Jun 21, 2008
Bridge Over Denial
Friday's Allentown edition of The Morning Call had two stories which caught my attention. The first*, was an excellent detailed account of the administration's vision for the future, by Jarrett Renshaw, a new reporter to the Allentown beat. My only issue with the vision, is that the components are anywhere from twenty-five to forty years old; it's actually more like a drug induced flashback. Now there are advantages to repackaging old plans. Mayor Pawlowski already has a power point presentation on these "visions" from when he was Director of Community Development under Afflerbach. In reality most these idea's go back to Dadonna's first term, when both the current Director of Planning and the Chief Planner where hired, forty years ago.
The second interesting article was about replacing the 124 year old Linden Street Bridge**. Readers may recall Candidate Don Cunningham campaigning about restoring the bridge. Immediately after being elected, he restricted the bridge to one lane. Now, two and half years later, we learn he will now rebid the project. The bridge in the picture is called Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, it was built in the 1300's. Europe is full of bridges which are hundreds of years old. They employ this high technology called maintenance. Weeds and plants are not allowed to grow on the bridges. The surfaces are kept as waterproof as possible, and bricks and stones are re-pointed as needed. Here in Allentown bushes grow out the 8th Street Bridge, and reinforcing rods are left exposed. The 15th Street Bridge rails were just painted last week, after being allowed to rust for years.
Allentown and Lehigh County would be better off with less planning, less campaigning and more elbow grease.