The Square Gets Some Scrutiny

The Opening Round Is Fired

The Neighborhood 10 Association this week fired the first substantive shot in what is almost certain to be a protracted battle over the General Services Administration's Kennedy Library environmental impact statement.

Neighborhood 10 requested in federal court a postponement of all federal proceedings--including scheduled hearings--on the impact statement, charging that the GSA had not responded to its requests for background materials on the statement.

"I was astonished at the report, which concludes that 1.3 million visitors to the Kennedy Library complex will have negligible impact on an area as congested as Harvard Square," Paul Lawrence, president of Neighborhood 10, said this week.

"For this reason, more background information is essential to the community's understanding of what lies behind the conclusions," he said.

Lawrence was not alone in his criticisms of the impact statement; the president of the Riverside-Cambridge Community Corporation calls it an "obvious whitewash," and Oliver Brooks, chairman of the Harvard Square Development Task Force, criticized the GSA's distribution of the statement.