Monday, July 23, 2018

What People Like Least about the Lehigh Valley

What do you like least about the Lehigh Valley? The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) conducted a survey in March and April, receiving over 1,000 responses. Here's what we like least:

1) Truck Traffic takes the lead at 66%. - That's why it makes no sense that planners are "scrambling" to find more parking for trucks. They do not work for the transportation industry. They work for the people, and should be less, not more, hospitable. That's why all P3 bridges, even along a state-designated scenic byway in Lower Mount Bethel, had to be two lanes. That's why roads keep getting wider and wider. Local governments could take much more forceful action, at least along their own roads.

2) Traffic congestion is second at 65%. - At rush hour, it now takes me about an hour on average to get from Easton to Allentown. Widening these highways is just leading to more congestion, so I'd call this planning a complete failure. One of the answers, believe it or not, is to lower the speed limits along portions of 78 and 22, as is done along the M25 motorway in London. At lower speeds, cars can travel closer together and this increases capacity. There are numerous other options, like car-pooling, but people are not ready for it.

3) Warehouses are third at 56%. - I don't really care whether it is called a fulfillment center, it's still a warehouse. They are fine in south Bethlehem, where they are located very close to 78. They are fine at Chrin, where they are close to 33.They are a disaster in Allen and East Allen Tp. The answer is very aggressive use of something known as an impact fee. In approving a warehouse plan, an impact fee is assessed and paid, but there is no monitoring down the road to ensure that the impact has not exceeded the plan. That needs to happen Zoning in all municipalities needs to change so that these are only allowed close to an interstate.

Other complaints are 4) loss of farmland and natural lands (53%); 5) lack of alternative transportation (48%); 6) population growth (37%); and 7) loss of historic architecture (28%).

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah that is all great and such but that isn't the only thing. Did anyone bother to talk about the cost to rent in the Valley? It is crazy, the rents are crazy high. All the new apartments continue to jack up rents. Who the Hell can afford those things. Not young people!

Anonymous said...

Of course rents are high. The Valley is a desirable area to live, relatively close to Philly and NYC, and has a fairly large population of college students.

Anonymous said...

Rents of 1200 pious a month is crazy. How does a college student afford that. Most jobs for young people in the Valley are crap pay jobs. It is very sad.

Anonymous said...

The rent is too damn high

Anonymous said...

Route 22 Section between Cedar Crest and Airport Road needs to be widened as traffic volumes jump 20k vehicles per day in tbat area. It is a mixing bowl of peole trying to vet to their jobs. Tbis is the urban core. So tired of the brookings folks wbo blame roads for sprawl and not developers. The MacArthur Road interchange should have been built like the overpasses east of Airport Road. An epic fail that was a temporary band aid for Route 22 but is obsolete/underfit for widening. Adding more points of conflict on MacArthur Road is not a sokution. Dpare no expense to fix this blunder. The America Parway Bridge, albiet a grest enhancement, was never a solution for Route 22.

Anonymous said...

Blame the bullshit twps. They all wanted these things for their tax base. They brag to their residents how they hold the line on property taxes. Problem is they do it by selling out to big developers and warehouses. They have been doing it for years. It makes them get re-elected now and screws over future generations and the quality of life.

Hanover and Bethlehem townships, two of BO's loved places are the worst offenders.

Anonymous said...

Lower Mooch Township need to carry its wo water and PA dor its own police protection. Tell.Republican legislators to spend less energy on their their conceal carry seminars and pass mesnigful legislation.

Anonymous said...

I live on Hanoverville road and I will be the first to tell You this warehousing SUCKS!!!!! Someone will get killed on this road and then Maybe they will realize...they put traffic lights up and the only people who stop at them are the people who live here I watched 9 tractor trailers just ignore the new lights and hpw about the no trucks road and the 10 ton bridge below dutch springs they just ignore all that too...and when You call the police they just tell YOu they cant be everywhere....hell everywhere try being somewhere like over here on hanoverville road..maybe our taxes would go down if You knuckleheads would be over here watching these trucks do whatever thet=y want!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it true , that the lv planning commission is a private group who mostly engage in rezoning their and their friends properties from farmland to industrial to make huge profits?. What do you expect them to do. Warehouses are going up everywhere not just the LV, We have the highest gas tax in the country and they cant keep up with roads they have now, let alone build new ones, It took 15 years to build rt 100 bypass. There needs to be a rethought on how roads are planned and built, but unlikely as everyone wants to suck all the money off without getting much done.

Anonymous said...

"Is it true , that the lv planning commission is a private group who mostly engage in rezoning their and their friends properties from farmland to industrial to make huge profits?."

No its false, they are a public agency serving as the Planning Commission for Lehigh and Northampton Counties. They do not rezone, that is a function of the local Townships, Boroughs and Cities. I can assure you they do not prosper making favorable deals, I think you are mixing them up with outfits like the Jaindl Land Company.

Anonymous said...

#4 Your Blog

Anonymous said...

Great survey and I agree with the results. My pet peeve about the Lehigh County in particular are the segregated public school systems that cause the white middle class to flee to Salisbury, Whitehall, Parkland, East Penn etc. One need only to look to Bethlehem for the benefits of a regional school district that includes the City and some suburban townships.

I think this problem hurts the City of Allentown as much as any other problem they have. I would favor using impact fees on rental units in the City to augment funding and provide vouchers for Allentown children to go to charter, parochial or other public schools, since traditional public education can't really work in Allentown. This would be a great regional problem to solve.

Anonymous said...

7.55 more social engineering. let city make policies that will allow it to be successful, not spread their dysfunction to the suburbs. Why is it helpful to lower the quality for everyone in an effort to equalize the misery.

Anonymous said...

I sold my house in Northampton county recently to take a different job opportunity in a different state. It was a tough decision, but the whole truck traffic/general increasing congestion/LV turning into a warehouse capital thing was probably the major secondary factor in swaying me to leaving. Also not helping were property taxes (mainly school taxes) increasing out of control towards NJ levels and just getting tired of way things happen around the LV. It's basically cronyism, with special interest types like the LV Partnership old guard, Wildlands Conservancy, etc. types sprinkled in, and Jaindl getting his way with anything he wants in search of more riches.

I had a pretty good paying local job with a large but under the radar LV employer (you did not see any of our employees at all the LV Chamber-type glad-handing events) but the pay and benefits could not be easily replaced without commuting to the Philly or NJ suburbs. Most of my co-workers' favorite feature of the area was the suburban family type housing (your average 2,500 sq. ft. 4BR 2.5BA colonial on a 1/4 acre) with good schools that was affordable to two working professionals. They mostly also detested the truck traffic and old Bethlehem Steel mentalities that were still rampant particularly in the local older generation.

Anonymous said...

9:10 - A rising tide lifts all boats & the Lehigh Valley as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I'll add to my 9:20am comment that in my experience the level of NIMBY-ism in the LV over the most petty stuff is completely off the charts compared to where I live now.

I do agree with the comments about "the rent being too high", but part of the problem is that most of the housing stock in the cities and boroughs is so damn old and decrepit that it is generally not attractive to people other than those who can't afford anything better. Young people are lapping up the new apartments and townhouses because it's new, low-maintenance, and the suburban ones are located in safe areas.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase the Blues Brothers: "I hate Lehigh Valley NAZIS!"

Anonymous said...

Allentown.

Anonymous said...

In the Scranton - Wilkes Barre area, they've blown off the sides of mountains to widen roads and improve infrastructure. In ABE, the third largest metro area in the state, we have two east-west highways that were over capacity before a vehicle ever drove on them (US-22 in 1955, I-78 in 1989). If the planning commission has been responsible for planning all these years, they're not very good at it. Regarding truck traffic, we really haven't seen anything yet. It's coming and we've haven't properly planned. Thank God for online shopping. What used to be 10-minute trips are now 30-40 or longer. More online shopping to avoid shopping trips. More warehouses to support more online shopping. More trucks. More trucks. More trucks.

Anonymous said...

The LVPC doesn’t give a tinkers damn about what people think.

Anonymous said...

#5 Hate Blogger

Anonymous said...

11:17 Don Cunningham Is LVEDC & they promote warehouses.


As Bernie said, warehouses are controlled by the local municiplaity, state law doesn’t allow Zoning at the regional level, however it should. Only way is through multi-municipal plans, which would keep warehouses, industrial, etc near the interstates & limit rural development. Some areas of the Valley have multi municipal plans, others don’t.

Anonymous said...

KEEP LINING DON CUNNINGHAM'S POCKETS HE FUCKED BETHLEHEM AND NOW HE IS DOING THE SAME ON A HIGHER LEVEL...I DONT CARE HOW MONY TIMES U DELETE THIS OHARE I'LL KEEP PUTTING IT UP....

Anonymous said...

Bernie has a date tonight with twin sisters=Delete and Deleted.Last week’s date was Rosy Palm.

Anonymous said...

Is that you, Mr. All Caps Trump? We can't hear you. Spell a little louder, please!

Trumpster said...

It's pretty simple. Invest in more and better highways means more jobs, more commerce, and more wealth comes into the area. Allentown is an ideal transshipment point close to NYC and Philadelphia and ABE can be used as a cargo airport. We have Interstate highways that connect Allentown to the Northeast, South, NYC and the West in all directions of the compass. Along with rail service that can be used for roll-on, roll-off truck service, all that is needed is to add the freight/truck terminal. All outside the congestion of the major urban centers.

Chris Casey said...

I would have thought that one of the top five things people like least about the Lehigh Valley is that there are too many of those darn bloggers!

Anonymous said...

Our biggest problem is we have a dysfunctional public Transit system.

Anonymous said...

4. The Morning Call
5. WFMZ
6. Bobby Gunther Walsh and that trash station he works at
7. The Express Times

Anonymous said...

The Chamber and Cunningham's economic dev. corp. are insider organizations dedicated to giving them jobs. These folks don' tgi8v e a crap a bit the LV. They are all about the cash.

Fire the Incompetents said...

There is only one blog worth reading and its not on Bernies blog roll

#MAGA
#DTS

Anonymous said...

"The Chamber and Cunningham's economic dev. corp. are insider organizations"

Yes they always have been, but the question is why does the head of LVEDC continue to operate an active political PAC?

Anonymous said...

The LV Planning commission is a rubber stamp for projects in Lehigh County. Northampton County should stop funding LVPC and go it alone, competing for it's fair share. The Economic Development commission is a total waste of money.The Chamber of Commerce is nothing more than a front for the Republican Party and their anti-labor policies. Given their absolute support of Trump,one has to wonder if any members of the Chamber are actually Russian concubines. In short, most of the people associated with these three groups are parasites who would starve if they ever had to work a real job.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else notice once O’Hare is done he makes sure everyone else is done? He stops comments on his blog when they don’t go his way. He’s like a child that takes his ball and goes home.

BlackSox'sSam said...

Agree 6:49 (Whoopi O'Haire needs a pasifier).

BlackSox'sSam said...

Pacifier

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about the Lehigh Valley, would be something only about 1 in 10,000 people would be aware of, if you think it's traffic, and warehouses, just relax and enjoy the show.

Anonymous said...

6:03 Don Cunningham operates a PAC? what name is registered as? No conflict there

Anonymous said...

anon 8:47, The Don is a con. he forget where he came from and is chasing the cash. He is our own local slick Willy.

X said...

Dam Bernie, that momma has one big ass for only two rolls pr rail car! Could it be for the momma of all loads here in the Lehigh valley that are selling all thingZ not nailed down.
The advertiZmentalistZ are in on it too as news agenciey have become some sort of used car sales people too?

Anonymous said...

Don Cunningham operates a PAC? Yes. It spent 18K last year on phone bills and "operating expenses" according to the filing.

What name is registered as? "Friends of Don Cunningham"

No conflict there. Difficult to determine. Depends on how the money is being used.

Anonymous said...

Traffic congestion really isn't that bad, sure you might be delayed 10-15 minutes at peak times on 22 or 78, which would be considered normal or minimal in any metro area. Try commuting in large metro areas... everyone stop whining.