Monday, May 11, 2009

Rats, empty lots in Allston, like Brooklyn, so what's the five year plan?

(This is one in an irregular series of articles about issues that a State Senate committee might address when it holds a hearing on Atlantic Yards.)

An article in the New York Times Saturday had a not unfamiliar ring, beginning:
BOSTON — The rats are out in spades this spring in North Allston, a gritty neighborhood wedged between the Charles River and the Massachusetts Turnpike, and residents are blaming Harvard.


There's a stall in construction work for a once-ballyhooed project, and the rat infestation recalls a report April 23 in the New York Daily News, in which Dean Street residents neighboring the Atlantic Yards footprint said demolitions have led to notable quantities of rats.

Timetable issues

The Times reported on the impact of the derailment of Harvard's plans:
Harvard even forced some tenants, like a Volkswagen dealership, out of buildings for which plans are now unclear. The university has always described the expansion as a 50-year project, but residents want it to take more proactive, short-term steps.

“The fair and just thing would be to have a 50-year plan but also a five-year plan,” Mr. [Henry] Mattison {Harvard Allston Task Force member] said. “Let us have a thriving neighborhood now.”


Atlantic Yards was supposed to be a ten-year plan. Now it's supposed to take "decades."

So what's the five-year plan for entire Atlantic Yards site? That's a question the Empire State Development Corporation should be asked.

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