Allston Construction Committee Talks Science Building, Parking

BOSTON—The Allston Construction Mitigation Subcommittee met Monday to discuss a timeline for further construction on Harvard’s Allston Science Complex and potential plans for implementing a community-wide resident parking program.

In addition, Harvard University Construction Mitigation Director Edward G. LeFlore confirmed that all of the Charlesview apartments had been successfully demolished. The site is slated for development into a “Gateway Project,” a “mixed-use institutional building,” according to the University’s Institutional Master Plan for development in Allston.

LeFlore updated the committee on the development of Harvard’s Science Complex in Allston, stating that while official architectural plans have not been finalized, Harvard would update and “engage the community” throughout the development of the project. LeFlore said the next phase of construction, the removal of the slurry wall at the site, would take around nine months to complete.

Resident Paul “Chip” Alford expressed concerns that the lack of any publicly available plans for the complex and the upcoming removal of the slurry wall preclude lengthy and substantial project review on the part of the community and the Harvard Allston Task Force.

“I think it’s a scam, quite honestly,” said Alford, expressing frustration with what he perceived to be an intentional delay on Harvard’s part in sharing plans with the community. “They know what they’re going to build, they wouldn’t be doing anything with that slurry wall if they didn’t know what they were going to do.”

LeFlore also said that Harvard had made progress on the issue of construction worker parking, noting that a residential parking program had now been implemented on Travis and Kingsley Streets.

However, residents still expressed concerns about the parking situation. Alford, for instance, said that he wanted to start a series of petitions to transform Allston street-by-street into a residential-only parking neighborhood, noting that the subcommittee would need to collect signatures from only 51 percent of residents on each street.

Allston resident Tom Lively said that while he appreciated the benefits that resident-only parking brings, he doubted that those benefits could extend to some streets such as his, where buildings are primarily owned by absentee landlords and occupied by renters who do not register their vehicles in Massachusetts.

“If you’re going to have resident parking—it’s [desirable]—I would like to have it on my street,” Lively said, proposing the installation of parking meters on residential streets instead. “But I know I’m never going to get it.”

—Staff writer Ignacio Sabate can be reached at ignacio.sabate@thecrimson.com . Follow him on Twitter @TheIggySabate.

—Staff writer Luca F. Schroeder can be reached at luca.schroeder@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @lucaschroeder.

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