Last night's Harvard transportation meeting

The question that Harvard put forth at last night's meeting was "Is having Stadium Way better than not having Stadium Way?" The goal stated for creating Stadium Way is a noble one - reduce cut-through traffic on Windom Street and create an road other than North Harvard St to connect Cambridge St and Western Ave.

The problem with this approach is that it seems to be the result of such a narrow and limited vision. There are so many tranportation problems in this area:
1) Cut through traffic on Windom St
2) Difficulty exiting the Mass Pike westbound to go to Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, or Storrow Drive.
3) Difficulty getting from Cambridge St onto Storrow Drive or across the river into Cambridge
4) Poor pedestrian and bicycle access on Cambridge St that cuts off the neighborhood from the river.

And there are many more.

So why, at the beginning of this fantastically huge development project, is the proposal so modest? As buildings and new roads (like Stadium Way) get built it will only make it harder and more expensive to make the fundamental improvements that this area so badly needs.

Transporation design and construction design have come a long way in the decades since the Turpike was built. Roads, bridges, and buildings that couldn't be imagined years ago are now becoming commonplace (like Boston's new ICA and the Central Chinese Television Tower being built in Beijing)

Harvard's 50 year plan

So I think the real question is "How many of our biggest transportation problems should we try to fix before starting one of the biggest developments in Boston history?"

1 comment:

  1. Charlie D.9:13 AM

    That whole area around Cambridge St and the Mass Pike is a mess. It needs to be completely rethought. Cambridge St needs a complete overhaul to make it pedestrian and bicycle friendly. However, we just saw the latest report that all the state transportation agencies have a negative amount of money, so the expectation of seeing anything done about it is pretty minimal. We can try to get Harvard to pay for it, but I'm not sure how receptive they would be to that idea.