Technical Memorandum


DATE:   December 15, 2022

TO:         Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

FROM:   Michelle Scott, Boston Region MPO Staff

RE:         Initial Ideas for the Destination 2050 Planning Framework


This memorandum discusses the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff’s initial ideas for a planning framework for Destination 2050, the MPO’s next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). This draft planning framework—which is made up of a vision, goals, and objectives—reflects ideas and feedback from a variety of sources, such as MPO and Regional Transportation Advisory Council workshop sessions, staff research, and past and current public input. MPO staff are sharing this draft framework for MPO member discussion on December 15, 2022, to gather ideas and feedback that will shape future versions.


1          Introduction

During each LRTP development cycle, the MPO updates its planning framework, which in past years has been made up of a vision statement, a set of goals, and a series of objectives associated with each goal. This planning framework serves as a foundational guide for MPO decision-making. The content of this framework—particularly the MPO goals—informs staff proposals and MPO decisions related to creating investment programs for the LRTP and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Candidate discrete study ideas for the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) have been compared to the MPO goals during the UPWP study selection process. Staff have translated many of the objectives in the MPO’s planning framework into criteria for use in the TIP project selection process. Also, the MPO’s framework, including its vision, helps communicate the MPO’s values to partners, stakeholders, and people in the region overall.


The MPO’s current planning framework was adopted in 2019 as part of the Destination 2040 development process (see Attachment 2). While developing Destination 2050, MPO staff began exploring ways to refresh the MPO’s planning framework. To date, staff activities to support this update have included the following:



2          initial Ideas for a Destination 2050 Planning Framework

Attachment 1 displays an initial draft of a planning framework for Destination 2050. Like the framework for Destination 2040, this draft framework includes a vision statement and a set of goals, with several objectives related to each goal.


While drafting this framework, MPO staff considered several guiding principles, which include the following:


MPO staff will continue to refer to these principles while revising this draft planning framework.

The vision statement in this framework offers a succinct picture of the MPO’s hopes for the Boston region’s transportation system and for life in the region overall. The goal areas and statements provide more detail about what the MPO aspires to achieve for different aspects of the region’s transportation system. The objectives reflect specific actions the MPO can take—through its investments, research, and policies—to improve the transportation system in the relevant goal areas. Some objectives reflect outcomes, while others reflect where the MPO will focus attention and/or resources. Staff attempted to craft these objectives so that they can be monitored using quantitative or qualitative information, although neither the goals nor the objectives are time-bound or include specific targets. These elements can be addressed as part of the MPO’s performance-based planning and programming activities.


This draft Destination 2050 planning framework retains a number of elements from the Destination 2040 framework, though there have been many modifications and changes as well.


MPO staff seek MPO members’ feedback at this stage to determine whether and how to build on this proposed draft planning framework for Destination 2050. Staff welcomes suggestions about the general structure of the framework or specific elements of the vision, goals, and objectives. In particular, MPO staff seek responses to the following questions:


3          Next Steps

Following MPO members’ discussion of this draft Destination 2050 planning framework on December 15, 2022, MPO staff will update the framework to incorporate members’ feedback. Staff will also continue to review public input related to the MPO’s transportation vision and priorities, including input gathered through the MPO’s public survey. Staff plan to share an updated version of this planning framework in early 2023 to support further development of Destination 2050.



Attachment 1: Draft Destination 2050 Planning Framework (December 2022)


Vision Statement

The Boston Region MPO envisions an equitable, pollution-free, and modern regional transportation system that enables people to safely and reliably reach where they need and want to go. This system supports an inclusive Boston region that is healthy, resilient, and economically vibrant.




Maintain an inclusive transportation planning process and make investments that address and redress past transportation-related burdens and disparities that disadvantaged communities have experienced.


Equity Objectives

* Disadvantaged communities are those communities where a significant portion of the populations identifies as an MPO equity population: people who identify as minority, have limited English proficiency, are 75 years old or older or 17 years old or younger, or have a disability; or have low incomes.



Achieve zero transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries.


Safety Objectives


Mobility and Reliability

Support excellent and reliable mobility for people and freight.


Reliability and Mobility Objectives


Access and Connectivity

Provide transportation options and improve access to key destinations for people and goods.  


Access and Connectivity Objectives



Provide transportation that enables people to respond and adapt to climate change and other changing conditions.


Resiliency Objectives


Clean Air and Healthy Communities

Provide transportation free of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, and transportation that supports sustainable environments and good health.


Clean Air and Healthy Communities Objectives


Attachment 2: Destination 2040 Planning Framework
(August 2019)


Vision Statement

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization envisions a modern, well-maintained transportation system that supports a sustainable, healthy, livable, and

economically vibrant region. To achieve this vision, the transportation system must

be safe and resilient; incorporate emerging technologies; and provide equitable

access, excellent mobility, and varied transportation options.




Transportation by all modes will be safe


Safety Objectives


System Preservation and Modernization

Maintain and modernize the transportation system and plan for its resiliency



Capacity Management and Mobility

Use existing facility capacity more efficiently and increase transportation options



Transportation Equity

Ensure that all people receive comparable benefits from, and are not disproportionately

burdened by, MPO investments, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, income,

ability, or sex


* Equity populations include people who identify as minority, have limited English proficiency, are 75 years old or older or 17 years old or younger, or have a disability; or are members of low-income households.


Clean Air and Sustainable Communities

Create an environmentally friendly transportation system



Economic Vitality

Ensure our transportation network provides a strong foundation for economic vitality




The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.

The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.

A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at

To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact

Title VI Specialist
Boston Region MPO
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116

By Telephone:
857.702.3700 (voice)

For people with hearing or speaking difficulties, connect through the state MassRelay service:

  • Relay Using TTY or Hearing Carry-over: 800.439.2370
  • Relay Using Voice Carry-over: 866.887.6619
  • Relay Using Text to Speech: 866.645.9870

For more information, including numbers for Spanish speakers, visit