RTAC Letterhead


Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

July 22, 2020, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–3:30 PM, Zoom

Lenard Diggins, Chair, representing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Ridership Oversight Committee

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

Lenard Diggins called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. (For attendance list, see page three.)

2.    Pedestrian Report Card Assessment (PRCA) Interactive Database—Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, Casey-Marie Claude

Casey-Marie Claude, MPO staff, presented on the PRCA interactive database tool that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) created in 2019. She said the precursor to the PRCA database was a 2015 pedestrian level of service (PLOS) study. C. Claude said that the study was intended to assess pedestrian suitability at intersections and roadway segments by measuring the safety and comfort of walking locations. She said that while MPO staff were developing the grading methodology of the PLOS study, they decided to incorporate four evaluation criteria from the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan goals: safety; system preservation; capacity management and mobility; and economic vitality. C. Claude said that MPO staff also incorporated the overall prioritization of transportation equity into the PRCA assessment grading.

C. Claude then discussed a number of updates made to the PRCA tool during 2019:

·       Scoring scale modification

·       Pedestrian crashes

·       Transportation equity regional thresholds

·       “How-to-score” manuals

·       Non-signalized intersections

C. Claude discussed how MPO staff have been using PRCA grading in studies and projects to illustrate how pedestrian suitability can be affected. She then demonstrated how to use the PRCA map to view how locations are graded by the different evaluation criteria.


Andy Reker, City of Cambridge, and C. Claude discussed the best ways to measure how much curb extensions improve vehicle yielding behavior and pedestrian comfort. C. Claude explained that MPO staff used two metrics—lanes of travel and crossing distance—to determine pedestrian suitability. They also discussed whether improved sight lines to crossing pedestrians result in measurably better vehicle yielding behavior.

John McQueen, WalkBoston, and C. Claude discussed that proximity to transit was incorporated into the Bicycle Report Card but not the PRCA tool. They also discussed how to determine speed of vehicle traffic when that is used as an element in grading pedestrian usability.

Franny Osman, Acton Transportation Advisory Committee, and C. Claude discussed how the PRCA tool has been used so far. C. Claude also said the PRCA tool was designed so that people could find information themselves and take that information to their municipalities to show what needs to be improved at a location to make it safer or more comfortable for pedestrians.

Susan Barrett, Town of Lexington, and C. Claude discussed whether the PRCA pedestrian crash data is as current as local police department crash data. They also discussed whether the PRCA tool could be used to evaluate transit stops specifically.

L. Diggins and C. Claude discussed how preliminary geographic data for the PRCA tool is gathered by using available online satellite imagery, such as Google Maps. They also discussed how MPO staff determined the weighting share to give each evaluation criterion when grading the Pedestrian Report Card on a location.

A. Reker and C. Claude discussed how the PRCA tool could be recalibrated to better reflect aspects of pedestrian traffic in urban core locations, where pedestrian traffic levels are much higher than suburban and rural locations.

Brendan Kearney, WalkBoston, L. Diggins, and C. Claude discussed how to encourage more public submissions of data for inclusion into the PRCA database—including “close call” incidents, which are typically underreported.

J. McQueen and C. Claude discussed how the PRCA database takes into consideration measures of sidewalk condition mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3.    Adjourn

L. Diggins adjourned the meeting at 3:25 PM.


Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee

Lenard Diggins

Acton Transportation Advisory Committee

Franny Osman


Brendan Kearney


John McQueen


Other Attendees


Susan Barrett

Town of Lexington


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Casey-Marie Claude

Matt Archer



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 http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. 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 https://www.mass.gov/massrelay.