Friday, October 21, 2011

"Public" Meeting About Bike Lanes Canceled - People Might Come

Late Thursday night, thanks to Allentown's Scott Armstrong, I alerted you about Allentown's plans for a public meeting about bike lanes on Linden and Turner Streets. Unlike the hockey rink, this set of meetings would actually take place before anything happened.

Well, the meeting's off. This morning, at 9:47, Allentown Parts Director Greg Weitzel shot out an email to cycling enthusiasts like Lee Butz, informing them the meeting was canceled. Weitzel states, "We have decided to postpone the public meeting scheduled for next week to allow the engineers for both the new arena and the bicycle and pedestrian improvements more time to analyze the potential impacts." Translated, that means, "Holy shit, guys! The jig is up! We can't have a meeting now because people might come."

31 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

this is a component of the Trail Network Plan, which held it's previous meeting on Jan. 13. 2010. The intercity bike paths and their demarcations were intended to connect the urban area with the park system, and is phase 1 of the plan. in reality, that connection was made in 1936, with the WPA steps from Union/Junction Street down to Martin Luther Drive, and a second set of steps from Union to Spring Garden Street. While we pay the consultant to make these plans, the irreplaceable steps are deteriorating. I suspect the intercity portion of bike paths will now cause conflict with arena traffic patterns. allentown doesn't need to lose parking spaces from phase 1, or more macadam paths for the bike clubs in phase 2. what we need is to maintain our existing parks, especially the WPA structures.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

It seems to me the city failed to meet any standard of notification with this plan, in other words it was business as usual and they were trying to stealth it through. When we created the historic district in this neighborhood we were held to different stand. We had to go door to door and hold advertised public meetings to explain the plan and the implications, in other words everyone had to know before we could proceed. The process was so extended that by the end only my wifes presence prevented me and Mike from trying to take each other out in council chambers.

Scott Armstrong

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

The city will try to claim that there was already public input on this at the January 2010 meeting that Molovinsky mentions.

What they actually did is take a meeting on a benignly-labeled plan (trail network plan) and pack the meeting with those (bike clubs) likely to support what the real purpose was (bike lanes).

The delay might be arena related, or an attempt to buy time while City Hall tries to further co-opt the West Park group into once again supporting another outlandish plan by the Mayor.

michael molovinsky said...

as a student of this from day one, let me put forth my theory. from the meeting and plans presented in the 2010 meeting, although the city bike paths were phase 1, they were the small potatoes. the city portion did contain much signage which is really big on weitzel's priorities. when this phase 1 was created, pawlowski's arena was still foreseen for the riverfront. now those very proposed city bike routes conflict with the traffic flow plans for the arena in center city. the nonsense city bike paths will be changed to streets not involved in the arena traffic flow. the whole trail network plan, including city and park paths, steals needed funds from the existing park system. say no to spandex.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Does that special tax program Browne introduced include Front Street by
American on Wheels?

Anonymous said...

Bernie
What you may wish to investigate is somewhere hidden has to be a plan to move the Soldier's Monument. If you can uncover that! Say Pulitzer.

Anonymous said...

"What they actually did is take a meeting on a benignly-labeled plan (trail network plan) and pack the meeting with those (bike clubs) likely to support what the real purpose was (bike lanes).:"

Not only that, didn't the bike club bring the desserts? Totally inappropriate bias for what was billed an independent study.

Anonymous said...

"What they actually did is take a meeting on a benignly-labeled plan (trail network plan) and pack the meeting with those (bike clubs) likely to support what the real purpose was (bike lanes).:"

Not only that, didn't the bike club bring the desserts? Totally inappropriate bias for what was billed an independent study.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Realize you tend to like Bethlehem news but please take some time to investigate the funding of Allentown's arena project, including whether public forums under state law ae required prior to such a project being adopted.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Tragically, Allentown continues to ignore its true current crisis and focuses on pathways. This took place directly across the street from the city's main library.


By Kevin Amerman, Of The Morning Call 12:13 p.m. EDT, October 22, 2011 A 19-year-old man was shot dead early Saturday morning in the Sunoco A-Plus mini-market parking lot on 12th and Hamilton streets in Allentown, according to authorities.

Anonymous said...

It's not only people who will come but cars with people will drive on the blacktop and who's gonna stop them?

Anonymous said...

How and who will pay for this?

Anonymous said...

Pathways or Murder in the Street!! Look what gets the most coverage... Pathways. Allentown is in serious, serious denial. Until it can stop the crime, and I mean real crime, all dollars need to go to law enforcement. Whatever it takes. Whatever tactics that can be employed must be utilized to stop what is currently happening in Allentown. The crime has effectively moved in to Whitehall too. Look at the random shooting of that young woman near SHADT Avenue. Where is Ed Hozza, the Mayor of Whitehall?? Allentown is a huge cancer that needs to, at least, be put into remission. The only way is through stong chemotherapy ala law enforcement. Whitehall now needs to do what it needs to stop the spread. Oh... this was a Pathways blog. My bad for digressing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The problem covering A-town is that I don't live there and there's a lot going on where I do live right now. I will do my best to focus once the election is over. Molovinsky has been doing an excellent job pointing out what is going on, and has had numerous blogs on point. I agree that more coverage is even better, but it seems that the MC is little more than a Pawlowski cheerleader, maybe bc it stands to profit from the venture.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What bike club was at the previous meeting? I know some cyclists in the Lehigh Wheelmen, who have legs like oak trees. I can't imagine any od them would be that thrilled about a bike lane on a City road. If you talk to CAT's Steve Schmitt, who I detest, he will tell you he got them out of Bethlehem years ago bc they are UNSafe. I understand there are two schools of thought on this issue, but most cyclists I know would prefer to be treated like a car when they ride on roads. It's actually safer for everyone.

I'm no expert, by any means. But I can tell you that I always feel safer on a road. It is engineered better than a trail. There are no blind spots. It is better maintained. I can pull over if I'm on a hill and slowing people down.

And I pull over a lot.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would like to see Lehigh County take that one-time $4.5M tax credit that has been proposed and put it to better use by installing high resolution video equipment along major corridors, bridges, and neighborhoods where there is high potential for crime. Many times there are descriptions of vehicles involved in crimes but not plate numbers. I have to think with the right equipment, they could establish plate numbers and track these degenerates down more frequently. Seems like such an investment would have longer term benefits than a one time $37 tax credit.

Did the video equipment in Allentown help solve any crimes?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, The Morning Call is in the area dessignated as the neighborhood improvement zone, same as arena,and at some future date could benifit the same as others in the zone if they chose. How some of he properties that where chosen to be in the 130 acre n.i.z., and not other properties, could be part of your investigation after the election. Maybe you and M.M. could work toghter on this and other arena stories that could have the Allentown Taxpayers asking who is providing oversight on this 130 acre project.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, The Morning Call is in the area dessignated as the neighborhood improvement zone, same as arena,and at some future date could benifit the same as others in the zone if they chose. How some of he properties that where chosen to be in the 130 acre n.i.z., and not other properties, could be part of your investigation after the election. Maybe you and M.M. could work toghter on this and other arena stories that could have the Allentown Taxpayers asking who is providing oversight on this 130 acre project.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Someone already sadly mentioned the recent death of yet another young Allentown resident. This time the shooting was less than two blocks from the city's new police department. Imagine not being worried about shooting someone when an officer could have been feet away? What does this say?

Anonymous said...

"the MC is little more than a Pawlowski cheerleader, maybe bc it stands to profit from the venture."

Absolutely true. There are city meetings the Call doesn't bother to send a reporter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Is it true the casino plans to build its own arena?

Anonymous said...

Bernie
It would be great if you and MM partnered on an Allentown-based expose. Get a p.o.box.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, the intercity bike paths, although phase 1, are just a small component of the Trail Network Plan, which inter-connects all parks with additional macadam pathways for the benefit of the biker clubs. Sadly, City Council already approved this plan, knowing as little about it as the general public. here is a link to the bike blog which in addition to packing this meeting, also encouraged members to attend the city council meeting.

Anonymous said...

One group that should be out front protesting these paved bike paths is the female running community. Who's more vulnerable to violence? Why aren't these running groups at city hall protesting this project? If the city can't protect residents a block or two from the police station, how ever will they protect female runners in a 1,000 acre park?

Anonymous said...

"the Trail Network Plan, which inter-connects all parks with additional macadam pathways for the benefit of the biker clubs."

Aren't the New York protestors complaining about a 1% population? Aren't Allentown bikers about 1% of the population and yet the entire city is forced to endure paved bike paths and possible danger to please this strong lobby.

Anonymous said...

Won't it be something if future O'Hare-Molovinsky undercover news reporting reveals large tax incentives for the Call as a result of Browne and Mann's recent partnership?

Anonymous said...

Anon 902. Maybe we should look and see how the Cities spend their gaming proceeds? Maybe it is time reassess the gaming money distribution and set some guidelines on how this money is spent?

The Sands hold exclusivity on Gaming and now they want to venture into retail and entertainment. What happens to venues like Symphony Hall and the State Theater?

Maybe we need to get rid of the Gaming Legislation all together and institute a Local Share model similar to the one Corbett is proposing for Marcellus Shale. 75% stays local and ONLY 25% goes to the state. (Doesn’t that give you a different perspective on Corbett impact fee?). The state would crumble without gaming revenues.
However, with a greater local share of gaming proceeds could be dedicated to public safety infrastructure and economic development across the two Counties. Imagine the business we could lure with tax neutral incentives used with gaming proceeds.

Anonymous said...

Before we invest dollars on bike lanes to enhance quality of life, can we finally get a freaking fence on the Eighth Street bridge?

I am not against bike lanes. I just think we need to better priortize our investment at time when their are limited funds.

Brian said...

For what it is worth - I am an avid cyclist, a lifelong Allentonian, have been known to wear spandex, am a League Ceritified Cycling Instructor and a member of the so-called COC "Committee". That being said - I could not be more AGAINST bike lanes - especially where they are being proposed. This is a feeling shared by most of the cyclists I know. I have a difficult time figuring out how someone that lives in the West End and has ten cars pass their house on a busy day tell those that live in the areas of the proposed bike lanes that not only will this "minimally" effect the traffic in their neighborhoods but that it will also improve their lives. As I was riding east on Turner Street towards Bethlehem on Friday afternoon I pulled over to let a firetruck pass. My first thought was what happens when there is only one lane of traffic? You cannot tell me that this will not increase response times for emergencies. Quite frankly I feel more vulnerable in a bike lane than I do riding in traffic and I guarantee that bike lanes will increase collisions between motorists and cyclists as well as cyclists and pedestrians (this has been documented time and again with the installation of dedicated bike lanes). I find it absurd to spend money to further disenfranchise those that live in center city Allentown - or any part of Allentown for that matter. Last but not least - the bike "club" everyone is referring to - which I was one of the founding members of - no longer exists due to philosphical differences - namely bike lanes. So don't hate me because I wear spandex - I am on your side.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brain, I really appreciate your perspective, and now know I am not nuts. My understanding was that many cyclist don't really like bike lanes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wear spandex, too. Very large spandex.