Globe reports on the Dec 1 Harvard meeting

Parks, schools top list - The Boston Globe

Residents who have been involved in community planning and Harvard's expansion plans for their neighborhood noted that the survey, while interesting, was a distraction from the real question of when and how those plans would be negotiated.

'We knew these were needs four years ago,' said Harry Mattison, a Harvard Allston Task Force member. 'When do we stop talking and start doing something?'

My quote is based on the seemingly endless discussions and minimal progress made in many areas that have been discussed for years, since at least during the development of the North Allston Strategic Framework. Work on the Framework was done from 2001-2005 and its final report, endorsed by Harvard and the BRA included:

"Expand the limited number of neighborhood parks by creating new parks"

"Small neighborhood parks along Everett Street and elsewhere to serve the local community"

"eliminating barriers between neighborhoods and among neighborhoods and river and public parks"

"the Framework proposes a system of parks, pathways, and squares that increases the amount of land dedicated to open space and, more important, creates a broader range of quality public places to support a variety of activities.The Framework identifies opportunities for pocket parks for passive enjoyment or tot lots, providing amenities for those residential areas underserved by open space, such as the neighborhood south of the Gardner School."

That sounds a lot like what this new survey identifies as priorities:

Creating more parks and gardens in Allston-Brighton

Making it easier for people to access the Charles River by foot/bike

Developing green pathways from Allston to the Charles River

So now we have a Framework and a Survey that confirm each other's findings but not much of anything actually accomplished on the ground.

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