Technical Memorandum


DATE:   January 18, 2018

TO:         Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

FROM:   Chen-Yuan Wang

RE:        FFY 2018 Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways: Selection of Study Location


1          background

During the MPO’s outreach to develop the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional groups and other entities submit comments and identify transportation issues that concern them. Often, these issues are related to bottlenecks, safety, or lack of safe or convenient access to abutters along roadway corridors. They can affect not only mobility and safety along a roadway and its side streets, but also livability, quality of life, economic development, and air quality.


To address these concerns, this study was included in the UPWP for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018,1 and a work program was approved on October 19, 2017. The purpose of this study is to identify roadway segments in the MPO region that are of concern to subregional groups but that have not been identified in the LRTP regional needs assessment.2


The study emphasizes issues identified by the relevant subregional groups, along with recommendations to address the identified issues. In addition to topics about mobility, safety, and access, it includes bicycle and pedestrian transportation, transit feasibility, and other subjects raised by subregional groups.


This memorandum presents the procedure used to select roadways for the study, including selection criteria; the roadway corridor that was chosen for study; and a summary.


2          Selection Procedure

Selecting the study location comprised three steps: 1) identifying potential roadways, 2) developing selection criteria, and 3) rating potential roadways.


2.1      Identifying Potential Roadways

MPO staff identified potential study roadways through various means, including:



MPO staff then assembled detailed data for these roadways, including:



Locations with projects that currently are under construction, in design, under study, or programmed in the TIP were excluded from further consideration. After the exclusion, MPO staff identified 25 potential roadway segments in the region. Table 1 presents data assembled for each roadway segment and indicates municipality, MAPC subregion, MassDOT district office, jurisdiction, length, functional class, average daily traffic, overall crash rates, bicycle/pedestrian crashes per mile, Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)-eligible crash clusters,3 and any relevant studies or projects. It also cites results of applying the selection criteria, and priority rating. Roadway segments are sorted by score, MassDOT District, and roadway name.


2.2      Selection Criteria

MPO staff examined roadway locations more closely by applying five criteria: safety conditions, multimodal significance, subregional priority, implementation potential, and regional equity per the scoring system below.







2.3      Rating Potential Roadways

Roadway segments with a score of five points or less were rated as low priority. Roadway segments with a score of six-to-seven points were rated medium priority. Roadway segments with a score of eight-or-more points were rated high priority. Among the 25 potential locations, MPO staff identified three as high priority:


  1. Route 60, Main Street, and major roadways in the vicinity of Medford Square
  2. Route 109 from Walpole town line to Interstate 95 in Westwood
  3. Route 129 from Washington Street to Swampscott town line in Lynn


Staff also evaluated the pedestrian accommodation and safety improvement needs for the three locations by applying the Pedestrian Report Card Assessment that the MPO recently developed.4 All three locations highly qualify for pedestrian accommodation or safety improvement requirements. Appendix A contains detailed results of the assessments.


3          Selected Subregional Roadway: Route 60, Main Street, and major roadways in the vicinity of medford square

MPO staff recommend the major roadways in the vicinity of Medford Square for this study cycle, based on the following considerations:



Figure 1 shows the locations of this study and the previously studied corridors in the region. The selected roadways are about 2.4 miles in total length. They all are classified as urban major and minor arterials. These roadways carry regional and local traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, and several MBTA bus lines. The study area also includes a popular multi-use path, Mystic River Reservation Bike Path. The City of Medford and MPAC recently completed a comprehensive plan for the area: Medford Square Mast Plan. This study would support that plan’s goals by analyzing existing transportation conditions and potential improvements. More significantly, it would support enhancement of subregional transportation safety and mobility.


4          Summary

The selected roadways in the vicinity of Medford Square meet the objectives of this study, especially in supporting the transportation improvement priorities of the Inner Core Committee subregion.


MPO staff will submit this proposal to the MPO for discussion and approval. If the MPO approves this selection, staff will meet with officials from Medford, MassDOT, and MAPC to discuss the study specifics, conduct field visits, collect data, and perform various analyses.




Roadway Segments Considered for Study (Selected Segment is Highlighted in Blue)
Subregional Priority Roadways Study
Roadway Location Community MAPC Subregion MassDOT District Jurisdiction Length (Miles) Functional
Average Daily Traffic Overall Crash Rate (MVMT) Bike/Ped Crashes Per Mile Top 200 High-Crash Locations 2012-2014 HSIP-Eligible Crash Clusters 2012-2014 Study, Project, or TIP Project Safety Conditions Multimodal Significance Subregional Priority Implementation Potential Regional Equity Score Overall Assessment Summary of Comments 
Route 60, Main Street, and major roadways in the vicinity of Medford Square  Medford Square Medford ICC 4 Medford, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation 2.4 3, 5 15,000 7.4 8.8 0 6 Medford Square Master Plan, City of Medford and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).

MassDOT Project 604716, Cradock Bridge Rehabilitation  of Route 38 (Main Street) over Mystic River: the project consists of construction to replace the approach roadways, sidewalks, and most of the existing bridge structure, with the original stone masonry arch bridge spans to remain. It's under construction and expected to complete in Autumn 2018.
2 2 2 3 1 10 High City of Medford and MAPC recently suggested that the major roadways in and around Medford Square as a study location for this FFY 2018 program. The study of traffic circulation, transportation conditions, and potential improvements would support the goals of the Medford Square Master Plan and enhance the subregional transportation safety and mobility.  
Route 109 Walpole town line to Interstate 95 Westwood ICC 6 Westwood 4.1 3 16,500 4.4 1.7 0 2 MassDOT Project 601315: Reconstruction of Route 109 (High Street) from Grove Street to Hartford Street. The project proposes to reconstruct High Street utilizing full depth reconstruction, including sidewalks, walls, drainage, curbing, signs, pavement markings, and new traffic signals are installed at Hartford Street, Gay Street, Windsor Road/Public Library Entrance and Summer Street. Construction ended in Spring 2008. 1 2 2 2 1 8 High In FFY 2016 UPWP outreach, Medfield cited Route 109 as a major commute route to Interstate 95 that puts stain on the adjacent communities. Based on the comment, staff also examined this Westwood section.
Route 129 Washington Street to Swampscott town line Lynn ICC 4 Lynn 1.2 3 24,200 7.7 26.7 0 3 No projects 2 2 2 1 1 8 High The North Shore Task Force cited this roadway as one of the subregion's priority roadways for study in the FFY 2013 and FFY 2014 UPWP. High traffic volumes between Marblehead and Lynn are creating bottlenecks in this corridor. 
Concord Avenue Blanchard Road to Garden Street Cambridge ICC 6 Cambridge and DCR (between two rotaries)  1.9 3 and 2 (between two rotaries) 28,000 3.7 14.2 0 1 TIP Conceptual Project #987 Minuteman Path Right-of-Way to acquire Watertown branch right-of-way to connect Minuteman Path from Arlington, Cambridge, and Watertown to Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path in Boston

DCR announced a comprehensive study of the parkway system for bike lanes on December 18, 2014 (a small portion of this segment has DCR jurisdiction).
2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium Comments in survey response on vision, goals, objectives in FFY 2015 LRTP outreach. For example, "eliminate designation of Concord Avenue as 'unrestricted arterial' street. It’s a narrow street with no wiggle room for bicycles when trucks pass."

The small DCR portion of this segment is included in the comprehensive DCR study announced December 2014.
Washington Street Dedham Street to Cobbs Corner Canton TRIC 6 Canton 2.5 3 16,000 3.5 4.8 0 0 No projects 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium Canton requested a study of the downtown section for signal coordination and pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility improvements (2015 UPWP outreach).
Route 228 In the vicinity of Route 3 as it crosses Norwell, Hingham, and Rockland Hingham, Norwell,  Rockland SSC 5 MassDOT, Rockland, Norwell, Hingham 2.5 5 21,800 6.1 4.0 0 1 Conceptual TIP project #968 VFW Drive, Weymouth Street, Hingham Street (full-depth reconstruction) includes the southern half of the segment

MassDOT Project #603414 Bridge Rehabiltiation, Derby Street (Route 228) over Route 3 NB and SB; completed in summer 2015.

MassDOT #604391 Reconstruction and Improvements on Route 228, from Queen Anne's Corner (Route 53) to Merrymount Road (Phase II); completed in spring 2010.
2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium Conceptual TIP project #968 includes half the segment in its scope.

SSC cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014 via a formal letter and verbal comments at MAPC subregion meeting.
Route 27 Upland Road (near Pine Grove Avenue) to Massapoag Brook (between Canton Street and Gabriel Road) Sharon TRIC 5 Sharon 1.7 3 13,900 2.4 2.9 0 0 No projects 1 1 2 2 1 7 Medium TRIC cited this roadway in the UPWP FFY 2012 outreach. 
Route 117 Weston town line to Route 20 Waltham ICC 4 Waltham, MassDOT (0.05 mile section at Interstate 95) 1.3 5 17,500 3.3 4.6 0 0 No projects 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium In FFY 2012 UPWP outreach, Waltham proposed this roadway for the Priority Corridor study. Major proposals include widening the bridge over Route 128, connecting Route 2 by extending Green Street, and other critical intersection improvements.

In FFY 2016 UPWP outreach, MetroWest proposed this corridor as part of a subarea study that includes Route 20 and Route 30 between Waltham and Weston.
Route 38 Woburn town line to Tewksbury town line Wilmington NSPC 4 MassDOT 4.0 3 17,500 5.2 5.3 0 5 Pre-TIP/MassDOT Project 608051: Reconstruction on Route 38 (Main Street), from Route 62 to the Woburn city line. The roadway will consist of two 11-foot lanes, two five-foot bike lanes and a six-foot sidewalk. Turn lanes and upgraded traffic signals will be installed at Route 62; preliminary design phase.

Pre-TIP/MassDOT Project 607327: Bridge Replacement, Route 38 (Main Street) over the Boston and Marine Corporation Railroad; preliminary design phase.
2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium Pre-TIP #608051 has a scope covering half of the segment's length. The project is under design.

NSPC cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014. Both Routes 38 and 62 serve as conduits through Wilmington to I-95 and I-93, and contain congested signalized intersections and traffic and pedestrian safety issues.
Route 35 Route 97 in Topsfield to Route 114 (Margin St.) in Peabody Topsfield (less than 0.05 mi), Danvers, Peabody NSTF 4 Topsfield (less than 0.05  mi), Danvers, Peabody, MassDOT 6.0 5 17,250 2.4 1.8 0 1 Advertised TIP #606609 Bridge Replacement, Route 35 (Water Street) over Waters River

MassDOT Project #87612 Reconstruction of two Interchanges on Route 128, with Route 62 and with Route 35; complete Autumn 2012
1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium NSTF cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014.

Verbal comments were made a MAPC subregion meeting and a letter for the FFY 2014 UPWP was submitted.
Route 129 Swampscott town line to Ocean Ave. Marblehead NSTF 4 Marblehead 1.5 3 12,100 2.2 2.7 0 0 No projectsConceptual TIP Arterial and Intersection Project 972 Atlantic Avenue (Route 129) ends at the location boundary, near Seaview Avenue in Marblehead
1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium The North Shore Task Force (NSTF) cited this roadway as one of the subregion's priority roadways for study in the FFY 2013 and FFY 2014 UPWP. High traffic volumes between Marblehead and Lynn are creating bottlenecks in this corridor. 
Route 127 Route 133 in Gloucester to Route 127A in Rockport Gloucester, Rockport NSTF 4 MassDOT, Gloucester, Rockport 4.7 3, 5 16,950 1.7 1.7 0 1 No projects 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium NSTF cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014. Study should  include how to improve bike facilities and bike-to-rail connections in this heavily traveled tourist area and build on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway to the region.
Route 38 I-95 Interchange to Wilmington town line Woburn NSPC 4 MassDOT, Woburn 1.4 3 19,250 6.9 3.6 0 2 Conceptual (2013) TIP Arterial and Intersection Project #1449 Route 38 (Main Street) Traffic Lights, consisting of replacing outmoded traffic signal controls for the twelve signalized intersections along Route 38 in Woburn
2 1 2 1 1 7 Medium NSPC and Woburn requested a study of the I-95 rotary interchange and the traffic signals at Route 38 and Elm Street. The area north of I-95 recently reconstructed by developer.

MassDOT District 4 notes high crash locations at Elm Street and at the I-95 Rotary. While a study may have value, they suggested that a Road Safety Audit (RSA) may be a more appropriate way to address these locations. 
Route 114 Salem town line to Route 129 (Ocean Ave) Marblehead NSTF 4 Marblehead 1.4 3 16,750 2.7 6.4 0 0 No projects 1 1 2 2 1 7 Medium NSTF cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014. Study should  include how to improve bike facilities and bike-to-rail connections in this heavily traveled tourist area and build on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway to the region. 
Route 129  Lynn town line to Marblehead town line Swampscott NSTF 4 Swampscott, DCR (less than 0.1 mi) 2.5 3 19,000 1.9 5.2 0 0 Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program, CTPS and MAPC Study

Conceptual TIP project 972: Atlantic Avenue (Route 129), roadway rehabilitation from Puritan and Humphrey to the Marblehead town line
1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium Part of the segment falls under a conceptual TIP project.

NSTF cited this roadway in 2012 as one of the subregion's priority roadways for study in the FFY 2013 and 2014 UPWP.  Segment in downtown Swampscott is a bottleneck for those traveling from Marblehead to Lynn.

MassDOT District 4 notes that the intersection of Route 129 and Burrill Street is a high crash location and an RSA could address safety and congestion issues. 
Route 109 Millis town line to Dover town line Medfield TRIC 3 Medfield 3.2 3 16,000 3.0 1.9 0 0 MassDOT Project 601654: Roadway reconstruction including signals on a section of Route 109 (Main Street). The project is in the preliminary design phase. 0 2 2 2 1 7 Medium In FFY 2016 UPWP outreach, Medfield cited Route 109 as a major commute route to Interstate 95 that puts stain on the adjacent communities.
Edgell Road Route 9 to Water Street in Framingham Framingham MetroWest 3 Framingham 2.2 5 18,500 3.5 1.8 0 0 Pre-TIP 602038 Edgell Road Corridor Project: Reconstruct pavement and improve signalization at Water St, Brook St, Central St, and Vernon St (close to Route 9)

No projects in MassDOT project database.
1 2 2 2 0 7 Medium The roadway was first mentioned in FFY 2008 UPWP outreach and cited in the MetroWest Working Group Meeting in 2016.
Route 37 Braintree town line to Brockton town line Holbrook SSC 5 MassDOT and Holbrook 3.6 3 15,500 5.1 3.9 1 2 FFY 2013 Safety and Operations at Intersections

Conceptual TIP #1044 Intersection improvements at South Franklin Street and King Road
2 1 2 1 1 7 Medium Not suitable for selection since the SSC subregion is already well-represented by past Subregional Priority Roadways projects.

The Town of Holbrook has been in contact with the district and is interested in improvements, particularly multimodal transportation improvements.  
Main Street Wakefield town line to Central Street Saugus ICC 4 Saugus and MassDOT 2.9 3, 5 16,950 2.6 2.1 0 1
No projects
1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium In FFY 2012 UPWP outreach, Saugus requested the MPO to consider performing a roadway/sidewalk/traffic light/pedestrian access assessment study, to be called a Main Street/Saugus Center Corridor Study.
Route 3A Burlington Mall Road to Francis Wyman Road (Route 62) Burlington NSPC 4 MassDOT 3.8 3 23,100 2.5 1.1 0 2 TIP Programmed/MassDOT Project 608068: Adaptive Traffic Control Signal System on Cambridge Street (Route 3A), Middlesex Turnpike Road, and Burlington Mall Road. Installation of compatible traffic signal control equipment, video detection, communication devices and software to integrate 11 MassDOT and 16 Town owned traffic signal locations into one adaptive signal system.  1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium MPO staff identified this roadway segment. MassDOT District 4 expressed interest in examining the inconsistent roadway cross-sections and the potential for pedestrian and bicycle accommodations in 2015. It's now considered low priority as Project 608068 advanced in 2016.
Route 127 Route 1A in Beverly to Route 133 in Gloucester Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester NSTF 4 MassDOT, Manchester, Beverly 13.6 5, 6 4,850 1.8 0.9 0 1 Advertised TIP project 607441: Safe Routes to School includes about 0.10 mi of Route 127 near Lincoln Street in Manchester; construction is underway.

MassDOT Project #607707 Resurfacing and Related Work on Route 127; preliminary design phase (last updates from 2013).

Advertised (2013) TIP Project 600220 in construction on Route 1A in Beverly terminates near the intersection with Route 127.
0 2 2 1 1 6 Medium MassDOT Project #607707, which is currently in the preliminary design phase, covers two-thirds of the segment in scope.

NSTF cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014. Study should  include how to improve bike facilities and bike-to-rail connections in this heavily traveled tourist area and build on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway to the region.
Route 97 Route 1A in Beverly to Topsfield/ Boxford town line Beverly, Wenham, Topsfield NSTF 4 Beverly, Wenham, Topsfield 8.9 5 15,000 0.8 0.3 0 1 MassDOT Project #604028 Intersection Improvements on Route 97 (Topsfield Road) at Cherry and Maple Streets; complete 2009.

Pre-TIP Project 605020: Border (New Hampshire) to Boston Bikeway intersects Route 97 in Wenham.
0 2 1 1 1 5 Low NSTF proposed to study this segment in conjunction with the Route 97 corridor in Boxford, Georgetown, and Haverhill (Merrimack Valley Planning Commission). This may have implementation challenges.

Segment mentioned in Fall 2014 LRTP Outreach and Fall 2012 via public comment and a letter for the FFY 2014 UPWP Universe.
Route 133 Route 127 in Gloucester to Route 1A in Ipswich Essex, Gloucester, Ipswich NSTF 4 MassDOT, Essex 11.0 5, 6 10,500 0.7 0.2 0 0 MassDOT Project 602146: Resurfacing and Related Work on a Section of Route 133 (Essex Road). The project includes pedestrian improvements from the intersection of Route 1A to the Essex Town Line, a distance of approximately two miles; complete spring 2011.

MassDOT Project 600217: Reconstruction of Route 133 (Main Street) from North of Western Avenue to Waters Street in Essex (about one mile). It includes concrete sidewalks and pavement markings; complete autumn 2013.
0 2 1 1 1 5 Low MassDOT Project 602146 covers all of the Ipswich portion of the segment, and 600217 covers some of the Essex portion.

This is the last of three sections proposed for study by Essex National Heritage Commission. It was cited in the 2013 UPWP outreach. A two-mile section in the Essex downtown area was recently reconstructed (summer 2011). 
Route 2A/King Street Route 495 Southbound ramps to  Ayer town line Littleton MAGIC 3 MassDOT 2.5 3 15,000 1.5 0.4 0 0 MassDOT Project 605504: Bridge Betterment, Route 2A (King Street) over I-495; scheduled to complete in 2013. 0 2 2 0 1 5 Low Requested by Littleton in 2015.
              * Functional Classification
                     2 = principal arterial, 3 = rural minor arterial or urban principal arterial, 5 = urban minor arterial or rural major collector, 6 = urban collector or rural minor collector 
** Selection Criteria
    Safety Conditions: Location has a high crash rate for its functional class or contains areas with a high number of crashes or with a significant number of pedestrian/bicycle crashes.
    Multimodal Significance: Location supports transit, bicycle, or pedestrian activity, has significant potential to enhance these activities, or has a heavy vehicle (truck/bus) issue.
    Subregional Priority:  Location carries a significant proportion of subregional vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic or is essential for its subregional economic, cultural, or recreational development.
    Implementation Potential: Location is proposed or endorsed by the subregion, by the roadway administrative agency (agencies), or has strong support from all of its stakeholders.
    Regional Equity: Location is situated in a subregion that has not been selected for this study in the past two years.
                Acronyms and Abbreviations Acronyms and Abbreviations
AADT = Annual average daily traffic.  ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act.  ADT = Average daily traffic.  BAT = Brockton Area Transit Authority.  CTPS = Central Transportation Planning Staff.  DCR = Department of Conservation and Recreation.  DEIR = Draft Environmental Impact Report.  EJ = Environmental justice.  ENHC = Essex National Heritage Commission.  EPDO = Equivalent property damage only.  FFY = Federal fiscal year.  GATRA = Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.  HSIP = Highway Safety Improvement Program. ICC = Inner Core Committee.  LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan.  MAGIC = Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination.  MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council.  MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.   MVMT = Million vehicle miles traveled.  MetroWest = MetroWest Regional Collaborative.  MPO = Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.  MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.  NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council.  NSTF = North Shore Task Force.  RSA = Road safety audit.  RTA = Regional transit authority.  SSC = South Shore Coalition.  SWAP = South West Advisory Planning Committee.  TIP = Transportation Improvement Program.  TRIC = Three Rivers Interlocal Council.  UPWP = Unified Planning Work Program.




1  Unified Planning Work Program, Federal Fiscal Year 2018, endorsed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization on June 15, 2017.

2  Work Program for Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment: Federal Fiscal Year 2018, approved by the Boston Region MPO on October 19, 2017.

3 HSIP-eligible crash clusters are defined by MassDOT as crash clusters that rank within the top five percent of crash clusters for each Regional Planning Agency, based on the Equivalent Property Damage Only (EDPO) index. In the EDPO index, property-damage-only crashes are awarded one point each, crashes involving injuries are given five points each, and fatal crashes are given ten points each. In the Boston Region MPO, 939 intersections are identified from MassDOT 2012–14 Crash Data as the top five percent crash clusters with a minimum EDPO value of 41.

4 Pedestrian Level-of-Service Memorandum, Ryan Hicks and Casey-Marie Claude, Boston Region Metropolitan Organization, January 19, 2017.