Playground Permit System Proposed

Officials Cite 'Takeover' by Harvard Students

A sports fan will tell you Harvard does not have much of a basketball program. But several Cambridge city officials said yesterday that what Harvard students lack in hoop ability they make up for in tenaciousness.

The officials say Harvard students play so much basketball and tennis at municipal playgrounds up and down Memorial Drive that there is no room left for Cambridge residents to use the facilities. "It's a severe problem at the Corporal Burns," a playground on Memorial Drive near Mather House, councilor Kevin P. Crane '73, said yesterday.

Councilor Saundra Graham said yesterday she may file a motion asking the City Council to initiate an identification system that would give Cambridge residents priority at city playgrounds.

"It's always been a problem," Graham said. "What we need are permits and signs, and as soon as I find out what the proper mechanism would be I will introduce a motion," she added.

Lewis A. Armistead, assistant vice president for government and community affairs, said yesterday he had not heard anything recently about the playgrounds. The matter "came up a few years ago, but nobody has mentioned it for quite a while. I don't think it's a problem," he added.


Graham said the problem has existed "for years," but officials were especially concerned now because the city plans to construct a new playground--the Riverside Press Project--this summer on Memorial Drive.

"I'm not afraid the Harvard students will take over Riverside--I know they will," Graham said, adding that the issue is even affecting planning for the new playground.

"The residents don't want too many tennis courts. They know the students will use them," she said.

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