Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

April 6, 2017 Meeting

10:00 AM – 12:42 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2&3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

David Mohler, Chair, 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 work program for MBTA Rider Oversight Committee (ROC) Support

·         Approve a TIP project programming scenario to include in the draft FFYs 2018-22 TIP document

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 11.

2.    Public Comments  

Len Simon (Selectman, Town of Sudbury), Beth Suedmeyer (Environmental Planner, Town of Sudbury) and Dick Williamson (Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail) spoke in support of Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project #608164 (Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Phase IID). L. Simon reported that the Board of Selectmen recently approved 75% design funds. B. Suedmeyer noted that an earlier phase of the Rail Trail (IIB) may move from the Draft Statewide TIP (STIP) to the MPO’s TIP for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2018, and asked if MassDOT could indicate whether #608164 also has the potential to fill the gap in 2018. D. Williamson added that the Friends of the Rail Trail have been working on this project for 12 years, and urged the MPO to support the next phase. B. Suedmeyer also advocated for project #607249 (Intersection improvements at Route 20 and Landham Road,) a significant safety concern for the town. This project is proposed by MassDOT.

Kevin Hunter (Senior Planner, Malden Redevelopment Authority) spoke on behalf of project #608275 (Complete Streets Reconstruction of Exchange Street). The project would increase bicycle and pedestrian safety, bring sidewalks and ramps into ADA compliance, remove angled parking, and add parity to the bike lane network. The estimated cost is approximately $1.29 million, making it relatively affordable. Malden is waiting to hear from the Mass Gaming Commission regarding a grant for 25% design funds.

Randall Russell (Lynnfield Recreation Path Committee) advocated for project #607329 (Wakefield-Lynnfield- Rail Trail Extension, From the Galvin Middle School to the Lynnfield/Peabody Town Line). This project is currently on the Draft STIP in FFY21. R. Russell reported that the Committee voted to support the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen in signing a lease with the MBTA for the land needed to construct the Rail Trail. A survey conducted by the Committee indicates residents favor the trail. 25% design plans were submitted in March. The town’s consultant on this project, Richard Benevento (World Tech Engineering,) explained that the Town of Wakefield is the lead proponent. The portion of the Rail Trail that extends through the Reedy Meadow has presented some challenges. Comments are expected back from MassDOT in fall of 2017 with a Design Public Hearing to follow.

Mark Ryan (Town of Norwood) advocated for two projects. Project #605857 (Route 1 and University Ave./Everett St.) is currently programmed in FFY21, but has the potential to move to FFY22 in one of the programming scenarios being presented at this meeting. M. Ryan encouraged the MPO to keep #605857 programmed in 2021. This intersection was identified as a failed intersection by CTPS in 1996, followed by three traffic studies and PRC approval in 2009. Norwood has submitted 25% design and plans to have a hearing in fall of 2017. M. Ryan indicated that a second project, #606130 (Route 1A and Upland Rd./Washington St. and Prospect St./Fulton St.) is the number one priority for the town, stressing that this project should be ready for advertising in 2018. M. Ryan encouraged the MPO to consider programming the project earlier.

David Daltorio (Town of Hopkinton) provided an update on project #606043 (Signal and intersection improvements on Route 135,) currently programmed in FFY19. The town plans to re-submit 25% design plans to MassDOT by the end of April following significant changes, including added separated bike lanes.

Yolanda Greaves (Board of Selectmen) Michael Herbert (Town Manager,) and Sheila Page (Town Planner, Town of Ashland) spoke in support of project #604123 (Reconstruction on Route 126 (Pond St.)). Y. Greaves stated that the Board of Selectmen plans to include funds for additional lighting and plantings not in the original design in Ashland’s long-term Capital Plan. M. Herbert added that these landscaping and aesthetic elements total about 5% of the total project cost, which the town intends to cover in partnership with MassDOT.

Pat Brown (Citizen of Sudbury) reiterated support for project #607249 (Intersection improvements at Route 20 and Landham Road). P. Brown added that it is difficult as a citizen to understand the overall picture of MPO-funded projects and statewide projects. She added that the Federal Highway Administration’s CMAC funding guidelines require that bike facilities reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, and that it is hard to find data on how specific bike projects in the TIP would do this. She added that it is important when members of the public make comments that those comments are recorded.

Bob Halpin (Town Manager) and Eric Johnson (Town Engineer, Town of Framingham) provided an update on TIP project #608228 (Reconstruction of Union Ave.) Framingham has nearly completed a $11 million roadway and streetscape improvement project, and in October of 2015 reformed and modernized zoning. The Union Ave. project is an important part of the Complete Streets vision for Downtown Framingham. E. Johnson added that #608228 complements a large utility upgrade.

Joy Glynn (MetroWest Regional Transit Authority) described a project which could fill a gap in funding that exists in the current TIP programming scenarios. This is a solar canopy infrastructure project which would cost $2 million, assist with energy costs, and improve air quality. This project is eligible for CMAC funding and would be ready for 2018. Dennis Giombetti (MetroWest Regional Collaborative) (Town of Framingham,) clarified that this project is new to the MPO body, and is intended as an option for some of the funding that remains in FFY18.

Anu Gerweck (Wakefield Resident) expressed support for project #607329 (Wakefield- Lynnfield- Rail Trail Extension, From the Galvin Middle School to Lynnfield/Peabody T.L.) on the Draft STIP. A. Gerweck cited broad support and excitement for the project in the community.

Thomas DiPersio (Engineer, City of Marlborough) advocated for two projects. Project #604231 (Intersection and Signal Improvements on Route 20 (east Main St./Boston Post Rd.) at Concord) is at the western end of a separate MassDOT project concentrating on Route 20E. T. DiPersio introduced a project that Marlborough is in the early stages of advancing, Route 85/Bolton Street.

Kristen Guichard (Assistant Town Planner, Town of Acton) thanked the MPO for the inclusion of project #608229 (Intersection Improvements at Massachusetts Avenue (Route 111) and Main Street (Route 27) (Kelley's Corner)) in FFY22 in both scenarios presented at this meeting, reiterating support from stakeholders for the project.

William J. Buckley Jr. (Chief of Staff, Office of Representative John Rogers, Norwood) expressed Rep. Rogers’ support for several projects, including #605857 (Intersection improvements at Route 1 and University Ave./Everett St,) and asked that the MPO consider programming the project earlier than FFY22, citing safety concerns and access to businesses. W. Buckley also expressed support for project #602261 (Reconstruction on Route 1A (Main St.)) on behalf of Senator James E. Timilty and Representatives Rogers, Paul McMurtry, Louis Kafka, and Shawn C. Dooley. This project would signalize four intersections.

Jamie Errickson (Director of Community and Economic Development, Town of Natick) provided an update on project #605034 (Reconstruction of Route 27 (North Main St.)) currently programmed in FFY19. This project has reduced in cost from approximately $15 to $12 million, largely due to adjustments in the paving program. The project connects Natick center to the Wayland town line, and is on schedule. J. Errickson added that Natick is moving forward with project #607732 on the STIP (Framingham-Natick- Cochituate Rail Trail Construction Including Pedestrian Bridge N-03-014, over Route 9 & F-07-033=N-03-029 over Route 30,) which is on track for FFY18.

Alexander Train (Senior Planner, City of Chelsea) expressed gratitude on behalf of the Chelsea City Council for the inclusion of project # 608078 (Reconstruction of Broadway, from City Hall to the Revere City Line) in FFY22 in both programming scenarios presented at this meeting. This corridor intersects with the SilverLine Gateway currently under construction.

Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) spoke on behalf of Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr. in support of project #607652 (Reconstruction of Ferry St.) currently proposed in FFY19, which has experienced a significant cost increase. The city is on schedule for 2019 despite cost changes. Rich Benevento (WorldTech Engineering,) reiterated that all the advanced work regarding utilities has been done to assure that the project remains on schedule. There is a public design hearing tentatively scheduled for summer 2017. During the preliminary design stages it was discovered that there is a concrete slab beneath the roadway containing railroad tracks, the removal of which significantly increased the cost of the project. The roadway is regionally significant, extending from Revere Beach Parkway to Malden.

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

D. Mohler reported that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the Risk Assessment for the Green Line Extension (GLX) project concurrent with MassDOT’s policy and schedule estimates. On April 4, the Capital Programs Committee presented their recommendation to the MassDOT Board for MassDOT (and the Commonwealth) to cover the funding shortfall. [The Commonwealth would fund the remaining gap of $64.3 million from the Rail Enhancement Program (Special Obligation Bonds).]

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

There were none.

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

T. Bennett reported that the Advisory Council will meet on Wednesday, April 12 to discuss the ongoing TIP development process.

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

There was none.

7.    Action Item: Work Program for MBTA Rider Oversight Committee (ROC) Support—Annette Demchur, MPO Staff

A. Demchur presented the work program for MBTA Rider Oversight Committee (ROC) Support. The ROC is made up of members of the public, and MBTA staff serves as a resource for ROC members. Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) (MPO Staff) supports the MBTA by providing technical assistance to the ROC and its subcommittees on an ongoing basis. CTPS is expected to continue to support the MBTA by serving as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the ROC. As such, CTPS will participate in the ROC’s discussions, respond to technical questions posed by other members, and perform technical analyses that will assist the committee in developing recommendations and supporting its objectives. This work program describes the continuation of this support over the next four years. The total cost of this project is estimated to be $24,500.


A motion to approve the work program for MBTA Rider Oversight Committee (ROC) Support was made by the MassDOT Highway Division (John Romano) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (Jim Gillooly). The motion carried.

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

a. Draft Transit Programming

A. Kleyman presented the proposed selection of projects and programs to be funded with federal transit funds.

Materials/Handouts: Posted to MPO Meeting Calendar

1.    MBTA Federal Capital Program (Section 5307, 5337, and 5339 Funding) FFYs 20182022 TIP Programming (Federal Share Only)

2.    MBTA FederallyFunded Projects in FY 20182022 CIP With TIP Federal Funding Program and Cost

3.    Draft Transit Programming, Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) and MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA)


Jillian Linnell (MassDOT Rail and Transit Division) described the Draft Transit Programming, CATA and MWRTA. This list includes both Regional Transit Authority (RTA) projects recommended by MassDOT Rail and Transit to be funded by the state (indicated by RTACAP in the table) and projects recommended directly by RTAs for funding with federal dollars (indicated by Federal Funds in the table).

b. Draft Highway Project Programming

A. Kleyman and D. Mohler presented three programming scenarios for projects to be funded with federal highway funds, noting that these were examples of options for programming and not a recommendation for any one programming scenario.

A. Kleyman noted that for developing the programming of new projects, she attempted to reflect the MPO’s investment program goals and regional geographic distribution.

Materials: Posted to MPO Meeting Calendar

1.    FFYs 2018-22 TIP Target Highway Program: Draft Programming Scenarios: This handout includes three tables. The first table identifies problems related to project cost or delay in readiness. The second table is a scenario entitled Atlantic Ave. in 2018/Ferry St. in 2019. The third is a scenario entitled Atlantic Ave. and Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (Phase IIB) in 2018, Ferry St. in 2022.

2.    FFYs 2018-22 TIP Target Highway Program: Draft Programming Scenarios: This handout includes one additional table detailing a scenario entitled All Projects Stay in the Current Year/No New in 2018.

Scenario: Atlantic Ave. in 2018/Ferry St. in 2019

The hallmark of this scenario is that the cash flows for both #601630 (Reconstruction and widening on Route 18 (Main St.), Weymouth and Abington) and the Green Line Extension (GLX) project are adjusted. Project #608352 (Canal St. Rail Trail construction (phase 2), Salem) advances to FFY18 and #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Ave and Related Work, Hull) is programmed in FFY18.


MPO members had expressed a desire to keep project #607652 (Reconstruction of Ferry St., Everett) programmed in FFY19, thus in this scenario, #607652 remains in FFY19.  There is equal cash flow for #606635 (Reconstruction of Highland Ave., Needham St. and Charles River bridge, Newton and Needham) between FFYs 2019 and 2020. This scenario moves #602077 (Reconstruction on Route 129 (Lynnfield St.), Lynn) to FFY21 and #605857 (Intersection improvements at Route 1 and University Ave./Everett St., Norwood) to FFY22. All new projects other than #601607 are programmed in FFY22.


Scenario: Atlantic Ave. and Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (Phase IIB) in 2018, Ferry St. in 2022

The hallmark of this scenario is that only the cash flow for #601630 (Weymouth and Abington) is adjusted. There is more funding for #606635 (Newton and Needham) in FFY19 than in FFY20. This allows two new projects to be programmed in FFY18: #601607 (Hull) and #606223 (Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Phase IIB). This scenario retains #602077 (Lynn) in FFY20. Project #606501(Reconstruction of Union St. (Route 139), Holbrook) advances to FFY20. All currently programmed projects in FFY21 remain. Project #607652 (Everett) moves to FFY22. All new projects other than #601607 and #606223 are in FFY22.


Scenario: All Projects Stay in Their Current Year/No New in 2018

The hallmark of this scenario is that A. Kleyman attempted to accommodate the desire of MPO members to retain projects in their currently programmed year. To accomplish this, A. Kleyman programmed as much funding as possible for GLX in FFY18. No new projects are programmed in FFY18.


D. Mohler stated that the third scenario leaves approximately $2 million un-programmed in FFY18. D. Giombetti noted that MWRTA’s solar canopy project could be programmed in that year.


Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) noted a deficit in FFY17. D. Mohler replied that MassDOT’s intention is to propose an amendment to the FFYs 2017-21 TIP to cover the deficit.


David Koses (City of Newton) asked whether the split of the advanced construction (AC) funding over two years for the #606635 project (Newton and Needham) would affect construction. D. Mohler replied that the pace of construction is not impacted by the proposed split.

D. Giombetti expressed his support for the third scenario because it allows the MPO to keep funding commitments to communities with projects already programmed in the TIP.


D. Mohler provided an update on #605110 (Intersection and signal improvements at Route 9 and Village Square (Gateway East), Brookline). MassDOT is 90% certain this project can remain programmed in FFY18, despite earlier recommendations otherwise. The GLX cash flow would be adjusted to avoid impacting other projects.


Dennis Crowley (South West Advisory Planning Committee) (Town of Medway) asked whether #608275 (Malden) or #608146 (Intersection Improvements to Pleasant St. at Village/Vine/Cross Sts., Marblehead) could be funded with the un-programmed $2 million in FFY 2018. D Mohler responded that neither of these projects is likely to be ready for advertising in FFY18.


D. Mohler asked A. Kleyman to look into the effect of programming #605110 in FFY18; the remaining funding for this project can be taken out of the GLX cash flow, which moves the $2 million surplus into FFY19. This modification would allow all new projects to remain in FFY22.


E. Bourassa asked MassDOT to clarify which phases of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail are included in which programming scenario versus the Draft STIP.


Marie Rose (MassDOT Highway Division) replied that #606223 (Phase IIB) is programmed in FFY19 on the Draft STIP (Statewide List). Phase IID could possibly be programmed by the MPO in FFY22. There was some discussion of the possibility of the MPO assuming the costs of #606223 in FFY18, with the expectation that MassDOT would fund an MPO project in return; such as #608164 in FFY22.


Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/NVCC) recommended programming #606130 (Intersection Improvements at Route 1A and Upland Rd./Washington St. and Prospect St./Fulton St., Norwood) in FFY22 and advancing #605857 (Intersection improvements at Route 1 and University Ave./Everett St., Norwood) to FFY21, which would better reflect the priorities of the town. A. Kleyman reported that swapping the programming years for these two Norwood projects creates a $5 million surplus in FFY21 and a $5 million deficit in FFY22.


Richard Reed (Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination) (Town of Bedford) noted that #607738 (Minuteman Bikeway Extension, Bedford) is at 25% design and the town owns the entire right of way. This project could be programmed in FFY21.


D. Giombetti added that if #607738 (Bedford) was programmed in the earlier year, the $2 million MWRTA solar canopy project could be programmed. D. Mohler clarified that this would necessitate flexing highway money to transit and requires matching funds. He added that moving #607738 (Bedford) forward also creates the option of programming #601607 (Hull) earlier as well.


D. Mohler expressed support for programming #601607 (Hull) in an earlier year. This would necessitate shifting some GLX funding to a later programming year or spending the $2 million surplus on a project such as #608275 (Malden) or #604231 (Marlborough).


J. Gillooly expressed support for keeping the existing TIP intact and programming #601607 (Hull) earlier.


Richard Canale At-Large Town (Town of Lexington) expressed support for programming #607738 (Bedford) earlier.


D. Mohler asked A. Kleyman to calculate, in the current scenario in discussion, for the deficit in FFY21 if #601607 (Hull) is programmed earlier. A. Kleyman replied that in this scenario there is a $1.3 million deficit in FFY21. This leaves $700,000 un-programmed in FFYs 2021 and 22.


E. Bourassa expressed support for programming Hull earlier. Tom Bent (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville) agreed.


D. Mohler called for a ten minute break for A. Kleyman to adjust the cash flows and project programming according to the board’s recommendations. The meeting reconvened at 12:18 PM.


A. Kleyman reported that by programming #605110 (Brookline), swapping the years of #606130 and #605857 (Norwood), and programming #601607 (Hull) into FFY21, leaves a $300,000 surplus in FFY19 and a $9 million surplus in FFY22. No deficits remain.


D. Mohler noted that several roadway projects originally included in one of the programming scenarios and are no longer in this scenario and suggested moving #608078 (Chelsea) into FFY22. E. Bourassa expressed support for this.


M. Rose asked for a clarification of the project cost for #608078 (Chelsea). A. Train acknowledged some confusion over costs, but stated that the cost estimate of approximately $7.8 million is correct. . A. Kleyman noted that adding #608078 (Chelsea) in FFY22 leaves approximately $900,000 un-programmed in that year.


J. Monty, T. Bent, and J. Gillooly expressed support for this scenario.


T. Bennet expressed support for including #608078 (Chelsea) and noted that #604231 (Marlborough) was not present despite having been PRC-approved for the longest amount of time other than #601607 (Hull). This project had been included in other scenarios that focused on intersection improvements.


D. Mohler noted that the Community Transportation Program in FFYs21 and 22 must be defined. A. Kleyman responded that staff’s intention is to facilitate this discussion later this year following TIP development.


D. Crowley stated that despite his feeling that he should vote against this scenario due to the low number of projects from outer subregions, he will vote in support. He proposed forming a subcommittee to look into the distribution of TIP funding. D. Mohler asked D. Crowley to think about when a subcommittee should be formed and propose an approach to the Chair.


D. Mohler asked that staff contact all proponents whose projects were included in a scenario but are no longer included. He reviewed the next steps: On April 13, staff will post the full draft TIP document, including this programming scenario. On April 20 the board will vote to release a draft for a 21-day public comment period.


Raphael Mares (Conservation Law Foundation) asked about using GLX money for the MWRTA project. D. Mohler responded that MassDOT is not willing to negatively impact GLX cash flow but staff will look at various possibilities for bundling surpluses into one year.



A motion to approve this programming scenario for finalization of a draft TIP document by staff was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (J. Gillooly). The motion carried.

9.    Members Items

D. Crowley requested that MassDOT provide the MPO board with an update on the progress of GLX following the conclusion of the TIP development process. D. Mohler responded that there will be a presentation on GLX in May. The City of Boston will also present at a future MPO meeting their GoBoston 2030 Action Plan.


A motion to adjourn was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (J. Gillooly). 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)

Jennifer Raitt

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

Federal Highway Administration

Nelson Hoffman

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

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)

Aaron Clausen

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Bennett

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Dennis Crowley

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/NVCC)

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Len Simon

Dick Williamson

Kevin Hunter

Sarah Bradbury

Kristen Guichard

Robert Hummel

Randall Russell

Mark Ryan

David Daltorio

Constance Raphael

Yolanda Greaves

Pat Brown

Richard Merson

Brian Brosnan

Alex Train

Bob Halpin

Joy Glynn

Beth Suedmeyer

Richard Benevento

Karen Adelman

Greg St. Louis

Rafael Mares

Anu Gerweck

Dick Dalton

Eric Johnson

Thomas DiPersio

Steve Olanoff

Jonathan Chance

Matt Casale

William J. Buckley Jr.

Jamie Errickson

Danny Dailey

Alexander Castillo-Nunez

Wig Zamore

Joe Viola

Tom Kadzis

Sudbury Board of Selectmen


Malden Redevelopment Authority

MassDOT District 3



Lynnfield Recreation Path Committee

Town of Norwood

Town of Hopkinton


Town of Ashland

Citizen- Sudbury

Needham Public Works


City of Chelsea




World Tech Engineering




Wakefield Resident







Rep. John Rogers Office


MassDOT Gov Affairs

Sen. Lewis


Town of Brookline



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Lourenço Dantas

Annette Demchur

Róisín Foley

Ali Kleyman

Robin Mannion

Anne McGahan

Elizabeth Moore

Jen Rowe