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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mike Molovinsky Wary About LANTA Improvements

After months of ignoring Allentown's suffering Hamilton Street merchants, mass transit provider LANTA finally responded on November 16, with a circulator bus that runs from its new transportation station and along Hamilton Street. Earlier this week, it also announced plans for additional stops on 7th & 8th Streets, close to their intersection with Hamilton Street. I don't know whether this will reunite Hamilton Street merchants with their customer base, but it certainly can't hurt.

Lanta is now being criticized for pandering to the "scumbag lobby." Some don't like seeing "minority areas" or what they call Hooker Central. But it's OK to run a Silverline Express, every half hour, to Victoria's Secret at the LV Mall.

I'm part of that scumbag lobby. State Senator Pat Browne, whose office is located among these mostly minority merchants, has advocated for them, too. But the chief scumbag, by far, is Michael Molovinsky. He believes the only answer that works is the restoration of a transfer station. Here's what he has to say.

You may have read my recent post concerning Lanta on Molovinsky on Allentown. Unless Lanta includes new stops to Allentown's east side, the predicament merchants face will have little improvement. Today a Lanta representative told me this latest change is the extent of their concessions to the merchants. They will not consider restoring even one transfer stop back near Hamilton Street or restoring stops going to Hanover Ave.

This is ironic. Lanta's new Transfer Station was created to help finance a new parking deck for the parking authority. But that authority was created to facilitate shopping in Allentown.

Lanta, Allentown Parking Authority and the City of Allentown are more interested in their agenda to "Move Allentown Forward" and the success of the new parking deck, than they are in the success of this "set of merchants." Unless Lanta is willing to make the necessary concessions to insure that the merchants survive, the Allentown Transfer Station must close. I ask all people from all communities who are fed up to again join me at the
Lanta Board Meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 12 noon, 1060 Lehigh St. Allentown.

Mike must know that no one will support closing the Allentown Transfer Station. He'll lose a few scumbags if he insists on that approach. As for me, I'm delighted LANTA has responded at all. It's making a genuine effort to help downtown shop owners. Mike may be right about a transfer station, but it's a tad premature to condemn routing changes before they even occur.

I'll be talking to Hamilton Street merchants this weekend. They know.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice job Mike; it's a shame we didn't make your Mayor of Allentown.

Maybe the people will be more guarded
of the Press next time around when new candidates run against the machine of two parties that try to protect corporate interest against the peoples interest - we the People.

No more American on American Crime against the Middle Class.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, it's difficult it appear ungrateful, especially after lanta made concessions, but realize their first one, the circulator bus, only attracted 12 riders a day. what many people do not realize is that lanta has a " transfer station" for the lehigh valley mall. five routes, D-L-K-H-1 all merge there. the predictable starvation of the hamilton merchants started in september, should i wait until the end of february to inform lanta their gestures were inadequate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mike,

You're probably absolutely right. And if it were not for your advocacy, nothing would have happened at all. But right now, and especially right after LANTA has made some big changes, I don't think it's wise to argue with them. We're almost forced to let the situation play out.

Anonymous said...

You guys should be more honest about the Lanta transfer station and the parking deck. It was made possible only through the Morning Call's offering THEIR property for the complex in exchange for a large majority of the spots being used for its employees. I really don't think the bus company built its transfer station as a back-door way to add parking in downtown Allentown. How does that make sense? As to the wise ass cracks (no pun intended) about running buses to Victoria Secret in the LV Mall, the vast majority of people taking the bus from downtown allentown to the mall are doing so to WORK at the mall, not shop there.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10;20, you are correct, but the parking authority led the deck project cooperating with the morning call. lanta was only induced in afterwards to harvest a state transportation grant to help finance the deck. how ironic that the merchants lost their customer base to built an unnecessary, underused deck. everyday, even with the morning call workers, there are hundreds and hundreds of empty spaces. how ironic the riders must sit there, still outside,but separated from their affordable shopping venue.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As to the wise ass cracks (no pun intended) about running buses to Victoria Secret in the LV Mall, the vast majority of people taking the bus from downtown allentown to the mall are doing so to WORK at the mall, not shop there.

I honestly didn't think of that, and you may be right. I don't visit the mall very often. Most of the people I see getting off the bus there (when I'm there) are what appear like customers to me. I'd like to see the statistics on that. Also, the Silverline leaves every half houtr for the mall. That seems like an accomodation to customers, nit employees.

[The station] was made possible only through the Morning Call's offering THEIR property for the complex in exchange for a large majority of the spots being used for its employees.

Actually, the MC was pid for that land, and rather well. A Lanta station made all kinds of funding available.

michael molovinsky said...

there is a "transfer stop" at the lehigh valley mall, 5 routes meet there; D,L,K, H,1. three at whitehall mall;D,L,K. however, there a few other cities in the United States, not many, where the transit station was built away from the central shopping district. I suppose the brew pub, Johnny Tomorrows, etc. are not dependent upon bus people........

Anonymous said...

To work at The Morning Call you have to pay $5 a week to work there; otherwise, your parking on the street.

For many of us, that's a weeks pay by the end of the year.

a non bus rider said...

i have been watching this transfer station on sixth street.it seems to be working well. people get of at one platform shuffle to the next ,and are on their way. it is wel lit ie safe and quite wide . i also have been watching foot traffic on hamilton st. while the numbers are down the quality of the foot traffic seems to up.
If this means gentrication, hoo-ray. allentown might be on an upward tick ,finally. i have long said there are too many junk stores on hamilton street. if it is going to change it needs to start there. if these shop owners are intelligent they will move to where their customers are. there seems to be many vacant store fronts in the 100 block of seventh st and the zero hundred block of sixth st

Bernie O'Hare said...

i have long said there are too many junk stores on hamilton street.

What a smug little elitist you are! You think things look ok from the vantage point of your SUV? And who died and made you the King off Allentown. Last time I checked, those businesses had just as much rights as the publicly funded ABWs.

michael molovinsky said...

dear non-rider, i have been surveying the bus riders, the vast majority preferred the stops on/by hamilton st. because of the stores. most of the merchants own their buildings, only with lanta would the merchants have to move to catch the bus traffic.

a non bus rider said...

i find it hard to believe a woman that has to hock her jewelry, to pay the light bill, owns her building. the last time i was in the house of chen it reminded me of a bad hawaii 5-0 episode with a seedy bar crowd in the middle of the day. food was good though.
the reason these people want to the bus stop back is so they don't have to walk. if they were loyal clientele they would be back shopping at these emporiums ,for the stores carry such wonder lines of merchandise.
and bernie if living the american dream makes me an smug elitest, i have earned that right.i could not afford to shop on hamilton street, in its heyday !now there is nothing i would buy on that street. can't you see the forest thru the trees. the mayor and his boys are trying to clean up the mess that hamilton street has become ,perception is everything.
a question for MM how many buildings do you own on hamilton street. is there a hidden agenda behind your leadership? i have not heard this Q asked ......just wondering

michael molovinsky said...

dear non-rider, i own no buildings on hamilton street, must i have a financial motive because i resent bureaucrats removing the bus lines off the shopping street? why should the shoppers have to walk three blocks for public transportation. many of the merchants do own their buildings. if "cleaning up" hamilton mall is their "hidden" agenda, (which i don't doubt) why doesn't he say as much!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Non Bus Rider,

Molovinsky owns nothing between the 700 and 1000 blocks of Hamilton Street, the affected areas. In fact, so far as I know, he owns nothing at all on Hamilton St.

In addition to questioning MM's ethics, you also suggest Bibi Hazra is pulling a fast one by claiming she had to cash in her jewelry. Do you think the lay-offs are made up, too? Or the cancellation of health insurance?

Maybe if you got your lazy ass out of your SUV and talked to a few of these merchants, you'd find out how full of shot you really are.

But you're one of those arrogant elitists who never let facts get in the way of your myopic opinions.

When I hear from people like you, it makes me realize just how right MM has been.

A non bus rider said...

bernie bernie you know nothing about me. i have worked in downtown allentown for over 35 years. i know the first names of the cops that patrol on bicycles .i have witnessed the decline of hamilton street first hand, not from nazareth. i do not go downtown after dark! and will not until they clean up the mess. i grew up on the streets of center city, rode the bus, to watch some of max hess's stunts. some greedy landlords (with no money comming in) have let the store fronts to businesses that take advantage of lower income ,hard working people. as for MM i may have him confused with someone. i stand corrected.
I wish i was myopic .but i can't beleive my eyes when i see what the once great hamilton street has become.
i am not alone .talk to the penndot workers who were forced to move downtown. they are scared to death. a move that was meant to bring more people to downtown has backfired.
finally i do not think i saw crocodile tears on bibi, just questioning ownership of buildings.
by the way it would be helpful to note who owns their own store front and who rents. AND who and the landlords.

michael molovinsky said...

non-rider, i know most of the merchants own their own buildings and have for many years. the county website has that information, you need only the address. i have no problem with hamilton street becoming more upscale in an honest way. i suppose if brooks bothers comes along and offers them enough they would sell, but don't take the buses away and cheat them of their customer base just because you have that power. would they have dared removed the buses when max hess, harvey farr and john leh had their stores open in the better times?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Non Bus rider,

i have witnessed the decline of hamilton street first hand, not from nazareth.

That may be, but you also state you now avoid downtown Hamilton Street stores. I don't and therefore probably have more knowledge of what is going on down there than you do behind the wheel of your SUV.

some greedy landlords (with no money comming in) have let the store fronts to businesses that take advantage of lower income

This is a bullshit statement. Name the merchants, other than a few pawn shops, that are taking advantage of low income residents. That's just another ignorant statement.

finally i do not think i saw crocodile tears on bibi

Then you should not have made that ignorant statement.