Thursday, February 18, 2010

Greenways Update

The Greenways Plan is moving towards adoption by City Council slowly but surely - at least I hope surely.  There was not nearly the crowd that I anticipated seeing last evening and most in attendance were in favor of the plan.  The Council voted to move this plan forward so that it can be voted upon - passing with a 5-2 vote (Councilpersons Donovan and Eichenwald were the no votes).  It seems the Council will vote on adopting this plan at their March 3rd meeting.

Most of the negative comments against adopting this plan had to do with poor economy and existing problems in our parks that are not being addressed.  Strangely - this plan proposes not only to fix many of those problems that exist but to make it safer to get to the parks via walking or biking.  I think one of the hidden benefits of the plan would be that if more people start using the park system - it will justify appropriating additional funds for maintenance and repair of the parks.  Not to be cliche but - if you build it they will come.

The bottom line is there are significant funds being awarded specifically for the purposes outlined in the Greenways Plan.  Philadelphia was just awarded 23 million dollars for such projects.  Allentown applied for a 5 million dollar grant but did not receive it - a large reason being they do not currently have a Master Plan in place for such projects.

Allentown has a fantastic opportunity to start making itself a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly destination.  All signs seem to point towards the Greenways Plan being adopted - but nothing in life is guaranteed.  If this is something you care about - I encourage to reach out to the City Council and let them know how you feel.  Most importantly - come out to the City Council meeting on March 3rd and show your support.  I will post additional details in the near future.

Ride on!