Draft Memorandum for the Record

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

May 3, 2018 Meeting

9:00 AM–9:45 AM, Woburn Country Club, 5 Country Club Road, Woburn, MA 01801

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 Amendment One to the FFY 2018 UPWP

2.    Draft FFY 2019 UPWP

3.    Quarterly Progress Reports for Second Quarter of FFY 2018

Meeting Agenda and Summary of Discussion

1.    Introductions

Bryan Pounds (MassDOT/UPWP Committee Chair) circulated the sign-in sheet and asked members and staff to introduce themselves.

2.    Public Comments

There were none.

3.    Action Items

a. Recommendation to the MPO for Draft Amendment One to the FFY 2018 UPWP

B. Pounds introduced Draft Amendment One to the FFY 2018 UPWP. The amendment reflects a request from the MPO’s federal partners—the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA)—to start the process of certification review during FFY 2018. In discussions, it became apparent that $40,000 would be required to cover the costs of that work. Karl Quackenbush (MPO Executive Director) explained that these funds could be reallocated from the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles study, which was programmed in the FFY 2018 UPWP, because this study has not fully started and because many aspects of that study could be incorporated into other, ongoing MPO programs. Additionally, some staff members who were to work on that study have departed Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS).

K. Quackenbush discussed some of the details of the federal certification review. The first stage is a “desk review” where the federal agencies ask the MPO for documents. The $40,000 programmed for recertification in this amendment is primarily to cover costs for this phase. Annette Demchur (CTPS Director of Policy and Planning) will be the point person for this work. The other $10,000 from the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles budget will be reallocated to the MPO Support budget line, where it is needed due to higher-than-expected expenditures. Thus, the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles study would be eliminated and its $50,000 budget fully reallocated.

B. Pounds explained some of the details of the recertification timeline. There was some discussion about budgeting for staff support to the MPO and its committees and to the Regional Transportation Advisory Council. B. Pounds briefed Eric Bourassa (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) on the discussion.

B. Pounds asked for a motion to forward Draft Amendment One to the FFY 2018 UPWP to the MPO for the body to review and release the document for public comment. E. Bourassa made the motion and another member seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

b. Recommendation to the MPO for Draft FFY 2019 UPWP

Sandy Johnston (CTPS/UPWP Manager) discussed the draft document and handouts available, noting that committee members are largely familiar with the Draft FFY 2019 UPWP document. He explained that there are a few changes to this year’s UPWP, specifically the expanded Certification Activities chapter.

The discussion then proceeded to various specific points about the budget. B. Pounds said that FTA informed MassDOT that the new Section 5303 allocation would be available in a week or two, thus small changes might have to be made to the budget during the public comment period. There was some discussion about the budgets for the Long-Range Transportation Plan and Performance-Based Planning and Programming; the latter program had previously been listed as a part of the former, but is now included as its own budget line. B. Pounds noted that most work on the Disparate Impact and Disproportionate Burden policy would be done during FFY 2018.

Then the discussion focused on the text of the UPWP document. S. Johnston noted that he was still looking for material for Appendix A of the UPWP regarding non-MPO-funded transportation studies in the Boston region. He explained that the draft document does include Appendices C (the Universe of Proposed Studies) and D (Geographic Distribution of UPWP Work Items). B. Pounds asked if the UPWP Committee’s process is described anywhere in the document; S. Johnston replied in the affirmative, noting that this process is covered in the first three chapters of the UPWP.

B. Pounds asked for a motion to approve forwarding the Draft FFY 2019 UPWP to the MPO for the MPO to review and release the document for public comment. E. Bourassa made the motion and Tegin Teich (City of Cambridge/Regional Transportation Advisory Council) seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

4.    Quarterly Progress Reports for Second Quarter FFY 2018—Karl Quackenbush, MPO Executive Director

K. Quackenbush presented the progress reports for the second quarter of FFY 2018 and offered to answer any questions the committee members might have. B. Pounds and K. Quackenbush discussed the details of certain projects, especially Safe Routes to School, which originated in FFY 2015 and is still active. B. Pounds asked about MPO Staff-Generated Research Topics, which has not been expended for FFY 2018. K. Quackenbush responded that several staff members have ideas that they are interested in presenting to the MPO, as was done in the previous fiscal year.

Steve Olanoff (Town of Westwood/Three Rivers Interlocal Council alternate) asked about some of the new items on the Schedule of Operations, such as the Commuter Rail Vision Study Support project and Suffolk Downs Redevelopment. Scott Peterson (CTPS Director of Technical Services) explained the details of the MassDOT Rail Vision project, which is just kicking off as two-year project and which CTPS will support via the Commuter Rail Vision Study Support line item. He further explained that the developer of Suffolk Downs has asked CTPS to examine how the development will impact the transportation network, including Route 1A and the Blue Line. Another line item, MassDOT Highway Division On-Call Modeling Support, is an ongoing contract with MassDOT to provide travel demand modeling support to the MassDOT Highway Division.

David Koses (At Large-City/City of Newton) asked if it might make sense to wait on Suffolk Downs to see if any significant announcement is made regarding the future of the site. S. Peterson replied that future changes to the redevelopment plan may result in a refiling, but stakeholders want some preliminary information on traffic and changes in the corridor.

5.    Members’ Items

T. Teich announced that the City of Cambridge is very excited about several items: the City had just hosted a public meeting for bus/bike lanes on Mt. Auburn Street; there will be a contract out for a multi-use path on the Grand Junction right-of-way; and the City is scheduling the redesign of River Street and part of Central Square. E. Bourassa added that MAPC is working with the Town of Arlington on a project to implement dedicated bus lanes on Massachusetts Avenue as well; both that project and the Mt. Auburn Street project are funded in part by the Barr Foundation’s Bus Rapid Transit initiative. A committee member mentioned that Everett is experimenting with dedicated bus lanes as well.

6.    Next Meeting

Staff and members discussed holding the next committee meeting immediately before the MPO meeting on June 21, 2018, so that the committee could recommend that the MPO endorse the final FFY 2019 UPWP.

7.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made and seconded. The motion carried.




and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

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

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

Tom O’Rourke

Three Rivers Interlocal Council Alternate (Town of Westwood

Steve Olanoff



MPO Staff / Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Róisín Foley

Annette Demchur

Lourenço Dantas

Sandy Johnston

Jen Rowe