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.

* http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/all-b1_5plan.6468433jun20,0,4594474.story

** http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/all-b1_5linden

9 comments:

consigliere said...

great phrase..."drug-induced flashback". kind of summarizes allentown's approach to development for the least few decades.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael, I am very impressed by the quality of your recent posts.

Anonymous said...

Agreed w/ Bernie!

It is amazing what happens when you actually take care of things. Pride increases and long term costs decrease. Seems to me a win/win.

Anonymous said...

A more sincere and appropriate Vision for the Future would have included recommendations that residents follow the example of the Planning Director and move to the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Mike -

While writing about bridges, don't forget the Ott Street Bridge (near Cedar Beach).

That bridge has a structural problem related to its design. So what's the city's solution? Place white and orange plastic barriers along the sides to force traffic to the middle of the bridge.

Supposedly this keeps enough weight off the problem areas (along the sides) of the bridge. Another example of Allentown moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Mike -

While writing about bridges, don't forget the Ott Street Bridge (near Cedar Beach).

That bridge has a structural problem related to its design. So what's the city's solution? Place white and orange plastic barriers along the sides to force traffic to the middle of the bridge.

Supposedly this keeps enough weight off the problem areas (along the sides) of the bridge. Another example of Allentown moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Molovinsky:

You should seriously consider organizing a "Save the 8th Street Bridge" campaign to have it refurbished.

Seeing tis bridge go would be a huge loss for our city. The campaign would be widely supported and would help you gain a great deal of credibility among all stakeholders in the community.

Anonymous said...

SAVE THE 8th STREET BRIDGE ! That sounds like a project worth backing. I wonder if the City would get behind this project ? And even if they didn't, I would love to collaborate with any people willing to organize some fundraisers for this cause. let me know

Alfonso

Anonymous said...

the 8th street bridge would, to say the least, be a nightmare to get people in this town to agree on its eventual solution.built by the transit co im sure to fix or restore or replace would languish. we seem not to be able to agree on anything except how ridicules pam varkony looks in a military helmut.love her blog though.