Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

May 2, 2019 Meeting

10:00 AM–12:30 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

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


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 15.

2.    Public Comments  

David Knowlton (City Engineer, City of Salem) advocated for and provided an update on project #5399 (Reconstruction of Bridge Street in Salem), which is eligible to be programmed in the MPO’s next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Destination 2040. D. Knowlton stated that this project addresses one of the last remaining unimproved corridors from the Salem and Beverly Transportation Improvement Plan, undertaken in the 1990s. D. Knowlton stated that the project location has Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues, drainage problems, and lighting issues. D. Knowlton added that the project location connects to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Commuter Rail Station in downtown Salem, noting that the western end of Bridge Street is undergoing increased development that necessitates improved connections. D. Knowlton stated that original designs for this project were subject to a 1992 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that placed restrictions on the project’s design because of its proximity to historic landmarks. The original cross section also abutted a rail line. The City of Salem believes the 1992 MOU no longer applies and wants to work with MassDOT to revise the design to create a Complete Streets concept that does not have historic district or rail impacts. D. Knowlton stressed the City of Salem’s commitment to the project and asked that the MPO program this project in Destination 2040.

Josh Ostroff (Transportation for Massachusetts) advocated for the inclusion of a congestion pricing study in the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). J. Ostroff stated that he spoke in support of a congestion pricing study proposed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) at a UPWP Committee meeting in February 2019. J. Ostroff stated that it appears it may not be practical for the study to be included in the FFY 2020 UPWP based on the existing budget, but added that it is important that the study concept remain on the MPO’s radar. J. Ostroff noted that as the MPO considers millions of dollars in improvements to the region’s roads, consideration must be given to how roads are operated. J. Ostroff stated that the MPO must leverage its knowledge of highway usage to further the goals of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth by moving more people with fewer vehicles. J. Ostroff cited recent studies that state the Boston Region has the worst congestion in the country and surveys that reflect the negative experience of commuters in the region. J. Ostroff stated that congestion harms the economy and the environment and disproportionately affects low-income communities. J. Ostroff asked that once MassDOT publishes its ongoing congestion study, the MPO give serious consideration to addressing this issue via the UPWP or other means.

3.    Chair’s Report—Steve Woelfel, MassDOT

There was none.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports—Bryan Pounds, Chair, Unified Planning Work Program Committee

B. Pounds reported that the UPWP Committee would meet on May 16, 2019, prior to the MPO meeting. The committee will vote to recommend that the MPO board release the Draft FFY 2020 UPWP document for a 30-day public review period.

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

T. Teich reported that the Advisory Council would meet at 3:00 PM on May 8, 2019. The Advisory Council will be drafting a comment letter regarding the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

A. Demchur introduced a new hire to the MPO Staff’s Certification Activities Group, Judy Fung. A. Demchur reported that MassDOT is holding a series of trainings on the Massachusetts Project Intake Tool, the web-based project initiation application for MassDOT Highway Division projects. The training in the Boston region will take place on June 5, 2019, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, at MassDOT Highway District 6 offices in Boston.

7.    Approval of March 28, 2019, MPO Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 28, 2019, was made by MAPC (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (Tina Cassidy). The motion carried.

8.    Long-Range Transportation Plan: Sizing of Investment Programs and Continued Discussion of Major Infrastructure Projects—Anne McGahan, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Staff Recommendations for Funding Goals

2.    LRTP Major Infrastructure Universe of Projects Summary

3.    Summary of Evaluated Major Infrastructure Projects for the Destination 2040 LRTP

4.    Key to Descriptions of Projects in the LRTP Universe of Projects

5.    Destination 2040: Universe of Projects Survey Results

6.    Written Public Comments Received Following April 25, 2019 RE: LRTP Destination 2040 Development

7.    Presentation: Destination 2040 Projects and Programs

Sizing of Investment Programs

At the MPO meeting on April 25, 2019, the MPO began discussing the staff-recommended investment programs for Destination 2040. Following that discussion, MPO staff created recommended funding goals for the investment programs that the MPO would like to include in Destination 2040.

The following recommended investment programs emerged from the Needs Assessment and MPO and public input.

Existing Investment Programs

·         Complete Streets

·         Intersection Improvement

·         Bicycle and Pedestrian

·         Community Transportation/Parking/Clean Air and Mobility

·         Major Infrastructure

New Investment Programs or Project Types

·         Transit Modernization Program

·         Additional funding under the Complete Streets Program for dedicated bus lane projects

Additional information on the dedicated bus lanes and the transit modernization program can be seen in the handouts posted to the MPO meeting calendar on April 25, 2019.

The “Staff Recommendations for Funding Goals” handout shows the actual allocations to existing programs in the draft FFYs 2020–24 TIP, which will be the first time band of Destination 2040, and staff recommended goals for 2025–40. To determine the recommended goals, staff reviewed the types of projects the MPO has funded since the current LRTP was adopted in 2015. Since then, a higher percentage of projects submitted to the MPO for funding have been Complete Streets projects. The average cost for Complete Streets projects has risen from $6 million per mile in 2015 to almost $8 million per mile today. Therefore, staff recommends that funding for the Complete Streets program be increased to match the 43 percent programmed in the draft FFYs 2020–24 TIP. Staff added 2 percent to include additional funding for dedicated bus lanes.

For Intersection Improvements, the MPO has allocated 11 percent of its target funds to this program in FFYs 2020–24. The average cost for intersection projects remains constant at about $2.8 million per intersection. Staff recommends reducing this goal by 1 percent to a 13 percent funding goal.

Staff recommended that the goal for Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections be held constant to continue MPO support for these projects. For the Community Transportation/Parking and Clean Air and Mobility, staff also recommended holding the goal constant to allow time for the Community Transportation program to be rolled out.

Staff proposed a five percent funding goal for the Transit Modernization program given that it is a new program without specific projects or costs yet associated with it. This would allocate about $9 million more than the MPO originally proposed to flex to the MBTA to fill the gap in FFY 2021 of the TIP. These funds were instead allocated to the Sumner Tunnel project.

Staff allocated the remaining 30 percent of funding to the Major Infrastructure program. This corresponds to the funding programmed in FFYs 2020–24 for major infrastructure program highway projects.


Daniel Amstutz (At-Large Town) (Town of Arlington) asked whether the funding percentages are year by year or for a given five-year time band of the LRTP. A. McGahan replied that the percentages are per five-year time band, that is, a given TIP cycle.

T. Teich asked whether the definition of Major Infrastructure projects programmed in the LRTP is still those costing more than $20 million and/or adding capacity to the network. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has made some statements that indicate this may not be the correct definition. A. McGahan replied that this definition is still correct for Destination 2040, but the MPO can revisit the issue once the plan is adopted. T. Teich stated that she would appreciate further discussion. T. Teich asked whether, under the recommended programs, a project like the Green Line Extension (GLX) would still be under Major Infrastructure or under Transit Modernization. A. McGahan replied that GLX would be under the Transit category of Major Infrastructure.

Ken Miller (FHWA) asked if staff have a sense of how many projects currently classified under Major Infrastructure could be reclassified as Complete Streets projects if a new threshold were to be established. A. McGahan replied that she could provide this information following the meeting. K. Miller added that the federal definition of a regionally significant project that would have to be included in the LRTP is anything that adds capacity, with the definition of “adding capacity” corresponding to adding more than one mile of travel lane to a major highway.

E. Bourassa stated that MPO members have been given to understand in the past, by FHWA, that $20 million is the correct figure, and asked whether some clarity could be provided going forward. K. Miller replied that FHWA’s guidance going forward is that no other definition should be used other than regional significance for air quality concerns.

T. Teich stated that the current funding goals include considerations of large Complete Streets projects, and expressed concern that simply eliminating Major Infrastructure as a category would reclassify large Complete Streets projects into a program with a smaller funding goal where they would compete for fewer dollars. T. Teich added that any discussion of a new definition should consider this complexity.

Jim Fitzgerald (City of Boston) (Boston Planning & Development Agency) asked how the federal definition would account for a bus rapid transit (BRT) project. A. McGahan stated that it would depend on whether the project converted a travel lane for BRT or added a lane, which would increase capacity. K. Miller clarified that the definition is adding capacity specifically for single-occupancy vehicles.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) expressed concern that the funding goal for Major Infrastructure essentially eliminates some projects from consideration.

S. Woelfel advised MPO staff to move forward with the recommended funding goals.

Continued Discussion of Major Infrastructure Projects

A. McGahan continued reviewing projects in MassDOT Highway Districts 3, 5, and 6 that are eligible for programming in Destination 2040, which she began at the meeting on April 25, 2019.

The following are projects for which discussion occurred or public comments were given. Summary information related to all projects can be seen in the Key to Descriptions of Projects in the LRTP Universe of Projects handout.

I-290/I-495 Reconstruction and Bridge Replacement in Hudson and Marlborough
T. Teich asked MassDOT to provide more information on why certain bridge projects are included in the Universe of Projects but not prioritized by MassDOT for funding with statewide funds. S. Woelfel replied that they would do so at a future meeting. A. McGahan stated that this bridge project is more akin to an interchange reconstruction that includes a bridge, and other bridge projects included are those that are municipal priorities.

Traffic Signal and Safety Improvements at Interchange 17 (Newton Corner) in Newton
David Koses (At-Large City) (City of Newton) expressed support for the reconstruction of Newton Corner to address serious safety concerns at this location.

T. Teich echoed D. Koses’ remarks and emphasized that any design should consider transit given that this location is served by multiple express bus lines.

I-93/Route 3 Interchange (Braintree Split) in Braintree
T. Teich asked why this project was included in a previous LRTP and removed from Charting Progress to 2040. A. McGahan replied that this was because of the MPO’s policy of not programming single projects that would require more than 50 percent of funding in a five-year time band. K. Miller added that, previously, a line item existed in the statewide budget for MPOs to use for major projects each year. This was removed and funding reallocated to overall MPO target funding. This means that each MPO is generally constrained to its target funding each year. K. Miller stated that this is another reason why there is less funding for major projects and suggested that a discussion be had about restoring this funding.

Rick Reed (Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination) (Town of Bedford) stated that it would be easier for the MPO to commit some funds to large projects if it had the assurance that MassDOT was committing to fund the remainder via statewide funding. S. Woelfel replied that MassDOT is in the process of developing its FFYs 2020–24 Capital Investment Plan (CIP), which will list the projects MassDOT is committed to funding via statewide funds over the next five years. S. Woelfel noted that the priority for MassDOT’s investments has been on reliability and modernization with limited funds committed to expansion. R. Reed stated that without statewide commitment to fund at least part of a large project like the Canton Interchange, or an estimate of when MassDOT might be open to funding it, the MPO cannot plan to partially fund such projects. A. McGahan noted that, in past plans, the MPO has included a list of illustrative projects, which are projects that the MPO thinks are important but are beyond its capability to fund given current fiscal constraints. The MPO could also leave the outer years of the plan unprogrammed. S. Woelfel stated that if the MPO were to commit partial funding to a large expansion project, MassDOT would have to provide a response regarding its willingness to match those funds.

Richard Canale (At-Large Town) (Town of Lexington) asked why the Canton Interchange would not qualify as a modernization project. S. Woelfel stated that the definition of modernization has been investments aimed at achieving state of good repair with some enhancement.

T. O’Rourke stated that the Canton Interchange project fits the definition of modernization.

Steve Olanoff (TRIC Alternate) noted that the Canton Interchange was also removed from the LRTP because MassDOT made a commitment to fund it with statewide funds. That commitment has since expired and proponents would like to return the project to the MPO for funding. S. Olanoff added that it is a modernization project that technically adds capacity by adding an extra lane for one mile, which he stated is a safety feature. S. Olanoff stated that the 25 percent design status of the project is not accurate because the state has allowed certain permits to expire. S. Olanoff stated that the project is well designed and can advance rapidly once funding is secured.

Conley Rail Service in Boston
S. Olanoff stated that the Advisory Council had been concerned about this project because of the potential to move freight off the roadways and advocated for its completion.

Other Projects

J. Fitzgerald introduced three other Boston Complete Streets-type Major Infrastructure projects not originally in the Universe for consideration. They are Multimodal Improvements along Blue Hill Avenue/Warren Street, from River Street to Dudley Street; Multimodal Improvements along Summer Street, from Boston Wharf Road to First Street; and Multimodal Intersection Improvements along Columbia Road, from Blue Hill Avenue to Kosciuszko Circle.

A. McGahan also presented transit Major Infrastructure projects that the MPO can consider for programming in Destination 2040. The following are transit Major Infrastructure projects considered Next Priorities in Focus40, the MBTA’s long-range plan.

·         Silver Line to Everett

·         Green Line to Route 16

·         Rail Vision Implementation

·         Red Line/Blue Line Connector

The MPO chose not to program any Major Infrastructure projects in the last 10 years of the current plan to wait for the release of Focus40.

Major Infrastructure Project Evaluations

A. McGahan presented project evaluations for the majority of the Major Infrastructure projects presented over the last several MPO meetings. Staff evaluated projects based on four of the six MPO goal areas:

·         Safety

·         System Preservation

·         Capacity Management

·         Economic Vitality

Detailed information on project design would be needed to evaluate the Transportation Equity and Air Quality goal areas. Once selected, all of the projects in Destination 2040 will undergo Transportation Equity and Air Quality analyses. Staff will provide the MPO with a memorandum summarizing the methodology used for the evaluations at a later meeting.

Policy Questions

The MPO must decide whether to

·         change the policy of programming no more than 50 percent of funding in each five-year time band to major infrastructure to programming no more than 30 percent in each five-year time band to major infrastructure;

·         change the policy of not programming single projects that would require more than 50 percent of funding in a five-year time band to not programming single projects that would require more than 30 percent of funding in a five-year time band;

·         consider funding transit Major Infrastructure projects; and

·         continue programming projects that were included in Charting Progress to 2040.

Public Comment

MPO staff conducted an online survey concerning the Universe of Projects. MPO staff also received the following public comment letters following the meeting on April 25, 2019.

A summary of survey responses and a compilation of comment letters are posted to the MPO meeting calendar.


There was some discussion of how MPO staff estimated funding available and project cost for Destination 2040. For Destination 2040, the baseline for MPO target funds is the FFYs 2020–24 TIP. A 2.2 percent increase in funding was assumed to project out to 2040. Estimated project costs are inflated by four percent per year. Some projects have cost estimates based on initial designs. MPO staff compared costs with similar projects to attain estimates. More conceptual projects may not have estimates associated with them.

D. Koses asked why the Blue Line to Lynn was not included in the list of transit projects. S. Woelfel stated that the Blue Line to Lynn was included in Focus40 as a preferred location where there is capacity to expand transit access, and MassDOT is working on a study with the City of Lynn. At this time, construction of the project has no timeline.

J. Monty noted that major transit expansion projects are likely to have costs comparable to interchange reconstructions, which would limit the MPO’s ability to fund them. A. McGahan replied that they would likely involve cost sharing with the state. The findings of Rail Vision are not likely to be released until the end of 2019, but they could include some projects that the MPO could afford. J. Monty added that there may be opportunities to combine highway projects with transit improvements, such as funding the reconstruction of Sweetser Circle in Everett in conjunction with a Silver Line extension.

K. Miller noted that the MPO’s TIP programs federal transit funds and the MPO could choose to pursue a particular transit project.

E. Bourassa asked whether MassDOT has a sense of the condition of elevated highway structures in the region. Michael O’Dowd (MassDOT Highway Division) stated that MassDOT continues to evaluate the state’s priorities for bridge rehabilitation and replacement.

J. Fitzgerald expressed the City of Boston’s support for the Cypher Street Extension and Charlestown Haul Road projects.

R. Canale stated that Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenue, which A. McGahan reviewed at the last meeting, is a priority for leadership in Lexington and 25 percent design funding is being pursued.

A. McGahan asked that MPO members think about their positions on the policy questions prior to the next meeting.

9.    Development of the MPO’s Disparate Impact and Disproportionate Burden (DI/DB) Policy—John Gliebe, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Presentation: DI/DB Policy for the LRTP, Part 1: Quantifying Uncertainty

J. Gliebe presented an overview of work he conducted to quantify uncertainty in the MPO’s regional forecasting model to support the development of a DI/DB policy. This policy applies to major infrastructure projects in the LRTP as a group and will be used to determine whether the build scenario for Destination 2040 could adversely affect minority and/or low-income populations. MPO staff convened three working group meetings and one public workshop in 2018 to determine what metrics stakeholders deemed important for measuring possible adverse effects. During the public process, staff and stakeholders determined that it was necessary to account more accurately for uncertainty in the MPO’s travel demand model to be more confident about its predictions related to DI/DB metrics.

Suggested metrics that emerged from the DI/DB process include highway and transit accessibility to jobs, retail, healthcare, and higher education; average highway and transit travel time; and environmental concerns like congested vehicle miles traveled and exposure to carbon monoxide emissions. Metrics are calculated at the transportation analysis zone level and averaged by population group for the entire region.

It was important for MPO staff to determine whether it was possible to measure these metrics with confidence and ascertain whether the difference between LRTP build and no-build scenarios would exceed the statistical error in the regional model. Forecasting is difficult because it has to account for human behavior and future conditions. The MPO’s model has a complex set of assumed behaviors, data inputs, statistical relationships, and algorithms. Sources of uncertainty in the model include demographic and cost change, mode bias, service frequency, capacity assumptions, and generation rates.

The objective of J. Gliebe’s work was to estimate a forecasting error interval for each DI/DB metric by testing the regional model’s sensitivity to these sources of uncertainty and observing how model outputs change in response to changes. Staff developed a set of meta models that can test many combinations of inputs quickly to generate a distribution of outcomes. Staff identified 18 key drivers of regional model uncertainty, ran experiments varying key inputs, collected metrics, estimated meta models from results, made thousands of predictions using the meta models, and derived forecasting error intervals from these predictions.

The results varied by mode and population group, and not all metrics were useful for determining whether build scenarios have statistically significant impacts because of high uncertainty. Highway accessibility metrics, for example, have high uncertainty. Transit access, mobility, and environmental metrics have low uncertainty. This allowed staff to determine that some metrics might not be suitable for inclusion in the DI/DB policy and produced error intervals that can be used in the final policy’s analysis framework.

Lenard Diggins (MBTA Rider Oversight Committee) asked whether MPO staff tested this on older LRTPs to see what the results would be. J. Gliebe replied that staff initially tried to do so, but found that metrics were calculated differently in previous plans.

Wig Zamore (Somerville Resident) asked whether MPO staff focuses on the top five percent of exposures for environmental metrics. S. Woelfel stated that staff would come back to this issue in the coming weeks.

10.Draft DI/DB Policy—Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Presentation: DI/DB Policy for LRTP, Part 2: The Draft Policy

2.    Draft DI/DB Policy

The DI/DB policy will be used to evaluate the major infrastructure projects—or program of projects—programmed in the LRTP for potential future disparate impacts and disproportionate burdens on minority and low-income populations. This would be when an Environmental Justice (EJ) population is projected to receive fewer benefits compared to a non-EJ population, or would experience more burdens. The DI/DB policy responds to requirements stemming from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the EJ executive order, which prohibit disparate impacts—when a seemingly neutral practice disproportionately affects minority populations—and disproportionate burdens on low-income populations, respectively.

MPO staff began developing the policy with public engagement in the spring of 2018 by collecting input about recommended metrics from stakeholders groups. In response to the public input, staff updated the metrics and the analysis method for determining the existence of potential future DI/DBs. This included the modeling work described under agenda item 9. The metrics are not part of the policy itself, as they will be updated more frequently with analytical advancements and further input from the MPO and the public.

The DI/DB policy serves as a consistent and transparent way to comply with federal regulations, offers the MPO direction for addressing equity for the duration of the four years of each LRTP, and helps the MPO to gauge progress in the related goal area, Transportation Equity.

The policy allows the MPO to determine whether the impacts are statistically valid and whether minority or low-income population is likely to be more adversely affected. The tool for answering these questions is forecasting error. This allows MPO staff to identify only those impacts that would be likely because of the program of projects and avoid labeling impacts as disparate impacts or disproportionate burdens when they would be the result of model forecasting error. For those impacts for which MPO staff is confident would be the result of the program of projects, staff would determine if the EJ population would be more adversely affected than the non-EJ population. For any metric where this is the case, this would indicate that there is a potential future DI/DB.

In the next fiscal year, staff plans to develop a way to address the question, “If the minority or low-income population would be more adversely affected, is the difference practically significant?” The tool staff will use to answer that question is called a threshold. Federal guidance states that DI/DBs are those impacts where minority or low-income population may be affected significantly more than nonminority or non-low-income population. This work will define what “significantly more” means for each metric.

In a hypothetical travel time example, the model shows that the no-build travel time for the minority population is 20 minutes, while the travel time for the build scenario is 25 minutes. This means the travel time increase is projected to be five minutes. For this example, the forecasting error is two minutes. MPO staff must determine whether the expected impact—five minutes—is greater than the forecasting error—two minutes. Because it is, staff would be confident that the minority population is likely to see an increase in travel time. The same process would be conducted for the nonminority population, where the no-build travel time is again 20 minutes, but the build travel time is 23 minutes, so the projected impact is three minutes. Staff would then compare the two-minute forecasting error to the projected impact of three minutes. Three minutes is greater than two, so staff could be confident that the nonminority population is likely to see an increase in travel time. Then, staff would compare the projected impact to the minority population to the projected impact on the nonminority population to determine if there is a potential future disparate impact. Since the five-minute increase in travel time in the build scenario for the minority population is greater than the three-minute increase in travel time for nonminority populations, there would be a potential future disparate impact.

Staff will conduct this calculation for every metric and report results in the LRTP—results from build and no-build scenarios, the projected impact, and whether the policy indicates a potential disparate impact or disproportionate burden. Even if the analysis indicates a disparate impact, there is still no disparate impact right now. There likely would be one in 20 years if the major infrastructure projects funded in the LRTP are built as planned. This means that the MPO has time ameliorate any DI/DBs.

The MPO can implement the program of projects if a sufficient justification is provided for the program of projects and there is no alternative available that would have fewer disparate impacts. To make that case, the MPO must provide a justification for programming this particular program of projects. The justification must relate to the MPO’s mission, describe why this particular program of projects carries out that mission, and show why it outweighs the disparate impacts. This must be supported by evidence. The MPO must also determine if there is an alternative that would meet the same goal of the program of projects but that is projected to have fewer DI/DBs.

The MPO must implement an alternative if there is one that would likely have fewer disparate impacts. The first option is to develop mitigation strategies through TIP project programming in future TIPs—though not through amendments of the current TIP. Staff would develop mitigation strategies by recommending projects in the TIP that could address the particular disparate impacts.

The second approach is to apply the policy in future LRTPs to various programming scenarios during the project selection process to avoid potential DI/DBs. This approach will also make it easier for the public to provide input during the planning process. Because of the timing this year, this approach will not be possible for Destination 2040, so potential DI/DBs will have to be mitigated through future TIPs. If more than one metric indicates a potential disparate impact, the MPO would have to mitigate each one individually.

Staff is finalizing a memo that documents this work. A description of the DI/DB analysis and results will be included in Destination 2040. In FFY 2020, staff will develop thresholds for each metric. The results of this work will be incorporated into future updates to the DI/DB policy.


D. Koses noted that some projects might increase congestion or travel time but provide multimodal options or improve safety. D. Koses asked how this was accounted for by the policy. B. Harvey replied that the policy will not be used to analyze any one project, but the program of projects in the LRTP as a whole. B. Harvey stated that federal guidance includes room for justification of programming a certain group of projects by weighing the benefits and burdens it would provide to EJ populations.

K. Miller noted that because the DI/DB policy would not necessarily indicate which projects are causing adverse effect, given that it analyzes a group of projects together. B. Harvey agreed, stating that the policy is only one tool the MPO has to address equity in all its plans and programs. In addition, MPO staff has project selection criteria for TIP projects, which might result in projects that are beneficial to EJ populations.

T. Teich thanked MPO staff for its work on this policy and stressed that the MPO should pursue other ways of addressing equity.

11.Members’ Items

S. Woelfel reported that MassDOT will hold public meetings for the CIP beginning on May 21, 2019.

E. Bourassa reported that the position for Executive Director of MPO staff has been posted to the MPO website and asked members to circulate widely.


A motion to adjourn was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (Tom Kadzis). 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)

Daniel Amstutz

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

Sheila Page

Richard Canale

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Ken Miller

Chris Timmel

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Steve Woelfel

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano

Michael O’Dowd

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)


Massachusetts Port Authority


MBTA Advisory Board

Paul Regan

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)


Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Rick Reed

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Aaron Clausen

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)


South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)


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

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


David Knowlton

City of Salem

Charles Aspinwall

Town of Canton

Matthew Falkenstein

MBTA Advisory Board

Chris Timmel


Allie Ruel

City of Quincy

Sarah Bradbury

MassDOT Highway District 3

Constance Raphael

MassDOT Highway District 4

Bryan Pounds


Sara Scully


Steve Olanoff

TRIC Alternate

Josh Ostroff


Sheila Page

Town of Lexington

Frank Tramontozzi

City of Quincy

Kristiana Lachiusa


Lenard Diggins


Todd Baldwin

Town of Saugus

Charles Howard

Belmont TAC

Wig Zamore


Bill Conroy



MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director

Scott Peterson, Co-Interim Executive Director

Róisín Foley

Judy Fung

Matt Genova

Betsy Harvey

Sandy Johnston

Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman

Anne McGahan

Michelle Scott