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Friday, June 20, 2014

Bradley Answers Lehigh Valley's Top Ten Planning Questions

Becky Bradley heads LVPC
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Becky Bradley has been on the job for nearly a year. On June 19, she provided Northampton County with an informative presentation about recent subdivision and building activity. But she also came armed with her top ten list of questions most frequently posed to planners.

1. Is the Lehigh Valley Really Growing? - Yes, at the rate of about one per cent each year. By 2040, there will be 873,000 people in the Lehigh Valley.

2. How old are we? - Pretty old. The largest segment of the population consists of people age 65 or older. But the next largest group, interestingly, is those under 20.

3. Are we diverse? - We're getting there. White people still make up 82% of the population. The next largest ethnic group is the Hispanic community.

4. Where are people working? - The jobs are in the health care and social assistance sectors. That makes sense because the two largest population groups are the very old and very young.

5. Do we have a lot of commuters? - Yes. According to Bradley, 186,499 people live and work in the Lehigh Valley. But another 103,667 leave every day for jobs outside the area. The Lehigh Valley does attract 88,764 nonresidents who work here.

6. Who is moving here? - The population comes mainly from New Jersey (6,812), with New York City a distant second (4,318).

7. Do families still live together? - Only 68% of the households in the Lehigh Valley are family households.

8. Has building stopped? - Yes. Between 2005 and 2011, there has been a 78% drop in building permits being issued for all types of construction.

9. How about new construction? - That's even worse. There has been an 86% decrease in new construction between 2008 and 2012.

10. Are new homes bigger? - Yes. new homes are double the size they were in 1960, and fewer people live in them.


Anonymous said...

A bit OT, but Becky appeared later in the day at the Nature Nuture Center in Easton, to help facilitate a Climate and Energy planning workshop put on by the LVPC. She's one busy woman. She and her team did a great job, as they always do.

Anonymous said...

Also off topic, compare Becky's radiant healthy smile with others you've recently seen. This is one grounded woman, worthy of news. Not something completely different. Thanks for posting this Bernie - Becky always is a fountain of facts.

Anonymous said...

Bradley is doing an excellent job at LVPC. She is a real asset to our region.

Anonymous said...

From what I've observed Ms. Bradley seems like a breath of fresh air with some new ideology for the LVPC. My hopes for her administration are as follows:

1. Move LVPC out of the dreadful office park abyss to a more visible urban location in West Bethlehem or South Side Bethlehem. In an urban setting, LVPC board members and staff could then advocate for alternative transportation and urban revitalization with more credibility.

2. I'd like to see LVPC begin to more aggressively advocate for smarter development, through publicity efforts and coordination of regional plans between suburban townships that don't want growth and adjacent cities and boroughs that do want growth.

In summary, I think Ms. Bradley may be the right person to change the culture of the LVPC and maybe the organization can be a force for the continued positive changes in the Lehigh Valley's urban core.

Anonymous said...

8:31 -

LVPC should remain an ADVISORY organization, not an ADVOCACY group. There is a difference.

We don't need another politically-motivated group in the Valley.

c said...

Good comments 8:31, agree 100%

Anonymous said...

"LVPC should remain an ADVISORY organization, not an ADVOCACY group. There is a difference."

I agree the organization is advisory. I think the board members and especially the planning staff should advocate for smarter land use decisions that will strenghten the regions urban core. It's one of a professional planners most important responsibilities. I think the timing is right in this region and the LVPC board has indicated a desire to move in this direction by hiring Ms. Bradley.

Who will advocate for these positions if not planners? Doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants etc? Of course not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree it should remain an advisory board, and it is where it is bc the rent is right. It is in some instances a planning comm'n for local municipalities is, and should stay away from the agendas of the urbanistas and continue doing its excellent work, which has a great deal of credibility.

Anonymous said...

Is this a family lovefest?

Anonymous said...

"Is this a family lovefest?"

It is people telling it as they see it. The LVPC does a very good job, IMO, of adhering to its advisory role. In only a few areas, it does have review authority, not advise. For example, storm water management.

Anonymous said...

Time to commit to widening the heaviest traveled section of Route 22. How many fatalities must we have? Route 202 from King of Prussia to Exton was widen for 75,000 vehicles per day. Route 22 carries upwards as much as 95k+ vehicles per day. Now we will have arena events at peak travel hours and Fed Ex Ground hub, as proposed, will add 20k more trucks to that highway.

A congested Route 22 in the heart of the valley only encourages more greenfield development.

Anonymous said...

Other than providing some useful data, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is not relevant. Too many local municipalities empowered to do their own thing, which is good. I think we are all seeing on the national level when centralized government is left unchecked. In all, the Lehigh Valley has done well with all its local forms of government. The area is attractive hence all the people wanting to be here. Taxes cant be that bad too if people are moving here from other areas. Small local government works and this area is actually a MODEL of good localized government and should be embraced and showcased!! It is getting tiring to hear "regionalism, regionalism.."

Anonymous said...

This is Development 101, prop up the area to be something it is not and than concocked paperwork verifing these fictisious facts? Than inn turn have the people flocking here for minimum wage jobs? Than realestate agents, floppers of ReBuildable Blight,and last but far not least Bankers? They all get together and create fictisious paperwork that says said buyers are qualified hence exactly what got America into the Unexplainable Mess we are in now?

This is not to mention the maintenance and upkeep of unknowledgeable buyers with paintbrush in hand? There is certian mechaniks that responsibilities are allways negated on home buyers contracts? Looks good to me but I am not lieable?????

patent pending