether the town was responsible for the easements and right of way acquisition. P. Lemnios replied that the design costs have been approximately $250 thousand, and the town did not have to do any land takings. Local residents were willing to comply with any easements that are necessary.

Sean Roche (Bike and Pedestrian Advocate) seconded earlier commenters regarding project #606635 (Reconstruction of Highland Ave., Needham St., and Charles River bridge). S. Roche stated that the current design is adequate and that no bike and pedestrian advocates desire that new designs should cause a delay in the project, adding that it is not clear that a new design is, in fact, the reason for the proposed delay. He urged better coordination and communication between municipalities, advocates, and MassDOT related to project updates and asked that the exact reasoning behind the delay be clarified.

Jim Johnson (Town Administrator, Walpole) and Liz Dennehy (Community Development Director, Town of Walpole) spoke on behalf of currently programmed TIP project #602261 (Reconstruction on Route 1A (Main St.)) This project has been in the TIP Universe of Projects since 1997. MassDOT is the project proponent. J. Johnson and L. Dennehy advocated that the project be kept programmed in 2020. Route 1A is a major thoroughfare in Walpole serving as an access point for businesses throughout the area.  

D. Crowley asked when it was expected that the project be at 100% design. L. Dennehy replied that they expected this to happen no earlier than 2019.

Mel Kleckner (Town Administrator, Brookline), spoke in support of project # 605110 (Intersection and signal improvements at Route 9 and Village Square (Gateway East)). During last year’s TIP development the project was delayed due to a redesign of bike accommodations. This year, MassDOT is proposing to move the project from FFY 2018 to FFY 2019. M. Kleckner asked that the project stay programmed in FFY 2018. The project is critical to revitalizing the gateway into Boston via the Longwood Medical Area, where currently there are eight lanes of traffic. The project would reconfigure where Route 9 intersects with Washington Street. In advance of this, Brookline has removed the deteriorated pedestrian bridge over the corridor. In partnership with DCR, the town has installed a new bicycle and pedestrian crossing linking to the Emerald Necklace. Children’s Hospital has broken ground on a new medical office and mixed use project at Brookline Place, and Claremont Company has finalized plans for a new hotel in the area. M. Kleckner stated that proponents are concerned that moving the project to FFY 2019 could jeopardize private investment in the area.

Catherine Anderson (Office of State Senator Cynthia Creem) added that the project was important to the town of Brookline and urged the MPO to keep it on track.

David Koses (At-Large City) (City of Newton) asked about the delay from last year’s process and what redesign agreement was reached. M. Kleckner replied that the town committed to an additional public process to improve the bike accommodations in the plan.

Karen Adelman (MetroWest Regional Collaborative, an MAPC subregional group) pointed to a comment letter that was submitted by MWRC and assured the MPO that the letter is a true expression of regional support for projects. MWRC met twice throughout last year, including with MPO staff and representatives, to come to a consensus regarding subregional priorities for transportation investments. She added that MWRC is very interested in putting money into connecting the gaps in the bike and pedestrian paths throughout the region.

Beth Suedmeyer (Environmental Planner, Town of Sudbury), spoke on behalf of project #608164 (Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Phase 2D) and project #607249 (Intersection improvements at Route 20 and Landham Road). The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) extends from Lowell and potentially to Framingham. The Rail Trail provides opportunities for healthy transportation and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The BFRT offers Safe Routes to School for three local schools. The terminus of the BFRT is the junction with the proposed Mass Central Rail Trail. This creates an opportunity for a commuter option. The town has invested a significant amount of funds for design and feasibility study. Additionally, B. Suedmeyer remarked that Route 20 and Landham Road is a significant safety concern, with 170 crashes over 10 years. B. Suedmeyer stressed the need to move forward with this project.

Matt Shuman (Watertown Public Works) spoke in support of project # 607777 (Rehabilitation of Mount Auburn St. (Route 16)). Route 16 connects Watertown and Cambridge. Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown High School, Hosmer Elementary, and the Coolidge Square business district are served by the corridor. Bus Route 71 is an MBTA key bus route with ridership in the top 15 throughout the system. Coolidge square is a high crash location, and there is a lack of ADA accommodations. There are no bicycle accommodations and poor visibility throughout the corridor. The town is advancing a Complete Streets design that would reduce the roadway to two lanes, widen sidewalks, add curb extensions, and institute transit signal priority. The town is working in partnership with MassDOT, the MBTA, DCR and Cambridge partners and plans to submit the project formally later this year.

Tom Ambrosio (City Manager, Chelsea) and Alex Train (City of Chelsea) advocated on behalf of project #608078 (Reconstruction of Broadway, from City Hall to the Revere City Line). Broadway is a heavily utilized roadway connecting Chelsea to Revere and is the route of some of the MBTA’s most heavily utilized bus routes. The 25% design will be submitted to MassDOT imminently. The most compelling issues for the roadway are safety concerns, including poor signalization and inadequate sidewalk facilities. There was a pedestrian fatality in 2010. T. Ambrosio added that the cost included in the TIP informational handout was not accurate and that the cost estimate for the project is around $10 million.

3.    Chair’s Report—Steve Woelfel, MassDOT

There was none.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports— Bryan Pounds, MassDOT

B. Pounds stated that the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) committee met on March 16 to rank proposed studies for programming in FFY 2018. They will meet on April 20 to finalize the list and release their recommendation for the MPO to consider on May 4 [when the MPO is scheduled to release a draft UPWP].

5.    Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Tegin Bennett, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

There was none.

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director, MPO Staff

K. Quackenbush announced that the Performance Dashboard previously presented to the board is now live on the MPO website.

7.    Approval of Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 2 was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (T. Bennett). The motion carried.

8.    Action Item: Public Participation Plan, Amendment One— Karl Quackenbush, MPO Executive Director

K. Quackenbush reintroduced Amendment One to the MPO’s Public Participation Plan, proposed by MassDOT. The Amendment changes the language of the Plan document to shorten the public review period for all three major certification documents—the TIP, UPWP, and Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)—to 21 days [the current practice is 30 days].

Materials: Posted to the MPO Meeting Calendar

1.    Memorandum: Amendment to Public Participation Plan: This handout includes proposed amended text for inclusion in the Plan document, results of the online survey conducted by staff, a summary of 23 comments received from the public, a graphical timeline showing targeted deadlines for future alignment of MassDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Capital Investment Plan (CIP) with the TIP given a 21-day comment period, three formal comment letters, and the text of federal regulations regarding public participation.

2.    21-Day Public Comment Period Calendars, TIP and UPWP: This document shows calendars for TIP and UPWP development over April, May, and June of 2017 given a 21-Day Public Comment period.


Jim Gillooly (City of Boston) (Boston Transportation Department) noted that 21 days may not serve the purposes of the LRTP, given its length, and his feeling that the 30 day comment period length should be kept for the LRTP. He asked if it was possible to change the language of the amendment to say “no less than 21- days” instead of mandating 21 days.

T. Bennett stated that the survey responses pointed to lasting concerns regarding a permanent change to 21 days, and proposed that the MPO approve the amendment only for the remainder of FFY 2017 and revisit the issue once the impact of the change has been assessed.

S. Woelfel noted that an amendment [to shorten the public review period of certification documents to 21 days] has passed in all other MPOs in the Commonwealth.

Dennis Giombetti (MetroWest Regional Collaborative) (Town of Framingham) noted that the date of the scheduled vote to the release the draft TIP, April 20, falls during school vacation week in many municipalities. He asked whether it would be possible to meet for a vote on April 13.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/NVCC) asked whether this [temporarily reducing the public comment period for this FFY 2017] meant the MPO would need to revisit the issue. He stated that moving to 21 days was inconvenient for organizations that meet monthly, like the one he represents, but that the change could be dealt with. S. Woelfel replied that the MPO would need to revisit the issue.

E. Bourassa clarified that if the MPO approved T. Bennett’s proposed change they would effectively see how the process proceeds with a 21-day public comment period and revisit the issue in the fall for a new vote.

D. Crowley asked why the MPO couldn’t maintain a 30-day comment period but begin the TIP process earlier. S. Woelfel stated that the intent of the amendment is to allow more members of the public across the Commonwealth to participate in their MPO’s processes; [the proposed amendment is] not solely about schedule. 

E. Bourassa added that the earlier the TIP process begins in the year the less information is available related to project readiness.


A motion to approve Amendment One to the MPO’s Public Participation Plan with a change in language specifying that the 21-day comment period applies only for the remainder of FFY 2017 was made by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (T. Bennett) and seconded by the North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (Tina Cassidy). The motion carried.

9.    Selection of Study Locations—Mark Abbott, MPO Staff

M. Abbott presented proposed locations for conducting the following studies: Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways and Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottlenecks. The MPO approved work programs for both in December 2016.

Proposed locations for Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways were scored and rated based on the following criteria: safety conditions, multimodal significance, subregional significance, potential for implementation, and regional equity. Staff reviewed and rated 25 locations.

Staff selected Route 1A from the Plainville town line to Route 140 in Wrentham. The corridor has five HSIP-eligible crash clusters, including one of the State top-200 crash locations. It has limited sidewalks and needs to be examined for pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and safety and operational improvements. The town has concerns about traffic congestion at the outlet mall and the town center. This corridor study has strong support from Wrentham, MassDOT Highway Division District 5, and other stakeholders.

The proposed locations for Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottlenecks were selected based on the following criteria: the existence of an express-highway bottleneck and the ability to address the problem with a low-cost improvement like adding lanes or restriping. Congestion must be recurring.

Staff identified four locations that could likely be corrected with low-cost strategies. These locations are I-95 Northbound between Route 2 and Route 2A in Lexington, I-93 Southbound between Commerce Way and 1-95 in Woburn and Reading, and Route 24 Northbound and Southbound between I-93 and Route 139 in Randolph and Canton.

10.Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2018-22 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Development—Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman, MPO Staff

a. Draft Statewide TIP and Draft MBTA Transit Programming, FFYs 2018-22

A. Kleyman presented the Draft Statewide TIP Programming and Draft MBTA Transit Programming. Draft MBTA Transit Programming is a preliminary list of priorities for the MBTA between 2017 and 2022 organized by Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and TIP funding programs. The list is largely consistent with the projects included in Amendment One to the FFYs 2017-21 TIP. In some cases, program funds for projects have increased because a project wasn’t fully funded in the FFYs 2017-21 CIP, but will be in FFYs 2018-22. A. Kleyman noted that this list may be revised as a result of the MBTA’s Fleet and Facilities Plan, which will be completed this summer.

Discussion of Draft Statewide TIP, FFYs 2018-22

E. Bourassa asked whether there are any projects from the State list that could be used to fill the funding availability in the Boston Region TIP created by moving project #606635 (Newton and Needham) to FFY 2019.

David Anderson (MassDOT Highway Division) used this opportunity to respond to public comments made on behalf of project #606635 by representatives from Newton and Needham and clarify the reasons for the move to FFY 2019. He stated that the Highway Division has learned they have work to do concerning communication with stakeholders. The stated understanding between MassDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is that programming a project in a particular year means the project should be ready for advertising in that year. This is not always possible, given changes in design or scope. In this case, 75% design plans for project #606635 were submitted in December of 2016. The roadway is owned by MassDOT and they are responsible for acquiring the property rights from abutters. This process can be lengthy given the legal protections in place for property owners. Because of this, #606635 will not be ready for advertisement in FFY 2018. D. Anderson acknowledged that this information should have been communicated to Newton, Needham, and other stakeholders sooner. The issue of right of way acquisitions causing a delay became confused with a separate bike accommodation redesign effort. MassDOT’s recommendation that the project be programmed in FFY 2019 is unrelated to bike path redesign. Regardless of any redesign, MassDOT maintains that the project be programmed in FFY 2019 due to the time needed to secure right of way.

Tom Bent (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville) expressed his support for the cities of Newton and Needham and the plans they made contingent upon the project.

D. Giombetti asked whether the proposed redesign may change the timeline of the right of way acquisitions. D. Anderson replied that MassDOT’s review of the possible redesign indicates it would not add to this timeline.

T. Bennett asked whether any discussions have been had regarding short term improvements that could be made to mitigate the impacts of moving the project from FFY 2018 to 2019. D. Anderson replied that there are two MassWorks grant projects in the corridor that are underway.

D. Koses asked what Newton and Needham could do to keep the project programmed as soon as possible. D. Anderson replied that a meeting should be scheduled very soon between MassDOT and proponents.

Kenneth Miller (Federal Highway Administration) noted that moving a project from one year of the TIP to another does not necessarily mean that it is a full year difference [delay] in construction advertisement time.

T. Bent asked why project #608562 (Signal and Intersection Improvements on I-93 at Mystic Avenue and McGrath Highway in Somerville) on Page 12 of the Statewide TIP list table, had been moved from FFY 2020 to 2021, and why there was a cost increase. D. Anderson replied that he suspected the project had been moved because designs had not yet been submitted. The cost increase reflects inflation.

Discussion of Draft MBTA Transit Programming, FFYs 2018-22

D. Crowley asked if the item related to Positive Train Control (PTC) is system-wide, whether a contract has been awarded, what the value of the contract was, and whether it came in under budget. Eric Waaramaa (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) replied that the systems integrator has been selected and work is underway. The $60 million listed on this handout is only the FTA funded portion of the project. Page 4 of the handout lists $305 million in Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement (RIFF) and Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing for PTC through the USDOT Build America Bureau. The MBTA has submitted an application for $60 million in discretionary funding. He did not know the total number for PTC funding but indicated he would find it to share with members.

D. Crowley asked if the $70 million indicated for System-Wide Radio includes Commuter Rail, MBTA Police, and replacing a tunnel Radox cable. E. Waaramaa replied that he is not sure if Keolis employees are included or if the Radox cable is being replaced.

T. Bennett asked for clarification of the nature of “Red Line No. 3 Car- Targeted Reliability Improvements.” E. Waaramaa replied that the MBTA recently decided to replace the Red Line No. 3 cars. New cars will come into service in 2022/23. These funds are to maintain reliability until then.

J. Gillooly asked for clarification regarding “Green Line Train Protection.” E. Waaramaa explained that this is seen as PTC for the Green Line. Unlike PTC for Commuter Rail, it is not federally mandated. The project is in its infancy but the MBTA wants to set aside funds.

J. Gillooly asked whether the items related to “Commonwealth Ave Stations Access” refer specifically to Green Line stations near Boston University, and whether they are related to the City of Boston’s Phase 2A roadway project. E. Waaramaa replied that he would send J. Gillooly the scopes for each project.

J. Gillooly asked whether “Forest Hills MAB Improvement Project” relates to the Casey Arborway project. E. Waaramaa replied that this project is accessibility improvements with no full scope yet but that he would follow up.

J. Fitzgerald asked for clarification related to the item “Ruggles Station Upgrades and Accessibility.” E. Waaramaa replied that this is $20 million in TIGER money and the MBTA’s $16 million matching funds.

Micha Gensler (MBTA Advisory Board) asked if “DMA Bus Replacement” referred to Silver Line vehicles. E. Waaramaa replied that it does.

T. Bennett asked if there were any discussions underway around more sustainable vehicle types, such as electric vehicles. E. Waaramaa replied that those discussions are happening. Because the MBTA must submit funding amounts for the 2018-22 TIP and CIP before the comprehensive Fleet Plan is produced this summer, much of this programming is as general as possible to allow for flexibility in committing funds to projects.

S. Woelfel added that MassDOT Planning is working with the MBTA on electric bus options.

E. Bourassa asked about the scope of item “Winchester Center Station.” E. Waaramaa replied that this is primarily ADA improvements.

b. Staff Recommendation

A. Kleyman presented the recommended list of projects to be funded with the MPO’s highway target funding, and information on statewide funded projects. [Note that at this point D. Mohler took over from S. Woelfel as Chair.]


Materials: Posted to MPO Meeting Calendar

1.    FFYs 201822 TIP, First TierList of Projects (Revised March 28, 2017)

2.    FFYs 2018-2022 TIP Development: Descriptions of Projects in this Year’s TIP Universe of Projects and First Tier List

3.    Geographic Distribution of MPO Target Funding (FFYs 2008-21)

4.    FFYs 201721 TIP: Project Status (Section 1A, MPO Target Funds), as of March 24, 2017

5.    Programming Scenarios: Identification of Problems, Scenario 1, Scenario 1a, Scenario 2

Identification of Problems displays issues with currently programmed TIP projects based on updated construction cost estimates and changes to advertisement schedules. Projects #605110 (Brookline) and #606635 (Newton and Needham) are recommended to move to FFY 2019, leaving a significant amount of funding available in 2018. This results in a large deficit in 2019 and smaller deficits in 2020 and 2021. 

A. Kleyman provided an overview of three different programming scenarios, showing the impact of programming various projects in different years to account for project readiness and fiscal constraint. These scenarios also included options for programming new projects.



D. Anderson asked whether changes could be made to currently programmed and advertised projects funded with advanced construction. He pointed specifically to project #601630 (Weymouth and Abington) suggesting that the funds proposed in 2019 could move to 2018. D. Mohler replied that this is possible. 

E. Bourassa asked if it was possible to move statewide projects from 2019 or 2020 to fill the hole in 2018 target funding. D. Mohler replied that it is possible to swap monies from the statewide list to the MPO list.

D. Koses noted that all four scenarios show project #606635 (Newton and Needham) moving into 2019 and 2020 and asked if this slows down construction. D. Mohler replied that this project was always planned as a two-year construction project. Construction itself does not slow down when the project’s advertisement date changes.

D. Crowley asked if it is possible to move Green Line Extension (GLX) funds from 2019 to 2018 to cover the gap. D. Mohler responded that this is possible. However, this does not solve any issues outside of 2018.

E. Bourassa noted that if money is made available in 2019, a project with sufficient readiness could move up [earlier year], which would allow the programming of more projects. He furthermore noted that public comment from Chelsea indicated the cost estimate for project #608078 is closer to $10 million. A. Kleyman responded that she would reach out again to confirm the true cost estimate for this project. The main reason she did not program this project in any scenario was cost.

D. Crowley referred to the handout Geographic Distribution of MPO Target Funding (FFYs 2008-21), observing that the scenarios show the North Shore Task Force (NSTF) and SouthWest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) subregions receiving a relatively smaller portion of funding. He noted several possible reasons. The issue may be a lack of organization or coordination at the subregional level. Smaller municipalities may not have the funds required to bring a project to a state of readiness suitable for TIP funding. He added that the MPO’s project scoring metric may also be the problem.


D. Mohler noted that individual project selection skews the percentage of funding allocated to a specific subregion over time. If one municipality is awarded a significant amount of funding for one project, it increases the percentage of funding that is allocated to a subregion but does not necessarily represent the number of projects that are being funded in each subregion.

Richard Canale (At-Large Town) (Town of Lexington) noted that it might be useful to look at the overall Universe of Projects to see which municipalities and subregions are proposing fewer projects.


D. Koses asked why project # 605110 (Brookline) is being pushed to 2019. Marie Rose (MassDOT Highway Division) replied that this is due to right-of-way acquisitions. MassDOT was unclear as to whether Brookline would be adding the right of way to their Town Meeting warrant in the spring or fall of 2017. She added that MassDOT would be confident recommending the project to stay in 2018 if the right of way acquisitions were scheduled to be voted on in the fall.


Joe Viola (Town of Brookline) explained that the town is waiting for Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) clearance in order to move forward with conversations with abutting property owners.


K. Miller asked about a specific public comment letter from a Sudbury resident that raised questions about the scoring of project #608164. A. Kleyman replied that she considered all comments when re-scoring projects. Responses to each comment will be included in the final TIP document. Anne McGahan (MPO Staff) revisited the air quality scoring for this particular project and some points were deducted.


D. Giombetti returned to the discussion of geographic distribution of MPO target funds. He suggested that staff provide the board with data indicating the percentages of projects being proposed by subregion. A. Kleyman responded that FFYs 201822 TIP, First TierList of Projects (Revised March 28, 2017) shows all the projects that could possibly be programmed over the next 5 years. Subregions are indicated on this list.


D. Mohler noted that the Universe of Projects only includes projects that are at a state of readiness suitable for TIP funding.


D. Giombetti indicated that he would like to see data on all possible projects, regardless of readiness, in order to see how many projects are being proposed and what is moving forward and what is not. D. Mohler noted that this is not necessarily useful information, given that many projects are PRC approved but do not move forward into the design process.


D. Giombetti noted that he is interested in the reasons for this and that without the data, the MPO cannot figure out how and why certain subregions are not advancing projects. D. Mohler responded that MassDOT will not necessarily know the reasons for projects not being advanced past a certain point.


T. O’Rourke added that in his case these issues are discussed on a subregional level. In the TRIC subregion, municipalities attend meetings and coordinate on project readiness and priorities. The subregion supports projects by various proponents and can promote them at the MPO.


Denise Deschamps (North Shore Task Force) (City of Beverly) noted that she does not attend regular meetings of the NSTF and added that perhaps it is incumbent upon her to find out what conversations are happening on a subregional level.


D. Crowley suggested that the MPO put a task-force or committee together to explore this issue.


R. Canale stated that the subregions need to have these discussions amongst themselves so they can ask staff for the right data.


Richard Reed (Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination) (Town of Bedford) noted that in his experience individual communities must be active proponents of projects.


T. Bent stated that what is holding back some communities is funding for engineering and design.


D. Mohler added that it is certainly possible that some communities have abandoned the TIP process because none of their projects have received funding.


K. Miller added that in addition to the population and employment figures [provided], a useful data set would be the number of miles of federally eligible roads in a particular subregion. This is an indication of how many projects are possible in a given community.


E. Bourassa stated that given that A. Kleyman considered other factors when programming the scenarios it is not just scoring that is prohibitive for communities. A macro-issue is growth, which is unevenly distributed across the region.


D. Crowley reiterated that the issue is that communities have given up on the process.


E. Bourassa replied that this was the case with the South Shore Coalition (SSC) but there are now a number of SSC projects programmed.


D. Giombetti suggested that the board complete the current TIP development process and then return to this issue.


D. Crowley asked that a subcommittee be formed.

A. Kleyman returned to the programming scenarios and asked the board to provide input on which one to pursue.


T. Bennett noted it was interesting to see that Scenario 1a allowed more new and smaller projects to be programmed.


E. Bourassa added that it would be good to hear from the member from Everett, who had to leave the meeting early, regarding project #607652 being moved to 2021 and 2022 in all scenarios. A. Kleyman noted that she spoke with Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) prior to the meeting. M. Rose added that #607652 (Everett) is actually at 25% design, not just PRC approved.


J. Gillooly stated that Scenario 1a is appealing because it does not delay project #606453 (Boston). He added that the City hopes to get #608449 (Commonwealth Avenue Phases 3 and 4) programmed in a future year.


Lourenço Dantas (MPO Staff) noted that Scenario 1a also does not frontload costs for project #606226 (Boston), which allows more room for new projects.


D. Deschamps asked whether any of these scenarios will be adopted in their entirety. D. Mohler responded that the answer is no; A. Kleyman will use this input to reformulate programming scenarios for the next meeting.


D. Giombetti noted that the guiding principle should be to keep the commitments [to TIP funding] made during last year’s process as intact as possible. He added that it seemed that the City of Boston had indicated that given their priorities, pushing Boylston instead of Lynn in order to keep Rutherford intact would be acceptable option.


D. Deschamps noted that Scenario 2 pushes project #608347 out a year, which is a concern for Beverly.

11.Members Items

There were none.


A motion to adjourn was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (T. Bennett). The motion carried.




and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)

Jay Monty

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Laura Wiener

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

Richard Canale

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Jim Gillooly

Thomas Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Kenneth Miller

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Steve Woelfel

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

David Anderson

John Romano

Marie Rose

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Eric Waaramaa

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Micha Gensler

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (Town of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Richard Reed

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Denise Deschamps

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Bennett

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

Christine Stickney

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Dennis Crowley

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/NVCC)

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Brian Yates

Phil Lemnios

Mike Stanley

Sean Roche

Jim Johnson

Liz Dennehy

Constance Raphael

Setti Warren

James Freas

Barney Heath

Nicole Freedman

Mel Kleckner

Joe Viola

Bill Smith

Peter Ditto

Rep. Joan Meschino

Karen Adelman

Matt Borrelli

Rafael Mares

Richard Merson

Kristen Guichard

Tracy Litthcut

Newton City Councilor

Town Manager, Town of Hull

Transit X

Newton Transportation Advisory Group

Town of Walpole

Town of Walpole

MassDOT District 4

Mayor, City of Newton

City of Newton

City of Newton

City of Newton

Town of Brookline

Town of Brookline

Town of Brookline

Town of Brookline

3rd Plymouth


Needham Board of Selectmen

Conservation Law Foundation

Town of Needham DPW

Town of Acton

Boston Transportation Department

Beth Suedmeyer

John Reynolds

Deeksha Joshi

Matt Shuman

Nelson Hoffman

Will Sutton

Alex Train

Tom Ambrosio

Kevin Hunter

Steve Olanoff

Catherine Anderson

Wig Zamore

Town of Sudbury

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual

Town of Watertown DPW


Rep. Denise Garlick

City of Chelsea

City of Chelsea, City Manager

Malden Redevelopment Authority


Sen. Cynthia Creem





MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Mark Abbott

Seth Asante

Lourenço Dantas

David Fargen

Róisín Foley

Ali Kleyman

Anne McGahan

Elizabeth Moore

Jen Rowe

Chen-Yuan Wang