Getting people moving to and from life sciences in Allston

Today's Globe features an Op-Ed written by Richard Dimino, president of A Better City, and Stephanie Pollack, from The Center for Urban and Regional Policy and BlueWave Strategies.

Titled "On life sciences, keep moving" it makes a case that for Massachusetts to continue to be a thriving center of life science researcher and businesses it must do more than provide business incentives and workforce development. Their recommendation is that we need to take serious action so "people in this industry can get to work and get around easily." Of course they aren't suggesting a private transportation system only for life science workers and they note that "all communities, workers and employers benefit from better roads and transit."

Dimino and Pollack don't specifically mention Harvard and Allston, but really they don't have to. Harvard's plans for massive life science development in Allston is well known. And equally well known is the poor condition of our transportation system. Not only is the public transportation in North Allston slow and inconvenient for getting to common destinations (for example, try to take mass transit from here to the Longwood Medical Area). But cars and bikes on our roads don't do much better as shown by the map with Level of Service grades for major North Allston/North Brighton intersections.

A great irony is that Stephanie Pollack is a partner at BlueWave Strategies and BlueWave is one of Harvard's lead consultants. Harvard's plans propose basically nothing tangible to improve public transportation for its new life science campus. "Someday maybe there will be an Urban Ring that might cut through Allston" isn't much of a plan. Is Pollack trying to explain to decision-makers at Harvard what she has explained to everyone else? Why does it seem like they aren't listening or don't agree?

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