Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

Unified Planning Work Program Committee Meeting Summary

February 16, 2017 Meeting

11:15 AM to 12:45 PM, State Transportation Building—10 Park Plaza, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, Boston, MA

Bryan Pounds, Chair, representing the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee agreed to the following:

•      Approve the summary of the UPWP Committee meeting of December 15, 2016


Materials for this meeting included the following:

1.    December 15 UPWP Committee Meeting Summary

2.    Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 1st Quarter Status Reports

3.    FFY 2018 UPWP Development Schedule (draft dated February 2)

4.    Draft FFY 2018 UPWP Universe of Studies

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

Bryan Pounds, Chair of the UPWP Committee, called the meeting to order at approximately 11:15 AM. UPWP Committee members and MPO staff introduced themselves. (For attendance list, see page 4)

2.    Action Item: Approval of UPWP Committee Meeting Summary

A motion to approve the UPWP Committee meeting summary of December 15, 2016, was made by B. Pounds and seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


3.    Presentation of FFY 2018 UPWP Development Schedule

The committee proceeded with meeting agenda Item 4, presentation of the FFY 2018 UPWP Development Schedule. Sandy Johnston, UPWP Manager, presented the handout graphic of the development schedule and explained it to the committee. B. Pounds asked a clarifying question about the schedule and whether the staff recommendation for the UPWP will be ready on March 16. S. Johnston explained that MPO staff would send out an email survey for committee members to rank study priorities, as was done for the FFY 2017 UPWP development.


James Gillooly, City of Boston, explained that the City has an interest in adding another study to the Universe relating to the I-90 project in Allston and transit access. Eric Bourassa, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, asked a clarifying question about how this proposed study would relate to MassDOT’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) process for the I-90 project. J. Gillooly responded that, as planned, the DEIR will not cover some existing MBTA bus lines, so there is a need for a complementary study. It was agreed that J. Gillooly would send language about the complementary study to S. Johnston for inclusion in the Universe.


4.    Initial Review of FFY 2018 UPWP Universe of Studies

S. Johnston presented the handout of the FFY 2018 Draft Universe of Studies and led a discussion. Key points raised about sections of the document are summarized below.

•      After the presentation on the Active Transportation section, Steve Olanoff, Three Rivers Interlocal Council (TRIC), asked if the MPO had done a before-and-after study previously; Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director, responded that the MPO had done some before-and-after intersection studies, but nothing quite like this. A discussion indicated that Beacon Street in Somerville and Cambridge, with its variety of cycling infrastructure, might be a good candidate for a study location. A discussion of the merits of before-and-after studies followed. There also was a discussion of how the proposed study to develop a bicycle level-of-service metric might relate to performance-based planning.

•      After the presentation on the Land Use, Environment, and Economy section, Tegin Bennett, Regional Transportation Advisory Council, and E. Bourassa led a discussion about how some of the projects in this section relate to performance-based planning and economic vitality, and how the MPO and staff could incorporate consideration of economic issues into planning efforts. Several members asked clarifying questions about various studies in this section.

•      After the presentation on the Multimodal Mobility section, B. Pounds asked if some of the study concepts in this section are too similar to existing work, such as the Congestion Management Process work. K. Quackenbush and Mark Abbott, Traffic Analysis and Design Group Manager, clarified that some of the studies alternate from existing studies and some of the concepts are different from existing work. Scott Peterson, Director of Technical Services, responded to a question about the automated vehicle study concept. There was support expressed for the intersection operations study.

•      Discussion of the Transit section was split up into two segments. The first segment covered through page 7 of the handout. There was some discussion about possible overlap between the MBTA parking study concept and work the MBTA is already doing. Steven Andrews, of the Transit Analysis and Planning Group, explained the concept of interlining. T. Bennett asked for the title of one study to be changed to be less confrontational, and asked if some of the studies might be rendered redundant or unnecessary by the MBTA’s AFC 2.0 efforts. S. Olanoff expressed that many people in the TRIC subregion see weekend commuter rail service as insufficient, and he suggested that this issue might be addressed through one of the proposed studies. The second discussion segment covered pages 8 through the end of the handout. After the presentation, T. Bennett asked if there had been transit signal priority on the Green Line in the past and if there was a need to study it again. She also expressed support for many study ideas. S. Andrews explained the concept of excess wait time. S. Johnston explained the process for sending out the next version of the Universe and accepted several recommendations about document formatting and content from the committee.


5.    Presentation of FFY 2017 1st Quarter Status Reports

In the interest of time, members were advised to review the handouts of the reports and reach out to K. Quackenbush with any questions. There was no further discussion.


6.    Member Items

There were none.


7.    Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for March 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM.


8.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by T. Bennett, and seconded by another member. The motion carried unanimously.






Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Bryan Pounds

Metropolitan Area Planning Council                                                                                              

Eric Bourassa

City of Boston

James Gillooly

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Laura Wiener

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (Town of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

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

Steve Olanoff

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

Tom O’Rourke

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich Bennett


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Robin Mannion, Deputy Executive Director

Scott Peterson, Director of Technical Services

Louren็o Dantas, Certification Activities Group Manager

Jen Rowe, Public Participation Program Manager

Sandy Johnston, UPWP Manager

Steven Andrews, Transit Analysis and Planning Group

Mark Abbott, Traffic Analysis and Design Group Manager

R๓isํn Foley, Administrative and Communications Assistant