Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

April 11, 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 16.

2.    Public Comments  

Michael Jaillet (Town Administrator, Town of Westwood) and Charles Aspinwall (Town Administrator, Town of Canton) advocated for the inclusion of project #87790 (Interchange Improvements at I-95/I-93/University Avenue  and I-95 Widening in Canton and Westwood) in the MPO’s next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This project is estimated to cost approximately $31 million and would need to be programmed in the LRTP before being included in the TIP. This project is not currently recommended for programming in the FFY 2020-24 TIP. M. Jaillet stated that securing funding for this project is long overdue, adding that he personally has been working on this project for 25 years. M. Jaillet stated that supplemental work on the I-95 northbound slip-ramp and add-a-lane projects are nearing completion and the full benefit of these projects will only be felt when the interchange is completed. M. Jaillet urged the MPO to keep this project active and include it in the next LRTP, stating that the area is a chokehold that restricts economic development in Westwood and Canton. C. Aspinwall encouraged MPO members to drive through the project location at rush hour to observe the current conditions and understand the need for the project’s completion.

Kristen Guichard (Senior Planner, Town of Acton) thanked MassDOT and the MPO for their support of project #608229 (Intersection Improvements at Massachusetts Avenue [Route 111] and Main Street [Route 27] [Kelley’s Corner] in Acton). K. Guichard submitted a written letter of support from Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti, which is posted on the MPO meeting calendar. This project is currently programmed in the FFY 2022 annual element of the TIP. K. Guichard reported that 89 percent of voters at Acton’s Town Meeting on April 1, 2019, voted in favor of supplemental funding for engineering, design, and appraisal services for this project. K. Guichard stated that 75 percent design plans are underway and the town expects to meet the schedule for advertisement in FFY 2022.

Tino Capobianco (Office of State Senator Paul R. Feeney) advocated for the inclusion of project #87790 in the MPO’s next LRTP and the TIP. T. Capobianco submitted written letters of support from Senator Feeney and State Representatives John H. Rogers and Paul McMurtry, which are posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

3.    Chair’s Report—Steve Woelfel, MassDOT

S. Woelfel stated that, prior to item 9 on this agenda, John Bechard (MassDOT Highway Division) would provide an update on MassDOT’s work to identify highway projects that could be ready for funding with funds that currently remain available in the later years of the Draft FFYs 2020–24 TIP.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

There were none.

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

T. Teich reported that the Advisory Council met on April 10, 2019, to discuss the TIP process and the possible programming of MBTA projects with funds that remain available in the later years of the Draft FFYs 2020–24 TIP. T. Teich stated that Advisory Council members asked questions about the transparency of the TIP process with respect to project readiness, expressed general support for how the development process was communicated to them this year, and overall supported the formalization of flexing MPO funding to transit projects via an MBTA Modernization program or other avenues.

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

A. Demchur reminded the MPO board that staff from the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization will visit Boston for a peer exchange on June 5 and 6, 2019, and plan to spend the day on June 5 meeting with board members. A. Demchur asked members to contact staff if they are interested in participating.  

7.    Approval of March 21, 2019, Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 21, 2019, was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway) (Glenn Trindade). The motion carried.

8.    Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Major Infrastructure Project Updates—Anne McGahan, MPO Staff, and Project Proponents

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    LRTP Universe of Projects

2.    LRTP Universe of Projects- New Projects

3.    Key Descriptions of Projects in the LRTP Universe of Projects

4.    All Written Public Comments Received RE: LRTP, Destination 2040, Development

A. McGahan reviewed the development process for the next LRTP, Destination 2040, and the documents presented at this meeting. The next step in the process is to choose investment programs and set funding goals for each program. Then, the MPO board will decide on the specific major infrastructure projects that will be included in the LRTP.

The Universe of Projects, which lists the projects under consideration for Destination 2040, was initially presented to the board in December 2018. During outreach, MPO staff received comments about additional projects that were incorporated into the revised Universe of ProjectsNew Projects handout. There are two new highway projects and two new transit projects.


The two conceptual highway projects are as follows:


·         Improvements to the Route 16/Route 28 Interchange in Medford

·         Alewife Bicycle/Pedestrian/Transit Connection at a Potential Future Commuter Rail Station

The two transit projects are as follows:


·         Commuter Rail Station at Alewife

·         Grand Junction Passenger Transit

MPO staff has received eleven public comment letters regarding highway projects during outreach. Four letters pertain to projects that are currently programmed in the LRTP:

·         Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston

·         New Boston Street Bridge in Woburn

·         Route 126/135 in Framingham

Six letters expressed support for the I-93/I-95 interchange project in Canton. One letter, from the Town of Concord, expressed support for the Concord Rotary project.

A. McGahan presented information on projects in MassDOT Highway District 4 eligible for programming in the Major Infrastructure program, stating that the MPO would hear updates on projects in Districts 3, 5, and 6 at the meeting on April 25, 2019.

With input from MassDOT Highway District offices and municipalities, MPO staff developed summary spreadsheets for all highway projects approved by MassDOT’s Project Review Committee and well-defined conceptual projects. Some District 4 proponents asked to provide comment at the April 25th meeting, but A. McGahan provided a summary of these projects in advance of these comments. This information can be found in the “Key Descriptions of Projects in the LRTP Universe of Projects” handout. A. McGahan reviewed projects for which a municipality is the proponent first, alphabetical by municipality, followed by projects for which MassDOT is the proponent. Below are those projects that were discussed by members or for which comments were provided.

District 4: Municipal Projects

Routes 2A/16 in Arlington and Cambridge

T. Teich stated that the City of Cambridge and Town of Arlington will work with MPO staff on clarifying the scope of this project, which currently combines improvements on Massachusetts Avenue and Route 16 with bus rapid transit (BRT) improvements at Alewife Station.

Richard Canale (At-Large Town) (Town of Lexington) echoed the need to clarify the scope, and acknowledged that a number of municipalities are concerned about bus access to Alewife.

Daniel Amstutz (At-Large Town) (Town of Arlington) stated that his initial understanding was that this project was more focused on the intersection of Route 16 and 2A, and he reiterated the need to clarify the project scope.

Sweetser Circle (Route 16 and Route 99) in Everett

A. McGahan stated that Jay Monty (At-Large City) (City of Everett) would provide comments at the meeting on April 25, 2019.

Route 1A/Lynnway/Carroll Parkway in Lynn

E. Bourassa noted that staff of the City of Lynn indicated that this project is not their top priority, but they asked that it remain the Universe. He added that while it does not rise to the level of priority of other projects in Lynn it is still an important project.

Ken Miller (Federal Highway Administration) noted that the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns this corridor, and he asked whether the City would take ownership of the corridor in order to complete the project. E. Bourassa clarified that one side of the corridor is owned by DCR and the other is owned by MassDOT.  

Reconstruction of Western Avenue (Route 107) in Lynn

A. McGahan stated that staff of the City of Lynn indicated that this project is a priority and requested that it be programmed in the FFYs 2026–30 time band of the LRTP.

Route 60 in Medford and Arlington

A. McGahan stated that this location was identified by MPO staff as a designated bottleneck location in the Needs Assessment for the LRTP.

I-93/Route 125/Ballardvale Road in Wilmington

A. McGahan stated that staff of the Town of Wilmington  indicated that they are not pursing this project and it can be removed from the Universe.

District 4: MassDOT Projects

Bridge Replacement, B11001, Bridge Street over Bass River (Hall Whitaker Drawbridge) in Beverly

Interchange Reconstruction at Route 128/Exit 19 at Brimbal Avenue (Phase II) in Beverly

Drawbridge Replacement/Rehabilitation, B11005=S01-013, Kernwood Avenue over Danvers River in Beverly and Salem

A. McGahan stated that Aaron Clausen (North Shore Task Force) (City of Beverly) asked to provide comments on all three projects in Beverly at the meeting on April 25, 2019.

K. Miller asked why the bridge projects are included in the Universe, given that the MPO does not typically use Regional Target funds to fund bridge projects. A. McGahan replied that her understanding is that if MassDOT does not prioritize funding for a bridge project, the MPO could do so if it considers it a priority.

Concord Rotary in Concord

Chris Holbrook (Town Engineer, Town of Concord) thanked the MPO board members for their consideration and advocated for the inclusion of the Concord Rotary project in Destination 2040.

Interchange at Walnut Street and Route 1 in Saugus

A. McGahan stated that this project is a priority for MassDOT District 4. The project was initially progressing toward 100 percent design plans, but it was removed from the TIP and LRTP. MassDOT has indicated that should the project be added back into the LRTP, the design would be updated and advanced to 100 percent.

E. Bourassa stressed the importance of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in the eventual design, citing some concerns that were expressed regarding the original design. J. Bechard replied that he would look into this issue.

Tina Cassidy (North Suburban Planning Council) (City of Woburn) asked why the project was removed from the TIP and LRTP. J. Bechard replied that it was removed due to the cost and uncertainty regarding the design.

McGrath Highway in Somerville

Brad Rawson (Director of Transportation and Infrastructure, City of Somerville) thanked the MPO and MassDOT for their support of this project and advocated for its inclusion in the LRTP in the FFYs 2026-30 time band.

Interchange Improvements to I93 and I95 in Woburn, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield

T. Cassidy expressed the City of Woburn’s support for the inclusion of the project in Destination 2040.


The following projects in District 4 appear to be moving forward and could be considered for inclusion in Destination 2040:

Municipal projects

·         Western Avenue (Route 107) in Lynn

·         Bridge Street in Salem

MassDOT projects

·         Interchange Reconstruction at Route 128 and Brimbal Avenue in Beverly

·         Concord Rotary in Concord

·         Reconstruction and Widening of Route 1 in Malden, Saugus, and Revere

·         Mainline Improvements on Route 128 in Peabody

·         Interchange Reconstruction at Walnut Street in Saugus

·         McGrath Boulevard in Somerville

·         I-93/I-95 Interchange in Woburn, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield

Two projects could potentially be programmed in the TIP without being listed in the LRTP:

·         Medford Square in Medford

·         Reconstruction of Route 107 in Salem

One project can be removed from the Universe:

·         I-93/Ballardvale Interchange in Wilmington


T. Teich noted that a number of projects in the LRTP Universe seem to be addressing safety concerns by increasing capacity on roadways, and she expressed concern about increasing roadway capacity without comparable improvements to transit. T. Teich added that it would be helpful to understand how the projects compare to each other.

E. Bourassa echoed T. Teich’s concerns, noting that the focus in recent years has been on Complete Streets, and he stated that it is important to scrutinize what these projects are actually accomplishing and think about how they would improve mobility across the region.

D. Amstutz agreed with T. Teich and E. Bourassa, citing a concern that these projects are expensive and do not necessary address long-term problems in the region.

R. Canale asked A. McGahan to review the schedule for the development of the LRTP.

A. McGahan noted that the MPO’s current policy, established with the current LRTP Charting Progress to 2040, is to not program any projects that would cost more than 50 percent of the entire funding available in any five-year time band of the plan. This has essentially removed some of the larger interchange projects from contention. A. McGahan stated that the MPO will hear about more highway projects on April 25, 2019, as well as transit projects. MPO staff are updating project evaluations now and will bring information on the current investment program goals. Information about proposed new investment programs will also be presented on April 25, 2019. In May, the MPO will talk about investment goals and decide on projects to include in the plan.

Steve Olanoff (Three Rivers Interlocal Council alternate) stated that he was under the impression that the issue of widening highways to increase capacity had been settled, and that this is not a strategy that works because it only generates more traffic. A. McGahan replied that inclusion in the Universe just signifies that a project is eligible for inclusion and addresses an existing need.

E. Bourassa asked whether it is appropriate to include transit projects in the LRTP Universe that are not in Focus 40, given the lengthy process the MBTA conducted to finalize its long-range investment plan. A. McGahan stated that these projects are included to acknowledge that the needs MPO staff heard about via public outreach.

T. Teich added that it might be useful to think about how some existing needs could be addressed differently, instead of simply increasing roadway capacity. T. Teich also noted that some stakeholders involved in the Focus 40 process were given the impression that just because a project was not included in the final Focus 40 document did not mean it was excluded from further discussion.

9.    Transit Programming in the FFYs 2020-24 TIP—Samantha Silverberg, MBTA, and Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP Transit Programming: Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) and MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA)

2.    Presentation: MBTA Capital Investment Plan Overview

The discussion about transit programming was preceded by J. Bechard’s update on MassDOT’s work to identify highway projects that could be ready for funding with funds that currently remain available in the later years of the Draft FFYs 2020–24 TIP. The MPO board tentatively proposed to flex these funds to MBTA projects. J. Bechard stated that MassDOT has committed to reconstructing the Sumner Tunnel in Boston. He explained that the project is at the 100 percent design stage, but the plans are in need of some updates. The cost estimate for this project is $115 million to 125 million, and MassDOT believes that it could be ready for advanced construction funding by FFY 2021 and capture approximately $22 million of the MPO’s Regional Target funds that currently remain available in that year. J. Bechard added that this project would be scheduled following MassDOT’s work on the Tobin Bridge and Route 1, and that no permitting or right-of-way takings would be required. He offered to provide more specifics to the next meeting.

Regional Transit Authority Programming

M. Genova briefly reviewed the Draft FFYs 2020–24 programming for the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA). M. Genova stated that the programming includes funding for operations and maintenance, the replacement of vehicles, the outfitting of vehicles with new technology, maintenance of IT infrastructure, the provision of travel training to riders, and the maintenance of station facilities.

E. Bourassa asked why some of the line items for CATA’s projects list no federal funds but still indicate that there are matching funds. Felicia Webb (CATA) replied that this is not a true match, rather it indicates that a project is 100 percent funded by state funds.

MBTA Capital Investment Program Process

S. Silverberg stated that the best way to influence the MBTA’s Capital Investment Program (CIP) is to attend Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) meetings. There will also be a formal public comment period for the document when it is released in May and June.

The MBTA begins developing initial estimates of capital funding sources in December and January. Federal funding represents less than half of the MBTA’s current capital plan. MBTA staff collect project proposals from MBTA departments, work with the FMCB to set initial program sizes, score and evaluate projects, and assemble a draft project list by March. In April, the MBTA presents updates to funding sources to the FMCB and the federal program to the MPO for approval and inclusion in the TIP. In May, the joint FMCB and MassDOT boards will vote to release the full draft CIP for public comment. In June, the joint boards will vote on approving the final CIP document. Because the MPO’s TIP is assembled prior to the CIP’s endorsement, the MBTA often returns to the MPO with a TIP amendment in the summer or fall to align the TIP with the final approved CIP.

During this CIP cycle the MBTA incorporated Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan data and findings, implemented the first set of “next priorities” from Focus 40, and focused on execution and optimization of the capital program.

The MBTA has a total estimate of $8 billion available for the next five-year plan. Federal funds continue to be the single largest source of capital for the MBTA; a large percentage is the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Green Line Extension (GLX) project. MBTA bonds, including sustainability bonds, support the 20 percent match for federal projects as well as projects funded soley by the MBTA. State funds make up $2 billion, including the Rail Enhancement Program (REP). The “Pay-Go/Lockbox” for customer-facing projects includes $60 million per year in bond cap and $90 million in appropriated state assistance, and other funding sources include municipal contributions and reimbursements.

The federal funding program is a subset of the larger MBTA capital program and is determined after projects are prioritized. Of $3.8 billion in total federal funds, approximately $2.3 billion is available for programming in the TIP, including $1.065 million in Section 5307 urbanized area formula funds, $1.163 million in Section 5337 fixed guideway state of good repair funds, and $47 million in Section 5339 bus and bus facilities funds.

Consistent with the overall MassDOT Capital Plan, the MBTA CIP is structured around priorities and programs. The three main priorities, in order of importance, are reliability, modernization, and expansion. The biggest change to the modernization category this year is the addition of the Green Line Transformation program, and the main addition to the expansion category is “Expansion Project Development,” which provides funds to advance preliminary work on the next priorities in Focus 40. Within each program, new project proposals are scored and ranked using MassDOT’s Project Selection Advisory Council (PSAC) Criteria. These criteria included scores for system preservation, mobility, cost effectiveness, economic impact, safety, social equity and fairness, environmental and health effects, and policy support. MBTA leadership also consider project readiness, resource impacts, modal and geographic equity, and sequencing and scheduling when prioritizing projects.

Once the prioritization process produces a draft project list, MBTA staff assign or update funding sources to optimize available funds. The resulting draft CIP is a balanced set of investments that optimize available funds to address system needs and strategic priorities. The current TIP proposal reflects an amendment to FFY 2019 and the new program for FFYs 2020–24. Draft FFYs 2020–24 CIP spending by priority, program, and mode can be seen on slides 13 and 14 of the presentation posted to the MPO meeting calendar.


T. Teich stated that the Advisory Council is very interested in obtaining more information regarding project scoring and achieving as much transparency as possible around the process. T. Teich asked S. Silverberg when the MBTA plans to bring more information about projects the MPO could fund in FFY 2021, given that MassDOT has now advanced the Sumner Tunnel as a possible candidate for this funding. S. Silverberg replied that this information will be presented at the next meeting, in addition to information on the inclusion of a MBTA Transit Modernization program in the LRTP.

Jim Fitzgerald (City of Boston) (Boston Planning & Development Agency) asked how often the MBTA looks at reliability through an economic impact lens. S. Silverberg stated that reliability improvements are primarily driven by asset condition, but economic impact is something that the MBTA considers.

Eric Papetti (Federal Transit Administration) asked S. Silverberg to clarify the meaning of FTA Funds (Prospective). S. Silverberg stated that these are grant funds the MBTA expects to expend in FFYs 2020–24. The availability of this funding is subject to the reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act as well as other federal funding sources.

10.Transit Provider Representation on the MPO Board—Michelle Scott, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Technical Memorandum: Recommendations for an MPO Transit Committee

2.    Presentation: Transit Provider Representation on the MPO Board- Continued Discussion and Next Steps

3.    Public Comment Letter from CATA

The MPO board last discussed the topic of transit provider representation at the meeting on January 17, 2019. This discussion began in response to a recommendation from federal agencies in the MPO’s 2015 Certification Review. The full text of that recommendation can be seen in the memorandum posted to the MPO meeting calendar. Federal agencies recommend that the MPO work with MWRTA and CATA to ensure that these providers of public transportation are represented on the MPO board in a way that is satisfactory to all parties. Guidance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) emphasizes having transit agencies that receive FTA Urbanized Area Formula Funding (Section 5307) represent transit interests on MPO boards. In the Boston region, the transit agencies are the MBTA, MWRTA, and CATA. The MBTA receives the vast majority of this region’s formula funding, but CATA and MWRTA do receive some funding on an ongoing basis.

The last formal action the MPO took on this topic was in November 2018. At that time, the MPO adopted a motion to modify the MPO’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) to add a voting member to the MPO board who would represent a transit committee. MWRTA would represent this committee on the MPO board for three years once the updated MOU is executed.

At the January 17, 2019, meeting staff raised a series of questions regarding the makeup of such a committee for MPO discussion. The MPO board then directed staff to come up with a more detailed proposal for board members to consider. While developing the proposal, staff conducted a survey of MPO members that covered the questions brought up in the meeting. Over half of the board members responded. Appendix A of the memo summarizes these responses.

Staff also considered both the MPO’s recent discussions about this topic and the results from the survey. Through these discussions and survey responses, MPO members have expressed diverse perspectives and opinions regarding whether to expand the MPO board to include representatives of transit providers other than the MBTA, whether to provide direct representation for CATA and MWRTA, or whether to create a transit committee. Members also provided feedback regarding the potential composition of a transit committee and who would represent that committee on the MPO board. When developing recommendations regarding a new committee, MPO staff worked to balance diverse opinions and federal guidance and recommendations.

In January and February, MPO staff consulted with representatives of MWRTA and CATA, who expressed that they were in agreement with a committee option as an alternative to individual or rotating seats on the board. Recently, CATA submitted a letter to the MPO chair expressing support for a shared seat with MWRTA on the MPO board, and for MWRTA holding that seat for the initial three-year term. That letter is included in the meeting materials for today. On April 2, MWRTA and CATA provided a statement to the MPO board indicating that representation of these agencies on the MPO board should not be diluted in the form of the committee, which indicates that they may no longer find the committee option acceptable. The full text of their statement is on page 5 of the memo. These agencies affirmed this statement in a phone conversation.

Given the MPO’s directive, MPO staff has provided a proposal for a transit committee, but staff would like the board to be aware of this additional feedback. MPO staff’s proposed next step for the development of a committee is to hold an outreach event with potential participants. MPO staff and board members could participate in this event and talk to participants about how a committee might work. Staff would like to coordinate with Advisory Council leadership on the event, as some of the committee’s potential members might be current Advisory Council members.

MPO staff recommend that the committee’s mission relate to supporting transit provider representation (addressing the topic raised by FHWA and FTA), advising the MPO board (showing the committee’s connection to the board), and providing a forum for public transportation providers to discuss topics of mutual interest and concern (emphasizing the need for coordination that many MPO members have raised).

Regarding potential membership, staff has made some modifications based on the last discussion and survey feedback. The committee would be expanded to include a designated seat for the MBTA, and fixed-term seats would be established for other regional transit authorities (RTAs), transportation management associations (TMAs), and municipalities that provide shuttle service for the general public. Seats are listed as “up to” a certain number in order to accommodate more or fewer participants based on interest.

Staff’s recommendation on this point is to restrict eligibility for representation on the MPO board to RTAs the program funds in the MPO’s TIP— MWRTA and CATA. This approach aligns with federal guidance regarding the selection of transit provider representatives and would most directly address the representation of the transit agencies mentioned in the federal recommendation.

Staff defers to the Advisory Council on the issue of whether transit committee members could also vote on the Advisory Council. Staff recommends identifying a liaison to support communication between the two groups.


E. Bourassa expressed support for the approach staff recommended and for ascertaining which TMAs would want to participate. E. Bourassa asked T. Teich whether MassCommute has a seat on the Advisory Council.

T. Teich responded that MassCommute does have an Advisory Council seat but does not attend meetings regularly. She added that the committee could be a good option for adding more transit voices to the MPO’s conversations. T. Teich expressed support for the Advisory Council’s participation in outreach to potential transit committee members. She said that if the committee option were not the best way to go forward, the outreach might provide information about ways the Advisory Council could involve transit agencies.

Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) asked M. Scott to estimate the cost to Central Transportation Planning Staff to administer the committee. M. Scott stated that the initial estimate staff provided in November 2018 was $50,000 to $90,000, depending on the number of meetings per year.

R. Canale asked whether an entity could be a member of the Advisory Council and the transit committee. T. Teich stated that nonvoting members could participate in both groups, and in the event there was no overlap in membership, a liaison from the Advisory Council to the transit committee, or vice versa, could be appointed to ensure coordination.

K. Miller noted that the federal recommendation was to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of all parties. He asked M. Scott whether CATA and MWRTA agree with the formation of a committee. M. Scott stated that recent communications suggest they would not be satisfied with staff’s recommendation. K. Miller suggested that the RTA seat not be a directed vote on behalf of the committee, expressing concern that a directed vote would provide additional MPO board representation to MassDOT or the MBTA. The committee could still support coordination among transit providers.

S. Woelfel stated that MPO staff should do more outreach to other transit providers in the region to ascertain whether a committee is a desired solution.  

T. Teich suggested that there could be a rotating CATA/MWRTA seat and a seat for a representative of the transit committee.

K. Miller responded that that would be up to the MPO.

J. Fitzgerald asked whether staff had recently reached out to TMAs regarding the transit committee. M. Scott responded that MPO staff last reached out to TMAs and other potential participants in 2017, when the MPO was last discussing this topic. At that time, some TMAs and other participants noted that the committee proposal was interesting and asked staff to contact them when the MPO was making progress.

S. Silverberg stated that the MPO is trying to solve two different problems: one is complying with the federal requirement and the other is making sure transit is considered in programming discussions. S. Silverberg stated her opinion that perhaps the right approach is the simplest one and a committee is not necessary.

M. Scott stated that another consideration is the question of coordination among transit providers in the region. She added that regardless of the MPO’s decision regarding creating a committee, MPO staff would continue to seek opportunities to support this coordination, including through its public outreach process.

S. Woelfel stated that the consensus seemed to be to have staff move forward with the outreach.

Dennis Giombetti (MetroWest Regional Collaborative) (City of Framingham) asked MPO staff to provide a timeline for outreach to transit providers. A. Demchur replied that staff would bring this information to the next meeting.

R. Canale stated that it seemed like the consensus was that the RTAs should have one additional rotating seat regardless of whether a committee is actually necessary.

S. Woelfel then directed staff to create a timeline for outreach, conduct the outreach, and bring that information back to the MPO board so that the board could determine whether a committee, as recommended by staff, would be satisfactory to all parties.

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

This item was postponed to the meeting on April 25, 2019.

12.Members Items

T. Teich asked for an update on the search for a new MPO Executive Director. E. Bourassa stated that the job would likely be posted within the next week. T. Teich requested that MPO members who are participating in the search committee be allowed to review the job description.


A motion to adjourn was made by the South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway) (G. Trindade) and seconded by the At-Large Town (Town of Lexington) (R. Canale). The motion carried.




and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)


At-Large City (City of Newton)

Nicole Freedman

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Daniel Amstutz

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

Richard Canale

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Ken Miller

Amy Sullivan

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Steve Woelfel

MassDOT Highway Division

John Bechard

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Samantha Silverberg

Massachusetts Port Authority


MBTA Advisory Board


Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

David Manugian

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Denise Deschamps

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)

Glenn Trindade

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

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Felicia Webb

Cape Ann Transportation Authority

Constance Raphael

MassDOT District 4

Michael Jaillet

Town of Westwood

Steve Olanoff

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (alternate)

Kristen Guichard

Town of Acton

Charles Aspinwall

Town of Canton

Christ Olbrot

Town of Concord

Tony Lionetta

BETA Group

Eric Papetti


Ryan Bartlett


Tino Capobianco

Office of State Senator Paul Feeney

Bryan Pounds


Sara Scully


Brad Rawson

City of Somerville


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director

Scott Peterson, Co-Interim Executive Director

Róisín Foley

Hiral Gandhi

Matt Genova

Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman

Anne McGahan

Michelle Scott