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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reminder: RenewLV's Transportation Forum Tonight

Tonight, at 6:30 PM, I'll be watching balls and strikes as Fountain Hill Little Leaguers take on Northwest Bethlehem's Braves. But after the game, I'll drop in on what's left of RenewLV's Regional Transportation Forum.

It's at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem (437 Main Street, Bethlehem), and following a 5:30 PM informal reception, the show starts at 6:30 PM.

Results of a regional passenger rail study, funded with $150,000 from Lehigh and Northampton County taxpayers and another $100,000 from the taxpayer-supported LVEDC, will be officially released. Many of you have condemned spending a dime on this study. There are comments like this: "Will someone just pull the plug on this billion dollar Lehigh Valley potential boondoggle? Please?" Or this. "I think several more expensive studies are necessary. Yes. That's it."

Some of you make the case for widening Route 22 first. But in the next 50 years, when we're driving on Empty, rail might seem like a good idea. And as explained by a friend, the effect of this study is to move the Lehigh Valley ahead of many other regions in the competition for precious federal funding. I would not have invested a dime in it during a recisssion, but understand the rationale of those who thought this was worthwhile.

Armand Greco, executive director at LANTA bus, is one of the featured speakers and the dark horse tonight. He's already made presentations to both Northampton ad Lehigh County, suggesting he'd like to expand in a very big way over the next few years. Of course, this will require much larger local subsidies, starting in about three years.

More details are located here.
Monday night Update (9:14PM): Ehen I told you that real estate tax dollars funded this rail study, I was only partially correct. No Lehigh County real estate tax dollars were used. I will expalin my error more fully in a separate post.


Ty Webb said...

Widening of Rte. 22 should have occured no less than 20 yrs. ago, but (as usual) our area has zero zilch nada clout in Harrisburg. Added to injury, are the assinine statements coming out of PennDOT, including that the public would be disadvantaged by seeing plans in the preliminary stages.

Anonymous said...

Passenger rail service to Allentown from NYC is not going to solve the traffic congestion on rt 22. NJT has done studies and those studies suggest that less than 5% of drivers on Rt. 22 eventually go to NYC. Most drivers are headed to job locations in Somerset and Hunterdon county=areas that are not served by rail. AS much as I want to see rail service, rt 22 widening deserves priority to at least reduce traffic congestion around 145.

Anonymous said...

Since when is there a traffic problem on Route 22? I must miss that every day.

Sure the highway needs a bit of modernization around the 145/Fullerton Ave area but that's it.

Major infrastructure improvements in the valley should be aimed at serving our future needs, not the perceived needs of the past.

Sixty years ago there was absolutely no "need" for Route 22 but we built it anyway. Today there is a growing need to connect our cities to the BosWash corridor. It may seem minimal now but as grow occurs along the rail line it will be hard to imagine life without it.

Anonymous said...

for those of us who live in reality, the bos wash corridor can be reached by driving your automobile to Philadelphia-if you are not delayed by the traffic congestion on Route 22. For those who are living elsewhere, we are well located halfway on the Jupiter highway to the planet, Vulcan. the bos wash corridor Bwaaaaaaaaah!

Anonymous said...

Route 22 redesign at Rte 145 and Fullerton interchange is substandard and do not meet ASHTO standards.

I would like to see the same investement be given to this section of Route 22 as was given to
Route 22 collector road to service Bethlehem (did you know renew is based in bethlehem).

Capacity will increase on Rte 22 whether the highway is widened or not. Fatalities and near daily accidents will also increase.

People rely upon Rte 22 to get to valuable jobs. It is about SUSTAINING ones family income. It is about LIVABLILTY.

Lets focus on the Transportation Crisis here in the LV.....Route 22.

Anonymous said...

pardon the grammer.

Anonymous said...

pardon the spelling too.

Anonymous said...

Sorry buddy, but some of us recognize the largest economic hub on plant is right in our backyard.

NY and the Boswash corridor may seem like the planet Valcon from your New Tripoli double wide but I think it is in the best interest of the rest of us to consider such things. The world doesn't revolve around your pick-up sir.

Anonymous said...

Sorry buddy, but some of us do recognize the largest economic hub in the world is right in our back yard.

NY / BosWash may seem like the planet Valcon from your New Tripoli double wide but I think considering such things does serve the interests of the rest of us. The world does not revolve around the cab of your pick-up my friend.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I don't need to write anything twice to get my point across.

Let's see. The only train serving the entire Bos/Wash corridor is AmTrak. To illustrate my point why the corridor and its exclusive passenger service are a joke, I undertook the following exercise. I called two trains and AmTrak and asked the time of day.

Union Pacific stated it was 1:50, Monday.

Norfolk Southern stated that the big hand was on the 10 and the little hand was between the 1 and 2 and that it was Monday.

Amtrak did not have the time. They did say that today was Tuesday!

I think that we will be driving for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

People love cars and are not going to give them up. Washington owns a couple of car companies and should have no future interest in competitive modes of transportation.

As a citizen-owner of General Motors, I know more trains will have a negative effect on my/our car company and should not be supported with any more public dollars.

A choice was made in Washington. Trains lost. Got to go. President Obama is here to change my oil and perform some warranty work on my Suburban. I love this country. Happy motoring!

Anonymous said...

People are going to give up their cars when the price of gas goes up.

We have our heads in the sand if we do not "make other arrangements" for when oil gets more scarce.

The Lehigh Valley needs passenger rail to make the cities and boroughs more attractive places to invest.

Kudos to LVEDC and RenewLV for their leadership and vision.

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