Friday, December 23, 2005

Harvard/friends on the go with a massive Charles River Roads proposal

I received a rather impressive Email from a group which calls itself CITYwithoutTRAFFIC on a proposed burying of Soldiers Field Road by the Harvard Business School. It apparently came to me from the Allston Brighton open space list.

I asked to use the report on this blog and on the APT list. My request was declined.

I then realized that they had their own website.

Good grief what a professional website! And the maps. Wow!

They are proposing burying all the roads everywhere.

I think the key is the following introductory language from the website (



Replace long stretches of the Charles River parkways (Storrow Drive, Memorial Drive, Soldiers Field Road, and Fresh Pond Parkway) with a deep-bore tunnel running in a straight line under the river banks.

Why speculate about this now?

In November (2003), Harvard University formally initiated an extraordinary planning effort called the Allston Initiative. It is a plan to build several new campuses on some 200 acres that Harvard has acquired in Allston and Brighton over many years. (Harvard President Summers' speech about this initiative is available on the Harvard site.)

The Allston Initiative would be very different if the parkways dividing Harvard University from the Charles River were removed. The benefit for Harvard of having no traffic between its old and new campuses is clear, but other neighborhoods, communities, and institutions would also be affected. Public review of Harvard's planned expansion into Allston will eventually occur, but a broader civic disucssion should begin now. The communities that will be most affected should be looking beyond the Allston Initiative to their own visions for the future of the Charles River banks.

Harvard has sought community suggestions for the Allston Initiative.

This website provides several such offerings. If the suggestions to be found here manage to elicit other ideas that emerge for discussion in public forums, this website will have fulfilled its main purpose.


Could you be more complimentary to Harvard? And note where the tunnel is going: "in a straight line under the riverbanks."

The Harvard link is:, dated October 21, 2003.

Going through the links from the website, this thing has had massive work done on it, massive.

The fine print calls it a spinoff from the Bible of the Charles River Conservancy. The CRC in turn receives massive funding from the Development Community including Harvard.

The CRC is strikingly consistent in its fight for destruction of nature on the Charles River all the time piously patting itself on the back.

I am still working on the package.

I would strongly appreciate input with the understanding that I can pass on the input as I see fit.