I want to thank Nathaniel Zelinsky ’13 for bringing the issue of the continued closure of High and Wall streets to students’ attention (“Soaking Yale,” Aug. 31). The closure of these streets has improved access to central campus for pedestrians, cyclists and others. The streets should ultimately remain closed — but only after a debate can be held about what other steps should be taken to support pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly infrastructure downtown, and after the original agreement itself is rewritten.
The 1990 agreement that Zelinsky mentioned needs serious review. It is a poorly drafted document that was written when Yale had a very different relationship with the City of New Haven, and when New Haven was a very different city than it is today. I trust that the appropriate committee of the board, led by Alderman Justin Elicker, will lead the effort to review and change this document in a responsible manner.
There are many things about the City of New Haven, Mayor DeStefano, the Board of Aldermen and the local unions that Zelinsky fails to grasp. One of the largest of those is the role of the Ward 1 alderman.
I do not represent Yale University on the Board of Aldermen; I represent its students. I often work with the University on our shared goals, but I do not “fight on the University’s behalf.” I fight for my constituents — most of whom are Yale students — and work to ensure that their voices are heard along with those of all New Haven residents. I will continue that effort in this debate as this item moves through the board.
The writer is a 2011 graduate of Saybrook College and the Ward 1 Alderman.