HARVARD UNIVERSITY'S failure to follow through on long-promised street improvements in North Allston is yet another example not only of Harvard's broken promises but of the Boston Redevelopment Authority's failure to enforce agreements made in the master planning process ("A street of broken vows runs in Allston," City & Region, July 12).
Allston-Brighton is currently besieged by massive new expansion proposals by Harvard to the north and Boston College to the south.
Every month at neighborhood meetings we hear BRA officials claim how the master plans will be enforced, whether it be lighting hours or dormitory use. Harvard's failure to improve North Harvard Street, however, demonstrates the hollowness of the BRA's words.
Harvard should agree to a hiatus on BRA approval of their new projects until they satisfactorily resolve past promises. Only then will they live up to their school motto: Veritas.
THE STATUS of Harvard's 1997 improvement plan does seem like a harbinger of things to come. I've seen a lot of beautiful drawings and ideas that sound fine on paper, but Harvard's apparent disinterest in its neighbors comes through in its actions -- or lack thereof.
Compared to its long-range plans for the area, improvements such as repairing a sidewalk and replacing a rusty fence are probably less than exciting . But a decrepit stretch of road does have an effect on a community, and Harvard's distraction from this fact seems like just another example of its cavalier attitude toward the neighborhood it is supposedly trying to curry favor with.
That the country's premier institution of higher education needs to "take a much closer look" at the possibility of not flagrantly ignoring its neighbors says everything about this whole affair.
MY KIDS ride their bikes on this broken, treeless sidewalk and others in Allston-Brighton. It is hot, ugly, and dangerous. Maybe Harvard University doesn't owe me anything, but the city of Boston does. If Harvard promised the city it would fix this, the city needs to ensure that it does.