Technical Memorandum


DATE:   November 7, 2019

TO:         Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

FROM:   Chen-Yuan Wang, MPO Staff

RE:         Selection of FFY 2020 Subregional Priority Roadway Study Location


1          background

During the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) 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, MPO staff developed a work program titled Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways. The program adheres to the following MPO goals.


The program has been well received by municipalities and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) district offices and has been included in the UPWP since 2013, including this federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020.1 Another purpose of the study is to identify roadway segments in the MPO region that are of concern to subregional groups but have not been cited 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, pedestrian, and freight transportation, transit feasibility, and other subjects raised by subregional groups.


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


2          Selection Procedure

Selecting the study location comprised three steps:


2.1      Gathering Data and Identifying Potential Roadways

MPO staff identified potential study roadways through various means:




MPO staff then assembled the following detailed data for these roadways:



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 22 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 and prioritized locations by applying a score based on safety conditions, multimodal significance, subregional priority, implementation potential, and regional equity.







2.3      Rating Potential Roadways

Roadway segments with a score of five points or fewer 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 22 potential locations, MPO staff identified three as high priority:



Staff also evaluated the pedestrian accommodation and safety improvement needs for the three locations by applying the MPO’s Pedestrian Report Card Assessment.5 All three locations qualify highly for pedestrian accommodation or safety improvement requirements. Appendix A contains detailed results of the assessments.


3          Selected study Location: Route 53 in Norwell

MPO staff recommends Route 53 in Norwell 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 corridor is approximately 2.1 miles in total length. All the segments in the corridor are classified as Urban Minor Arterial. The roadway carries regional and local traffic. The corridor contains mainly commercial developments, including large scale shopping plazas and street-front retailers, and some multi-unit residents and single-family houses.


The Town of Norwell is interested in enhancing the vibrancy, design, and livability of Route 53. MAPC identified this corridor as essential for the region’s economic development and recommended it for this study. MassDOT Highway Division District 5 also recommended this roadway for study to explore safety and Complete Street needs and improvement potentials for its resurfacing maintenance. A study of this corridor will be timely to support these undertakings. Meanwhile, it will support the MPO goals by improving subregional transportation safety and mobility and promoting regional economic vitality.


4          Summary

The selected Route 53 corridor in Norwell meets 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 Norwell, MassDOT, and MAPC to discuss the study specifics, conduct field visits, collect data, and perform various analyses.


Study locations.


1  Unified Planning Work Program, Federal Fiscal Year 2020, endorsed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization on July 18, 2019.

2  Boston Region MPO Work Program for Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment: Federal Fiscal Years 2012–19.

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 (EPDO) index. In the EPDO index, property-damage-only and severity unknown crashes are awarded one point each, fatal crashes and crashes involving injuries are given 21 points each. In the Boston Region MPO, 421 intersections are identified from MassDOT 2014–16 Crash Data as the top five percent crash clusters with a minimum EPDO value of 115.

4 The criterion defines sufficient pedestrian accommodation as more than 80 percent of the roadway containing minimal five-foot sidewalks in both directions; and sufficient bicycle accommodation as more than 80 percent of the roadway containing minimal five-foot shoulders (or bicycle lanes) in both directions.

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

6 Pedestrian crashes refers to crashes that involve at least one vehicle and one pedestrian, and bicycle crashes refers to crashes involving at least one vehicle and one bicycle. No crashes involving at least one bicycle or one pedestrian were identified from the available data.

Locations Evaluated and Selected (Highlighted in Blue) for FFY 2014 Subregional Priority Roadways Study 
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 Number of Crashes 201216 Number of Injury and Fatal Crashes 2012–16 Number of Bicycle Crashes 2012–16 Number of Pedestrian Crashes 2012–16 Corridor Overall Crash Rate (MVMT) Pedestrian and Bike Crashes Per Mile HSIP-Eligible Crash Clusters 2014–16 Study, Project, or TIP Project Safety Conditions Multimodal Significance Subregional Priority Implementation Potential Regional Equity Score Overall Assessment Summary of Comments 
Route 53  Hingham town line to Hanover town line Norwell SSC 5 MassDOT 2.1 5 17,500 276 75 1 1 4.1 1.0 0 No Projects. 2 2 2 3 1 10 High MassDOT District 5 proposed this location for study (August, 2019). It has high crash rate and pedestrian and bicycle safety and accommodation concerns. It is supported by all stakeholders. The roadway was also cited in the 2018 MPO UPWP outreach. 
Route 1 Plainville town line to Foxborough town line Wrentham SWAP 5 MassDOT 2.5 3 27,500 196 61 0 0 1.6 0.0 0 No Projects. 2 2 2 2 1 9 High MassDOT District 5 proposed this location for study (August, 2019). This undivided highway carries a high volume of traffic and and lacks pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. There are a number of ongoing and planned developments in the corridor.
Route 135 Hopkinton town line to
Framingham city line
Ashland MWRC 3 Ashland 3.1 3 12,000 248 59 4 4 3.7 2.6 0 MassDOT Project 603602: Ashland- Bridge Replacement, A-14-002, Route 135 (Union Street) over the Sudbury River. The proposed project consists of replacing the existing Union Street (Route 135) bridge over the Sudbury River in its present location with minor improvements to the approach roadways. The bridge will remain open during construction using staged construction. Completed in 2012. 2 2 2 2 1 9 High In FFY 2018 MWRC meeting, Route 135 from Hopkinton to Natick was cited as a regional corridor needing Complete Street improvements.
Route 38 I-95 Interchange to Wilmington town line Woburn NSPC 4 MassDOT, Woburn 1.4 3 12,500 163 36 0 3 5.1 2.1 0 No projects 2 1 2 1 1 7 Medium In 2010, NSPC and Woburn requested a study of the I-95 rotary interchange and the traffic signals at Route 38 and Elm Street. MassDOT District 4 suggested that a Road Safety Audit (RSA) may be a more appropriate way to address these locations. 
Route 129 Swampscott town line to Ocean Avenue Marblehead NSTF 4 Marblehead 1.5 3 11,600 66 20 3 2 2.1 3.3 0 No projects 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium 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 62 Olson Street to Middlesex Avenue Wilmington NSPC 4 Wilmington 2.0 5 12,100 224 64 2 3 5.1 2.5 0 MassDOT Project 605021: Wilmington Intersection Improvements on Route 62 (Middlesex Avenue) at Glenn Road and Wildwood Street. The project involves the installation of new traffic signal at the intersection of Route 62 (Middlesex Avenue) at Glen Road and Wildwood Street, reconfiguration of Glen Road intersection and widening of Route 62 (Middlesex Avenue) and Glen Road. The project is 96% Complete. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium CTPS identified this location as a potetnial study site. 
Lafayette Street (Route 1A/114) Derby Street to Marblehead town line Salem NSTF 4 Salem 1.8 3 20,000 304 98 12 18 4.6 16.7 0 No Projects. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium North Shore Community Development Coalition cited this location in 2019 MPO outreach meeting. 
Route 109 Medway town line to Medfield town line Millis SWAP 3 Millis 3.8 3 15,500 127 29 0 2 1.2 0.5 0 MassDOT Project 609344:Medfield- Millis- Bridge Preservation, M-11-002, West Street over the Charles River and M-11-003, State 109 (Main Street) over the Charles River. This project is in the preliminary design phase. 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium In FFY 2018 UPWP outreach, Route 109 is cited as a major subregional travel route to Interstate 95/Route 128.
Route 109 Millis town line to Dover town line Medfield TRIC 3 Medfield 3.2 3 16,000 286 50 3 3 3.1 1.9 0 MassDOT Project 609344:Medfield- Millis- Bridge Preservation, M-11-002, West Street over the Charles River and M-11-003, State 109 (Main Street) over the Charles River. This project is in the preliminary design phase. 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium In FFY 2018 UPWP outreach, Route 109 is cited as a major subregional travel route to Interstate 95/Route 128.
Route 85 Hopkinton town line to
Malborough city line
Southborough MWRC 3 Southborough 4.3 5 8,000 190 34 0 0 3.0 0.0 0 MassDOT Project 603793: Rreplacement of the Route 85 (River Street) bridge over the Sudbury River, which connects Hopkinton and Southborough. Construction ends in  Summer 2014. 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium In FFY 2018 MWRC meeting, Route 85 (Cordaville Road) was cited as a corridor needing improvements.
Route 140 Mendon town line to Franklin town line Bellingham SWAP 3 MassDOT 2.6 3 12,000 247 42 1 2 4.3 1.2 0 No Projects. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium In FFY 2018 SWAP post-meeting survey, Bellingham proposed Route 140 (Mechanic Street) from Maple Street to Route 126 for Complete Street study.
Route 27 Walpole town line to Sherborn town line Medfield TRIC 3 Medfiled 5.5 2 13,000 213 50 0 0 1.6 0.0 0 No Projects. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium The location is identified by CTPS mainly due to the lack of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.
Route 27 Medfield town line to Natick town line Sherborn SWAP 3 Sherborn 4.3 2 12,500 258 75 1 1 2.6 0.5 1 No Projects. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium The location is identified by CTPS mainly due to the lack of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Major concern location in the Route 16 and Route 27 intersected area has been studied. 
Route 37 Braintree town line to Brockton town line Holbrook SSC 5 MassDOT and Holbrook 3.6 3 10,000 377 105 2 3 5.7 1.4 1 MassDOT Project 608543: Corridor Improvements and Related Work on South Franklin Street (Route 37) from Snell Street to King Road. The project consists of roadway rehabilitation to provide a consistent cross section, including sidewalk reconstruction, curb ramp installation and drainage upgrades along Route 37 for a length of 0.6 miles. This project is in the preliminary design phase. 1 1 2 1 1 6 Medium The Town of Holbrook has been in contact with the district and is interested in improvements, particularly multimodal transportation improvements (2012).  
Route 115 Wrentham town line to Millis town line Norfolk SWAP 5 Norfolk 5.3 5 6,500 171 33 1 2 2.7 0.6 0 MassDOT Project 602496: Foxborough- Norfolk- Wrentham- Reconstruction of Route 115, Pond Street and Pine Street, from Needham Street in Norfolk to Route 140. The proposed project consists of safety and transportation improvements for 2.7 miles of Route 115 between Needham/North Street and Route 140, and 0.3 mile of Pine Street between Route 115 and Route 1. Completed in 2012. 1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium MassDOT Project 602496 covers half of the corridor.
Route 38 Woburn town line to Tewksbury town line Wilmington NSPC 4 MassDOT 4.0 3 12,600 623 151 9 9 6.8 4.5 2 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;  25% Package Comments to DE (as of 05/07/2018 ) 2 2 1 0 1 6 Medium NSPC cited this roadway during the UPWP outreach for FFYs 2013 and 2014. Project 608051 has a scope covering half of the segment's length (about 2.2 miles). The project is under design.

Route 97 Route 1A to Wenham town line Beverly NSTF 4 Beverly 1.5 5 8,300 87 23 0 2 3.8 1.3 1 TIP/MassDOT Project 608347: Beverly- Intersection Improvements at three Locations: Cabot Street (Route 1A/97) at Dodge Street (Route 1A), County Way, Longmeadow Road and Scott Street, Mckay Street at Balch Street and Veterans Memorial Bridge (Route 1A) at Rantoul, Cabot, Water, and Front Streets. The project involves updating and modernizing traffic signal equipment at the intersections and provding on-street bicycle accommodations and wheelchair ramps at sidewalks at each intersection. Pavement milling and overlay at each intersection is also included in this work.100% Package Received (09/03/2019) 2 2 1 0 1 6 Medium 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. The Beverly section is the most concerned location and is covered by Project 608347.
Route 114 Salem town line to Route 129 (Ocean Avenue) Marblehead NSTF 4 Marblehead 1.4 3 17,000 120 14 4 1 2.8 3.6 0 No projects 1 1 2 1 1 6 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 133 Gloucester city line to Western Avenue Essex NSTF 4 Essex 2.1 5 12,500 68 17 3 0 1.4 1.4 0 TIP/MassDOT 608596: Route 133 (Main Street) superstructure replacement over Essex River Bridge. This bridge preservation project will address the bridge that carries Route 133 (Main Street) over the Essex River in Essex. This project is in the preliminary design phase. FFYs 202024 TIP Programmed.

MassDOT Project 609315: Essex- Resufacing and Targeted Safety Improvements on Route 133 (John Wise Avenue). This project is in the preliminary design phase.

MassDOT Project 600217: Essex- Reconstruction of Route 133 (Main Street) from North of Western Avenue to Waters Street.  The proposed project will consist of reconstructing Main Street/Eastern Avenue from the vicinity of the John Wise Avenue intersection to the intersection with Eastern Avenue, including concrete sidewalks and pavement markings. Construction ends in autumn 2013.
1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium MassDOT Project 609315 covers half of the roadway and segment and 600217 covers about a quarter of the roadway including the downtown area.

This roadway was cited in the 2013 UPWP outreach. 
Route 2A (King Street) Route 495 Southbound ramps to  Ayer town line Littleton MAGIC 3 MassDOT 2.5 3 14,000 131 39 0 0 2.1 0.0 0 TIP/MassDOT 608443: Intersection Improvements on Route 2A at Willow Road and Bruce Street. The project involves intersection improvements, including geometric modifications, widening and signalization. Additional improvements involve updated signage and pavement markings. 25% Package Rejected (01/28/2019 ) 1 2 2 0 1 6 Medium Requested by Littleton in 2015.
Route 115 Norfolk town line to Sherborn town line Millis SWAP 3 Millis 4.3 5 6,500 46 16 0 1 0.9 0.2 0 MassDOT Project 604240: Bridge replacement of Route 115 (Norfolk Road) over the Charles River in Millis. This project will replace the existing bridge deck with with a new scour protected substructure, which will widen the existing roadway width from 30 feet to 32 feet, maintaining the existing two lane cross section. The proposed bridge will widen the existing sidewalk and incorporate a utility bay. Existing traffic patterns will be maintained during construction. Construction ends in 2011. 1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium The location is identified by CTPS mainly due to the lack of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.
Main Street Wakefield town line to Central Street Saugus ICC 4 Saugus and MassDOT 2.9 5 16,950 262 99 2 6 2.9 2.8 1 MassDOT Project 610534: Saugus- Pedestrian Improvements on Main Street/Route 1. This project is in the preliminary design phase.
No projects
1 2 1 1 0 5 Low 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.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
FFY= Federal Fiscal Year. HSIP = Highway Safety Improvement Program. ICC = Inner Core Committee.  MAGIC = Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination.  MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  MVMT = Million vehicle miles traveled.  MWRC = MetroWest Regional Collaborative.  MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.  NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council.  NSTF = North Shore Task Force.  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.
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.
* 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 
Source: Central Transportation Planning Staff.

APPENDIX A_FFY2020 Subregional Roadway