Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Unified Planning Work Program Committee Meeting Summary

April 12, 2018 Meeting

11:45 AM–12:45 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 3,
10 Park Plaza, Boston

Bryan Pounds, Chair, representing Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee agreed to the following:


Materials for this meeting included the following:

1.    Draft Meeting Summary for the March 15, 2018, UPWP Committee Meeting

2.    Proposed federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019 UPWP Budget Tables and List of Discrete Studies

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

Bryan Pounds (MassDOT/UPWP Committee Chair) led introductions and circulated the sign-in sheet. Members and staff present introduced themselves.

2.    Approval of March 15, 2018, Meeting Summary—Sandy Johnston, UPWP Manager

The chair asked for a motion and a second to approve. Members made these motions and the summary was approved unanimously.

3.    Proposed FFY 2019 MAPC 3C-Funded Planning Activities—Eric Bourassa, Transportation Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)

Eric Bourassa described MAPC’s use of UPWP funds, approximately 20 to 30 percent of the total in a given year. The UPWP funds some of MAPC’s ongoing transportation planning activities. E. Bourassa and Sandy Johnston, CTPS/UPWP Manager, showed the committee the relevant budget tables in the handout. E. Bourassa explained some of the work that MAPC does with these funds, including supporting subregions, modeling, and creating a “feedback loop” between land use and transportation planning. MAPC reviews all development projects for impact on the transportation system. They also conduct more discrete studies on corridors and subareas, helping municipalities to plan for particular areas. That body of work has been very popular. Tom Bent (City of Somerville/Inner Core Committee) asked about the success rate of the plans, whether or not municipalities implemented them. E. Bourassa answered that they have a good success rate, with Malden being an example of a successfully implemented parking plan. Discussion of Malden and parking plans followed. MAPC has also been conducting subregional mobility studies, including looking at the role of Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, and the like. E. Bourassa asked S. Johnston to send out the text of the MAPC UPWP program description to members, and S. Johnston replied that it would be in the draft UPWP document to be shown at the next meeting. B. Pounds asked about MAPC’s disposition of Federal Transit Administration 5303 funds. There was discussion between B. Pounds, E. Bourassa, and others about how to sum up FFY 2018 and 2019 Section 5303 funds, including the discovery of a typo in the budget tables. E. Bourassa also mentioned that in FFY 2019 MAPC would be in the process of updating the MetroFuture strategic plan, including building off the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

4.    Proposed FFY 2019 UPWP Budget—Karl Quackenbush, Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) Executive Director

Karl Quackenbush introduced the committee to the FFY 2019 UPWP budget tables. He explained that approximately two-thirds of CTPS funds in a given year are from 3C funds, and one-third comes from agency contracts. He explained that there are many ongoing programs that do not change from year to year and explained each of them to the committee. Every year, CTPS managers conduct an extensive ground-up analysis of how many person-days they expect each staffer to spend on each project. At the same time, Robin Mannion (CTPS Deputy Executive Director) works from the top down to align revenue estimates with these expenditure and staff time estimates. Steve Olanoff (Town of Westwood/Three Rivers Interlocal Council) asked about some realignment of funds from previous years. Discussion followed.

K. Quackenbush explained that there are some changes in the Certification Activities section of the UPWP, primarily revolving around the need to provide funds for the upcoming federal certification review. He assured the committee that the noted reduction in funds to the budget line for Regional Transportation Advisory Council (RTAC) support does not represent a reduction in staff support, but rather that less senior staff would be spending their time on it due to the retirement of the current manager, and that this had been discussed with Tegin Teich (City of Cambridge/Regional Transportation Advisory Council). Discussion of this issue followed. T. Teich affirmed that she felt the posited level of support was sufficient. B. Pounds affirmed that he is comfortable with staff’s proposed model of support for RTAC. S. Olanoff asked about the possibility of a committee for transit operators being created, since it had been discussed as one way of dealing with the MPO’s obligation to represent Regional Transit Agencies on the board, and whether that would interact with RTAC at all. B. Pounds responded that it would be dealt with when the time comes.

K. Quackenbush and Lourenço Dantas (Certification Activities Group Manager) explained that Performance-Based Planning and Programming (PBPP) is defined as a separate line item in this year’s UPWP budget, where previously it had been rolled into the LRTP. There was discussion about the balance between PBPP and LRTP funding and why the LRTP funding was less than in previous years. B. Pounds asked where the Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation plan update is in the UPWP; L. Dantas explained that it is in the Transportation Equity section. K. Quackenbush continued to walk the committee through the UPWP budget, including discrete studies from FFY 2018 that are now projected to continue into FFY 2019 because of staff departures or some other factor. Discussion followed.

5.    Proposed FFY 2019 List of Discrete Studies—Bryan Pounds, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, UPWP Committee Chair

B. Pounds noted that the discrete studies—the list on which the committee voted the previous month—are funded with money remaining in the budget aside from the ongoing programs. S. Johnston explained that the committee had already seen the names of the studies but that they now have full text descriptions and budgets attached. K. Quackenbush explained that the budget estimates for the discrete studies had been developed independently of the rest of the process and somewhat coincidentally worked out nearly exactly to fill the funds that were available. B. Pounds clarified that none of the studies that the committee had prioritized had been cut this year; the list worked independently with the budget that CTPS managers developed. B. Pounds further asked staff to explain some of the details of the relative budgets of several studies. Staff, including Scott Peterson (CTPS Director of Technical Services) and Annette Demchur (CTPS Director of Policy and Planning) explained the details of the studies. Discussion followed. Members offered their appreciation for staff’s work on these studies and budgets.

6.    Members Items

K. Quackenbush explained the development of the CTPS budget for agency-funded work. This is the trickiest part of the budget to develop, since the agency contracts are complex and can take a long time to develop. There was discussion about the details of how these contracts work. S. Olanoff was particularly interested in these issues. Staff agreed to try to make the table format more user-friendly.

7.    Next Meeting

It was decided that no formal vote was necessary at this meeting. The next meeting would be on the full draft document, on May 3, 2018, before the away MPO meeting in Woburn. There was discussion of what would be on the agenda for that meeting.

8.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by a member and seconded by another member. The motion carried.



and Alternates

City of Boston (BPDA)

Tom Kadzis

Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Bryan Pounds

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Glenn Trindade

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

Steve Olanoff


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Robin Mannion

Annette Demchur

Scott Peterson

Mark Abbott

Lourenço Dantas

Sandy Johnston