[State Representative Michael] Moran’s district includes much of Brighton and Allston, including the site of a massive project that would take down a decrepit Mass. Pike viaduct, straighten the highway, and free up dozens of acres, now owned by Harvard, for new development.
…In a public comment letter also signed by other elected officials representing Allston and Brighton in the House, Senate, and Boston City Council, Moran urges the state to “monetize the total benefits” to Harvard — the “single biggest beneficiary” of the Pike realignment — to guarantee the construction of West Station sooner rather than later. In other words: While Harvard has already committed to covering a third of the station’s cost, the state should hit the school up for the majority of it.
…In general, the Greater Boston region, which might otherwise have become the eastern end of the Rust Belt, shouldn’t take its universities for granted. Yet there are some problems that only an institution like Harvard can solve. It would be a shame if the university stood aside as a major transit hub — the key to an urban vision for Allston — fell victim to bureaucratic inertia.