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Peer Review Cover Memo

The Casey Arborway Project team commissioned a 'peer review' to be performed by CDM/Smith of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The resulting comment memos submitted by CDM/Smith (draft and final) and a response from McMahon Associates on behalf of the Casey Arborway team are posted to the Casey Arborway Project website. The materials posted to the Casey Arborway Project website constitute the full breadth of the written deliverables produced by, and in response to, the independent peer review.

The purpose of the peer review process was not simply to look over the traffic studies already prepared by MassDOT and give them a thumbs-up or thumbs-down review, but rather to study, analyze, and dissect the original work to find specific flaws and/or areas for improvements The great benefit of a peer review is that it allows a set (or several sets) of experienced eyes from outside of MassDOT and the project team to look at the work afresh, to ask new questions, challenge old assumptions, and try to poke holes.

In January 2012, CDM/Smith prepared a draft 'peer review' memo that concisely reflects the results of that thorough and in-depth review process. Staff from McMahon Associates then performed the work necessary to examine any faults found by CDM/Smith, verify assumptions and data, and analyze and re-analyze the information to ensure that all concerns were fully addressed. This process required substantial effort and time, but was well worth it in the interest of ensuring the best possible traffic analysis and design. McMahon formally responded to CDM/Smith, on behalf of MassDOT, in May 2012. CDM/Smith then finalized their comments in June 2012. All of these materials are posted to the Casey Arborway Project website.

The Casey Arborway team found the peer review process and the input from CDM/Smith immensely helpful in advancing the design of the Casey Arborway to a higher level of refinement.The comments and recommendations submitted by CDM/Smith have been or will be incorporated in the traffic analysis and design as the project moves forward.

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