Path to New Allston Road Proves Rocky

Allston residents and members of the Harvard-Allston Development Group met at the Honan Library in Allston last night to discuss plans for a road that could significantly alter the area’s traffic circulation.

According to the proposed plan, the new street, to be named Stadium Way, would offer two traffic lanes, two shuttle lanes, and a possible bike lane. The road would help ease the rise in vehicle and pedestrian traffic expected from Harvard’s expansion into Allston.

John Cusack, a member of the Harvard-Allston Task Force, chaired last night’s meeting. He told residents that his goal was to get “as much input as possible from the people who will have to live with the long-term and short-term changes of the development.”

“For the past 90 years, this area has been subjected to high-volume traffic, and we want to transform it into an area [that] also focuses on the pedestrian,” said Harris S. Band, the director of physical planning for the Harvard-Allston Development Group.

Allston residents who spoke last night expressed reservations over the prospective new road.

“When we purchased our houses, we didn’t anticipate having a street in our backyards,” said resident Paul Alford.

The plans call for Stadium Way to be placed about 50 yards behind Windom residents’ homes.

“People are genuinely concerned about having a road run directly behind their houses,” said another Allston resident, James M. Capobianco ’99. “This is a really big change.”

But the Harvard-Allston Development Group maintained that Stadium Way would primarily help traffic flow and lighten traffic on other main streets. Band emphasized the distinction between heavy traffic and good traffic circulation, adding that “it’s a tough decision.”

“There must be balance between opening the neighborhood to easy, comfortable traffic circulation and protecting the neighborhood from the burden of additional commuters,” he said.

Cusack said that any current plans “could be changed for the ease and betterment of the community.”

No plans were finalized yesterday, and another meeting between residents and the Harvard-Allston Development Group is slated for March 29.