Cover: Boston Region Metropolitan Organization. Unified Planning Work Program - Federal Fiscal Year 2017

Contents

Executive Summary
Chapter 1 — Coordinating Comprehensive Transportation Planning in the Region: What is the Unified Planning Work Program?
Chapter 2 — Background: Transportation Planning and the Boston Region MPO
Chapter 3 — Regulatory Framework
Chapter 4 — Federal Fiscal Years 2014-2016 Completed UPWP Studies
Chapter 5 — Certification Requirements
Chapter 6 — Boston Region MPO Planning Studies and Technical Analysis
Chapter 7 — Agency and Other Client Transportation Planning Studies and Technical Analyses
Chapter 8 — Administration, Resource Management, and Support Activities
Chapter 9 — Boston Region MPO Budget and Operating Summaries

APPENDICES

Appendix A — Other Boston Region Transportation Planning Projects
Appendix B — Public Participation and Response to Public Comments
Appendix C — Federal Fiscal Year 2017 UPWP Universe of Proposed New Studies
Appendix D — Geographic Distribution of UPWP Funded Studies
Appendix E — MPO Glossary of Acronyms

 

 

 

 

Unified Planning Work Program

Federal Fiscal Year 2017

Endorsed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

July 28, 2016

Prepared by
Central Transportation Planning Staff
Staff to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

 

Directed by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is composed of the:

Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
MBTA Advisory Board
Massachusetts Port Authority
Regional Transportation Advisory Council
City of Boston
City of Beverly
City of Everett
City of Newton
City of Somerville
City of Woburn
Town of Arlington
Town of Bedford
Town of Braintree
Town of Framingham
Town of Lexington
Town of Medway
Town of Norwood
Federal Highway Administration (nonvoting)
Federal Transit Administration (nonvoting)

 

This is a map of the cities and towns in the Boston Region. There are 101 cities and towns within the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s planning area.

 

Contact Information

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other federal and state nondiscrimination statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. The MPO does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, English proficiency, income, religious creed, ancestry, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or military service. Any person who believes herself/himself or any specific class of persons to have been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI, ADA, or other nondiscrimination statute or regulation may, herself/himself or via a representative, file a written complaint with the MPO. A complaint must be filed no later than 180 calendar days after the date on which the person believes the discrimination occurred. A complaint form and additional information may be obtained at www.bostonmpo.org or by contacting the MPO staff at 857-702-3700 (voice), 617-570-9193 (TTY), 617-570-9192 (fax), or publicinformation@ctps.org.


To request additional copies of this document or to request it in an accessible format, please contact MPO staff using the methods described below. It is also possible to download the document by visiting www.bostonmpo.org.

Contact MPO staff:

By mail:

Alexandra Kleyman
UPWP Manager, Central Transportation Planning Staff
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116

By telephone:

857-702-3709 (voice), 617-570-9193 (TTY)

By fax:

617-570-9192

By email:

akleyman@ctps.org

This document was funded in part through grants from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 

Page 1 of 2. These pages are the self-certification statement of the Boston Region MPO. The MPO certifies that its conduct of the metropolitan transportation planning process complies with all applicable requirements, and that this process includes activities to support the development and implementation of the Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan and Air Quality Conformity Determination (LRTP), the Transportation Improvement Program and Air Quality Conformity Determination (TIP), and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). These pages were signed on July 28, 2016 by the members of the MPO or their representatives.

Page 2 of 2.

 

Executive Summary

ES.1   What is the UPWP?

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) produced by the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) (see text box: What is an MPO?) explains how the Boston region’s federal transportation planning funds will be spent in a given federal fiscal year (FFY). Specifically, the UPWP is a financial plan that is produced in order to comply with the federally mandated metropolitan transportation planning process (also called the 3C Planning Process; see text box: The “3C” Planning Process).

Of all the possible transportation planning studies and technical analyses that could be undertaken to benefit the region, the UPWP plays a critical role in prioritizing the studies that are conducted, defining their scopes and budgets, and ensuring that their outcomes help move us closer to achieving our transportation goals as a region.

Additionally, the UPWP serves as a source for the following information:

What is an MPO?

MPO stands for Metropolitan Planning Organization.

In order to receive federal transportation funds, each urbanized area (with a population of 50,000 or more) must conduct an ongoing transportation planning process (a.k.a the 3C process) that engages state and local governments as well as other stakeholders.

MPOs are the entities tasked with carrying out this planning process. The Boston Region MPO is made up of a decision-making board that is supported by the Central Transportation Planning Staff, staff to the MPO.

 

How is the Boston Region defined?

The Boston region encompasses an area of approximately 1,405 square miles and is made up of 101 cities and towns stretching from Boston to Ipswich in the north, Duxbury in the south, and west to Interstate 495. It is home to more than three million people and approximately two million jobs. The diverse communities in the MPO area range from relatively rural communities, such as Dover, to the urban centers of Boston and Cambridge. Therefore, transportation planning must take into account demographic, cultural, environmental, and mobility diversity.

How does the UPWP relate to the goals of the Boston Region MPO?

The Boston Region MPO plans for the transportation future of the Boston region. The MPO is guided by a 25-year vision for a modern, safe, equitable, sustainable, and technologically advanced transportation system for the region, which is described in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Charting Progress to 2040. The transportation planning work funded through the UPWP is an integral part of achieving this regional vision.

The transportation goals of the Boston region (see Figure 1-2, in Chapter 1) include:

In addition to the LRTP and the UPWP, the MPO also produces the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Boston region. As the near-term investment plan of the MPO, the TIP describes and prioritizes transportation construction projects that are expected to be implemented during a five-year period. Figure ES-1 illustrates the relationship between the LRTP goals and visions, the planning foundation of the MPO (the UPWP), the TIP, and the feedback loop for monitoring progress towards the region’s goals as well as continuously evaluating our approach to achieving them.

The “3C” Planning Process

The 3 Cs define an approach to meaningful transportation planning and are required by the federal government:

Figure ES-1: Links Between LRTP, TIP, and UPWP

This figure shows the relationships between the planning and programming documents that the MPO creates in order to guide transportation planning and investment throughout the region. The figure shows the relationships between the LRTP, TIP, and UPWP. Performance measures and performance targets allow the MPO to monitor progress and evaluate their approach to transportation planning and improvements in the region.


What are "federal metropolitan planning funds"?

The federal government regulates the funding, planning, and operation of surface transportation through the federal transportation program (enacted into law through Titles 23 and 49 of the United States Code). The most recent reauthorization of the surface transportation law is called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Federal funding that supports much of the work described in this UPWP comes from two main sources: the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Federal funding is broken down as follows:

Are there other funding sources in the UPWP?

Yes! In addition to MPO-funded work, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) performs planning analyses and studies funded by state transportation agencies, including MassDOT, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). More detail about these agency-funded studies can be found in Chapter 7. For FFY 2017, the agency funding in this UPWP includes the following:

Objectives of the MPO

In carrying out the 3C transportation planning process, the MPO aims to achieve the following objectives:

 

es.2   What studies and activities are in this FFY 2017 UPWP?

Throughout the following chapters, you will see detailed information on work programs, studies, support activities, and technical analyses that fall into the following categories:

ES.3   what is the process for creating and monitoring the upwp every ffy?

Developing the UPWP

The annual process of creating the UPWP includes both generating and evaluating ideas for new studies, as well as updating the scopes and anticipated deliverables for ongoing technical analysis activities, certification requirements, and administrative support activities.

Ideas for new studies come from a combination of:

Ideas for new studies are compiled into the Universe of New Studies, and each proposed study is evaluated and selected for funding based on the following criteria: how it helps the region accomplish the LRTP goals, the mode(s) it addresses, the scale of the study, the time frame and type of impact it is anticipated to result in, whether it furthers some body of existing work, and whether it has been funded in the past or is a completely new idea.

The MPO seeks to continually improve its process through inclusive and collaborative decision-making. For this reason, the MPO seeks to involve a broad and diverse range of stakeholders throughout the UPWP development process.

In the coming years, staff will seek to increase public input into the Universe of New Studies and then engage participants in discussing, evaluating, and eventually prioritizing studies for inclusion in the UPWP. We are working to expand our communication channels to include:

As described above, Chapters 5 through 8 provide detailed information about all of the transportation planning activities that will be undertaken by CTPS during FFY 2017. The new studies chosen for funding in FFY 2017 are summarized below in Table ES-1 and described in more detail in Chapter 6.

Table ES-1
FFY 2017 New Discrete Funded Studies

Universe ID

Category

Project Name

Estimated Cost

Page Number

A-7

Active transportation

Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School Programs

$80,000

link

B-7

Land use, environment, and economy

Study of Promising Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies

$55,000

link

C-1

Multimodal mobility

Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways

$110,000

link

C-3

Multimodal mobility

Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottleneck Locations

$50,000

link

C-4

Multimodal mobility

Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment

$110,000

link

C-6

Multimodal mobility

Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

$50,000

link

E-7

Transit

Using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) to Find Shared Segments with Excessively Irregular Headways

$25,000

link

F-1

Other technical support

MPO Staff-Generated Research Topics

$30,000

link

blank

Total

blank

$510,000

blank

 

What is the public review process?

As noted above, public outreach forms a major part of the input into the UPWP every FFY. Towards the end of the UPWP development process, the MPO votes to release a draft document for public review that describes ongoing and new UPWP studies and includes financial information. The Draft UPWP also summarizes the document’s development to date and relevant transportation-planning studies in the Boston region that are being conducted by other organizations.

The MPO invites the public to comment on the Draft UPWP during the 30 days following its release. MPO staff posts the document for downloading, and publicizes its release via the MPO’s website (www.bostonmpo.org), Twitter account, and MPOinfo email list. MPO Info is the MPO email distribution list. The list includes MPO Board members, municipal TIP contacts, and all other interested public and stakeholders in the region. The email is used to keep all of these contacts informed about upcoming opportunities for public comment and involvement, and other current events of the MPO.Additionally, MPO staff solicits public input during CTPS Office Hours and at public events hosted by CTPS or our transportation partners, (e.g., MassDOT and the MBTA). MPO staff compiles all of the comments made during this period and presents them to the MPO.

Information about the public review process for the Draft FFY 2017 UPWP is provided in Appendix B.

How are progress and outcomes monitored?

The MPO monitors the progress of studies funded through the UPWP by approving detailed work programs and scopes, reviewing monthly progress reports, keeping track of UPWP study budgets and updates on actual spending, and approving the release of deliverables based on whether the objectives stated in the work program were met and whether the state deliverables were produced.

The FFY 2017 UPWP includes a new ongoing program, the development and maintenance of the UPWP Study Recommendation Tracking Database, which is described in detail in Chapter 8. This database will provide a new and important tool with which the MPO and MPO staff can track the status of recommendations advanced through UPWP studies, and understand details such as implementation status, project milestones, funding, and issues that affect the implementation progress. The ability to keep track of these things is a significant new way for the MPO to monitor the progress and implementation outcomes of recommended actions developed through its UPWP projects and programs.

ES.4   what else does the MPO do and who are the members?

The transportation planning process

Title 23, Section 134 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act and Section 5303 of the Federal Transit Act, as amended, require that urbanized areas, in order to be eligible for federal funds, conduct a 3C transportation-planning process, resulting in plans and programs consistent with the planning objectives of the metropolitan area. In complying with this requirement, the Boston Region MPO established specific objectives that guide our 3C planning process (see text box: Objectives of the MPO).

As part of our 3C process, the Boston Region MPO annually produces the TIP and the UPWP. These documents, along with the quadrennial LRTP, are referred to as Certification Documents (described in Chapter 2, Section 2.1.2) and are required for the MPO’s process of being certified to meet federal requirements; this certification is a prerequisite for receiving federal transportation funds. In addition to the requirement to produce the LRTP, the TIP, and the UPWP, the MPO must establish and conduct an inclusive public participation process, as well as maintain transportation models and data resources to support air quality conformity determinations, transportation equity analyses, and long- and short-range planning work and initiatives.

The Boston Region MPO

The Boston Region MPO consists of a 22 voting member board that includes state agencies, regional organizations, and municipalities; its jurisdiction extends from Boston north to Ipswich, south to Duxbury, and west to Interstate 495. There are 101 cities and towns that make up this area (see Chapter 1, Figure 1-1).

The permanent MPO voting members are:

The elected MPO voting members are municipalities. A municipality from each of the eight MAPC subregions has a seat, and there are four at-large municipal seats, split between cities and towns. The current elected members are:

In addition, the FHWA and the FTA participate in the MPO as advisory (nonvoting) members. Details about MPO voting members are provided in Chapter 2. Figure 2-1 shows MPO membership and organization of the CTPS, staff to the MPO.

Metropolitan Area Planning Council Subregional Groups

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency for the 101-municipality Boston region and is also a member agency of the MPO.

To enhance the regional planning process, the Boston region is divided into eight subregional groups that include municipal representatives. These groups are better able to focus on planning topics that are of particular importance to their subregion:

 

ES.5   overview of this document

This UPWP document is structured as follows:

 

Back to top

 

CHAPTER 1
COORDINATING COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION PLANNING IN THE REGION: WHAT IS THE UPWP?

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) plans for the transportation future of the Boston region (Figure 1-1). The MPO is guided by a 25-year vision for a modern, safe, equitable, sustainable, and technologically advanced transportation system for the region, which is described in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Charting Progress to 2040. An integral part of achieving this regional vision is the transportation planning work funded through the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).

The UPWP is a financial plan that the MPO produces annually in compliance with the federally mandated metropolitan planning process. This process requires transportation decision-making in urbanized areas based on a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative planning process (the 3C process) that involves coordination of state and local governments as well as the public.

The UPWP documents the federal funding that will be spent on surface transportation studies and programs in the Boston region during a given federal fiscal year (FFY). This plan also serves as the basis for financing the ongoing work of the staff to the Boston Region MPO.

This chapter explains the UPWP, its connection to the overall regional vision developed in the LRTP, and how the planning work of the MPO is funded.

Figure 1-1: Boston Region MPO Municipalities Map

 

This is a map of the cities and towns in the Boston Region. There are 101 cities and towns within the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s planning area. This figure also delineates the eight (8) sub-regions within the shared Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization and Metropolitan Area Planning Council planning area. The eight sub-regions are the: South Shore Coalition, Three Rivers Interlocal Council, South West Advisory Planning Committee, MetroWest Regional Collaborative, Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination, North Suburban Planning Council, North Shore Task Force, and Inner Core Committee.

 

 

1.1   What Does the UPWP Do?

As the basis for transportation planning at the Boston Region MPO, the UPWP prioritizes federal funding for transportation planning work that will be implemented in the 101-municipality area of the Boston region. This work is conducted by the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), staff to the MPO, or by the staff of the MPO member agency, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and primarily consists of four parts:

  1. Certification requirements and other administration activities: The UPWP includes activities that the MPO must conduct in order to remain certified as an MPO by the federal government, and to be eligible to receive and distribute federal transportation dollars. Work in this category includes preparing federally required financial plans, including the LRTP and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); the LRTP allocates funding for regionally significant transportation construction projects and programs over a 25-year period, while the TIP allocates funding for projects to be implemented in the near-term of the next five years. Air quality conformity and environmental justice-related compliance associated with the LRTP and TIP are also included in this category. Other administrative work funded through the UPWP includes data and computer resources management as well as maintenance of the MPO’s regional travel demand model, which is used to forecast the potential impacts and changes the transportation system will have on traffic congestion and transit ridership. See Chapters 5 and 8 for more detail on these areas of work.

  2. Ongoing/continuing work programs: These are areas of work that support technical analyses and planning studies for cities and towns in the region. Examples of these ongoing/continuing programs include Bicycle and Pedestrian Support Activities, Regional Transit Service Planning Technical Support, and Community Transportation Technical Assistance. See Chapter 6 for more detail on these studies and technical analyses.

  3. New studies: Every year, a certain amount of funding is available for new studies to be undertaken by MPO staff. These efforts are conducted to enhance the knowledge of the practice, to enhance analytical methods, and to evaluate strategies. Examples of these studies in the FFY 2017 UPWP include Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Study of Promising Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies, and Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School Programs. See Chapter 6 for more detail on these new studies.

  4. Agency Studies and Technical Analyses: CTPS conducts planning analyses and studies funded by state transportation agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). These agency-funded studies are described in more detail in Chapter 7.

1.2   how are Funding decisions made?

The MPO’s UPWP Committee works with the MPO staff to develop the UPWP for the upcoming FFY. Numerous sources of guidance are considered when compiling the UPWP and making decisions about the new and ongoing work that will be carried out. Additionally, as described in further detail in Section 1.3, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provide funding each year for UPWP studies and programs in the upcoming FFY. The amount of available funding plays an important role in determining what work will be done in a given FFY.

1.2.1   The Guiding Vision of the LRTP

The chief framework that directs decisions about what to fund through the UPWP includes the goals and objectives of the LRTP, which guide the MPO in its overall decision-making. As described in more detail in Section 1.2.2, each new proposed study is evaluated based on how it helps the region achieve the goals and objective outlined in the LRTP.

Figure 1-2 shows the goals and objectives in the MPO’s most recent LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040, endorsed by the MPO in July 2015.

Figure 1-2: LRTP Goals and Objectives

CENTRAL VISION STATEMENT

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization envisions a modern transportation system that is safe, uses new technologies, provides equitable access, excellent mobility, and varied transportation options—in support of a sustainable, healthy, livable, and economically vibrant region.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

SAFETY: Transportation by all modes will be safe

SYSTEM PRESERVATION: Maintain the transportation system

CLEAN AIR/CLEAN COMMUNITIES: Create an environmentally friendly transportation system

CAPACITY MANAGEMENT/MOBILITY: Use existing facility capacity more efficiently and increase healthy transportation capacity

TRANSPORTATION EQUITY: Provide comparable transportation access and service quality among communities, regardless of income level or minority population


ECONOMIC VITALITY: Ensure our transportation network provides a strong foundation for economic vitality

Figure 1-3 depicts the relationship between the framework established in the LRTP, the planning foundation of the MPO (the UPWP), the near-term investment plan of the MPO (the TIP), and the feedback loop for monitoring progress towards the region’s goals as well as continuously evaluating our approach to achieving them.

Figure 1-3: Links Between LRTP, TIP, and UPWP

This figure shows the relationships between the planning and programming documents that the MPO creates in order to guide transportation planning and investment throughout the region. The figure shows the relationships between the LRTP, TIP, and UPWP. Performance measures and performance targets allow the MPO to monitor progress and evaluate their approach to transportation planning and improvements in the region.


1.2.2   The Process of Creating and Monitoring the UPWP

Each year, the UPWP Committee considers new studies for funding. The UPWP documents these new studies (as well as studies that are continuing from previous UPWPs), and it provides updates on the MPO’s ongoing programs that fulfill the federally required 3C transportation-planning process.

The UPWP Committee met with the MPO staff five times in FFY 2016 to consider and provide guidance on the UPWP development process, including proposed budgets for ongoing and continuing activities, new study ideas, and the prioritization of these ideas. These meetings resulted in the Committee’s recommendation for the Draft FFY 2017 UPWP. The MPO approved the UPWP Committee’s recommendations for the public review of Draft FFY 2017 UPWP on May 19, 2016.

Below are more details about the process for selecting studies and programs for the FFY 2017 UPWP.

Developing the New Federal Fiscal Year UPWP

To develop new planning studies for the FFY 2017 UPWP, the MPO drew from the following sources to generate a universe of proposed new studies for evaluation by MPO staff and the MPO’s UPWP Committee.

  1. Public outreach: Meetings were held to gain input from subregional planning groups in the region. These groups,which are organized by an MPO member agency, MAPC, involve municipal representatives focused on regional planning topics (Figure 1-3). Two additional targeted TIP and UPWP public meetings were held in the region in December 2015 and January 2016.

  2. Regional Transportation Advisory Council (Advisory Council): MPO staff met with the Advisory Council, an independent body that brings public viewpoints and advice on transportation planning to the MPO, to present preliminary drafts of the FFY 2017 Universe of New Studies and gain ideas and input on transportation planning priorities.

  3. UPWP Committee: MPO staff met with the UPWP Committee of the MPO throughout the development of the UPWP. The committee oversaw the entire document development process and contributed to the generation and analysis of new study ideas.

  4. Existing planning documents: Various plans and programs developed and conducted by the MPO and other state agencies document transportation issues that require further study. These include the Congestion Management Process (CMP), which monitors the transportation network to identify locations and sources of congestion; the Program for Mass Transportation (PMT), the MBTA’s long-range capital plan; the MPO’s long-range planning documents, including the former LRTP, Paths to a Sustainable Region, and the LRTP Needs Assessment for the current LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040; MetroFuture, a long-range plan for smart growth developed by the MAPC; and other recent studies.

  5. Past guidance: The FHWA and FTA issue guidance on addressing the planning emphasis areas.

  6. FFY 2016 UPWP public comment letters and study proposals.

  7. Consultations with MassDOT, the MBTA, and MAPC.

  8. MPO staff-identified needs.

In an effort to increase public input into the Universe of New Studies, the MPO has new and additional public involvement planned in coming years, including using more social media, holding outreach meetings with advocacy groups, conducting outreach at more convenient locations, and concentrating outreach on traditionally less-involved municipalities in the region.

Proposed planning studies are documented in the FFY 2017 UPWP Universe of Proposed New Studies (see Appendix C). Selected studies for FFY17 are summarized in Table 1-1 and described in detail in Chapter 6.

Evaluating and Selecting New Studies

Each new proposed study in the Universe of New Studies was evaluated based on the following criteria: how it helps the region accomplish the LRTP goals, the mode(s) it addresses, the scale of the study, the time frame and type of impact it is anticipated to result in, whether it furthers some body of existing work, and whether it has been funded in the past or is a completely new idea.

The evaluation process provides an important tool for the MPO and stakeholders to understand the amount of spending on studies across the following criteria:

In addition to the study evaluation process, MPO staff defined general scopes and estimated costs for proposed planning studies and considered potential study feasibility issues. These various factors, along with the availability of funds for new studies, were considered as staff identified a recommended set of new proposed planning studies for review by the UPWP Committee. The FFY 2017 Universe of Proposed Studies, along with the estimated costs of each study, the evaluation results of how each supports the LRTP goals, and any supporting comments about each study are documented in the FFY 2017 UPWP Universe of Proposed New Studies in Appendix C.

Table 1-1 shows the studies in the FFY 2017 Universe that were chosen for funding in FFY 2017. These are described in more detail in Chapter 6.

Updates to Ongoing and Continuing Activities

In addition to the process of selecting new discrete transportation planning studies, the MPO reviews activities for ongoing programs and work. MPO staff identifies and develops budgets for these continuing programs that will be carried out in the upcoming FFY. If there are changes to the budget of any program as a result of revisions to planned activities, these changes are proposed.

Examples of ongoing and continuing activities include work that is required of the MPO, including certification requirements (see Chapter 5), administration and resource management activities (see Chapter 8), and ongoing technical assistance to municipalities (see Chapter 6).

Additionally, in FFY 2017, the MPO decided to include a new ongoing program in the UPWP. Described in detail in Chapter 8, the UPWP Study Recommendation Tracking Database will track the status of recommendations advanced through UPWP studies on an annual basis.

The annual study and program review and budget development process defines the amount of 3C funding (from federal grants that support the 3C process) that is available for new studies in the UPWP. After accounting for 3C-funded continuing and ongoing programs, the remaining funding is available for new studies.

 

 

 

Table 1-1
FFY 2017 New Discrete Funded Studies

 

Universe ID

Category

Project Name

Estimated Cost

Page Number

A-7

Active transportation

Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School Programs

$80,000

link

B-7

Land use, environment, and economy

Study of Promising Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies

$55,000

link

C-1

Multimodal mobility

Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways

$110,000

link

C-3

Multimodal mobility

Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottleneck Locations

$50,000

link

C-4

Multimodal mobility

Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment

$110,000

link

C-6

Multimodal mobility

Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

$50,000

link

E-7

Transit

Using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) to Find Shared Segments with Excessively Irregular Headways

$25,000

link

F-1

Other technical support

MPO Staff-Generated Research Topics

$30,000

link

blank

Total

blank

$510,000

blank

 

Public Review of the Draft UPWP

Descriptive and financial information about ongoing and new UPWP studies, along with information about the UPWP development process and other major transportation-planning studies occurring in the region, are incorporated into the draft UPWP. Once the MPO votes to release the draft for public review, MPO staff posts the document for downloading from the MPO website (www.bostonmpo.org) and provides notice of its availability through various media and MPO communication outlets.

As noted above, public outreach forms a major part of the input into the UPWP each FFY. After the draft UPWP is approved by the MPO, there is a 30-day public comment period. During this time, MPO staff members solicit public input through the MPO website, social media outlets, open houses, and public meetings held in conjunction with MassDOT and the MBTA. All public comments received during this period are compiled and presented to the MPO. Information about the public review process for the Draft FFY 2017 UPWP is available in Appendix B.

Monitoring Progress of UPWP Studies

The following procedures for monitoring the studies in the FFY 2017 UPWP were approved by the MPO:

Amendments and Administrative Modifications to the UPWP

If necessary, amendments and administrative modifications may be made to the UPWP throughout the year. All 3C documents (TIP, LRTP, UPWP, etc.) endorsed by MPOs must follow standardized procedures regarding amendments and/or administrative adjustments. If an amendment is under consideration, the Regional Transportation Advisory Council and other interested parties, including any affected communities, are notified. The MPO follows the procedures specified in the MPO’s Public Participation Plan.

 Below are general guidelines regarding the conditions that constitute an administrative adjustment or amendment to the UPWP

Table 1-2: UPWP Amendment and Administrative Adjustment Guidelines

UPWP Administrative Adjustment

UPWP Amendment

Reallocation of budget funds

Addition or Removal of UPWP task(s)

Change in start/completion dates within the originally intended federal fiscal year(s)

Change in start/completion dates, outside of originally intended federal fiscal year(s)

Adjustment to project scope

Significant change in project scope, cost, and/or time allocation

All proposed administrative adjustments and amendments must be presented to the MPO for consultation prior to endorsement. Both adjustments and amendments must be voted on by the MPO members and amendments must be released for 30-day public comment period prior to endorsement. Members of the public may attend and present comments at UPWP Committee meetings and MPO meetings, at which amendments and administrative modifications are discussed. Administrative modifications may be made by the MPO a public review period, although this can be provided at the MPO’s discretion.

When submitting the standard Budget Reallocation Request form to MassDOT OTP, all fields must be filled out with clear indication that the MPO was consulted prior to submission. Back up documentation must be submitted, including the UPWP description of the task(s) affected, original budget, revised budget, and justification for request.

A change to a project scope, budget, and/or project schedule is considered significant when it alters the original intent of the project or intended deliverables of the project.

Other Regionally-Significant Transportation Planning Studies

To provide a comprehensive perspective of transportation planning in the Boston region, the UPWP also includes a list of other major transportation planning activities in the region. This list includes projects that are not funded with the MPO’s planning funds, but which are being funded and implemented by individual transportation agencies, municipalities, or academic institutions. Often, these efforts also use the expertise and tools CTPS is uniquely able to provide. These are described in Appendix A.

 

1.3   How is the work funded?

The funding for the studies and programs included in this UPWP (presented in Chapters 5 through 8) comes from a variety of federal and state sources, as described below. The source of funds has important implications with regard to which agency or organization is responsible for programming them and for the MPO’s vote to approve both the UPWP and the subsequent work programs for the studies. The chapters of this UPWP are organized based on funding source: MPO-funded (3C-funded) studies and agency/other client-funded studies.

 

Table 1-3: FFY 2017 Unified Planning Work Program Budget—Summary of FFY 2017 Budgets for CTPS
3C Studies & Programs by Budget Categories FFY 2017
CTPS 3C PL Funds
FFY 2017
CTPS Section 5303 Funds
FFY 2017
CTPS Budget
Administration and Resource Management Projects  $1,149,853  $563,977  $1,713,830
MPO Certification Requirements  $1,069,369  $430,872  $1,500,241
MPO Funded Planning Studies and Technical Analyses  $133,874  $87,546  $221,420
New Discrete Studies and Ongoing Program  $370,382  $159,625  $530,000
Direct Support  $155,000  $71,500  $226,500
Total for CTPS 3C Studies and Programs (including salary, overhead, direct support)  $2,878,477  $1,313,521  $4,191,998

 

Agency Funded CTPS Work
Agency Funds Direct Support FFY 2017
CTPS Budget
MassDOT SPR Funds  $559,500  $12,500  $572,000
MassDOT Section 5303 Funds  $264,170  $6,000  $270,170
MassDOT Other Funds  $642,400  $500  $642,900
MBTA Funds  $1,052,089  $20,230  $1,072,319
Massport Funds  $52,900  $250  $53,150
Total for Agency-Funded Project Work    $2,571,059  $39,480  $2,610,539

 

CTPS Budget
(3C + Agency)
$6,802,537

 

Table 1-4: FFY 2017 Unified Planning Work Program Budget—Summary of FFY 2017 Budgets for MAPC
3C Studies & Programs by MAPC Budget Categories
FFY 2017
MAPC PL Funds
FFY 2017
MAPC Section 5303 Funds
FFY 2017
MAPC Budget
MAPC Planning Studies and Technical Analyses  $367,815  $206,229  $574,044
MAPC Administration, Resource Management, and Support Activities  $306,051  $125,400  $431,451
MAPC Total FFY 2017 Funds Programmed  $673,866  $331,629  $1,005,495

 

3C Budget
(CTPS + MAPC)

$5,197,493

TOTAL PROGRAMMED IN FFY 2017
(CTPS Budget + MAPC Budget)

$7,808,032

 

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CHAPTER 2
TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND THE BOSTON REGION MPO

This chapter explains the transportation-planning process in the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area and the composition of the Boston Region MPO.

Decisions about how to spend transportation funds in a metropolitan area are guided by information and ideas garnered from a broad group of people, including elected officials, municipal planners and engineers, transportation advocates, and other interested people. MPOs are the bodies responsible for providing a forum for this decision-making process. Each metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 50,000 or more—also known as an urbanized area—has an MPO, which decides how to spend federal transportation funds for capital projects and planning studies for the area.

2.1   the transportation planning process

The federal government regulates the funding, planning, and operation of surface transportation through the federal transportation program (enacted into law through Titles 23 and 49 of United States Code). The most recent reauthorization of the surface transportation law is called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

FAST Act legislation, as with previous federal transportation laws, sets policies related to metropolitan transportation planning. The law requires all MPOs to carry out a continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) transportation-planning process.

2.1.1   3C Transportation Planning

Title 23, Section 134 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act and Section 5303 of the Federal Transit Act, as amended, require that urbanized areas, in order to be eligible for federal funds, conduct a 3C transportation-planning process, resulting in plans and programs consistent with the planning objectives of the metropolitan area. The Boston Region MPO is responsible for carrying out the 3C planning process in the Boston region and has established the following objectives for the process:

As part of its 3C process, the Boston Region MPO annually produces the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). These documents, along with the quadrennial Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), are referred to as Certification Documents (described in Section 2.1.2), and are required for the MPO’s process to be certified as meeting federal requirements; this certification is a prerequisite for receiving federal transportation funds. In addition to the requirement to produce the LRTP, the TIP, and the UPWP, the MPO must establish and conduct an inclusive public participation process, as well as maintain transportation models and data resources to support air quality conformity determinations and long- and short-range planning work and initiatives.

2.1.2   Certification Documents

An essential aspect of maintaining an open and transparent 3C transportation planning and programming process in conformance with federal and state requirements and guidelines is the development of the MPO’s certification documents.

2.2   The boston region MPO

The Boston Region MPO consists of a 22 voting member board that includes state agencies, regional organizations, and municipalities; its jurisdiction extends from Boston north to Ipswich, south to Duxbury, and west to Interstate 495. There are 101 cities and towns that make up this area (see Chapter 1, Figure 1-1).

The permanent MPO voting members are:

The elected MPO voting members are municipalities. A municipality from each of the eight MAPC subregions has a seat, and there are four at-large municipal seats. The current elected members are:

In addition, the FHWA and the FTA participate in the MPO as advisory (nonvoting) members. Figure 2-1 shows MPO membership and organization of the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), staff to the MPO. Details about MPO voting members are provided below.

MassDOT was established under Chapter 25 (“An Act Modernizing the Transportation Systems of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”) of the Acts of 2009. It includes four divisions: Highway, Rail and Transit, Aeronautics, and Registry of Motor Vehicles. The MassDOT Board of Directors, comprised of 11 members appointed by the Governor, oversees all four divisions and MassDOT operations, including the MBTA. The MassDOT Board was expanded to 11 members by the legislature this year based on a recommendation by Governor Baker’s Special Panel, comprised of transportation leaders, which was assembled to review structural problems with the MBTA and deliver recommendations for improvements. MassDOT has three seats on the MPO including the Highway Division and the MBTA.

The Highway Division of MassDOT has jurisdiction over the roadways, bridges, and tunnels of the former Massachusetts Highway Department and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. The Highway Division also has jurisdiction over many bridges and parkways previously under the authority of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Highway Division is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the Commonwealth's state highways and bridges. It is also responsible for overseeing traffic safety and engineering activities for the state highway system. These activities include operating the Highway Operations Control Center to ensure safe road and travel conditions.

The Rail and Transit Division oversees MassDOT’s freight and passenger rail program, and provides oversight of Massachusetts’s 15 regional transit authorities (RTAs), as well as intercity bus, MBTA paratransit (THE RIDE), and a statewide mobility-management effort.

The MBTA, created in 1964, is a body politic and corporate, and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. Under the provisions of Chapter 161A of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), it has the statutory responsibility within its district of operating the public transportation system, preparing the engineering and architectural designs for transit development projects, and constructing and operating transit development projects. The MBTA district comprises 175 communities, including all of the 101 cities and towns of the Boston Region MPO area. In April 2015, as a result of a plan of action to improve the MBTA, a five-member Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) was created. The FMCB will enforce new oversight and management support, and increase accountability over a three-to-five-year time frame. The goals will target governance, finance, and agency structure and operations through recommended executive and legislative actions that embrace transparency and develop stability in order to earn public trust. By statute, the MBTA FMCB consists of five members, one with experience in transportation finance, one with experience in mass transit operations and three who are also members of the MassDOT Board.

The MBTA Advisory Board was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1964 through the same legislation that created the MBTA. The Advisory Board consists of representatives of the 175 cities and towns that compose the MBTA district. Cities are represented by either the city manager or mayor, and towns are represented by the chairperson of the board of selectmen. Specific responsibilities of the Advisory Board include review of and comment on the MBTA’s long-range plan, the Program for Mass Transportation (PMT), proposed fare increases, and the annual MBTA Capital Investment Program; review of the MBTA’s documentation of net operating investment per passenger; and review of the MBTA’s operating budget. The MBTA Advisory Board advocates for the transit needs of its member communities and the riding public.

Massport has the statutory responsibility under Chapter 465 of the Acts of 1956, as amended, for planning, constructing, owning, and operating such transportation and related facilities as may be necessary for the development and improvement of commerce in Boston and the surrounding metropolitan area. Massport owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston’s Conley Terminal, Cruiseport Boston, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport, and various maritime/waterfront properties, including parks in East Boston, South Boston, and Charlestown.

The MAPC is the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC/MPO region. It is composed of the chief executive officer (or her/his designee) of each of the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC region, 21 gubernatorial appointees, and 12 ex-officio members. It has statutory responsibility for comprehensive regional planning in its region under Chapter 40B of the MGL. It is the Boston Metropolitan Clearinghouse under Section 204 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 and Title VI of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968. Also, its region has been designated an economic development district under Title IV of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended. MAPC’s responsibilities for comprehensive planning include responsibilities in the areas of technical assistance to communities, transportation planning, and development of zoning, land use, demographic, and environmental studies. MAPC activities that are funded with federal metropolitan transportation planning dollars are included in this UPWP.

The city of Boston, six elected cities (currently Beverly, Braintree, Everett, Newton, Somerville, and Woburn), and six elected towns (currently Arlington, Bedford, Framingham, Lexington, Medway, and Norwood)represent the 101 municipalities in the Boston Region MPO area. The city of Boston is a permanent MPO member and has two seats. There is one elected municipal seat for each of the eight MAPC subregions and four seats for at-large elected municipalities (two cities and two towns). The elected at-large municipalities serve staggered three-year terms, as do the eight municipalities representing the MAPC subregions.

The Regional Transportation Advisory Council, the MPO’s citizen advisory group, provides the opportunity for transportation-related organizations, non-MPO member agencies, and municipal representatives to become actively involved in the decision-making processes of the MPO as it develops plans and prioritizes the implementation of transportation projects in the region. The Advisory Council reviews, comments on, and makes recommendations regarding certification documents. It also serves as a forum for providing information on transportation topics in the region, identifying issues, advocating for ways to address the region’s transportation needs, and generating interest among members of the general public in the work of the MPO.

Two members participate in the Boston Region MPO in an advisory (nonvoting) capacity, reviewing the LRTP, the TIP, the UPWP, and other facets of the MPO’s planning process to ensure compliance with federal planning and programming requirements:

 

This figure shows the organizational chart for the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Central Transportation Planning Staff.

 

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Chapter 3
Regulatory Framework

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) plays a critical role in helping the region move closer to achieving federal, state, and regional transportation goals and policies. Therefore, a central step in producing the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is ensuring that the MPO’s planning activities align with federal and state regulatory guidance. This chapter describes all of the regulations taken into consideration by the MPO during the development of the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 UPWP.

3.1   Federal Regulations and guidance

3.1.1   Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act: National Goals

The purpose of the national transportation goals (23 United States Code [USC] 150) is to increase the accountability and transparency of the Federal-Aid Highway Program as well as to improve decision-making through performance-based planning and programming. The national transportation goals include:

  1. Safety: Achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

  2. Infrastructure condition: Maintain the highway infrastructure asset system in a state of good repair.

  3. Congestion reduction: Achieve a significant reduction in congestion on the National Highway System.

  4. System reliability: Improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system.

  5. Freight movement and economic vitality: Improve the national freight network, strengthen the ability of rural communities to access national and international trade markets, and support regional economic development.

  6. Environmental sustainability: Enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.

  7. Reduced project delivery delays: Reduce project costs, promote jobs and the economy, and expedite the movement of people and goods by accelerating project completion by eliminating delays in the project development and delivery process, including reducing regulatory burdens and improving agencies’ work practices.

3.1.2   FAST Act: Planning Factors

Because transportation planning studies are programmed for funding in the UPWP, specific consideration is given to the federal planning factors (23 USC 134). The FAST Act added two new planning factors to the eight factors established in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) transportation legislation. In accordance with the legislation, studies and strategies undertaken by the MPO shall  

  1. support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency.

  2. increase the safety of the transportation system for all motorized and nonmotorized users.

  3. increase the ability of the transportation system to support homeland security and to safeguard the personal security of all motorized and nonmotorized users.

  4. increase accessibility and mobility of people and freight.

  5. protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns.

  6. enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight.

  7. promote efficient system management and operation.

  8. emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.

  9. improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation.

  10. enhance travel and tourism.

 

Table 3-1 illustrates how studies and ongoing work conducted by the MPO and funded through federal formula grant programs address the federal planning factors.

 

TABLE 3-1: 3C-funded UPWP Studies and Programs: Relationship to Federal Planning Factors
Federal Planning Factor Certification Activties Technical Analyses Planning Studies Administration,
Resource Management, and Transportation Data Collection
 
3C Planning and MPO Support LRTP TIP Unified Planning Work Program
(CTPS and MAPC)
Air Quality Conformity and Support Activities Boston Region MPO Title VI Reporting Congestion Management Process Freight Planning Support Transportation Equity/Environmental Justice Support Bicycle/Pedestrian Support Activities Community Transportation Technical Assistance Regional Transit Service Planning Technical Support Land Use Development Project Reviews Using GTFS to Find Shared Segments with Excessively Irregular Headways Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment Low Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottleneck Locations Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School Programs Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Study of Promising GHG Reduction Strategies MPO Staff-Generated Research Topics Alternative Mode Planning and Coordination (MAPC) MetroFuture Implementation (MAPC) Corridor/Subarea Planning Studies (MAPC) Access Advisory Committee Support Provision of Materials in Accessible Formats Regional Model Enhancement Transit Data Support Traffic Data Support Roadway Safety Audits MPO/MAPC Liaison Activities Land Use Data for Transportation Modeling Subregional Support Activities
                                                                 
1 Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency. X X X X     X X             X X X   X       X                 X  
2 Increase the safety of the transportation system for all motorized and nonmotorized users. X X X X     X X   X X       X X X X X     X           X X X      
3 Increase the ability of the transportation system to support homeland security and to safeguard the personal security of all motorized and nonmotorized users. X X X X     X                 X X X X                     X      
4 Increase accessibility and mobility of people and freight. X X X X   X X X X X X X   X X X X X X   X X X X X X X X X   X X X
5 Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns. X X X X X X X   X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X     X X X   X X X
6 Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight. X X X X   X X X X X X X   X X X X   X   X X         X X X       X
7 Promote efficient system management and operation. X X X X     X X     X X   X X X X X X X   X         X X X        
8 Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system. X X X X       X             X X X X X                 X X       X
9 Improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation. X X X X X           X     X X X         X X X X                  
10 Enhance travel and tourism. X X X X           X X X   X X X X   X   X X X X       X X        

3C = continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative transportation-planning process. CTPS = Central Transportation Planning Staff. GHG = greenhouse gas. GTFS = General Transit Feed Specification. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. UPWP = Unified Planning Work Program. X = applicable.

 

3.1.3   Federal Planning Emphasis Areas

Each year, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issue guidance for MPOs to consider when preparing their UPWPs. For FFY 2017, FHWA and FTA guidance includes:

3.1.4   1990 Clean Air Act Amendments

Air quality conformity determinations must be performed for capital improvement projects that receive federal funding and for those that are considered regionally significant, regardless of the funding source. These determinations must show that projects in the MPO’s LRTP and TIP will not cause or contribute to any new air quality violations, will not increase the frequency or severity of any existing air quality violations in any area, and will not delay the timely attainment of the air quality standards in any area.

In the most recent LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040, the air quality conformity determination concluded that the emission levels from the Boston area carbon monoxide (CO) maintenance area, including emissions resulting from implementation of the LRTP, are in conformance with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) according to state and federal conformity criteria. Specifically, the CO emissions for the build scenarios of the MPO’s regional travel demand model set are less than the projections for analysis for the years 2020 through 2040 for the nine cities in the Boston CO maintenance area. In accordance with Section 176(c)(4) of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990, the Boston Region MPO has completed this review and hereby certifies that the LRTP, and its latest conformity determination, conditionally conforms with federal (40 CFR Part 93) and Massachusetts (310 CMR 60.03) regulations and is consistent with the air quality goals in the Massachusetts SIP.

Transportation control measures identified in the SIP for attaining air quality standards are federally enforceable and must be given first priority when using federal funds. Such projects include the parking-freeze program in Boston, the statewide rideshare program, rapid transit and commuter rail extension programs, park-and-ride facilities, residential parking-sticker programs, and the operation of high-occupancy-vehicle lanes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Parts 51 and 93 Conformity Regulation established the policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating air quality conformity in the MPO region. 

As of April 1, 2016, the Boston Region MPO has been classified as attainment for CO. Therefore, the MPO is in attainment for all of the criteria pollutants (ozone and CO) and is not required to perform air quality analyses for these pollutants as part of the LRTP and TIP. The MPO, however, is still required to report on the TCMs as part of air quality conformity determinations in these documents. In addition, the MPO is still required to perform air quality analyses for carbon dioxide as part of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (see below).

3.1.5   Non-discrimination Mandates

The Boston Region MPO complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and other federal and state non-discrimination statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. The MPO, as well as its plans and programs, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, English-language proficiency, income, religious creed, ancestry, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or military service. The major federal requirements are discussed below.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This statute requires that no person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, under any program or activity provided by an agency receiving federal financial assistance.

Executive Order 13166, dated August 11, 2000, extends Title VI protections to persons who, as a result of national origin, have limited English-language proficiency (LEP). Specifically, it calls for improved access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities, and requires MPOs to develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully participate in the transportation-planning process.

MPO activities that meet these requirements are discussed in the Boston Region MPO Title VI Report, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Title VI Program, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Title VI Program Monitoring. These projects are discussed in more detail in Chapters 5 and 7.

Environmental Justice Executive Orders

Executive Order 12898, dated February 11, 1994, further expands upon Title VI, requiring each federal agency to achieve environmental justice by identifying and addressing any disproportionately high adverse human health or environmental effects, including interrelated social and economic effects, of its programs, policies, and activities on minority or low-income populations.

On April 15, 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its Final Order to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. Among other provisions, this order requires programming and planning activities to

The 1997 Final Order was updated in 2012 with DOT Order 5610.2(a) which provided clarification while maintaining the original framework and procedures.

The ADA

Title III of the ADA requires all transportation projects, plans, and programs to be accessible to people with disabilities. At the MPO level, this means that public meetings must be held in accessible buildings and be conducted in a manner that provides for accessibility. MPO materials must also be made available in accessible formats.

Executive Order 13330

Executive Order 13330, dated February 26, 2004, calls for the establishment of the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility under the aegis of the US Secretary of Transportation. This executive order reinforces both environmental justice and ADA requirements by charging the council with developing policies and methods for improving access for persons with disabilities, low-income persons, and older adults.

3.2   State Guidance and Transportation Priorities

As described in Chapters 6 through 8, much of the work funded through the UPWP focuses on encouraging mode shift and diminishing GHG emissions through improving transit service, enhancing bicycle and pedestrian networks, and studying emerging transportation technologies. All of this work helps the Boston Region contribute to statewide progress towards the priorities discussed throughout this section.

3.2.1   You Move Massachusetts and We Move Massachusetts

You Move Massachusetts, a statewide initiative designed as a bottom-up approach to transportation planning, developed ten core themes derived from a broad-based public participation process that articulated the expressed concerns, needs, and aspirations of Massachusetts residents that are related to their transportation network. These themes were considered in the development of this UPWP.

We Move Massachusetts (WMM) is MassDOT’s statewide strategic multimodal plan. The initiative is a product of the transportation reform legislation of 2009, You Move Massachusetts civic engagement process, wider outreach to environmental justice and Title VI communities, and other outreach activities. In May 2014, MassDOT released We Move Massachusetts: Planning for Performance (WMM), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ 2040 LRTP. WMM identifies high-level policy priorities, which were considered in the development of this UPWP. WMM also incorporates performance management into investment decision-making to calculate the differences in performance outcomes resulting from different funding levels available to MassDOT. In the future, MassDOT will use the scenario tool, described in WMM, to update and refine investment priorities.

3.2.2   Global Warming Solutions Act

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) makes Massachusetts a leader in setting aggressive and enforceable greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and implementing policies and initiatives to achieve these targets. In keeping with this law, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in consultation with other state agencies and the public, developed the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. This implementation plan, released on December 29, 2010, establishes the following targets for overall statewide GHG emissions:

3.2.3   GreenDOT

GreenDOT, an initiative that MassDOT launched in June 2010, is a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability policy that has three primary objectives:

GreenDOT applies to MassDOT divisions and contractors, as well as to Massachusetts’s MPOs and regional transit authorities. It responds to several critical laws and policies, which include:

The GreenDOT Implementation Plan serves as the framework for incorporating the sustainability principles of GreenDOT into MassDOT’s core business practices. The plan details 16 broad sustainability goals and related measurable tasks and performance indicators.

3.2.4   MassDOT’s Statewide Mode-Shift Goal

MassDOT’s statewide mode-shift goal aims to triple the current mode shares of bicycling, public transit, and walking by 2030. The statewide mode-shift goal is an important part of MassDOT’s strategy for meeting the Commonwealth’s commitments under the GWSA. In 2013, MassDOT built upon the mode‑shift goal by passing the Healthy Transportation Policy Directive to formalize its commitment to the implementation and maintenance of transportation networks that serve all modes. The directive will ensure that all MassDOT projects are designed and implemented in a way that provides all customers access to safe and comfortable walking, bicycling, and transit options.

3.2.5   Healthy Transportation Compact

The HTC is a key requirement of the Massachusetts landmark transportation reform legislation that took effect on November 1, 2009. It is an interagency initiative that will help ensure that the transportation decisions the Commonwealth makes balance the needs of all transportation users, expand mobility, improve public health, support a cleaner environment, and create stronger communities.

Participating agencies work together to achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation, and public health policy. HTC membership is made up of the Secretary of Transportation or designee (co-chair), the Secretary of Health and Human Services or designee (co-chair), the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs or designee, the MassDOT Highway Administrator or designee, the MassDOT Transit Administrator or designee, the Commissioner of Public Health or designee, and the Secretary of Housing and Economic development or designee. The HTC will also promote improved coordination among the public sector, private sector, and advocacy groups, as well as among transportation, land use, and public health stakeholders.

3.3   Regional Guidance and Transportation Priorities

3.3.1   The MBTA’s Program for Mass Transportation (PMT)

The MBTA’s latest PMT, Focus40, is under development. Focus40 is the 25-year strategic vision for MBTA investments. This process will engage customers— as well as elected officials, major employers and business leaders, academic institutions, the advocacy community, and other stakeholders— in developing a financially responsible, long-term investment strategy that positions the MBTA to better serve the region of today, as well as the Greater Boston region of 2040. Focus40 will be an open and frank conversation about a number of critical issues, including:

In the first phase of the development of Focus40, MassDOT released the State of the System series, which provides a clear picture of where the MBTA stands today in terms of asset inventory, condition, and service performance. The second phase of the Focus40 effort is centered on developing a better understanding of the world in which the MBTA will be operating in the years leading up to 2040. A variety of trends in demographics, technology, and climate may require that the MBTA function differently in the coming years than it does today. Finally, Focus40 will work with the public and stakeholders to develop and evaluate various investment strategies that will address current and future needs.

During development of the MPO’s next LRTP, the MPO will consider the findings and recommendations for transit investments in Focus40. These will provide important input for future scenario planning and investment decisions in the LRTP.

3.3.2   MetroFuture

MetroFuture, which was developed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and adopted in 2008, is the long-range plan for land use, housing, economic development, and environmental preservation in the Boston region. It includes a vision for the region’s future and a set of strategies for achieving that future, and is the foundation for land use projections used in the MPO’s LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040. Work being done to support MetroFuture implementation and updates is detailed in the MetroFuture Implementation project description in Chapter 6. MetroFuture’s goals, objectives, and strategies were considered in the development of this UPWP.

3.3.3   The MPO’s Congestion Management Process (CMP)

The purpose of the CMP is to monitor and analyze the performance of facilities and services, develop strategies for the management of congestion based on the results of monitoring, and move those strategies into the implementation stage by providing decision-makers in the region with information and recommendations for the improvement of transportation system performance. The CMP monitors roadways and park-and-ride facilities in the MPO region for safety, congestion, and mobility, and identifies “problem” locations. Studies that help address problems identified in the most recent CMP monitoring were considered for inclusion in this UPWP, including Priority Corridors for LRTP Needs Assessment: FFY 2017. Work that is currently being performed in accordance with the FFY 2017 CMP is detailed in Chapter 5.

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Chapter 4
Federal Fiscal Years 2014-2016 Completed UPWP Studies

4.1   TRACKING STUDY PROGRESS

In order to accurately plan each Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) must gain an understanding of the status of the previous year’s studies and work activities. For example, some studies that began in one federal fiscal year (FFY) may carry over into the following FFY. The budgetary and staff requirements for these “carry-over” studies are factored into decision-making about the type and number of new studies that MPO staff can undertake in the upcoming FFY.

Similarly, the budgetary and staffing needs of ongoing programs, both those required to maintain certification as an MPO and support MPO functioning (such as the Congestion Management Process and Regional Model Enhancement), as well as the ongoing programs in which MPO staff conduct technical transportation planning work for communities (such as Bicycle and Pedestrian Support Activities), can fluctuate from one FFY to another. These changes are based, in part, on varying work levels for certification requirements (e.g., the Long-Range Transportation Plan [LRTP] is developed over the course of four years) as well as varying demands for work and assistance under the MPO’s ongoing technical programs.

In general, the MPO tracks three categories of study progress throughout the UPWP. These include:


This chapter summarizes completed studies; the other study categories, as described above, are presented in their corresponding chapters.

4.2   PROJECT BUDGET TABLES AND WORK PRODUCTS

Table 4-1 summarizes the budgets, work products, and activities for studies that were funded in FFYs 2014 through 2016 and are expected to be complete by the end of FFY 2016. Each table includes the project name, the MPO project identification number, the funding amount from each of the federal formula grants (Federal Highway Administration continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive [3C] Planning [PL] funds and Federal Transit Administration/Massachusetts Department of Transportation 3C Planning [§ 5303] funds), total funding, and work products, including reports, technical memoranda, and other accomplishments during the study period.

Please note that some titles of these products and activities may change as they are finalized. All certification documents and many other work products are, or will be, available for download from the MPO website (www.bostonmpo.org). Work products not found on the MPO website may be requested by contacting the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) at 857-702-3700 (voice), 617-570-9193 (TTY), or ctps@ctps.org (email). Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) work products can be found at www.mapc.org.

 

Table 4-1 FFY 2014 to FFY 2016 Completed MPO-Funded Transportation Planning Studies
Name ID FHWA PL Funds FTA Section 5303 Funds Total Budget Work Products
FFY 2016 Studies FFY 2016 Studies FFY 2016 Studies FFY 2016 Studies FFY 2016 Studies FFY 2016 Studies
Modeling Transit Capacity Constraints 11405  $-    $44,000  $44,000  Report: Modeling Transit Capacity Constraints 
Identifying Opportunities to Alleviate Bus Delay 11400  $-    $65,000  $65,000  Report: Identifying Opportunities to Alleviate Bus Delay 
First-Mile-and-Last-Mile Transit Connection Studies 11399  $-    $55,000  $55,000  Various technical memoranda for selected project locations 
Research Topics Generated by MPO Staff: FFY 2016 20900  $21,000  $9,000  $30,000  Transit dependence scoring system and a technical memorandum: Use of Driver's License Data to Measure Transit Dependence 
FFY 2015 Studies FFY 2015 Studies  FFY 2015 Studies   FFY 2015 Studies   FFY 2015 Studies   FFY 2015 Studies 
Title VI Service Equity Analyses: Methodology Topics 11396  $-    $55,000  $55,000  Report: Title VI Service Equity Analysis: Methodology Development 
Addressing Priority Corridors from the LRTP Needs Assessment: FFY 2015 13267  $77,000  $33,000  $110,000  Report: Route 1A/Lynnway/Carroll Parkway Study in Lynn 
Fairmount Line Station Access Analysis 11249  $36,575  $15,675  $52,250 Report: Fairmount Line Station Access Analysis
Bicycle Network Gaps: Feasibility Evaluations 11250  $55,000  $-    $55,000  Technical Memoranda evaluating:
Mass Central Rail Trail in Waltham, Weston, and Belmont
Sudbury Aqueduct Trail in Framingham
Central Square in Cambridge 
Household Survey Travel Profiles and Trends: Selected Policy Topics 11152  $48,000  $27,000  $75,000 Exploring the 2011 Massachusetts Travel Survey: MPO Travel Profiles
Barriers and Opportunities Influencing Mode Shift 11148  $47,641  $20,417  $68,058 Report: Exploring the 2011 Massachusetts Travel Survey: Barriers and Opportunities Influencing Mode Shift
Core Capacity Constraints 23326  $50,000  $70,000  $120,000 Report containing summaries of stakeholder interviews and mitigation strategies, transit and roadway crowding analyses for current and future year scenarios, identification of large development projects to be included in the future year build scenario, and development of new crowding analysis methodology  
FFY 2014 Studies FFY 2014 Studies  FFY 2014 Studies   FFY 2014 Studies   FFY 2014 Studies   FFY 2014 Studies 
Environmental Justice and Title VI Analysis Methodology Review 11389  $36,000  $24,260  $60,260  Report: Environmental Justice and Title VI Analysis Methodology Review The purpose of this study which was approved in the 2014 UPWP was to produce recommendations to integrate, improve, and standardize the approaches taken to the separate and distinct Title VI and EJ analyses performed by MPO staff.  
Transportation Investments for Economic Development 11149  $39,900  $10,100  $50,000  Technical Memorandum: MPO Assessment of Economic Impact of Transportation Investments and Use of TREDIS Model 
TOTAL blank  $411,116  $428,452  $839,568 blank

Note: All budgets include both the federal portion and the MassDOT local match.

FFY = federal fiscal year. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan.
MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. PL = Federal Highway Administration transportation planning funds. TREDIS = Transportation Economic Development Impact System

 

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Chapter 5
Certification Requirements

5.1   Introduction

The projects in this chapter are categorized as certification requirements because they include work that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) must do to maintain its certification by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The projects also include activities that are necessary to comply with federal and state laws, such as the federal Clean Air Act Amendments and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The budget tables for the individual projects in this chapter describe the salary and overhead costs associated with these projects. Any direct costs associated with the projects are included in the Direct Support budget table in Chapter 8, Administration, Resource Management, and Support Activities.

Table 5-1 summarizes the funding in FFY 2016 and FFY 2017 as well as the work progress and products for the ongoing programs conducted as part of the MPO’s certification requirements. Although many of these programs generally comprise the same type of task from year to year, often there are variations in budgets that reflect greater or lesser emphasis in certain efforts. For example, MPO staff may undertake new or additional data collection and/or analysis under specific line items; the tasks undertaken as part of one line item in one year may be folded into an ongoing activity in a subsequent year; or, there simply may be fluctuations in staffing levels. Where appropriate, these differences are explained in the table.

 

Table 5-1: FFY 2016/FFY 2017 Certification Requirements
Name ID FFY 2016 Total Funding FFY 2016 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2016 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2016 Work Progress and Products FFY 2017 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2017 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2017 Total Funding FFY 2017 Planned Work Progress and Products
CTPS Activities blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
3C Planning and MPO Support Varies by Task $578,400 $404,880 $173,520 Prepared meeting and information materials—including agendas, minutes, notices, document translations, memoranda, reports, correspondence, summaries, and website postings, as well as maps, charts, illustrations, and other visual materials—as needed.

Continued to support the meetings and activities of the MPO board, the MPO committees, and the Regional Transportation Advisory Council.

Conducted communications with the public, including publishing TRANSREPORT.

Conduct planning to support compliance with federal requirements and guidance.
$433,121 $176,909 $610,030 Activities generally remain the same from year to year.
Long-Range Transportation Plan 10101 $318,200 $222,740 $95,460 Updated details and analyses in the Needs Assessment to supply the most current information to the MPO and the public.

Prepared amendments to Charting Progress to 2040, the MPO's LRTP.

Expanded the MPO's scenario-planning capabilities by using the regional travel demand model and various planning tools such as TREDIS and CubeLand to support the performance-based planning and programming process.

Produced summaries of results from the transportation scenario analyses for the MPO.

Reviewed and updated performance measures and prepared targets for the MPO's goals and objectives.

Prepared memoranda on performance-based planning topics such as performance targets and guidelines for the LRTP system performance report.

Planned LRTP system performance reports for monitoring measures-of-interest trends and tracking the MPO's performance-meeting targets.

Conducted public outreach on all LRTP topics, including the Needs Assessment updates, scenario planning, and further development of performance measures and targets; reported the results to the MPO for use in all of its planning and programming.

$197,232 $95,559 $292,791 Continue to develop the MPO's performance based planning data and analysis to comply with FHWA rulemaking.

Incorporate Green Line Extension changes into the LRTP.

Continue to make amendments to the LRTP as needed, based on TIP development and amendments.

Produce summaries of results from transportation scenario analyses for the MPO.

Prepare LRTP system performance reports monitoring measures-of-interest trends and tracking the MPO's performance-meeting targets.

Conduct public outreach on all LRTP topics, including Needs Assessment updates, scenario planning, and further development of performance measures and targets; report results to the MPO for use in all of its planning and programming.
Transportation Improvement Program 10103 $174,200 $121,940 $52,260 Development of the FFY 2017 to FFY 2021 TIP.

Outreach to municipalities in the region through TIP and UPWP workshops, MAPC subregional meetings, and correspondence with municipal TIP contacts and chief elected officials.

Updates to the online TIP Interactive Database.

Review of TIP project evaluation criteria.

Preparation of TIP amendments and administrative modifications, as necessary.

Analysis and reporting on performance measures and performance-based planning.
$117,036 $47,804 $164,840 Activities generally remain the same from year to year.
Unified Planning Work Program  10104 $98,000 $68,600 $29,400 Development of the FFY 2017 UPWP.

Outreach to municipalities in the region through TIP and UPWP workshops and MAPC subregional meetings to develop study ideas for the UPWP.

Outreach to the Regional Transportation Advisory Council to develop study ideas for the UPWP and to educate and inform the council about the UPWP products and process.
$87,472 $35,728 $123,200 Activities generally remain the same from year to year; however, in FFY 2017, MPO staff plans to make this position more involved in tracking the progress of studies conducted as part of the UPWP, and documenting in a database the implementation of recommendations that are made in studies. 
Air Quality Conformity and Support Activities 10112 $24,500 $17,150 $7,350 Conducted air quality  analyses, including greenhouse gas analyses, for projects to be considered for funding in the TIP, as well as for those to be considered for Congestion Management and Air Quality funding.

Updated air quality emission factors using the latest emission factors software.

Attended State Implementation Plan meetings for updates on state air quality legislation.

Provided support to MassDOT on air-quality matters.
$20,547 $8,393 $28,940 Activities generally remain the same from year to year. 
Boston Region MPO Title VI Reporting 11355 $32,000 $22,400 $9,600 Provided annual update to MassDOT.
$15,698 $6,412 $22,110 Activities vary from year to year, depending on MassDOT requirements.
Congestion Management Process 11123 $92,200 $64,540 $27,660 Technical memorandum: "Congestion Scans for the Expressways and Select Arterials in the Boston MPO Region"

Technical memorandum: "Create Regional Economic Costs of Congestion criteria"

Technical memorandum: "Transit Bus Performance Monitoring"

Online dashboards: The Express Highway Performance Dashboard was updated to include all expressways in the MPO Model Region. The Arterial Peformance Dashboard was updated to include additional arterials in the Boston Proper area. 
$70,915 $28,965 $99,880 Possible MBTA Bicycle Parking/MBTA Park and Ride Lot Monitoring data collection and analysis. 

Possible analysis of travel-time datasets from companies such as INRIX or Google.

Possible updates to the Express-Highway Performance Dashboard and Arterial Performance Dashboard. 
Freight Planning Support 11145 $46,000 $46,000 $0 Report: "Trucks in the South Boston Waterfront" (FFY 2015 Freight Plan)

Technical memorandum: "Rest Locations for Long-Distance Truck Drivers;" also data development and stakeholder outreach.
$51,200 $0 $51,200 Possible follow-up work on rest locations if requested by stakeholders. Study region could be expanded or specific sites could be investigated. Data development and stakeholder outreach will continue.
Transportation Equity/Environmental Justice Support 11132 $100,900 $70,630 $30,270 Developed work on redefining disadvantaged populations for use in future TIP and LRTP analysis. Continued work to revise the disparate impact and disproportionate burden policy.

Engaged in transportation needs assessment outreach to organizations and agencies familiar with the needs of environmental justice areas, and developed memoranda to document outreach activity results.

Updated the transportation equity and environmental justice contact database. Surveyed contacts in the environmental justice database and conducted various demographic and socioeconomic analyses.

Updated information on available TMA and private carrier transportation services.
$76,148 $31,103 $107,251 Based on feedback received during the most recent Federal Certification Review, this program is planned to be enhanced and expanded in FFY 2017.
TOTAL blank $1,464,400 $1,038,880 $425,520 blank $1,069,369 $430,873 $1,500,242 blank

3C = Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative transportation planning process. CTPS = Central Transportation Planning Staff. FFY = federal fiscal year. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. PL = Federal Highway Administration transportation planning funds. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. TMA = Transportation Management Association. TREDIS = Transportation.


5.2   Certification Requirement Activities

This section describes the certification requirement activities and plans that MPO staff conducts during the FFY.

 

3C Planning and MPO Support

Project ID Number

See Individual Tasks below

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $433,121

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $176,909

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $610,030

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The work described below consists of the 3C activities that support the federally mandated transportation-planning process that is continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative. This process creates numerous products and materials and furthers MPO operations and decision-making.

Approach

The activities included in this category of certification requirements are separated into the specific work areas detailed below.

SUPPORT TO THE MPO

Project ID 90011:  Support to the MPO and Its Committees

Support to the MPO and its committees includes implementing MPO policies on planning and programming, planning and coordinating delivery of information for MPO decision-making, and supporting the work and operation of the MPO and its committees. It involves providing support for MPO meeting management and planning, delivering MPO communications, and implementing the MPO’s public participation program. Some tasks related to MPO meetings, MPO committee meetings, Regional Transportation Advisory Council (Advisory Council) meetings, and other MPO-sponsored meetings include:

Technical and process support is provided to the MPO’s Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee, Administration and Finance (A&F) Committee, Congestion Management Process (CMP) Committee, and other ad hoc committees that are formed as needed.

This work program also includes consultation with other entities and agencies involved with or interested in 3C planning activities, collaboration with other Massachusetts MPOs (with more detailed coordination with those in the Boston Region urbanized area), and communication with Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional groups.

MPO support also includes conducting metropolitan transportation planning and implementing planning activities for the MPO. The goal of this work is to ensure compliance with federal regulations and requirements and to provide excellence in transportation planning processes, techniques, and outcomes. The work involves researching, analyzing, and reporting information on 3C planning topics, including those identified in federal reauthorization legislation, and issues related to other federal policies, regulations, and guidance. It also involves responding to federal recommendations or requirements for certification documents or MPO certification, and incorporating new requirements into the MPO’s 3C program. MPO staff will continue to implement Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requirements (see Chapter 2 and Chapter 3) as guidance from this federal legislation is communicated to the MPO, and staff will also be prepared to implement future legislation.

Other activities include the day-to-day oversight of 3C­program­related activities, reports on the progress of projects listed in the UPWP, collection and fielding of day-to-day comments and inquiries, and responses to requests for information and support.

Project ID 90021: Regional Transportation Advisory Council Support

The Advisory Council is the MPO’s citizens’ advisory committee. MPO staff provides operations support to this body and its subcommittees. This includes planning programs and meetings, scheduling speakers, and preparing and distributing agendas, meeting notices, informational packets, and meeting minutes. It also includes helping to conduct meetings; attending and making presentations at meetings; organizing and conducting field trips; soliciting new members; implementing and updating the bylaws; coordinating other activities, such as Advisory Council elections; and maintaining contact lists. MPO staff provides information, updates, and briefings on MPO activities, studies, and reports; requests and coordinates comments on MPO documents; and works with the Advisory Council and its committees as they conduct their programs, planning, and reviews.

Project ID 90025: TRANSREPORT

The MPO’s newsletter, TRANSREPORT, is an important part of the MPO’s public involvement program. MPO staff is responsible for soliciting, researching, and writing articles about MPO studies and activities. This work includes managing all aspects of the newsletter’s production: writing and editing, layout, graphics, proofreading, and distribution via email and U.S. mail. MPO staff coordinates the development of articles by staff, MPO members, and other interested organizations.

MPO staff is responsible for the newsletter’s distribution in an accessible format on the MPO website, electronic-transfer formats for email subscribers, and hard­copy format for the few recipients who request it. Once posted on the website, the newsletter can be translated into the languages (besides English) most frequently spoken in the region, using the website’s Google Translate tool.

MPO staff stays current on newsletter software and styles with an eye to making improvements in the newsletter’s visual appeal and ability to communicate.

Project ID 90026: Public Participation Process

MPO staff implements the MPO’s Public Participation Program and coordinates and conducts MPO public outreach activities. These activities are opportunities to involve all members of the public, including:

This program provides information to these parties and collects input from them for the MPO to use in its planning, decision-making, and development of certification documents, including programming the region’s transportation funding. The program supplements the involvement of the Regional Transportation Advisory Council.

Communication is ongoing and conducted through a variety of means.

The MPO recently adopted an updated Public Participation Plan reflecting an improved Public Participation Program, and has been implementing improvements discussed in this plan. In FFY 2017, the MPO will continue refining this process, implementing tactics designed to break down barriers to participation for groups currently underrepresented in the planning process:

Maintaining contact with members of the public requires continuous updates to the MPO’s contact database and email lists. A significant part of the MPO’s Public  Participation Program involves keeping contact information current and identifying and including new contacts, particularly those in or representing minority communities; persons with disabilities, low incomes, or limited English-language proficiency; the elderly; veterans; and youth.

The MPO’s Public Participation Program also involves consultations as specified in federal guidance; arranging, upon request, for the provision of American Sign Language (ASL) and other language-interpretation services at meetings; and providing public participation support to MPO member entities.

OTHER 3C PLANNING SUPPORT ACTIVITIES

Project ID 90012: Professional Development

MPO staff maintains its technical expertise in part by participating in courses, programs, and workshops offered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and other public and private organizations. Previous professional development endeavors have related to topics such as performance-based planning, traffic engineering issues and applications, regional modeling, bicycle/pedestrian issues, transit planning, public involvement, environmental justice, air quality, computer operations and maintenance, database applications, and other areas related to the provision of technical support services.

Project ID 90090: General Graphics

Graphics support will be provided to MPO staff and MPO agencies. This includes designing and producing maps, charts, illustrations, report covers, brochures, slides, and photographs; applying other visualization techniques; and creating other products that improve communication.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Staff will prepare materials—including agendas, minutes, notices, document translations, memoranda, reports, correspondence, summaries, and website postings, as well as maps, charts, illustrations and other visual materials—as needed; continue to support the MPO and its committees and the Regional Transportation Advisory Council; conduct communications with the public, including publishing TRANSREPORT; conduct planning to support compliance with federal requirements and guidance; engage in professional-development activities; and remain prepared for unforeseen issues as they arise.

Note: The above activities support all other projects in this UPWP in compliance with the 3C planning process. They foster the implementation of MPO policies, federal planning factors and guidance, and all applicable orders and requirements, including Executive Order 13166 (governing outreach to persons with limited English-language proficiency). These activities are supported by the Provision of Materials in Accessible Formats project.

 

Long-Range Transportation Plan

 

Project ID Number

 10101

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $197,232

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $95,559

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $292,791

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

Under the current federal transportation funding legislation, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), a new Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) must be produced every four years.

The LRTP guides transportation system investments for the Boston metropolitan region for at least the next 20 years. The MPO adopted its most recent LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040, in August 2015. This LRTP serves as the Boston Region MPO’s guiding document. It establishes regional goals and objectives that the MPO will use for future decision-making.

While the quadrennial LRTP document was endorsed in FFY 2015, the MPO’s continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative planning process—including its long-range planning activities—is ongoing. The MPO’s robust LRTP development program helps meet Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP­21) requirements, which include measuring and tracking performance of the region’s transportation system and the effectiveness of MPO programming in meeting regional goals. This program also supports scenario planning to generate data for decision-making.

Approach

LRTP Needs Assessment

The Needs Assessment has become a foundational resource for the MPO’s transportation planning work. Staff developed a Needs Assessment as part of Charting Progress to 2040; it is available to the public via the Needs Assessment application on the MPO’s website. In FFY 2017, staff will continue to update the Needs Assessment with new information as it becomes available. Staff also will perform additional analyses to keep the Needs Assessment current, and will use this information for future studies, reports, and deliberations. The updated information will be made available to the public via the website. Data from the Needs Assessment will support two of the MPO's initiatives: its scenario planning activities and its performance-based planning practice.

In FFY 2017, staff will use output from the Needs Assessment to develop and analyze land use and transportation options and scenarios. This information also will be used to review performance measures, continue to set MPO performance targets, evaluate progress toward them, and track other indicators of interest.

The LRTP and Performance-Based Planning

The MPO adopted its goals, objectives, and an initial set of performance measures in FFY 2015 as part of developing Charting Progress to 2040, which were used for scenario planning and evaluating LRTP projects and programs. In FFY 2015, the MPO also initiated the development of performance targets, which are specific levels of performance the MPO desires to achieve within a certain time frame. The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and LRTP programs work together to support the MPO’s performance-based planning program.

In FFY 2017, the MPO will expand its performance-based planning practice as components of the LRTP and TIP programs. Staff will review the MPO’s performance measures developed in FFYs 2015 and 2016 under the LRTP program. This review may result in fine-tuning of the existing set of performance measures. Additional updates or measures may be made based on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidance, new Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) measures, or emerging data sources. Staff will use the MPO goals, objectives, and performance measures to continue to develop a set of targets for the MPO’s performance-based planning. The MPO will use the performance measures to track how well TIP-implemented projects and programs are helping to meet the region’s targets and goals.

In the Boston Region MPO, the LRTP and the TIP will each include a performance report that describes progress towards targets and the trends of non-target indicators of interest. The LRTP will report progress at the systems and project levels, as applicable, and will include a full assessment of progress made toward the region’s goals. The TIP will report on project-level performance and the results of system-level analysis, as applicable. Each LRTP will provide an opportunity to review and document progress in meeting performance goals and, if needed, make adjustments to the LRTP to meet those goals.

In the future, the MPO will review and possibly revise the performance measures and further develop the targets. LRTP program work will include preplanning for data needs to support performance-based planning. Staff will continue to coordinate internally and externally, as needed, to understand data availability, determine future data needs, and set a plan for meeting those needs.

The LRTP and Scenario Planning

In 2015, the MPO began the ongoing practice of using model-based planning tools and off-model processes to generate forecasts and information about regional conditions and future needs as part of Charting Progress to 2040 and continued it in 2016. These tools assess the effects of potential options for changes to the transportation network. The MPO plans to use this information to make policy and capital-investment decisions. Throughout the year, staff will build on its previous work and identify one or more opportunities to explore options and compare various alternative scenarios to better understand impacts on transportation, air quality, climate change, mode shift, the economy, and land use. Using these tools will provide additional and more substantive answers to various planning questions.

Some of this work also may explore policy-related implications. In this way, the LRTP program serves as an ongoing resource for current information, insights, and analysis for all those involved in managing and improving the regional transportation network.

Laying the Groundwork for the Next LRTP

Prior to the next LRTP endorsement year, staff will research, plan, coordinate with interested parties, and review priorities. Through ongoing performance based planning and scenario planning, MPO staff will generate information that will help guide the investment strategies for the next LRTP.

The LRTP program plays an important role in keeping the MPO abreast of current state-of-the-practice methods of communication and planning tools and approaches.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the MPO will explore effective ways to gather information, understand the region’s needs, and analyze transportation and land-use options. As part of FFY 2017 activity, staff will research best practices in metropolitan transportation planning and other facets of planning.

LRTP Amendments

If any changes are made to regionally significant projects in the FFY 2017 TIP, an amendment to the LRTP might be required. Staff will prepare the informational materials for MPO decision-making and follow MPO procedures for informing and involving the public.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

Transportation Improvement Program

Project ID Number

 10103

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $117,036

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $47,804

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $164,840

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The Boston Region MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) presents a multiyear, financially constrained program of planned investments in the metropolitan area’s transportation system. Although federal regulations require the TIP to be updated every four years, Massachusetts and its MPOs are committed to producing annual updates.

Approach

Development of the FFYs 2018–2022 TIP

MPO staff coordinates the collection of TIP project-funding requests, evaluates the requests, proposes programming of current and new projects based on anticipated funding levels, supports the MPO in its decision-making about programming and in developing a draft document, and facilitates public review of the draft document before the MPO endorses the final TIP.

Outreach and Compilation of the Universe of Projects

MPO staff communicates with the 101 cities and towns in the region through TIP and Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) workshops, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional meetings, and correspondence with municipal TIP contacts and chief elected officials to gather existing and new TIP funding requests. MPO staff compiles the projects into a Universe of Projects list for the MPO.

Based on the list of project-funding requests, MPO staff will compile and update information on each project for the TIP Interactive Database. Data inputs and updates will consist of mapping the project boundaries, inventorying pavement condition, documenting the extent of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, computing crash rates, documenting traffic volumes and the severity of congestion, calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts, and compiling information on Title VI/non-discrimination populations. The TIP Interactive Database integrates frequently updated information from the MPO, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) divisions, municipal TIP contacts, members of the general public, and MPO staff in order to inform TIP evaluations.

Project Evaluation

The MPO uses TIP project evaluation criteria to identify projects that will help the region attain the vision, goals, and objectives established by the LRTP. The MPO’s evaluation criteria enhance decision-making for transportation projects in the region by establishing a transparent, inclusive, and data-driven process. The evaluation results are posted on the MPO website to allow project proponents to review the ratings and provide feedback.

MPO staff seeks to review the project evaluation criteria annually. In FFY 2016, the MPO updated the evaluation criteria based on the new goals and objectives of the LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040. These updates helped align the MPO’s goals, objectives, and performance measures with TIP investment decisions.

Staff Recommendation

Staff develops a recommendation that proposes how to prioritize the MPO’s Regional Target funding. MPO staff prepares a First-Tier List of Projects using the results of the evaluation ratings and project-readiness information. Staff then develops recommendations, giving strong consideration to the First­ Tier List of Projects while also balancing equity of investments across the region and accounting for cost (to comply with the fiscal-constraint requirement).

In addition to preparing a recommendation, MPO staff also prepares and presents the Statewide Infrastructure Items and Bridge Programs and the capital programs for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA), and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) for the MPO’s consideration.

TIP Document Preparation and Endorsement

Staff prepares a draft TIP that maintains compliance with federal regulations and requirements for a 30­day public review and comment period. During the public comment period, MPO staff compiles and summarizes comments on the draft TIP and relays the comments to the MPO for consideration before endorsing the final TIP document.

Amendments and Administrative Modifications

In a typical year, various projects experience cost or schedule changes that require an amendment or administrative modification to the TIP. MPO staff manages all public review processes regarding TIP amendments and administrative modifications, including posting TIP materials on the website.

For these actions, MPO staff collects information on the project(s) involved, the change(s) needed, and the reason(s) for the change(s). Staff prepares draft TIP tables that reflect the proposed changes and indicate their rationale. Staff briefs the MPO on the proposed changes to the TIP. The MPO reviews, discusses, and takes appropriate action regarding public review of the proposed changes. Staff also compiles and summarizes comments on the proposed amendment. MPO staff relays public comments to the MPO for its consideration prior to endorsement of the TIP amendment. Staff estimates that there will be as many as six amendments and/or administrative modifications to the FFYs 2017–2021 TIP during FFY 2017.

For more information on the TIP development process the administrative modifications and amendments procedures, refer to Chapter 2 of the TIP, available online here: http://bosmpo.ctps.org/tip.

Implementing Performance-Based Planning

The FFYs 2018–2022 TIP will continue to report on the MPO’s implementation of its performance-based planning program and the results of tracking trends in the region. Chapter 4 of the TIP document reports on the progress of performance-based planning. This chapter tracks trends for safety and system preservation measures and establishes baselines for measures of other goal areas, such as capacity management and mobility. It also demonstrates that the MPO investments through the TIP are making progress toward these goals and also to Clean Air/Clean Communities, Transportation Equity, and Economic Vitality. The FFYs 2018–2022 TIP will seek to further develop the performance-based planning process by establishing baselines, monitoring trends, and setting targets.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

The FFYs 2018–2022 TIP, as well as amendments and administrative modifications to the FFYs 2017–2021 TIP, will be prepared as described above. The interactive TIP database for tracking projects will be maintained and enhanced to support the development and tracking of performance measures. The performance-based planning process will expand the tracking of performance measures and initiate the discussion of setting targets.

 

Unified Planning Work Program

Project ID Number

10104

FHWA 3C PL Funds

$87,472

FTA Section 5303 Funds

$35,728

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

$123,200

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), a 3C (continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive) transportation-planning process, prioritizes federal funding for transportation planning work that will be implemented in the 101-municipality area of the Boston region.

The UPWP has two main purposes:

The UPWP document includes descriptions and budgets for work that MPO staff will conduct during the upcoming federal fiscal year, including both 3C-funded work for the MPO and work that is funded by state agencies or other entities. The UPWP also provides supplementary information about other transportation-planning activities in the region that are not funded by the MPO or conducted by MPO staff. The federal government requires that the UPWP comply with federal regulations and address the focus areas recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Work on the UPWP is ongoing and is under way year-round. This work program element focuses the development of the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018 UPWP and support for the MPO and its UPWP Committee in monitoring FFY 2017 UPWP implementation and in considering adjustments and amendments.

An integral part of developing the UPWP is engaging the public throughout the process. Some of the public outreach process for the UPWP is covered as part of the 3C Planning and MPO Support program.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) also provides content for the UPWP, which details MAPC’s 3C-funded projects. MAPC’s participation is funded through its allocation of federal transportation-planning funding.

Approach

MPO staff prepares materials for and coordinates all phases of this work, including soliciting, evaluating, and recommending ideas for planning studies and technical assistance programs; conducting background research; preparing budgets and project descriptions; coordinating document development with the MPO’s UPWP Committee; responding to federal guidance; and preparing draft and final documents.

MPO staff members are responsible for coordinating public participation in the UPWP process, distributing the draft UPWP, preparing the final UPWP, and making administrative modifications and amendments as needed. MPO staff also prepares quarterly reports on the implementation of the UPWP.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

Air Quality Conformity and Support Activities

Project ID Number

10112

FHWA 3C PL Funds

$20,547

FTA Section 5303 Funds

$8,393

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

$28,940

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

Approach

Air-Quality Conformity Determinations

Under the CAAA, states must monitor emissions from transportation vehicles and other sources to determine whether ambient emissions levels exceed health-based allowable levels of air pollutants. Areas in which the emissions exceed the allowable levels are designated as nonattainment areas  For these, the state must develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP) that establishes emissions budgets and shows how the plan would reduce emissions in the area sufficiently to comply with national ambient air-quality standards. MPOs with nonattainment areas must complete air-quality conformity determinations to demonstrate the conformity of transportation plans, programs, and projects with the Massachusetts SIP. Typically, a conformity determination is performed annually for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and every four years for a new Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). However, a conformity determination may be required if an LRTP amendment is undertaken during the year. This program covers the tasks needed to demonstrate that an MPO’s federally funded transportation programs meet conformity requirements.

The Boston Region MPO area had previously been classified as a nonattainment area for ozone, but it was reclassified as an attainment area under the new 2008 ozone standard. Because the reclassification resulted from a new standard, a maintenance plan was not required, and the area was not classified as a maintenance area. A maintenance area is an area that had been reclassified from nonattainment to attainment; it is an area for which a maintenance plan has been approved as part of the Massachusetts SIP. As an attainment area, the MPO is not required to demonstrate that the LRTP and TIP conform to national standards for the two pollutants that form ozone: volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). A new ozone standard was recently proposed and released for public comment by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Boston Region MPO area might again be classified as a nonattainment area if this standard is approved; however, this might not occur within the 2017 UPWP year. If the MPO area is reclassified as a nonattainment area, conformity determinations for ozone will be required.

The city of Boston and surrounding cities and towns were classified as a maintenance area for carbon monoxide (CO). However, as of April 1, 2016, the twenty year maintenance period expired and conformity is not required for this area. The city of Waltham, however is classified as attainment with a limited maintenance plan in place and projects in this city still must comply with certain requirements. The MPO must still show that, it is complying with transportation control measure requirements outlined in the Massachusetts SIP

Other Air-Quality Support

This ongoing Air-Quality Conformity and Support Activities program supports the MPO’s expertise in air-quality and climate-change matters, as well as the MPO’s response to changing requirements for planning, analysis, and reporting. This includes initiatives known today, as well as the ability to participate in issues that might emerge during the year. This program also supports implementation of air-quality-related transportation programs and projects, and it includes consultation, research, and coordination between the MPO and federal, state, local, and private entities.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Conformity Determinations

These determinations will be performed and presented as noted below. They include a detailed analysis of air-quality impacts (CO and carbon dioxide [CO2]) of the projects in the FFYs 2018–2022.

TIP, any changes to the LRTP, and any work required for implementing GreenDOT (the state’s comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability policy). MPO staff will also complete analysis of VOCs and NOx emissions.

Support to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) (including the Highway Division, the Office of Transportation Planning, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority [MBTA]) and Massport

Activities will include analysis of transportation-control measures (TCMs), park-and-ride facilities, and proposed high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) projects throughout the Boston Region MPO area, as well as evaluation of emerging and innovative highway and transit clean-air activities.

Support for Climate-Change Initiatives

Activities will include integrating concerns about climate change and opportunities for emissions reduction into the MPO’s planning process relative to the regional travel-demand model set, the TIP, project­ specific work products, the LRTP, the Congestion Management Process, the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), and performance measures. Staff will work with MassDOT to implement its GreenDOT policy and comply with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for the Transportation Sector and MassDOT. Staff will also confer with agencies and organizations concerned about climate-change issues to inform actions in the MPO region.

Mobile-Source Element of the SIP

The Massachusetts DEP is required to submit a SIP to the EPA documenting strategies and actions to bring Massachusetts into compliance with air-quality standards. Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) support will include:

 

Boston Region MPO Title VI Reporting

Project ID Number

 11355

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $15,698

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $6,412

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $22,110

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This program’s objective is to develop a report documenting Title VI-related activities undertaken by the MPO during the past year. The report will show the MPO’s full compliance with the requirements of both the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Title VI Circular C 4702.1B and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Title VI/Nondiscrimination Program.

Approach

Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, including individuals with limited English-language proficiency (LEP), in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The FTA and the FHWA require the MPO to develop programs that ensure compliance with Title VI. This is accomplished by reaching out to protected populations and involving them in MPO planning and decision-making, which includes development of the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). In addition to the populations given protection under Title VI, FHWA's Title VI/Nondiscrimination Program prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex, age, disability/handicap, and income status.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

The MPO will comply with FTA and FHWA Title VI requirements by preparing and submitting reports on the implementation of its nondiscrimination programs, as required. The MPO will provide updates on Title VI-related activities to determine the equity of TIP spending, as required by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The MPO also will continue consulting and coordinating with the MassDOT Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR) to achieve best practices in this area.

 

Congestion Management Process

Project ID Number

 11123

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $70,915

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $28,695

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $99,880

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The MPO’s Congestion Management Process (CMP) is a federally mandated requirement that seeks to monitor congestion, mobility, and safety needs; it also recommends appropriate strategies for reducing congestion. The CMP is developed in an integrated manner along with the MPO’s certification documents—the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Unified Planning work Program (UPWP)—to ensure cohesive strategy evaluation and implementation.

Approach

In the Boston Region MPO area, the CMP follows federal guidelines and recommendations from the MPO’s CMP Committee to fulfill the following activities:

Depending upon CMP Committee recommendations, monitoring and analysis will continue for highways, arterial roads, park-and-ride lots, freight movements, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. CMP activities will include using electronic travel-time and speed data to monitor roadways, identifying existing conditions, and recommending appropriate improvements in accordance with federal guidelines.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

CMP activities will include monitoring, assessing needs, and recommending strategies for multimodal facilities and services, including:

 

FreIght-Planning Support: FFY 2017

Project ID Number

11145

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $51,200

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $-

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $51,200

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

As part of its FFY 2014 UPWP, the Boston Region MPO established a formal freight-planning program. The goals for MPO freight planning are to:

Approach

The freight analysis within the framework of this program will be ongoing and conducted on a multiyear basis. In September 2013, MPO staff proposed a Freight Planning Action Plan, which presented possible studies for one or more of the MPO’s freight-planning goals.1

The MPO’s FFY 2016 freight-planning activities included analyzing the adequacy of rest locations for long-distance truck drivers in Massachusetts, and collecting freight data to support MPO model development. The MPO will look to the Freight Planning Action Plan to determine future activities for the MPO’s freight-planning program. In its freight-planning activities, MPO staff will incorporate input from stakeholders who represent the freight-shipping community in the Boston region to learn about obstacles and transportation needs for freight movement.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Potential issues to study are documented in the FFY 2013 Freight Planning Action Plan. MPO staff will collect data, conduct analysis, and develop recommendations and documentation as appropriate for the study topics.

 

1 Proposed Freight Planning Action Plan for the Boston Region MPO: Meeting the Goals and Addressing the Issues, memorandum, Boston Region MPO, September 12, 2013.

 

Transportation Equity/Environmental Justice Support

Project ID Number

11132

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $76,148

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $31,103

FFY 2017 Total Budget 

 $107,250

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The purpose of this program is to foster awareness and consideration of transportation equity and the transportation needs of environmental justice (EJ) populations in MPO planning and programming. This program is instrumental in maintaining compliance with federal and state requirements and guidelines regarding civil rights. It also seeks to stimulate participation of low-income, minority, elderly, and limited English-language proficient (LEP) populations in the MPO’s planning process.

Approach

Gathering Input and Supporting Participation in Transportation Planning

Gathering input and generating participation in transportation planning from low­ income, minority, elderly, and LEP populations will be accomplished in several ways.

One approach is through continued outreach to these populations, primarily by attending regularly scheduled meetings held by the state’s newly formed Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), which work in areas that include MPO EJ populations. (The mission of the RCCs is to identify and address paratransit, human services, and community transportation service gaps at the multi-municipality level.)

RCCs have been formed, under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in response to recommendations made in the Executive Order 530: Community, Social Service, and Paratransit Transportation Commission Report to Governor Deval Patrick. RCCs are voluntary advisory bodies that provide a forum for open discussion, information exchange, and decision-making about regional transportation priorities. Their capture areas range from two communities to as many as several dozen communities.

In FFY 2017, MPO staff will continue to gather information on transportation gaps and needs in each RCC area through the RCC coordination process. Staff also will inform the RCCs about MPO activities and provide technical support, if feasible. Attending the RCC meetings will give staff an opportunity to foster working relationships with community advocates and promote direct participation in the Regional Transportation Advisory Council and other MPO planning and programming activities.

Staff will speak to individuals living in EJ areas and community organizations serving EJ areas to identify transportation needs and solicit ideas for transportation and program improvements. Information gathered through these initiatives (targeting low-income, minority, LEP, and elderly populations, as well as persons with disabilities and zero-vehicle households) will be analyzed and presented to the MPO, which will use the information to plan activities.

Staff will work with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to develop joint outreach activities to reach EJ and Title VI populations.

Staff will use results of the MPO’s Title VI four factor analysis process to guide decisions on materials to translate and to make other recommendations regarding MPO outreach (for more information on the Boston MPO’s Title VI work, see the Boston Region MPO Title VI Reporting project description).

Supporting the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Development

Staff will support TIP and LRTP development by adopting EJ definitions for the TIP and LRTP, evaluating projects, and conducting LRTP analysis of benefits and burdens. Staff also will support the LRTP Needs Assessment on an ongoing basis.

Supporting and Coordinating with Other Agencies

Staff will continue to support Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs that target minority and low-income populations, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities in the region. For example, MPO staff will continue to help MassDOT publicize its Community Transit Grant Program solicitation, and will evaluate that program’s grant applications. MPO staff will continue to coordinate with MassDOT’s Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR) to ensure consistency of MPO Title VI-related processes, procedures, and activities.

Conducting Special Studies

As budget permits, staff will conduct special studies and analyses during the year and report results to the MPO via technical memoranda. This year, staff plans to study emergency evacuation and transportation infrastructure vulnerabilities of Transportation Equity Program households. As budget allows, staff will review and inventory current community planning initiatives for the transportation needs of vulnerable populations. This process will help staff understand which agencies or organizations are addressing this topic. Staff will summarize plans that are in place or under development and identify geographic or programmatic planning gaps. Another possible study would involve analyzing the transportation options available to elderly MPO-area residents.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

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CHAPTER 6
BOSTON REGION MPO PLANNING STUDIES AND TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

6.1   Introduction

As described in Chapter 1, each federal fiscal year (FFY), the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) receives federal transportation planning funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Combined with the local Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) matching amount, these funds form the budget that allows the MPO staff to accomplish the certification requirement activities described in Chapter 5, the planning studies and technical analyses described in this chapter, and the administrative tasks and data management described in Chapter 8.

The work described in this chapter consists of the following:

Additionally, the MPO member agency, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), conducts planning studies and technical assistance throughout the region under four ongoing work programs each FFY (see Section 6.4, MAPC Planning Studies and Technical Analyses).

Table 6-1 summarizes the salary and overhead costs, status (percent complete by the end of FFY 2016), and completed and planned work products for planning studies started in a previous FFY and continued into FFY 2017. Table 6-2 summarizes the salary and overhead costs in FFY 2016 and FFY 2017, as well as the completed and planned work products for ongoing MPO technical assistance and transportation planning support work.

The project descriptions throughout this chapter describe new transportation planning studies chosen for funding in FFY 2017. They provide detailed updates for the FFY 2017 funding and work products for the MPO’s and MAPC’s ongoing programs.


Table 6-1: Discrete Boston Region MPO Planning Studies and Technical Analyses Continued into FFY 2017
Name ID FFY 2016 Total Funding FFY 2016 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2016 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2016 Work Progress and Products Status as of October 1, 2016 FFY 2017 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2017 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2017 Total Funding FFY 2017 Planned Work Progress and Products
Planning Studies blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways: FFY 2016 13270 $110,000 $77,000 $33,000 Study and report on Route 20 in Marlborough 95% $7,831 $3,199 $11,030 Final report and presentation to the MPO
Addressing Priority Corridors from the LRTP Needs Assessment: FFY 2016 13271 $110,000 $77,000 $33,000 Study and report on Route 1A/Vinnin Square in Swampscott 95% $7,931 $3,239 $11,170 Final report and presentation to the MPO
Safety and Operations at Selected Intersections: FFY 2016 13272 $65,000 $45,500 $19,500 Technical analysis of study intersections and draft memos for selected intersections: Broadway at Fourth and Fifth Streets in Chelsea and Route 114/Andover Street at Esquire Drive and Violet Road in Peabody 90% $5,666 $2,314 $7,980 Final memoranda for FFY 2016 Safety and Operations Analyses at Selected Intersections: Broadway at Fourth and Fifth Streets in Chelsea and Route 114/Andover Street at Esquire Drive and Violet Road in Peabody
Pedestrian LOS Metric Development 13273 $45,000 $45,000 $0 Memo documenting the existing pedestrian LOS 88% $5,740 $0 $5,740 Final memorandum: Pedestrian LOS Metric Development
Technical Analyses blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
Systemwide Title VI/EJ Assessment of TIP Projects 11356 $75,000 $52,500 $22,500 Initiate the development of a method for examining the systemwide benefits and burdens associated with users of the roadway system, focusing on the locations for which TIP projects have been selected

Initiate the development of a procedure for examining the impacts (benefits and burdens) on EJ populations living in areas adjacent to roadway projects
90% $4,480 $1,830 $6,310 Implement the method(s) developed in FFY 2016 by testing the procedure on a set of representative TIP projects to assess the systemwide benefits and burdens associated with those projects on EJ and non-EJ populations. Work will be summarized in a technical memo
Bicycle Network Gaps: Feasibility Evaluations 11250 $55,000 $55,000 $0 Select three gaps for evaluation and recommendation.

Hold meetings with the towns where each of the three gaps are located to determine the issues confronting each gap.

Visit the three selected gaps to assess their condition.

Begin to evaluate each gap to determine how to address the three missing segments of the Boston region bicycle network.
85% $8,000 $0 $8,000 Complete  Central Square gap assessment and documentation. Central Square gap memorandum.

Sudbury Aqueduct gap memorandum.

Massachusetts Central Rail Trail memorandum
TOTAL blank $460,000 $352,000 $108,000     $39,648 $10,582 $50,230 blank

Note: The Bicycle Network Gaps: Feasibility Evaluations project was originally programmed in the FFY 2015 UPWP. The total budget for the project was $55,000.

EJ = environmental justice. FFY = federal fiscal year. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. LOS = level of service. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. PL = Federal Highway Administration transportation planning funds. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program.

 

Table 6-2: FFY 2016/FFY 2017 Ongoing Boston Region MPO Technical Analyses
Name ID FFY 2016 Total Funding FFY 2016 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2016 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2016 Work Progress and Products Status as of October 1, 2016 FFY 2017 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2017 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2017 Total Funding FFY 2017 Planned Work Progress and Products
CTPS Activities blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
Community Transportation Technical Assistance 69275 $48,420 $33,894 $14,526 Technical memoranda for Chelsea and Stow addressing traffic operations at intersection locations in these communities Ongoing $49,798 $21,342 $71,140 Continued coordination with municipalities on traffic operations, safety, and mobility issues
Bicycle/Pedestrian Support Activities 13208 $47,400 $33,180 $14,220 Continued support for bicycle and pedestrian activities. Continue developing bike and pedestrian count database and count program Ongoing $45,388 $19,452 $64,840 Continued coordination and support for bicycle and pedestrian programs in municipalities. Other specific activities could include work related to closing gaps in the bicycle network and analyzing areas of safety concern
Regional Transit Service Planning Technical Support 14342 $29,920 $20,944 $8,976 Provided technical assistance to regional transportation authorities, subregions, and municipalities to improve transit services Ongoing $24,647 $10,563 $35,210 Continued assistance to improve transit services
Livable Community Workshop Program 13801 $25,200 $17,640 $7,560 Memorandum for workshop conducted in Canton helping the community development of a bike/pedestrian committee and plan This program is not being continued in FFY 2017. The type of work previously conducted under this program will be completed for municipalities as part of the Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program $0 $0 $0 N/A - this program is not being undertaken in FFY 2017
MAPC Activities blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
Community Transportation Technical Assistance MAPC8 $22,180 $15,526 $6,654 Worked with various municipalities in the region to study transportation issues and develop appropriate solutions Ongoing $31,500 $13,500 $45,000 Continue assistance to municipalities
Corridor/Subarea Planning Studies MAPC4 $167,480 $117,236 $50,244 Right Size Parking Report summarizing data collection and interim conclusions

Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities and Impediments at Natick Center Commuter Rail Station

Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities and Impediments at Dedham Corporate Center Commuter Rail Station

Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities and Impediments at Braintree Red Line Station

Wellesley Route 9 Enhancement Study and Plan - Phase 1

Downtown Everett Parking Study
Ongoing $117,236 $50,244 $167,480 Downtown Ipswich Parking Analysis

Winthrop Square Parking Analysis
Alternative Mode Planning and Coordination MAPC7 $170,000 $119,000 $51,000 Transportation Demand Management - Case Studies and Regulations

Medford Complete Streets Prioritization Plan

Acton Complete Streets Prioritization Plan

Winchester Complete Streets Prioritization Plan

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Retrofit Procurement

North Suburban Planning Council Mobility Study

Middleton Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Salem Cycle-Track Pilot Study

Development of LandLine Regional Greenway

Autonmous Vehicles and Connected Cars research

Hubway Coordination: worked with Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline to support bicycle sharing program and conduct new procurement for system operator                             

Worked with municipalities and DCR along the Mass Central Corridor to advance the rail trail
Ongoing $127,921 $54,823 $182,744 Continue to coordinate with municipalities on complete streets planning, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and other identified multimodal transportation needs
MetroFuture Implementation MAPC6 $90,000 $63,000 $27,000 Technical Memorandum: Documenting support to public engagement in transportation plans

Technical Memorandum: Documenting the effectiveness of MAPC bicycle and pedestrian plans

Made progress towards establishing a process to update MetroFuture Regional Plan
Ongoing $63,000 $27,000 $90,000 Continue to work on public engagement in the implementation of transportation plans. Write memos as necessary to document analysis and progress
Land Use Development Project Reviews MAPC5 $88,820 $62,174 $26,646 Developed comment letters analyzing major development projects across the
region, including Wynn Casino Section 61 Findings, 1265 Main Street (former Polaroid site) in Waltham, Kendall Square Urban Renewal Amendment, Center 128 in Needham
Ongoing $62,174 $26,646 $88,820 Continue to analyze and provide expert comment on major developments in the region
Livable Community Workshop Program MAPC9 $15,000 $10,500 $4,500 Worked with municipalities in the region on livability, mobility, equity, and complete streets issues. Identify issues and develop potential solutions This program is not being continued in FFY 2017. The type of work previously conducted under this program will be completed for municipalities as part of the Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program $0 $0 $0 N/A - this program is not being undertaken in FFY 2017
TOTAL blank $704,420 $493,094 $211,326 blank blank $521,664 $223,570 $745,234 blank

CTPS = Central Transportation Planning Staff. DCR = Department of Conservation and Recreation. FFY = federal fiscal year. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. N/A = not applicable. PL = Federal Highway Administration transportation planning funds.

 

6.2   PLANNING STUDIES

The project descriptions in this section describe the new studies chosen by the MPO for funding in FFY 2017. As described in Chapter 1, each year as ideas for new studies are formed, MPO staff classifies the new studies into the following categories: active transportation; land use, environment, and economy; multi-modal mobility; transit; safety and security; and other technical work. Each of the project descriptions on the following pages is preceded by a funding table that shows the project identification number, category, funding sources, and total budget.

 

Safety Effectiveness of Safe Routes to School Programs

 

Project ID Number

13280

Category

Active Transportation

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $56,800

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $23,200

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $80,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match. 

Purpose

This study will investigate the safety effectiveness of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program and the primary factors contributing to a program’s effectiveness. Such factors could include reduced-speed school zones, infrastructure improvements, grade levels of students, the presence of school crossing guards, and others.

Approach

Main study tasks will include:

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

After gathering data for analysis, MPO staff will evaluate the safety effectiveness of the SRTS program. The goal is to be able to conduct this study quantitatively through an analysis of before-and-after data on traffic and safety characteristics in the immediate vicinity of the selected schools and within a two-mile radius, both before and after implementation of the SRTS program and applicable infrastructure or policy changes. Schools that have been participating in the SRTS program with infrastructure projects funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) or through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) process will be good candidates for before-and-after study. MPO staff will determine and evaluate any relationships among roadway setting, traffic characteristics, and traffic regulations contributing to the safety effectiveness of the SRTS program. Depending on the availability of data, some of the effectiveness evaluation and recommendations may be qualitative.

MPO staff will recommend improvements (safety, operations, policy), document the study, allow review of the study and comments, produce a final report, and present study results to the MPO.

 

Study of Promising Greenhouse gas Reduction Study

 

Project ID Number

13279

Category

Land Use, Environment, and Economy

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $39,050

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $15,950

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $55,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match. 

Purpose

This study will build on the greenhouse gas (GHG) Reduction Strategies Study that was completed in 2016. The purpose of this related study would be to take the national-level findings in the 2016 GHG Reduction Strategies Study and understand possible implementation approaches and impacts at the regional level. Because this study would focus on the regional level, the MPO would gain a detailed understanding of concrete approaches to reduce GHGs in the region and the cost-effectiveness of different GHG reduction tactics.

Approach

Based on recommendations from the 2016 GHG Reduction Strategies Study, MPO staff proposes to examine in further detail a subset of the 14 promising strategies identified in the 2016 report. These are all strategies that the MPO could fund or advocate for at the regional level. Examples of potential strategies to fund include transit expansion or service improvement, teleworking, and parking management.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This study would result in a report documenting a subset of strategies from the 2016 GHG Reduction Strategies Study to further understand the potential for their implementation at a regional level. The study would aim to evaluate the strategies’ GHG reduction and cost-effectiveness potential at the regional level, as well as the equity, safety, and mobility impacts of the subset of GHG reduction strategies.

 

Addressing Priority Corridors from the Long-Range Transportation Plan Needs Assessment

 

Project ID Number

13276

Category

Multi-modal Mobility

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $78,100

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $31,900

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $110,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

 

Purpose

The purpose of these studies are to develop conceptual design plans that address regional multimodal transportation needs along priority corridors identified in the Long- Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Charting Progress to 2040. These studies include recommendations that address multimodal transportation needs that are expected to arise from potential future developments in the study area.

Approach

The LRTP identified needs for all modes of transportation in the MPO region. These needs guide decision-making about which projects to include in current and future Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs). Projects that address the region’s current mobility needs are those that focus on maintaining and modernizing roadways with high levels of congestion1 and safety problems, expanding the quantity and quality of walking and bicycling, and making transit service more efficient and modern. During the past several years, the MPO has conducted these planning studies, and municipalities have been receptive to them.

MPO staff would select locations for study with consideration of municipal, subregional, and other public feedback, and would then collect data, conduct technical analyses, and develop recommendations for improvements. The recommendations would be forwarded to implementing agencies, which may choose to fund improvements through various federal, state, and local sources, either separately or in combination.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Through these studies, MPO staff would recommend conceptual improvements for one or more corridors, or several small sections within a corridor, that are identified by the Congestion Management Process and the LRTP as being part of the needs-assessment process.

The studies would provide cities and towns with the opportunity to review the requirements of a specific arterial segment, starting at the conceptual level, before committing design and engineering funds to a project. If the project qualifies for federal funds for construction of the recommended upgrades, the study’s documentation also might be useful to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the municipalities.

1 Congestion is used as one of the selection criteria for potential study locations. Congested conditions are defined as a travel time index of at least 1.3 (this means that a trip takes 30 percent longer than it would under ideal conditions).

 

 

Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways

 

Project ID Number

13274

Category

Multi-modal Mobility

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $78,100

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $31,900

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$110,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

 

Purpose

During MPO outreach, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional groups identify transportation problems and issues that concern them, often those relating to bottlenecks or lack of safe access to transportation facilities in their areas. These issues can affect livability, quality of life, crash incidence, and air quality along an arterial roadway and its side streets. If problems are not addressed, mobility, access, safety, economic development, and air quality are compromised.

Approach

To address feedback from the MAPC subregional groups, MPO staff will identify priority arterial roadway segments in the MPO region, emphasizing issues identified by the relevant subregional groups, and will develop recommendations. Staff will concentrate on transit service, nonmotorized modes of transportation, and truck activity along these arterial segments. Staff will consider numerous strategies to improve arterials, including examining and evaluating any or all of the following factors:

 

These improvements will provide a guide to designing and implementing a “Complete Streets” corridor, which could be recommended to implementing agencies and funded through various federal, state, and local sources, separately or in combination.

The Boston Region MPO has conducted Addressing Safety, Mobility, and Access on Subregional Priority Roadways studies as part of the FFY 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWPs). In FFY 2016, MPO staff completed their recommendations for the Summer Street/Rockland Street/George Washington Boulevard corridor in Hingham and Hull.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include data collection, technical analysis, development of recommendations, and documentation for selected corridors.

 

Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottlenecks

 

Project ID Number

13275

Category

Multi-modal Mobility

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $50,000

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $-

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$50,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This study would build off of the work conducted previously in two consecutive Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) studies, Low-Cost Improvements to Express-Highway Bottlenecks Phase I and Phase II. These studies aim to address points in the highway system where traffic flow is restricted with operational and low-cost infrastructure solutions. The recommendations that stem from these studies are aimed at reducing congestion, increasing safety, and improving traffic operations throughout the Boston region.

Approach

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “Much of recurring congestion is due to physical bottlenecks—potentially correctable points on the highway system where traffic flow is restricted. While many of the nation’s bottlenecks can only be addressed through costly major construction projects, there is a significant opportunity for the application of operational and low-cost infrastructure solutions to bring about relief at these chokepoints.”2 In general, recurring bottlenecks, the subject of this study, are influenced by the design or operation present at the point where the bottleneck begins (e.g., merges, diverges, lane drops, traffic weaving, and abrupt changes in highway alignment). Low cost infrastructure solutions, as opposed to major construction projects, could involve changes in the design or operation of merges, traffic operations, or highway alignment. Examples of recommendations from previous phases of this study include creating an auxiliary lane for merging and diverging traffic and lengthening the deceleration lane at an exit.

The previous two studies of express-highway bottlenecks were very well received by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the FHWA. Some of the recommendations from those studies already have been executed, and the FHWA has interviewed MPO staff about the successful implementation. The MPO has been conducting these studies to identify low-cost methods to reduce congestion, increase safety, and improve traffic operations in the Boston region.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This study would select additional express-highway bottleneck locations and produce reports documenting low-cost solutions to existing traffic congestion issues at the selected locations.


2 Federal Highway Administration, Recurring Traffic Bottlenecks: A Primer: Focus on Low-Cost Operations Improvements, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, June 2009, p. 1.

 

Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Project ID Number

13277

Category

Multi-modal Mobility

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $35,500

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $14,500

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $50,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This project would involve research into the overarching issues that the Boston Region MPO needs to understand and plan for regarding autonomous vehicle and connected vehicle (AV/CV) technologies.

Approach

Some of the questions that could form the body of research include:

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This project would be an important first step to understanding the transportation planning consequences of AV/CV technologies and how the MPO and the region can be prepared for them. The next step would be to follow up on the recommendations. These could be related to model development, data resources, or planning studies.

 

Using General Transit Feed Specification Data to Find Shared Bus Route Segments with Excessively Irregular Headways

Project ID Number

13278

Category

Transit

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $-

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $25,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $25,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The goals of this study would be to use existing data to provide schedule improvements for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) buses and to document reasons behind irregularities in the existing schedule.

Approach

By mining the MBTA’s General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data, MPO staff can discover the distribution of headways at a stop over time. This would allow MPO staff to document segments that have excessively irregular headways or segments where multiple bus routes are scheduled to overlap.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

In many cases, there may be a reason for the irregular combined headways. This project would document these reasons and, where appropriate, propose recommendations for improvement.

 

MPO Staff-Generated Research Topics

Project ID Number

20901

Category

Other Technical Support

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $18,632

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $11,375

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $30,000

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

 

Purpose

This program would support work by MPO staff members on topics that relate to the Boston Region MPO’s metropolitan transportation-planning process, that staff members have expressed interest in, and that are not covered by an ongoing Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) or discrete project.

This program was funded for the first time in FFY 2016. The work being undertaken in FFY 2016 consists of investigating the possibility of using drivers license acquisition rates obtained through RMV data as a possible measure of transit dependence. The thought is that current measures of transit dependence, such as vehicles per household, may not be an accurate measure given the availability of car sharing services such as zipcar. This research aims to develop a new measure of transit dependence that could be more accurate and meaningful.

Approach

Interested MPO staff members would complete an application for MPO funding to do independent research on a topic of professional interest and potential use in the metropolitan transportation-planning process. The application would be reviewed by MPO managers and directors.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This research program would produce valuable information for the MPO’s consideration and would support staff members’ professional development. It would yield highly creative solutions for transportation-planning problems.

 

6.3   TECHNICAL ANALYSES

The project descriptions in this section consist of ongoing MPO programs that provide technical planning assistance and analysis to cities and towns throughout the region. The major areas of technical analyses include bicycle and pedestrian support, transit service planning, and community-level transportation planning and technical assistance.

 

Bicycle/Pedestrian Support ActivitieS

Project ID Number

13208

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $46,036

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $18,804

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $64,840

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

MPO staff supports the MPO’s and the region’s needs for bicycle and pedestrian planning through the ongoing data collection, analysis, and technical assistance in this program.

Approach

In addition to the items listed below, during the federal fiscal year (FFY), other bicycle and pedestrian planning studies often are identified collaboratively by MPO members, communities, bicycle and pedestrian advisory groups, and the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS). Through such studies, MPO staff provides support to communities in creating bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects that can be advanced through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Project Development process.     

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include technical assistance, data collection, analysis, review of materials, and attendance at state, regional, and local forums and committee meetings. Tasks not related directly to separate studies or activities may include the following:

 

Regional Transit Service Planning Technical Support

 

Project ID Number

14342

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $-

FTA Section 5303 Funds

$35,210

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $35,210

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

 

Purpose

Through this ongoing program, the MPO provides technical support to regional transit authorities (RTAs). This work is focused on helping subregions expand transit service and reduce single-occupant-vehicle (SOV) travel in the region.

Approach

The MPO’s policy is to support transit services and reduce SOV travel in the region. As such, MPO staff provides technical support to regional transit authorities (RTAs) to promote best practices and address issues of ridership, cost-effectiveness, route planning, first- and last-mile strategies, and other service characteristics. The MPO also extends support to Transportation Management Associations (TMAs), Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregions, and municipalities seeking to improve the transit services that they operate or fund.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

MPO staff will provide technical assistance to RTAs, TMAs, MAPC subregions, and municipalities as described above.

 

Community Transportation Technical Assistance Program

Project ID Number

69275
MAPC8

FHWA 3C PL Funds

(CTPS) $50,509
(MAPC) $25,000

FTA Section 5303 Funds

(CTPS) $20,631

(MAPC) $20,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $116,140

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

Through this ongoing program, MPO staff and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) provide technical advice to municipalities throughout the region about identified transportation issues of concern.

Approach

Community officials often identify transportation issues of concern about which they would like to have technical advice. In this program, a team of Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) and MAPC engineers and planners will meet with community officials to learn more about specific problems and provide advice on next steps concerning issues that the community may have identified, such as those related to parking, traffic calming, walking, bicycling, and bus stops. In many cases, there will be a site visit to better understand the potential problem, review existing data, and make suggestions for additional data that may be needed. General types of solutions, along with appropriate follow-up and contact information, might be recommended. Descriptions of the various planning processes at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the MPO, and MAPC, as well as guidance on how communities can get involved, might also be provided. Technical assistance activities might produce conceptual designs for some project locations. This program is a mechanism for providing quick-response advice to communities for resolving the issues they have identified.

This work will advance the MPO’s goals for system preservation, modernization, and efficiency; mobility; and land use and economic development. It will be consistent with the MPO’s Congestion Management Process (CMP) and other staff-identified needs. It also will include a safety component in which staff will respond to community requests to conduct analyses at crash locations and recommend possible mitigation strategies.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

In early FFY 2017 staff will solicit town technical assistance requests. The number of technical assistance cases will depend on the funding amount, and MAPC and CTPS will coordinate and collaborate on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the complexity of the specific technical assistance requests from municipalities, typically 3-4 projects are undertaken by CTPS and MAPC each FFY. MAPC and CTPS will field and prioritize each service request, and expect to spend three to four weeks working on community technical assistance requests that are selected for funding. Professional teams will be dispatched to client municipalities, and memoranda on the consultations will document the work, recommendations, and outcomes.

 

6.4   MAPC PLANNING STUDIES AND TECHNICAL ANALYSES

MAPC conducts transportation planning studies through four ongoing programs, including Corridor/Subarea Planning Studies, Alternative Mode Planning and Coordination, MetroFuture Implementation, and Land Use Development Project Reviews. Each FFY, some work that was started in previous FFYs is continued through these ongoing programs, and new work also is planned and undertaken.

 

Corridor/Subarea Planning Studies

 

Project ID Number

MAPC4

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $112,180

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $55,300

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $167,480

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) task includes funding to support the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's (MAPC’s) work on several corridor and subarea studies in the region. Some of these projects will be funded jointly through the UPWP and the District Local Technical Assistance Program.

Approach

This area of work is accomplished through the following subtasks.

Opportunities for and Impediments to Creating Transit-Oriented Development ($60,000):

MAPC will continue planning work that can support transit-oriented development (TOD). MAPC will use demographic data to identify two or three existing transit stations (subway or commuter rail) or high volume bus corridors that have the potential to support TOD. MAPC will analyze these sites and identify their development potential, along with impediments to development. Factors that may affect the potential for TOD include existing zoning, inadequate pedestrian connections, outdated parking requirements, existing levels of travel demand management (TDM) implementation, and infrastructure elements. MAPC will offer recommendations about how to improve the sites’ potential for TOD. Where applicable, MAPC will conduct a market analysis to determine whether the market can support additional development at the chosen station areas or corridors. Where appropriate, MAPC will work with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), land owners, and the municipalities in which the stations or corridors are located.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes Related to TOD

Anticipated outcomes include analysis to identify transit stations or bus corridors with the potential to support TOD, market analysis, mapping and visualization products, demographic and vehicle-miles-traveled data for chosen station areas or corridors, community engagement, recommendations to overcome impediments to TOD, and technical support to municipalities.

Right Size Parking Calculator ($30,000):

MAPC will continue creating and refining an online parking calculator that would provide MassDOT, MBTA, municipalities, developers, nonprofit organizations, and the general public with information to better understand the parking supply and demand of multi­family housing developments in the region. This project could benefit air quality and reduce congestion by providing information that municipalities and developers can use when deciding whether to reduce the total number of parking spaces required as a component of a new development. In locations where parking requirements are reduced, the number of households with one or more vehicles could decline, resulting in higher percentages of walking, biking, and transit ridership.

Parking also has a direct impact on overall development costs, and can hinder developers looking to construct multi­family housing from investing in a particular area. A better understanding of parking supply and demand could help communities achieve a parking balance, and thereby assist in the state’s goal of creating 10,000 new housing units each year.

MAPC has gathered data in Malden, Chelsea, Everett, and Revere. This body of work seeks to expand data collection to other community types and refine analysis of parking utilization relative to parking supply. As part of this work, MAPC will research how traffic circulation might be affected because of changes in parking availability across various community types. This research may involve coordination with CTPS. MAPC also will educate municipal decision makers, developers, and the public about the impact of parking locally and regionally.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes  Related to Right Size Parking

Anticipated outcomes include coordinating with municipalities, identifying residential properties from which to collect data, collecting off-street residential parking utilization data, analyzing data, reporting findings, and building a web portal to host reporting tools and an interactive calculator. This calculator would allow users to identify the amount of parking needed for new residential development by community type. Other outcomes include conducting parking-related educational activities for municipal decision makers, developers, and the public, as well as researching the relationship between parking availability and impacts on traffic circulation.

Local Parking Management Plans in Selected Communities ($50,000):

MAPC will work with selected municipalities to develop local parking management plans to provide better parking availability to stimulate local economic prosperity, reduce congestion caused by circling vehicles, and help municipalities plan for greater land use density by decreasing parking ratios. The goal of this work program is to address the problems that municipalities face from not managing their parking supply in commercial and mixed-used areas. This work would benefit local air quality and congestion by managing parking supply and demand and creating places where people can park once and then walk to multiple destinations. In locations where parking requirements can be reduced, the number of households with one or more vehicles could decline, which could result in higher percentages of walking, biking, and transit ridership.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes Related to Local Parking Management Plans

Activities and expected work products include parking utilization data collection, analysis of data, and recommendations to municipalities in the form of a report with pricing and parking management solutions.

Corridor Level Transportation and Land Use Planning  ($27,480):

MAPC will work in one or two selected roadway corridors to coordinate transportation planning conducted by MassDOT, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and/or municipalities with local land use planning to achieve livability and smart growth goals.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes Related to Corridor Level Transportation and Land Use Planning

Activities and expected work products include coordination between agencies and municipalities, recommendations for roadway improvements and coordinated land use planning, and solutions documented in reports or memoranda.

Alternative-Mode Planning and Coordination

 

Project ID Number

MAPC7

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $111,835

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $70,909

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $182,744

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) provides alternative-mode transportation-planning support to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and municipalities that focuses on non-single-occupant vehicle modes. This work benefits bicycle and pedestrian transportation, encourages transit in areas currently underserved by existing regional transit authorities (RTAs), and identifies and supports transportation demand management (TDM) strategies.

Approach

Autonomous Vehicles and Connected Cars ($12,744)

MAPC will further the regional and municipal understanding of the potential future impacts of autonomous vehicle/connected vehicle (AV/CV) technologies. MAPC staff will work with the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) to identify how AV/CV technologies may influence future travel behaviors and how these findings can best be incorporated into travel demand and land use modeling as well as long-range transportation and land use plans. Staff will also continue to stay informed of how other states and municipalities are preparing for AV/CV technologies.

Suburban Mobility and Technology ($25,000)

MAPC will work with selected municipalities to advance solutions that apply technology, dynamic ride dispatching, ride-sharing technologies, and public-private partnership funding models to first mile/last mile connections and other gaps in the transit system.

Bike Share Program Implementation ($25,000)

MAPC will continue to work with the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, and the town of Brookline to implement the regional Hubway Bike Share system, expanding the system within these municipalities and to neighboring cities and towns, including Watertown, Newton, Everett, and Winthrop. Seed funding for the program came from the MPO’s Clean Air and Mobility Program, a separate Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Bus Livability award, and local support from the municipalities. In order to implement the system more fully, MAPC will continue to support the municipalities in their planning.

Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans and Technical Assistance in Selected Communities ($50,000)

MAPC will continue to work with selected municipalities to develop local bicycle and pedestrian prioritization plans. MAPC will provide technical support to identify implementable steps that the municipalities, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and other entities could take to advance bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in specific locations. MAPC will also provide small-scale technical assistance to municipalities that are seeking support. This work continues the implementation efforts of the MPO’s 2007 Regional Bicycle Plan and the 2010 Regional Pedestrian Plan.

Regional Greenway Planning and Mapping ($70,000)

MAPC will continue to work with MassDOT, CTPS, municipalities, and trail organizations to better develop and implement portions of a regional bicycle and pedestrian network of off-road and on-road connections (a greenway) that form a contiguous system around greater Boston. In 2015, MAPC—working with the above-cited partners—developed the branding of this system, called the LandLine. Trail development is increasingly frequent in most communities in the Boston region. The trails consist of shared-use paths along former railroad rights-of-way, hiking trails through conservation land, and historic corridors that connect points of interest. The binding theme of the proposed and completed corridors is creating attractive places to walk, bike, or otherwise travel through low-traffic or no-traffic green areas. These greenways often are local in nature; however, if all of these separate projects could be connected to form a regional system, a world-class regional network could be created.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include data collection, research and analysis to support completed bicycle and pedestrian plans in selected municipalities, technical support for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, support for regional trail and greenway development, implementation of the regional bike share program, research and recommendations to support suburban transit, and research to understand potential transportation and land use impacts of AV/CV technologies in long-range planning efforts.

 

MetroFuture Implementation

 

Project ID Number

MAPC6

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $59,400

FTA Section 5303 Funds

$30,600 

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$90,000 

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) study area will continue to support implementation of MetroFuture, the Boston Region’s 30-year comprehensive plan (through the year 2030) for sustainable growth and development, by increasing community engagement in the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's (MAPC’s) local planning work. Specifically, this task includes an emphasis on engaging diverse groups of stakeholders. It also will identify transportation and land use best practices by evaluating the different approaches and strategies used in MAPC’s work, and through case studies of positive models from around the region.

Approach

Building Constituencies for Local Decisions that Enable Livable Communities and Sustainable Transportation

MAPC will continue to work with municipal officials and residents at the local level to seek changes in land use that will support livable communities and sustainable transportation. This will include engaging the public in planning and dialogue that enhances equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD) planning; supports engagement in MPO planning processes; and influences other decision-making to improve development outcomes, transportation opportunities, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Task outputs are expected to include engagement of at least 500 people in at least ten different events or activities.

Honing MAPC’s Practice of Planning for Livable Communities and Sustainable Transportation

MAPC will evaluate the approaches, strategies, and implementation status of its transportation and land use planning work, with particular emphasis on ETOD plans. Implementation of these recommendations can take time and typically rely on local, municipal actions. MAPC will conduct interviews with municipal staff, advocates, and other stakeholders to assess the progress on implementing the recommendations, identify any barriers that exist, and document successes across the region. Lessons learned will be documented in a fashion that will facilitate their application to future work of a similar nature. Task outputs are expected to include an assessment of at least three planning studies.

Research and Policy Development that Support Livable Communities and Sustainable Transportation

Best practices and state policy that support sustainable land use planning, which include local and state practices from across the country, provide both ideas and “proof of concept.” MAPC will identify such best practices and employ appropriate means to promote their use in the region. Activities may include researching transportation strategies addressing senior mobility that are successfully employed in other parts of the country to assess their applicability in Massachusetts. MAPC may also research strategies to improve transportation equity and access for low-income and minority residents.

Updating MetroFuture

As it nears its eighth anniversary, it is time to begin planning for an update to MetroFuture. Changing demographics and location preferences, planned investments in public transportation and complete streets, and emerging transportation technologies will have a profound impact on our region in the decades ahead. MAPC will research how other regional agencies have integrated emerging technologies and trends in transportation and assess these approaches for their applicability in the update of MetroFuture. As part of preparing for the update, MAPC will also assess progress towards the existing MetroFuture goals. An assessment of progress towards the transportation goals in Strategy 12— Expand Coordinated Transportation will also be developed.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include assessments of TOD plans, case studies identifying best practices, and research on integrating emerging transportation technologies and trends in the MetroFuture update.

 

Land Use Development Project Reviews

 

Project ID Number

MAPC5

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $59,400

FTA Section 5303 Funds

 $29,420

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $88,820

Note: FTA and FHWA funds include the MassDOT local match.

Purpose

This Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) task supports the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's (MAPC’s) review of potential development projects in the region. In particular, projects will be reviewed for consistency with MetroFuture (the Boston Region’s 30-year comprehensive plan for sustainable development), impacts on the transportation network and projects identified in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), and for consistency with the Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO’s) livability goals and the Commonwealth’s sustainable-development principles.

Approach

MAPC tracks all projects reviewed in the region under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), and provides a regional-planning analysis to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs for all developments considered to have significant impact. Special attention is given to local zoning ordinances and regulations that serve to reduce auto travel by encouraging carpooling, transit, and other travel demand management techniques. MAPC also will recommend appropriate mitigation measures. MAPC coordinates these reviews with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and works with MassDOT to identify updated requirements to be included in the transportation impact assessments that must be conducted by developers.

MAPC also reviews notices of offered railroad property from MassDOT, consults with municipalities as necessary, and provides appropriate input. Often, these notices involve rail trails, but they also may involve other types of proposed developments.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include analysis and write-up of MEPA reviews, development of mitigation recommendations, coordination with municipalities and transportation agencies, maintenance and updates of MAPC’s development database, and input into the project evaluations for the TIP and LRTP. In addition, MAPC will continue to review and respond to notices of offered railroad property.

 

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CHAPTER 7
Agency and Other Client Transportation Planning Studies and Technical Analyses

7.1   Introduction

The transportation studies and technical analysis work described in this chapter will be undertaken to support the work of various transportation agencies in the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area.

Some of the contracts described in the pages that follow are issued to the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) every year and generally coincide with either the federal fiscal year (FFY) or the state fiscal year (SFY). Examples include the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Section 5303 and MassDOT Statewide Planning and Research (SPR) contracts. Other contracts are issued for tasks and technical support to be conducted over a multiyear period, and they might be renewed with the agencies after several years. A third contract type covers the work for discrete studies or technical analyses intended to be completed within one FFY. These may either be one-time contracts in which CTPS conducts analysis or technical support to further a specific agency project, such as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA’s) Plan for Accessible Infrastructure (PATI), or they can be contracts in which CTPS provides technical support to an agency for data collection and analysis that is undertaken annually, such as the MBTA’s National Transit Database (NTD): Data Collection and Analysis contract.

The work conducted on behalf of the agencies includes data collection and analyses on a broad range of topics, including travel-demand modeling, air quality, traffic engineering, and environmental justice. The products of this work are vital to support compliance with federal and state regulations such as the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. CTPS also enhances regional understanding of critical transportation issues through the preparation of graphics, maps, and other materials for agency studies and presentations. The work described in this chapter is organized by agency, and includes studies and technical analyses for MassDOT, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), and the MBTA.

7.2   MASSDOT

The contracts and technical analyses in this section are being undertaken for MassDOT.

MASSDOT HIGHWAY DIVISION ON-CALL MODELING SUPPORT

Project ID Number

73220

Funding Source

MassDOT

Total Contract

$400,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$140,100


Purpose

The purpose of this on-call contract is to provide the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Highway Division with travel demand modeling and planning assistance throughout federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017.

Approach

For the past few years, the MassDOT Highway Division has employed the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) to provide travel demand modeling support and planning assistance for a number of its projects, each of which has necessitated creating either a new contract or a contract amendment. In an effort to streamline the process, MassDOT’s Highway Division will create a general on-call contract to engage CTPS’s services for three years to provide necessary assistance to MassDOT Highway Division projects.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

CTPS will support MassDOT and its study teams in planning work associated with its bridge project management and other projects, producing necessary memoranda and data upon request.

 

MassDOT Statewide Planning and Research Program Support

Project ID Number

Varies

Funding Source

MassDOT SPR

Total Contract

$649,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$559,500

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support.

Purpose

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) provides support to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT’s) Statewide Planning and Research (SPR) Program as requested. This contract will include multiple individual projects or tasks throughout the federal fiscal year (FFY).

Approach

This work includes studies, analyses, and technical assistance. Projects that are either underway or expected to begin in FFY 2017 are listed below. (Other projects may be added throughout FFY 2017.)

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Activities and work products will depend on tasks requested by MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning. Projects of appropriate scope will be submitted to the MPO before proceeding.

 

MassDOT Title VI Program

Project ID Number

13154

Funding Source

MassDOT

Total Contract

$169,900

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$37,500

 

Purpose

Under this contract, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will continue to provide technical support to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in the implementation of its Title VI Program for both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Approach

MassDOT, as a recipient of federal funds from both the FHWA and the FTA, is required to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with protections enacted through several additional laws and executive orders that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, age, income, and disability. Through this technical support work, CTPS will assist MassDOT in complying with these equal protection laws.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Staff will assist MassDOT in updating its Title VI/Nondiscrimination Program for FHWA, and will provide technical support to MassDOT as described above.

 

MassDOT Transit Planning Assistance

Project ID Number

Varies

Funding Source

MassDOT Section 5303

Total Contract

 $270,170

FFY 2017 Total Budget

 $264,170

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support.

Purpose

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) provides transit-planning assistance to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) by conducting various studies under MassDOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA)-funded Section 5303 Program. This contract will include multiple individual projects or tasks throughout the federal fiscal year (FFY).

Approach

This assistance may include:

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Activities and work products will depend on tasks requested by MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning. Projects of appropriate scope will be submitted to the MPO before proceeding.

 

Section 405C Traffic Records Improvement

Project ID Number

11158

Funding Source

MassDOT

Total Contract

$97,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$69,100

Purpose

The purpose of this program is to test the template developed by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), an engineering, planning, and design consulting firm, for collecting Model Inventory Road Element (MIRE) Fundamental Data Elements (FDEs) for intersections on a subset of Massachusetts intersections.

Approach

The template application developed by VHB will be used to collect MIRE FDEs at approximately 5,500 intersections in Massachusetts. Feedback on the template will be provided to VHB (via the Massachusetts Department of Transportation [MassDOT] Traffic Safety and Engineering group); if necessary, the template can be modified before it is used to collect MIRE FDEs on the more than 250,000 intersections in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include collecting MIRE FDEs for approximately 5,500 intersections in Massachusetts. Written reports will be provided regarding the VHB data collection template. The project work is expected to take approximately one year to complete. It is possible that the work may not be completed in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017; it may extend into FFY 2018, depending on when the grant funds are released and when the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) receives a notice to proceed (NTP) with the work.

 

North-South Rail Link

Project ID Number

11157

Funding Source

MassDOT

Total Contract

$200,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$149,700

 

Purpose

The purpose of this work is to update the previously completed analysis of the proposed North-South Rail Link project that would connect Boston’s North Station and South Station by rail.

Approach

This project would provide more transit connectivity to the region. It would connect transit markets that now require two or more transfers, and provide passengers with a one-seat ride. In the coming years, train-set capacity at South Station is expected to be a major limitation that would inhibit expansion of the commuter rail network south of Boston. This project would add capacity to the commuter rail system, while at the same time obviate the need to conduct a costly expansion project at South Station.

Because the North-South Rail Link project was studied in detail over a decade ago, an updated analysis is required.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This study will examine the local and regional demand for a north-south link connection, and also address the air quality and economic impacts associated with the project. After collecting and analyzing data, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will produce draft and final reports for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

 

Lower Mystic River Working Group Support  

Project ID Number

22209

Funding Source

MassDOT

Total Contract

$489,300

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$246,000

 

Purpose

This study and support work stem from the proposed Wynn Casino development in Everett and the findings in the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) Certificate issued by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) in August 2015. The certificate states that although the project complied with MEPA, there could be broader regional transportation impacts associated with other large scale development proposals in the area near the Wynn Casino north of Boston. In order to understand the extent of these broader impacts, the EOEEA Certificate required the establishment of a Regional Working Group. 

Approach

MPO staff will take the lead in transportation modeling and analyses. Additionally, MPO staff and staff of the MPO member agency, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), will work in partnership with the working group to achieve the following main objectives:

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

MPO and MAPC staff support is anticipated to include the following main tasks in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017:

 

7.3   Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

The contracts and technical analysis in this section are being undertaken for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

 

MBTA National Transit Database: Data Collection and Analysis

Project ID Number

(SFY 2016) 14345
(SFY 2017) 14351
(SFY 2018) 14353

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract*

(SFY 2016) $128,480
(SFY 2017) $141,398
(SFY 2018) $130,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

(SFY 2016) $1,200
(SFY 2017) $125,198
(SFY 2018) $10,700

* Several different contract years are included in this work.

SFY = state fiscal year

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support.          

 

Purpose

For many years, in support of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA’s) National Transit Database (NTD) submittals to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) has produced estimates of passenger miles and boardings for MBTA services. This project will develop these estimates for

  1. Directly operated MBTA transportation modes (including motor bus, trackless trolley, heavy and light rail, and bus rapid transit)

  2. Purchased-service bus routes (that is, local routes for which the MBTA contracts with a private carrier)

CTPS will also verify MBTA estimates of average passenger trip length on its commuter rail mode.

Approach

The data underlying these estimates will be collected in a variety of ways:

The MBTA will submit its state fiscal year (SFY) 2016 NTD estimates of passenger boardings and passenger miles for various transit modes to the FTA with the aid of CTPS during FFY 2017. In addition, the MBTA will submit its SFY 2017 NTD estimates of passenger boardings and passenger miles for various transit modes to the FTA with the aid of CTPS during FFY 2018. The final technical memorandum for the 2017 NTD will be completed in FFY 2018.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

In SFY 2017, CTPS will complete the final technical memorandum for SFY 2016 NTD reporting and will continue data collection begun in SFY 2016 for SFY 2017.

1 Ridechecks refer to a method of collecting sample data with one or more persons observing and recording passenger activities while riding in a transit vehicle.

 

MBTA Systemwide Passenger Survey

Project ID Number

14346

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$1,180,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$424,500

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support.

Purpose

Through this contract, initiated in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will conduct a systemwide passenger survey to assist the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in its Title VI analysis.

Approach

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires that the MBTA collect information on its riders for use in Title VI analyses; this survey must be conducted within a five-year time frame. The required information will include race, color, national origin, English-language proficiency, language spoken at home, household income, fare usage by fare type, and travel patterns. In this project, CTPS will conduct a systemwide survey, administered as paper forms as well as online surveys, of the passengers who use rapid transit, bus, bus rapid transit (BRT), commuter rail, and water transportation services. The survey results also will provide the MBTA, other state and federal agencies, consultants, and the public with more up-to-date data to support transportation-planning activities.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

CTPS will complete the systemwide passenger survey for each transportation mode, and staff will process the survey results.

 

MBTA Title VI Program Monitoring

Project ID Number

(SFY 2016) 11395
(SFY 2017) 11408

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

(SFY 2016) $63,140
(SFY 2017) $161,511

FFY 2017 Total Budget

(SFY 2016) $1,200
(SFY 2017) $100,000

SFY = state fiscal year

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support. 

Purpose

Under this contract, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) provides the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) with technical assistance in collecting data on and conducting assessments of the level of service (LOS) provided in minority communities compared to nonminority areas to support the MBTA’s compliance with Title VI requirements.

Approach

Data will be collected on service indicators such as

This data collection will help fulfill the monitoring required as part of the MBTA’s ongoing Title VI Program. The results of the analyses will be reported internally at the MBTA and will be folded into future triennial Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reporting.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

CTPS will provide documentation about selected LOS evaluations for state fiscal year (SFY) 2016 MBTA revenue service and amenities, and staff will prepare the 2017 triennial MBTA Title VI Program Report.

 

Title VI Service Equity Analysis Methodology Development: Phase II

Project ID Number

11409

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$125,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$94,300

Purpose

In a federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015 Boston Region MPO study (Title VI Service Equity Analysis: Methodology Development), the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) developed an improved methodology for conducting Title VI service equity analyses, and conducted a proof of concept to demonstrate its application. The developed methodology utilizes the Modified Transit Opportunity Index (MTOI) to measure the amount of transit opportunity provided to a census tract as a function of the transit system network. In this FFY 2017 project, staff will develop a full-scale model of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus and rapid transit system to provide a platform for conducting comprehensive assessments of the MTOI for each census tract within the MBTA bus and rapid transit network.

Approach

Outputs from the MTOI model will be used as a comprehensive tool for conducting Title VI service equity analyses, enabling CTPS, the MBTA, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Office of Diversity and Civil Rights staff to conduct future Title VI service equity analyses of MBTA major service changes. By completing this work, the MPO will continue to adhere to its commitment to conduct industry-leading Title VI and other transportation-equity-related work.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

MBTA Bus Service Data Collection

Project ID Number

11406

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$540,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$179,970

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support. 

Purpose

The work conducted under this contract will help the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) assess bus service changes included in the biennial MBTA service plans.

Approach

In order to assess bus service changes that are included in the biennial MBTA service plans, the MBTA requires ongoing data collection regarding its bus system.

The data collected by the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) as part of this project also support future MBTA service plans, through which bus routes undergo comparative evaluations for cost-effectiveness, crowding, schedule adherence, and other indicators. Work may also include support for improving the ridecheck database so that it will be compatible with new software and data sources. CTPS also may provide analytical assistance to the MBTA as requested.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

MBTA Review of Fare Structure, Tariffs, and Policy

Project ID Number

(2014 Contract) 11378

(2017 Contract) 11393

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

(2014 Contract) $141,000
(2017 Contract) $159,240

FFY 2017 Total Budget

(2014 Contract) $5,400

(2017 Contract) $8,300

 

Purpose

Through this contract, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) assists the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in analyzing the potential impacts of changes in fare structure and tariffs.

Approach

CTPS has provided technical assistance to the MBTA in forecasting potential ridership, revenue, air quality, and socioeconomic impacts of proposed changes in the MBTA’s fare structure and tariffs for all fare increases since 1991. In federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017, CTPS will analyze the potential impacts of any proposed changes in fare structure and tariffs. CTPS will also conduct the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)-required fare equity analysis.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

Analyses will be conducted as requested. CTPS will participate in meetings, provide technical support, and develop documentation and other communication materials as requested. Staff will also prepare final reports of findings from each fare change analysis and each associated fare equity analysis.

 

MBTA Rider Oversight Committee Support

Project ID Number

14339

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$24,500

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$2,600

 

Purpose

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) established a Rider Oversight Committee (ROC) in 2004 to provide ongoing public input on a number of different issues, including strategies for increasing ridership, developing new fare structures, and prioritizing capital improvements. Through this contract, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) supports the MBTA by providing technical assistance to the ROC on an ongoing basis.

Approach

Over the past several years, the assistance provided by CTPS has included analyzing the revenue and ridership impacts of potential fare and service changes, providing the MBTA ridership statistics, offering insights into the MBTA’s planning processes, providing data analysis, and attending committee meetings at which staff may respond directly to ROC members’ questions.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

CTPS will continue to provide technical assistance to the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee and attend committee and subcommittee meetings.

 

MBTA Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure Support

Project ID Number

14349

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$18,370

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$4,200

 

Purpose

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will provide technical support to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) as the Department of System-Wide Accessibility (SWA) develops a Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure (PATI).

Approach

The MBTA’s Department of SWA is developing PATI—a long-term strategic barrier-removal plan that will prioritize accessibility improvements in the context of limited resources. Through this initiative, the MBTA will catalog barriers to access at each rapid transit, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail station or stop, and at every bus stop. Concurrently with this survey effort, a working group (the PATI Engagement Committee), which is composed of MBTA officials and disability-accessibility stakeholders, will develop a method for prioritizing the removal of the barriers in a manner that is sustainable, while maximizing the positive impact on accessibility. CTPS will provide the technical support required for the MBTA to develop criteria for determining which accessibility improvements would have the greatest positive impacts on seniors, people with disabilities, and others who rely on accessible infrastructure, while taking into account funding constraints. CTPS will also develop an algorithm for prioritizing accessibility improvements that will incorporate selected criteria.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

 

Office of Performance Management and Innovation On-Call Contract

Project ID Number

11159

Funding Source

MBTA

Total Contract

$200,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$100,000

 

Purpose

Through this contract, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will support the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT’s) Office of Performance Management and Innovation (OPMI).

Approach

This is a one-year contract for state fiscal year (SFY) 2017, and specific task orders and technical support will be determined by CTPS and OPMI.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This MassDOT contract will result in various analytical studies and technical reports for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

 

7.4   Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)

The contracts and technical analyses in this section are being undertaken for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport).

Massport Technical Assistance

Project ID Number

22127

Funding Source

Massport

Total Contract

$171,000

FFY 2017 Total Budget

$52,900

Note: FFY 2017 Total Budget does not include Direct Support. This additional amount is noted in Chapter 8 under the description of Direct Support.

Purpose

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) will provide technical assistance to the Massachusetts Port Authority's (Massport’s) Department of Economic Planning and Development, which will support Massport in its desire to examine and improve ground-access options.

Approach

Activities may include support for Logan International Airport ground-access planning, ground-access model development, and related data collection and analysis; analysis related to Logan Airport; air-quality analysis; and support for additional to-be-determined transportation-planning activities. This work may be redirected or modified in response to emerging issues.

FFY 2017 Anticipated Outcomes

This contract will include multiple individual projects or tasks, and specific work activities and products will be determined by Massport.

 

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CHAPTER 8
Administration, Resource Management, and Support Activities

8.1  Introduction

In addition to the certification requirements described in Chapter 5, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff conducts various ongoing administrative, data resource, and other support activities on an annual basis in order to maintain the critical functions of the MPO.

The activities described in this chapter are all funded with federal 3C planning funds and fall into the following categories:

Each activity in this chapter includes a description of the purpose of the work, a general description of how the work is accomplished, and a summary of the anticipated FFY 2017 work products. The budget tables at the beginning of each project description describe the salary and overhead costs associated with these projects. Any direct costs associated with the projects are included in the Direct Support budget table in this chapter.

Table 8-1 summarizes the funding assigned to each of the activities in this chapter that were also in the previous FFY, a summary of the work products and/or progress made in the previous FFY, the funding proposed for each activity in the coming FFY, and the anticipated work products and/or progress in the coming FFY.

Although many of the activities in this chapter generally comprise the same type of tasks from year to year, often there are variations in budgets that reflect greater or lesser emphasis in certain efforts. For example, MPO staff may undertake new or additional data collection and/or analysis under specific line items; the tasks undertaken as part of one line item in one year may be folded into an ongoing activity in a subsequent year; or, there simply may be fluctuations in staffing levels. Where appropriate, these differences are explained in the table.

 

Table 8-1: FFY 2016/FFY 2017 Ongoing Administration, Resource Management, and Support Activities
Name ID FFY 2016 Total Funding FFY 2016 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2016 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2016 Work Progress and Products FFY 2017 FHWA  PL Funds FFY 2017 FTA Section 5303 Funds FFY 2017 Total Funding FFY 2017 Planned Work Progress and Products
CTPS Activities blank  blank  blank blank blank  blank   blank   blank   blank 
Computer Resources Management Varies by Task  $478,300  $334,810  $143,490 Provided maintenance and enhancements to CTPS’s desktop and server computer systems; computer network back-up system; and peripheral devices, such as printers, plotters, and mass storage devices.  $328,524  $134,186  $462,710  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. Changes in staff from FFY 2016 to FFY 2017 led to a reduction in the overall budget for these tasks. 
Data Resources Management Varies by Task  $323,300  $226,310  $96,990 Provided maintenance and enhanced CTPS’s database of standard reference GIS layers and GIS layers required to carry out particular projects. Updated databases with new versions of standard reference GIS layers released by MassGIS, the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, and other agencies. Created GIS maps, computer map files, tables of socioeconomic and travel-related data, and databases. Analyzed data.   $206,241  $84,239  $290,480  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Access Advisory Committee Support 90024  $85,900  $60,130  $25,770 Support AACT meetings, AACT Chair, and AACT Executive Board of Directors; distribute monthly reports on system-wide accessibility, MBTA The Ride service, and other materials; provide guidance on the AACT Memorandum of Understanding, AACT bylaws, and disability issues in general; coordinate AACT elections and other committee activities; support AACT membership; maintain AACT databases; coordinate briefings on MPO activities; produce meeting materials in accessible formats; coordinate forums on transit accessibility; and update AACT brochure.  $-    $89,130  $89,130  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Provision of Materials in Accessible Formats 90028  $68,400  $47,880  $20,520 Support the MPO and CTPS in the production of accessible materials in PDF and HTML formats for posting on the Boston MPO website, including meeting minutes, work scopes, memoranda, reports, and other public materials. Review accessibility requirements, current CTPS standards and processes, and work on implementing standards within memoranda and report templates.  $61,564  $25,146  $86,710  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year; however, the level of effort varies based on the specific work products and reports that the MPO produces each year that need to be made accessible. 
Regional Model Enhancement 11244  $740,400  $518,280  $222,120 Update regional model databases and computer programs that implement modeling procedures.  $533,040  $217,720  $750,760  Continuation of model update activities and furtherance of advanced practice technicques. 
Roadway Safety Audits 11150  $13,800  $9,660  $4,140 Continue providing support to MassDOT for safety audits conducted in the Boston Region MPO.  $14,520  $-    $14,520  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Traffic Data Support 90080  $7,900  $5,530  $2,370 Continue to respond to data request needs.  $5,964  $2,436  $8,400 Continue to respond to data request needs.
Transit Data Support 90040  $10,800  $7,560  $3,240 Continue to respond to data request needs.  $-    $11,120  $11,120 Continue to respond to data request needs.
UPWP Study Recommendation Tracking Database 20902  $-    $-    $-   This activity is new in FFY 2017.  $14,200  $5,800  $20,000 Develop approach for creating and maintaining the UPWP Study Recommendation Tracking Database. Start to produce initial reports for the MPO detailing the status and effectiveness of UPWP planning studies and tracking the recommendations from completed studies.
MAPC Activities blank  blank   blank   blank  blank  blank   blank   blank  blank
MPO/MAPC Liaison and Support Activities MAPC1  $157,000  $109,900.0  $47,100 Interagency coordination, development of work scopes and agendas, and participation in advisory and corridor committees. Assistance to the MPO for MPO elections and support on public participation, TIP project evaluations, and attendance at relevant meetings.  $109,900  $47,100  $157,000  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Unified Planning Work Program Support MAPC3  $10,000  $7,000.0  $3,000 Support in the UPWP development process and attendance at relevant meetings.  $7,000  $3,000  $10,000  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Subregional Support Activities MAPC2  $157,000  $109,900.0  $47,100 Coordination and support of subregional groups including preparation of agendas, coordination with transportation agencies, review of transportation studies in subregions, and assistance in setting subregional transportation priorities.  $130,900  $56,100  $187,000  Tasks and work products generally remain the same from year to year. 
Land Use Data to Support Transportation Modeling MAPC10  $80,000  $56,000.0  $24,000 Continued work in support of the operational land use allocation model including data development and analysis, documentation, and mapping products to support advanced transportation modeling.  $54,216  $23,235  $77,451 Continue work in support of the operational land use model.
 TOTAL   blank   $2,132,800  $1,492,960  $639,840 blank  $1,466,069  $699,212  $2,165,281  blank 

 

AACT = Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA. CTPS = Central Transportation Planning Staff. FFY = federal fiscal year. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. GIS = Geographic Information System. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO - Metropolitan Planning Organization. PL = FHWA transportation planning funds. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. UPWP = Unified Planning Work Program.

 

8.2  CTPS Activities

This section provides details on the administration, resource management, and support activities undertaken by CTPS every FFY.

 

Computer Resource Management

 

Project ID Number

 See Individual Tasks Below

FHWA 3C PL Funds

 $328,524

FTA Sectio