Boston office opening strengthens KAI’s presence in the region

August 04, 2014

Today marks the opening of Kittelson & Associates, Inc.’s (KAI) Boston office, a significant and exciting step in strengthening the firm’s presence in Massachusetts to help advance the state and local communities’ goals of improved livability and safe and balanced transportation systems that incorporate bicycling, walking, public transit and vehicle travel.

Conor Semler, a senior planner with KAI who is based in Boston, describes KAI and the region as a great fit given the shared approach to transportation planning and engineering.

“Boston recognizes the importance of livability through multimodal transportation in strengthening its economy and quality of life. The City acknowledges that we need to plan for complete streets,” Conor says, “and that fits with Kittelson’s strengths.”

The new office, KAI’s 15th nationally and first bricks-and-mortar office in Boston, is located downtown. With the office opening, Andy Paul joins Conor there. An 11-year veteran of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and its predecessor agency, Andy brings broad experience, most recently with its Highway Design section.

Andy says he’s enjoyed collaborating with communities and stakeholders, engineers at the state and municipal levels, and elected officials to advance transportation initiatives. During his time at MassDOT, Andy worked on the Big Dig Stem-to-Stern Inspection, the statewide conversion to all-electronic tolling, the Accelerated Bridge Program (of which one project replaced 14 structurally deficient bridges over 10 weekends in summer 2011), and served as the statewide roundabout coordinator.

Andy, who earned a civil engineering degree with a construction management concentration from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in business administration from Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts, first got to know KAI through the Transportation Research Board. He says the firm’s culture of trust, employee development, and collaboration across offices were strong attractions.

“I saw KAI as the next exciting opportunity for me,” Andy says. “I’ll be helping bring to Massachusetts what KAI does well, combining research and practice to develop innovative transportation solutions. It’s an attractive place to grow.”

He describes the state’s recent changes in transportation management and planning as sweeping. In 2009, several agencies were consolidated to form MassDOT. In addition, the state’s Healthy Transportation Compact facilitates transportation decisions that MassDOT says are designed to balance the needs of all transportation users, expand mobility, improve public health, support a cleaner environment, and create stronger communities. The act also has led to projects that are more transparent and emphasize more stakeholder input, Andy says.

As it stands, KAI is collaborating with the city of Cambridge to identify and address barriers to public transit for aging individuals. Among the projects KAI recently completed was an update to Massachusetts’ Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines, which strengthen the requirements to consider and improve walking, biking, and transit connections to new development. The firm also was recently selected to serve as a subconsultant on two projects: the Boston Green Links plan, which will connect the city’s park network via walking and biking facilities; and designing the bike facilities along Route 1 in Portsmouth, N.H.

"We’ve carved a niche in this market, and through the relationships we’ve developed there’s a growing opportunity for more projects,” Conor says. “We’re very happy with how things have unfolded here and are excited to continue contributing to the region’s livability.”

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