Friday, September 30, 2011
Facelift Planned For South Bethlehem's Eastern Gateway
About 5,000 City residents live in this area, and a survey of them reflect "a lot of concern about the conditions of the sidewalks," states Larmer. She and Heller are proposing a "lighter, quicker and cheaper" approach to improvements in that area, amounting to $100,00 per year over the next ten years.
These projects include planters with seasonal plantings on 4th St; wildflowers on sloped areas; encouraging local food vendors outside the Sands, Slateplaza and Gateway area; benches at the Skateplaza; trees at the Sands and Skateplaza entrance; murals on vacant facades; a sheltered bus stop; and more signage in appropriate areas.
Small businesses, especially restaurants with outdoor dining, will be encouraged in the area, as well as affordable housing. There was even discussion of housing that would appeal to the 74% Hispanic population in that area, including courtyards and larger bedrooms. Heller stated that, over time, these improvements will "serve the neighborhood," making it a safer to walk and more pleasant to live.
Because Route 412 is a state highway, City officials will meet with PennDOT to discuss pedestrian improvements.