Technical Memorandum


DATE:   January 20, 2022

TO:         Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

FROM:   Chen-Yuan Wang, MPO Staff

RE:         Selection of FFY 2022 Subregional Priority Roadway Study Location


1          BAckground

During the Boston Region 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 that 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. These issues can affect mobility and safety along a roadway and its side streets, and 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. The program has been in the UPWP since 2013, including this federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022.1


A primary purpose of the program is to identify roadway segments in the Boston region that are of concern to subregional groups but have not been cited in the LRTP regional needs assessment.2 Each year, a study conducted through the program emphasizes issues identified by the relevant subregional groups and provides recommendations to address the identified issues. These studies typically focus on mobility, safety, and access, as well as the topics of 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 FFY 2022 study, including the methods for data gathering, developing selection criteria, rating candidate roadways, and choosing the roadway corridor for study.


2          Selection Procedure

There are three steps to selecting the study location:


These activities are discussed in detail below.


2.1      Gathering Data and Identifying Potential Roadways for Study

For the FFY 2022 study, MPO staff identified potential roadways to study 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 20 roadway segments in the region for potential study. Table 1 presents data assembled for each roadway segment and indicates the municipality, MAPC subregion, MassDOT district office, jurisdiction, length, functional class, average daily traffic, overall crash rates, bicycle and pedestrian crashes per mile, crash clusters eligible for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding, and relevant studies and projects.3 Table 1 also cites the results of applying the selection criteria and priority ratings. 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 for Study

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 20 potential locations, MPO staff identified five as high priority:


Among the five high-priority locations, Washington Street in Canton was rated highest. Meanwhile, the corridor is highly qualified for pedestrian accommodation or safety improvement requirements based on the MPO’s Pedestrian Report Card Assessment.6 Appendix A contains detailed results of the assessment.


3          Selected study Location: WASHINGTON street in cANTON

MPO staff recommends Washington Street in Canton for this study cycle. The selection was based on the following considerations:


Figure 1 shows the locations of this study and the previously studied corridors in the region. Washington Street is a major north-south corridor that passes through the center of Canton, with an average of about 15,000 vehicles per day. All the segments in the selected corridor are classified as Urban Principal Arterial and are under the Town of Canton’s jurisdiction.


Washington Street from Cobbs Corner to Sherman Street, including the intersections at both ends, is the potential study limit (approximately 1.6 miles in length). It contains downtown Canton and a major commercial district near Cobbs Corner (Washington Street at Route 27). The Town of Canton recently completed a town master plan, which identified these two areas as priorities for implementation. The Town is very supportive of this study. The section in between the two areas is a densely settled residential district with local businesses scattered throughout.


The Town of Canton also expressed that the corridor contains multifamily buildings and affordable housing units, including Canton Housing Authority units for seniors. Thus, improving the accommodation and safety for people who walk would significantly benefit the seniors and people with disabilities. Meanwhile, improving the accommodation and safety for people who bike on Washington Street is one of the high priorities in the town master plan. A letter of support for this study from the Town’s administrator and select board is attached in Appendix B.


4          Summary

The selection of this corridor meets the objectives of this study. Meanwhile, it will support the MPO goals by improving subregional transportation safety and mobility and promoting regional economic vitality.


MPO staff is submitting this proposal to the MPO for discussion and approval. If the MPO approves this selection, staff will meet with officials from Canton, MassDOT, and MAPC to discuss the study specifics, conduct field visits, collect data, and perform various analyses.



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 201317 Number of Injury and Fatal Crashes 2013-17 Number of Bicycle Crashes 2013–17 Number of Pedestrian Crashes 2013–17 Statewide Average Crash Rate (MVMT) Corridor Overall Crash Rate (MVMT) Pedestrian and Bike Crashes Per Mile HSIP-Eligible Crash Clusters 2015–17 Study, Project, or TIP Project Safety Conditions Multimodal Significance Subregional Priority Implementation Potential Transportation and Regional Equity Score Overall Assessment Summary of Comments 
Washington Street Sherman Street to Cobbs Corner Canton TRIC 6 Canton 1.6 3 15,000 248 47 1 9 3.58 5.7 6.3 0 No recent projects. 2 2 2 2 2 10 High In FFY 2021 TRIC meeting, Canton cited the corridor as a focus area in the Town's Master Plan to improve walkability and bikeability and to support increasing economic activities.

Canton requested a study of the downtown section for signal coordination and pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility improvements (2015 UPWP outreach).
Route 135 Hopkinton town line to Framingham city line Ashland MWRC 3 Ashland 3.1 3 12,000 233 53 4 6 3.58 3.4 3.2 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. Completed in 2012. 1 2 2 2 1 8 High In FFY 2018 MWRC meeting, Route 135 from Hopkinton to Natick was cited as a regional corridor needing Complete Streets improvements.
Power Mill Road
(Route 62)
High Street (Acton) to Waltham Street (Maynard) Acton, Maynard MAGIC 4 MassDOT 1.4 3 12,000 112 13 1 2 3.58 3.7 2.1 0 No recent projects. 2 1 2 1 2 8 High In FFY 2021 MAGIC meeting, Maynard cited it as a priority corridor to improve walkability and bikeability and to support potential economic investments. A study to create redevelopment vision for economic activities in the corridor was recently completed.
Lafayette Street (Route 1A/114) Derby Street to Marblehead town line Salem NSTF 4 Salem 1.8 3 20,000 306 98 8 18 3.58 4.7 14.4 0 No recent projects. 2 2 1 1 2 8 High North Shore Community Development Coalition cited this location in 2019 MPO outreach meeting. 
High Street
(Route 1A/Route 133)
Lord Square to Haverhill Street (Rowley) Ipswich, Rowley NSTF 4 MassDOT,
2.8 3 15,000 160 43 2 7 3.58 2.1 3.2 0 No recent projects.

MassDOT Project 602146: Resurfacing and pedestrian improvements on the section of Route 133 in Ipswich between Route 1A and the Essex town line. Project implemented in 2009.
1 2 2 2 1 8 High In FFY 2021 NSTF meeting, High Street was cited as a hstorical street that needs infrastructural and Complete Streets improvements.
Route 1 Plainville town line to Foxborough town line Wrentham SWAP 5 MassDOT 2.5 3 27,500 223 65 0 0 3.58 1.8 0.0 1 MassDOT Project 608497: Resurfacing project along Route 1 in Wrentham between Plainville and Foxborough town lines. In preliminary design phase. 1 2 2 2 1 8 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 109 Millis town line to Dover town line Medfield TRIC 3 Medfield 3.2 3 16,000 296 47 3 1 3.58 3.2 1.3 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 8,000 194 31 0 0 3.49 3.1 0.0 0 MassDOT Project 603793: Rreplacement of the Route 85 (River Street) bridge over the Sudbury River, which connects Hopkinton and Southborough. Construction ended 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 2A (King Street) Route 495 Southbound ramps to  Ayer town line Littleton MAGIC 3 MassDOT 2.5 3 14,000 139 38 0 1 3.58 2.2 0.4 0 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. 75% functional design commented (as of 08/26/2021 ). 1 2 2 0 2 7 Medium Requested by Littleton in 2015.
Edgell Road Water Street to the north of Route 9 in Framingham Framingham MWRC 3 Framingham 2.2 5 18,500 257 77 0 2 3.49 3.5 0.9 0 MassDOT Project 608889: Traffic Signal Installation at Edegell Road and Central Street. This project is in the preliminary design phase.

Pre-TIP 602038 Edgell Road Corridor Project: Reconstruct pavement and improve signalization at Water Street, Brook Street, Central Street, and Vernon Street.
0 2 2 1 2 7 Medium The roadway was cited in 2017 MWRC subregional meeting.
Route 129  Lynn town line to Marblehead town line Swampscott NSTF 4 Swampscott, DCR (less than 0.1 mi) 2.5 3 11,600 175 45 6 6 3.58 3.3 4.8 0 No recent projects 1 2 2 1 1 7 Medium NSTF cited this roadway in 2013 as one of the subregion's priority roadways for study in the 2014 UPWP.  Segment in Downtown Swampscott is a bottleneck for those traveling from Marblehead to Lynn.
Route 62 Olson Street to Middlesex Avenue Wilmington NSPC 4 Wilmington 2.0 5 12,100 217 57 2 1 3.49 4.9 1.5 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 recently completed. 2 2 1 1 1 7 Medium CTPS identified this location as a potetnial study site. 
Route 109 Walpole town line to Interstate 95 Westwood ICC 6 Westwood 4.0 3 14,000 545 103 6 1 3.58 5.3 1.8 0 MassDOT Project 608947: Trafic SIgnal Improvements on Route 109. This project is at 25% design phase (9/13/2019).

MassDOT Project 601315: Reconstruction of Route 109 (High Street) from Grove Street to Hartford Street, including new traffic signals at Hartford Street, Gay Street, Windsor Road/Public Library Entrance and Summer Street. Construction ended in Spring 2008.
2 2 2 0 1 7 Medium Route 109 was mentioned as a major regional travel route in a 2018 SWAP subregional meeting.

MassDOT Project 608947 covers a major portion of the corridor.
Willard Street I-93 to Copeland Street/California Street Quincy ICC 6 MassDOT 1.7 5 15,000 171 33 1 7 3.49 3.7 4.7 1 MassDOT Project 610823: Intersection Improvements at Willard St and Ricciuti Dr. Project is in design phase. 2 1 2 1 1 7 Medium MassDOT District 6 proposed this location for study (August, 2020).
Route 37 (Granite Street) Five Corners (West Street/Franklin Street) to I-93 Braintree SSC 6 MassDOT 1.0 3 35,000 342 137 1 9 3.58 5.1 9.6 2 MassDOT Project 608651: Installation of adaptive traffic control signal equipment, vehicle detection, communication equipment, and managing software at 7 traffic signals on Route 37 (Granite Street) in Braintree. Project completed. 2 1 2 1 1 7 Medium MassDOT Project 608651 covers this section of Route 37 in Braintree.
Route 135 West Main Street to Ashland town line Hopkinton MWRC 3 Hopkinton 2.6 3 9,500 264 43 3 4 3.58 5.9 2.7 0 MassDOT Project 606043: Signal and Intersection Improvements on Route 135. The project involves intersection improvements at Route 85, Pleasant Street and Wood Street. Major improvements include signal equipment upgrade and additional lanes at Route 85; geometric and equipment improvements at Pleasant Street and at Wood Street; pavement rehabilitation from Ash Street to Wood Street; installation of sidewalks and wheelchair ramps, and streetscape enhancements in the town center. The project is currently under construction.  2 2 1 0 1 6 Medium In FFY 2018 MWRC meeting, Route 135 from Hopkinton to Natick was cited as a regional corridor needing complete-street improvements.

MassDOT Project 606043 covers a major portion of Route 135 in Hopkinton.
Route 27 Medfield town line to Natick town line Sherborn SWAP 3 Sherborn 4.3 3 12,500 271 69 2 0 3.58 2.8 0.5 1 No recent projects. 1 2 1 1 1 6 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. 
Main Street Wakefield town line to Central Street Saugus ICC 4 Saugus and MassDOT 2.9 5 16,950 285 103 5 7 3.49 3.2 4.1 0 No recent projects. 1 2 1 1 1 6 Medium 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.
Route 115 Wrentham town line to Millis town line Norfolk SWAP 5 Norfolk 5.3 5 6,500 172 34 1 2 3.49 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 project consists of safety and transportation improvements for 2.7 miles of Route 115 between Needham/North Street and Route 140, and 0.3 miles 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 37 Brockton town line to Braintree town line Holbrook SSC 5 MassDOT and Holbrook 3.6 3 10,000 481 135 2 3 3.58 7.3 1.4 1 MassDOT Project 608543: Corridor Improvements and Related Work on South Franklin Street (Route 37) from Snell Street to King Road. Work on this project consists of roadway rehabilitation to provide a consistent cross section, sidewalk reconstruction, ADA compliant curb ramp installation and drainage upgrades along Route 37 (South Franklin Street) for a length of 0.6 miles. Minor modification to the Route 37/King Road traffic signals is proposed. 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).  

Figure 1: Study Locations



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1  The FFY 2022 Unified Planning Work Program was endorsed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization on August 19, 2021.

2   Boston Region MPO Work Program for Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment: Federal Fiscal Years 2012–21.

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, crashes resulting in property damage only and crashes in which the severity is unknown are given one point each, and fatal crashes and crashes involving injuries are given 21 points each. In the Boston region, 452 intersections are identified from MassDOT’s 2015–17 Crash Data as the top five percent crash clusters with a minimum EPDO value of 114.

4 Sufficient pedestrian accommodation is defined as having more than 80 percent of the roadway containing a minimum of five-foot sidewalks in both directions. Sufficient bicycle accommodation is defined as having more than 80 percent of the roadway containing a minimum of five-foot shoulders (or bicycle lanes) in both directions.

5 The adjacent areas are within one-half mile of the analyzed location. The thresholds of the six MPO transportation equity indicators are 1) minority population equal or greater than the region’s average of 28.2%, 2) low-income population (200% of poverty level) equal or greater than the region’s average of 23.0%, 3) people with limited English proficiency equal or greater than the region’s average of 10.6%, 4) elderly population (75 and older) equal or greater than the region’s average of 6.7%, 5) youth population (17 and under) equal or greater than the region’s average of 20.6%, and 6) people with disabilities equal or greater than the region’s average of 10.0%.


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