Meet the Metropolitan Area Planning Council

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Residents of Lynn and other greater-Boston municipalities are invited to an open house on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the regional planning agency’s downtown offices, located at 60 Temple Place in Boston’s Downtown Crossing.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC),
“…is the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. Created in 1963, MAPC’s mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration across Greater Boston. The agency’s work is guided by our regional plan, “MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region,” which was crafted with input from more than 5,000 people in Metropolitan Boston.”

The open house follows office renovations that provide a modern conference room for public use. The event will also include project demonstrations and opportunities to meet with MAPC staff.

A subset of MAPC is the North Shore Task Force (NSTF), which generally meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Peabody Essex Institute Library, 15 Sylvan Street, in Danvers.

“The goal of NSTF is to cooperate with and to assist each city and town in the task force to coordinate its planning and economic development so as to obtain maximum benefits for the North Shore district and for its cities and towns…NSTF is guided by the principles found in the MetroFuture Plan, MAPC’s regional development blueprint for the Boston metropolitan area.”

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), whose scope covers the same cities and towns but is not mentioned in MAPC’s press release, is a necessary partner in regional planning and funding.

“MPO is responsible for conducting the federally required metropolitan transportation-planning process (often called the 3C—continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive—process) for the Boston metropolitan area. The MPO uses this process to develop a vision for the region and then decides how to allocate federal and some state transportation funds to programs and projects—roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian—that support that vision.”

Issues surrounding public transportation and highway access became part of the discussion during Lynn’s heated election season, but have always been on the minds of its residents. People interested in whether or not the Blue Line extension is still a possibility, who wonder if the East Lynn Commuter Rail stop will re-open, or if a more direct path can be carved to Route 1, will find this open house a way to connect directly with an influential body.

MAPC recommends but, does not specifically require a reservation. Contact Kathleen O’Connor Ives at 617-451-2770 x2057 or to RSVP.

For more information, see the following links:

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

North Shore Task Force

MetroFuture Plan

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

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