Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

May 27, 2020, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–3:10 PM, Zoom

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

Meeting Agenda


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

Transportation Access to Central Business Districts and The Future of the Curb—Andrew Clark, MPO Staff

Andrew Clark, MPO staff, presented on the results of two Boston Region MPO studies funded in the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). He said the studies are part of a larger conversation on how to allocate curb space and how to facilitate access to central business districts (CBDs).

A. Clark listed the objectives of the CBD study, in which staff sought to understand:

A. Clark said the literature review for the CBD study returned some key findings:

A. Clark said the CBD study designed a model that identified CBDs in the region and then classified each based on transit service type and overall density. He said data collection showed that merchants have some inaccurate perceptions about how customers access the CBD and how much they spend relative to travel mode. A. Clark said that, although they align with national trends, the conclusions of the CBD study are based on small sample sizes collected on one day only, so more data collection is needed to support decision-making.

A. Clark said the objectives of the Future of the Curb study were to understand how demand for curb space is changing and how cities are reconfiguring their curbs to accommodate changing demands.

A. Clark said the literature review for the curb space study looked closely at cities like Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, for insight into new curb management strategies. He discussed some causes of the changing demands on curb space:

A. Clark said Portland’s curb management strategy is focused on maximizing total person-throughput, not vehicle throughput, of the existing street network.

A. Clark discussed some key takeaways from the Future of the Curb study:


Laura Wiener, City of Watertown; Andy Reker, City of Cambridge; and A. Clark discussed best practices for managing and regulating loading zones to improve efficiency and reduce negative impact on other uses of the same curb space.

A. Reker and A. Clark discussed unexpected findings that emerged from the merchant and customer surveys that were conducted as part of the CBD study.

L. Diggins and A. Clark discussed the option of installing curb extensions that reach bus lanes so that buses can unload and load directly from the bus lane. They also discussed plans for follow-up studies to both the CBD and Future of the Curb studies.


A motion to adjourn was made and seconded. The motion carried.




Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker

City of Watertown

Laura Wiener


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee

Lenard Diggins


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Matt Archer

Andrew Clark



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.