Title: Regional Transportation Advisory Council - Description: RTAC Letterhead


Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

July 12, 2023, Meeting Minutes

2:30–3:45 PM, Zoom

Lenard Diggins, Chair, representing the MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

L. Diggins called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. Members and guests attending the meeting introduced themselves. (For attendance list, see page 3.)

2.    Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) 3C Committee Discussion—Lenard Diggins, Chair


Franny Osman, Acton resident, asked how staff balanced the needs of municipalities in the outer portion of the Boston region, regional transit authorities, and the MBTA in the LRTP. Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff, stated that staff collected information regardless of the commenter’s origin location and that the Needs Assessment will contain further information on the needs and how they might conflict with one another. Bradley Putnam, MPO Staff, stated that one objective of the plan is to synthesize the needs of the region, so the plan encompasses the needs of the variety of communities in the region.

John McQueen, WalkMassachusetts, spoke of the need to provide resources to the programs and program areas to meet the goals and objectives of the LRTP and the need to properly fund transit and work towards the more ambitious mode share vision of the region’s transportation and transit system intended to be realized by 2050. He shared his dissatisfaction with the allocation of funding in the draft LRTP, particularly regarding the MPO’s equity and resilience goal areas, and the need for greater emphasis on the dramatic mode shifts across the region’s transportation system that are necessary to achieve those goals. He stated that there is redundancy across the LRTP’s investment programs, such as Complete Streets and Intersection Improvements, and that the funding allocated across these programs does not adequately address and support the region’s transit needs and the LRTP’s vision and goals.

Dan Jaffe, Charlestown resident, spoke of the challenges that residents in the Charlestown neighborhood face traveling both locally and long distance due to its geographic constraints.

L. Diggins stated that it would be beneficial to discuss the interpretations of the Disparate Impact/Disproportionate Burden (DI/DB) analysis. L. Diggins asked if the DI/DB analysis methodology is affected by the 20-year horizon that projections are made for. B. Harvey stated that the DI/DB policy was developed to be sensitive to potential disparate impacts, so the sensitivity acts as a cautionary measure as programming is allocated to projects.

L. Diggins asked for clarification on the meaning of the “Expected Difference” column in Table H-1 in the LRTP. B. Harvey stated that the “Expected Difference” column allows for comparisons between minority and nonminority impacts and low-income and non-low-income impacts, so in Table H-1a, there is a loss of jobs for both minority and nonminority populations, but the magnitude of this loss is lower for minority populations, indicating that there is not a DI/DB for this metric.

AnaCristina Fragoso, Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES), asked if the LRTP Comment Letter will include discussion about adding additional weighting to projects that account for operational and maintenance expenses. L. Diggins confirmed that the comment will be added.

L. Diggins shared a goal for the Needs Assessment: to have engagement from every municipality in the region or an actionable plan towards the goal. Stella Jordan, MPO Staff, stated that Appendix C contains a summary of engagement activities that were used to develop the LRTP and Needs Assessment and meetings are held annually with the subregions representing all of the region’s municipalities through the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

J. McQueen spoke of the factors skewing findings from public engagement, including conflicting interests and goals and encouraged implementing strategies to integrate the voices of groups such as healthcare and food service employees.

D. Jaffe spoke of the differing transportation needs and socioeconomic backgrounds of each community within the Boston region.

L. Diggins expressed interest in understanding how the MPO evaluates its engagement activities.


A motion to approve the LRTP Comment Letter with minor editorial revisions was made by the BSCES (A.C. Fragoso) and seconded by the Town of Needham (David Montgomery). The motion carried.

3.    Advisory Council Elections/Nominating Committee—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins stated that elections for the Advisory Council chair and vice-chair will be held in October; a Nominating Committee must be convened to bring forward nominations at the September meeting. L. Diggins requested three people to participate in the committee.


A.C. Fragoso volunteered to participate on the committee.

F. Osman stated that she is interested in running for vice-chair.

D. Montgomery stated that he will step back from the Advisory Council in the coming months.

L. Diggins stated that he will follow up with members after the meeting.

4.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins stated that the Advisory Council submitted its letter for the Unified Planning Work Program.

5.     August Meeting—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins stated that historically, field trips would occur in August and asked if members had any location ideas. The next regularly scheduled meeting will occur in September.


A.C. Fragoso expressed interest in visiting the Massachusetts Port Authority.

6.    Approval of Meeting Minutes

There were none.

7.    Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

There were none.

8.    Adjourn 

A motion to adjourn was made by the BSCES (A.C. Fragoso) and seconded by WalkMassachusetts (J. McQueen). The motion carried.


Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates


David Montgomery


Citizen Advocacy Groups


Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaCristina Fragoso

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins


Jon Seward


John McQueen

Resident (Acton)

Franny Osman


Agencies (Non-Voting)


MBTA Advisory Board

Amira Patterson

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Tyler Terrasi


Other Attendees


Dan Jaffe

Charlestown Resident


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Betsy Harvey

Stella Jordan

Ethan Lapointe

Erin Maguire

Bradley Putnam

Tegin Teich

Sam Taylor



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.