Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bethlehem Tp Comm'rs Want Sidewalks in Business Park

We-Store Warehouse Planned at Emrick Blvd
Is it time to start requiring business owners to start installing sidewalks in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park? That's the recommendation of Bethlehem Township's Planning Commission. That was the question mulled by Commissioners at their September 3 meeting. Manager Howard Kutzler advised them that pedestrians are out there at lunch every day, and the lack of sidewalks at about nine properties.

All had been granted "deferrals", under which the Township temporarily waived sidewalk requirements that would otherwise apply. But now that the industrial park along Emrick Boulevard is filling up, President Paul Weiss feels they are necessary. "I think it's time we get them in", agreed Commissioner Michael Hudak.

Instead of taking immediate action, Commissioners opted to notify the property owners affected and get their input. They also directed Manager Howard Kutzler to determine precisely what is involved, how much it will cost, and what the Township will have to do in the way of crosswalks along intersections.

Commissioners also approved a conditional preliminary plan for a "We-Store" storage facility on Emrick Boulevard, proposed by developer Abe Atiyeh. Two buildings, each 3-stories high, will be dedicated storage. Unlike self-storage, items will be picked up by facility managers.

Atiyeh engineer David Harte had previously stated the storage facility could be operational this year.

He promised there will be no rehab.

Commissioners declined to grant a sidewalk deferral.

Finally, for the sixth time, a Chetwin Terrace resident complained to Commissioners about stormwaters coming from William Penn Highway, across the bike path and flooding onto adjoining properties. Roy Roth, who met with Township officials last month, reported that three more properties flooded after recent rains. He added that at a pocket park next to the bike path, children had trouble walking through storm waters to get to the pavilion.

"We're gonna' have to do something," said Roth. "I know it's gonna' take money. That's a given."

Township officials are working on a plan to address the stormwater runoff, but Roth wants a timetable.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to Township officials for requiring property owners to move forward with sidewalk installation. With all the business offices, the Hospital, the nearby Township Park, the new County Human Services building and Madison Farms developement coming it is important that the undeveloped lots are completed. The pedestrian traffic in the area is already quite heavy. It is important to follow through with making the area pedestrian friendly and safe.

Anonymous said...

true, but then you stroll down easton ave or freemansburg ave along the shoulder of the roadway... roads that have twice the speed limit. In fact, look at the township's own municipal building. The frontage on easton ave has no sidewalk either.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Do more than 7 people a work week walk on the grass . Why the expense ?

Anonymous said...

The Township municipal building does have sidewalk. I walk on it! Check your facts 7:13. Good grief.