Working towards a reasonable construction plan

Demolition and construction are, by their very nature, loud and dirty. It is not something that is nice to live near. But Harvard's construction in Allston is unavoidable and it is also desirable, because it is necessary for the revitalization of the neighborhood.

Fortunately, for Harvard's first project, there is an opportunity for a significant buffer between the construction and the community.

To try to help us move towards a construction management plan that everyone can accept, I have compiled these thoughts about what such a plan might be. Hopefully this would allow for the reasonable construction of the buildings and protect the community’s quality of life. This is not intended to be a complete plan, but it tries to addresses some of the key issues.

1) All construction related parking on land adjacent to the construction site
Parking for 750 cars is needed. This can be done in 6 acres of land. Harvard owns 14 acres surrounding the construction site. Six acres of parking would leave 8 acres for other construction activities.

2) All normal access to the construction site via Western Ave only
a. Emergency access can use Travis Street as Harvard has proposed.
b. Keep routine traffic on the existing major roads to protect the nearby neighborhoods.
c. Deliver materials and equipment during off-peak hours to minimize the impact on Western Ave traffic.
d. Remove on-street parking on a portion of the north side of Western Ave and create a left-turn only lane. This could improve the flow of westbound traffic unrelated to the construction.

3) No construction-related use of the former Sears property east of Windom St
a. Not enough is known about Harvard future construction plans and potential long-term use of this site
b. The impact on Windom and Hopedale homes should be avoided

4) A solid, attractive barrier wall around the entire construction site (following the purple lines in the drawing below) with a green buffer of mature trees and other landscaping between the wall and community.

5) Set annual limits on the number of Saturday work days and after-hours work periods.

What do you think about these ideas? Do they make sense? What should be added or changed?


  1. Just stumbled upon your blog. What a great resource for the Allston/Brighton community. Props.

  2. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Nice thought to get rid of that whole "staduim Way" business. Hope it can fly (so to speak)!

  3. These are ideas are both positive and constructive, and should be the minimum of what Harvard does do to lessen any construction impact. It's not a lot to ask really...

  4. Anonymous9:18 AM

    I think that the rule limiting Saturday and late work hours would be counterproductive for the community. Major projects such as these have a tendency to drag on for years longer than originally "expected." The fact is, Saturday work is less disruptive than weekday work. I understand your logic, but I would not make a big deal of this.

  5. Anonymous10:50 PM

    I like to know why everything has to go through the Western ave side did you forget the residents at Charlesview we should have a voice also but you are the people who are going to decide everyone fate. On What Harvard does in our couminty you all are just thinking about yourself and your property values and not thinking about anyone else YOU ARE ALL GREADY WE SHOULD ALL STANDUP TO HARVARD AND PUT OUR FOOT DOWN AND SEND THEM BACK TO CAMBRIDGE AND TELL THE MAYOR OF BOSTON TO DO THE SAME THING OR HE WILL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE. THANKS

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