City Will Rope Off Brattle St. On Summer Weekend Nights

The Cambridge City Council voted last night to create a "people's mall" on portions of Brattle St. on summer weekends by banning cars and trucks from the road.

Councilor Alfred E. Vellucci sponsored the motion which he said would "give the kids a chance to play their music, put on their shows and their acts."

Brattle St. will be closed off from Boylston St. to Church St. from 6 p.m. to midnight from June 1 through Labor Day under the new guidelines.

Brattle St. was permanently closed off several years ago, but "it just didn't work out," Councilor Kevin Crane 72 said last night. "There was a lot of business opposition." Crane said.

Vellucci said he thought that the limited hours set aside for the new mall would prevent objections from businesses.

Crane was the only councilor to oppose Vellucci's motion, which requires the traffic department to set up sawhorses at the ends of the malls and signs "signifying to one and all that this is a people's mall."

The Council also approved additional funding for a playing field slated to be built near 808 Memorial Drive.

Presumed Innocent

Several councilors said they feared Harvard students would take over the new playground. "They treat Corporal Burns (another municipal playground in the Memorial Drive area) like it's theirs, councilor Saundra Graham said.

Vice Mayor Lawrence Frisoli suggested setting up a permit program to insure Cambridge residents would use the playing field, which will include a tennis court.

"Why not? You need a permit to get on to Harvard playgrounds," Vellucci said.

"I think all Harvard students should be let out of school once a week so they can go home and use the playgrounds where they live," Vellucci added.