Feb 17, 2010

Allentown History Highjacked


CONCLUSION FROM FATAL ACCIDENT IN TREXLER PARK IN 1989
"Last year, a consultant recommended in a study of Trexler Park that cyclists be banned.
Efforts to confine walkers and bicyclists to separate lanes have not been effective, and the cyclists are dangerous to pedestrians, the study, by Andropogon Associates Ltd. of Philadelphia, concluded. "


Allentown's history and our Traditional Park System is being highjacked by carpetbaggers. The Trail Network Plan, to be embraced this evening by City Council, is clearly designed for the Bike Cyclist Coalition, most of whom live out of town. The Executive Summary*, released yesterday, irrefutably shows that this plan is for the cyclists at the expense of everyone else. New park rules will include: Walk no more than two abreast. Keep dogs on a short lead. Beware of surprise actions by dogs and children.

Actually, Allentonians should be aware of surprise actions by this Administration that are changing the nature of our parks; from serene settings of nature to a venue for extended high speed bike use. Park Director Weitzel thinks we need his help to enjoy our parks and city. ''We have to change the culture of the city and make it more pedestrian-friendly, but it's going to take time to reverse that East Coast mentality,'' said Weitzel, who returned recently from a conference in Seattle, where he says pedestrians, not cars, rule the city.**

my reply to the 1st comment
I don't blame the bicyclists for this plan, if allentown is willing to convert the parks into a disneyland for them, why wouldn't they be excited. I blame pawlowski, weitzel, and the trexler trust. they think they have to take every suggestion from an outside consultant in 2005, and implement them immediately. how ironic that we are using outside consultants for one of the most iconic park systems in america. How pathetic that the trexler trust would pay to inflict these scars on our parks. How weak of city council to not intercede.

Illustrating the contempt for our traditions, is that the cheerleaders are spreading an urban myth that General Trexler wanted the parks connected. The Park System was not created till 1928. The General was killed in 1933. At this point, not even the WPA features highlighting our park system were built. Trexler Park was not given to the City until after the death of his widow.
my reply to the 19th comment
the whole plan is simply an insult to the everyone else but the bicyclists

Allentown has serious quality of life issues. Nonsense about people wanting to bicycle downtown to see a play, or that this plan will we an economic boom to the city, doesn't bode well for finding real solutions.

* directions to Executive Summary: go to City Web Site, then Parks and Recreation, find Executive Summary link

**The Morning Call

ADDENDUM: The Bike Lobby has been busy placing comments on yesterday's Morning Call article about the plan and meeting this evening. They have been also contacting Council members. From the last comment submitted (article comments appear in reverse order, last is first) " Plus, it will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and draw the young people who like these types of amenities to Allentown. A win, win, win situation, if you ask me." Reduce traffic congestion? Improve air quality?

ADDENDUM 2:CONCLUSION FROM FATAL ACCIDENT IN TREXLER PARK IN 1989
"Last year, a consultant recommended in a study of Trexler Park that cyclists be banned.
Efforts to confine walkers and bicyclists to separate lanes have not been effective, and the cyclists are dangerous to pedestrians, the study, by Andropogon Associates Ltd. of Philadelphia, concluded. "

29 comments:

gary ledebur said...

Be careful Michael not to lump all bicyclists together. Just the other day on a ride, I was speeding down a narrow, twisting, road near Allentown. Then along comes a woman who was driving very slowly uphill toward me, honking her horn and shouting at me.

"PIG! PIG!!" she yelled. "PIG! PIG!!"

So I flipped her the finger and shouted back some things I dare not repeat as I buzzed by her.

Still thinking about this awful woman and her shouting, I turned the corner and promptly collided with a pig.

michael molovinsky said...

i don't blame the bicyclists for this plan, if allentown is willing to convert the parks into a disneyland for them, why wouldn't they be excited. i blame pawlowski, weitzel, and the trexler trust. they think they have to take every suggestion from an outside consultant in 2005, and implement them immediately. how ironic that we are using outside consultants for one of the most iconic park systems in america. how pathetic that the trexler trust would pay to inflict these scars on our parks. how weak of city council to not intercede.

Anonymous said...

This plan is a wonderful thing for Allentown.

With this, Bicycling Magazine published in Emmaus and the Velodrome in Trexlertown, the Lehigh Valley has the possibility of being a mecca for bicycle lovers. Heck, the Lehigh Valley has a Olympic gold medalist cyclist in its midst.

If you don't see that this is a good thing for Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, then you need to have your eyes examined. And, if you think that the cyclist community is being overly catered to, then why didn't you organize a pedestrian/dog walker citizens group to attend the numerous public meetings? Heck, you could even organize one now and have an impact. The needs of the cyclists and the pedestrians are balanced in this plan and Greg Weitzel and the consultants have been very accommodating to all input. The public meetings were well publicized and well-attended. Did you attend any?

michael molovinsky said...

only the third and final meeting was meaningfully publicized and well attended. bicyclists going in two directions, sharing a path with walkers, many with children, is a clear and obvious danger. the new executive summary also states that all paths should be hardsurface, another accommodation to cyclists. i have nothing against the sport, i simply do not believe that our iconic park system should be redesigned for it.

Anonymous said...

trexler park has hard surfaced pathways and it is still beautiful. I agree that this should be watched very closely, but I am not convinced that the surface pathways can't be done without retaining the beauty of Cedar Park. I don't read about horrible accidents at Trexler Park involving cyclists and pedestrians. Also, my guess is that we are not going to see the high speed cyclists at the parks. They are more likely to be leisurely riders. Again, I reference Trexler Park where speeds are usually very slow.

Related to costs, the path at Cedar Park needs to be restoned after a significant rain fall (stones wash away, HUGE puddles form, etc). There may be long-term maintenance value in stabilizing the path to prevent the costs of repairing the path 4 or 5 times a year.

Anonymous said...

MM
Where did you find that
"walking two abreast"? Is that for real? We too agree cyclists will
rule the city. We suspect Weitzel plans lots of cycling races and fundraisers to teach us Easterners a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Once 12-foot black topped paths
are constructed, the damage will be done.

Anonymous said...

It will take a tragedy or two and then, only then, will some admit
Molovinsky was correct in this assessment that cyclists and park goers are colliding on a course of danger.

Anonymous said...

"This plan is a wonderful thing for Allentown."

NOT if you happen to like natural charm and beauty that once dominated a once nationally-recognized Park system in a city that once carried the label 'All America'

"Mecca for bicycle lovers"

Yeah, right. Keep dreaming.

No way this goofball project justifies the expense, particularly at this point in time.

Period, end of story.

Go Bulldozers - Destroy Parks!

Anonymous said...

Go Bulldozers!

Defeat Charm and Beauty.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:52, sadly, i must tell you that a young man was killed in trexler park, as a result of a collision with a bike. it was years ago. please understand that weitzel has only been in town since 2007.

anon 8:25, if you follow my directions to the Executive Summary on the park page, you will find it. it's in a green box labeled safety rules on the left side of a page. unfortunately, i could not establish a direct link to the summary report.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the pro-trail people tend to comment anonymously.

I would like to contact them.

I have beachfront property in Idaho they would, in all likelihood, be willing to pay top dollar for.

I'd be willing to throw in a trail network because I'm negotiable.

Anonymous said...

What happens if someone refuses to pay attention to children and dogs that are not their own.

Does the offender go to jail?

Who enforces this?

Do they do it for free?

Anonymous said...

The Velodrome has been in Trexlertown for half of forever.

With that in mind, why is the Lehigh Valley not ALREADY a "Bycycle Mecca"?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:14, there is no end to their arrogance. a couple years ago they had a bike race and actually rode the bikes through the BrewPub, trying to combine two of their surefire SAVE ALLENTOWN plans

Anonymous said...

"...but I think he (Molovinsky) undervalues the utility that the trail network will have for building a larger political constituency in support of the park system.

Renshaw is correct that this is going to take years, and will span several mayoral administrations."

LEHIGH VALLEY INDEPENDENT
2/17/10

So, what are the "independents" saying today ---

Dig up the parks in order to get more people to support the parks?

Strange agenda. But, then again, I am not a carpetbagging hack.

Anonymous said...

Go Bulldozers!

Stop Plate Tectonics.

Anonymous said...

It would have been more appropriate for that bike race to run thru

JOHNNY MANANA's

The cornerstone of Mayor Ed Pawlowski's downtown Allentown economic revitaliztion program, or so it was touted at the time to much fanfare and hoopla

Anonymous said...

Molovinsky, the "rules" posted in the executive summary is an image example of recommended SIGNAGE. The recommendation from Greenways is to post clear signs with safety information on them. It doesn't recommend which rules are applied to which parks. Walking two abreast is a good safety suggestion on narrow trails... but I have seen no such suggestions posted at Trexler Park, and don't suspect that suggestion will be implemented in other parks with wide trails.

Anonymous said...

"Connecticut Boy Killed"
05/10/09

www.childinjurylawyerblog.com/2009/05/connecticut.html

==================================

"...in addition, Buena Park bicycle accidents were responsible for two deaths and 31 injuries."

www.bestattorney.com/buena-park-car-accidents.html

===================================

"Do YOU Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney?"

Estey & Bomberger, LLP

www.losangeles.esteybomberger.com/bicycle-accidents.php

michael molovinsky said...

mr. 10:20, trexler park is not a paved trail; it was a road used for many years. actually, i think it should still be a road. there are many elderly who enjoyed driving around the park. seems as if there is no longer a place for the elderly in the park system. try walking with a child and telling him or her that they must stay in line for the sake of their safety. if these paths are going to be wide enough to really provide multiple use safely, they will certainly change the ambience of the parks. the whole plan is simply an insult to the everyone else but the bicyclists

Anonymous said...

7:52 AM Anonymous said...

trexler park has hard surfaced pathways and it is still beautiful. I agree that this should be watched very closely, but I am not convinced that the surface pathways can't be done without retaining the beauty of Cedar Park. I don't read about horrible accidents at Trexler Park involving cyclists and pedestrians. Also, my guess is that we are not going to see the high speed cyclists at the parks. They are more likely to be leisurely riders. Again, I reference Trexler Park where speeds are usually very slow.

The above parkgoer needs
to visit Lehigh Parkway where
racing cyclists speed.

Anonymous said...

I wish these bike riding nazis would slow down when riding on the canal towpath, my God you think it was the velodrome down there the way they fly by you with no regard for others safety.

Anonymous said...

Apparently someone known as "the mayor" also endorses the trails, posting the following on TMC's forum:

"The Mayor full endorses these trails. Why, I love to go for a nice walk after enjoying a Wendy's Triple with Cheese. Adding the extra width to the trails is a great idea as well, allowing the cyclists to safely pass around my rather large bottom as I waddle to and fro with a Frosty in hand. Ah, delicious cheeseburgers and shakes. The Mayor would like to thank you all for naming these trails after him. "The Trails at Ed Pawlowski Town presented by PPL Energy Plus, sponsored by Properties of Merit" will be the perfect icing on the cake!"

Anonymous said...

This trail plan should be approved. Anything Allentown can do to improve connectivity of its trails is a good thing.

This discussion of bike accidents is fear mongering at its worst. How many car accidents are there? How many fatalities from car accidents every year? Try 40,000 per year in the US. That equates to a Vietnam War every year.

Cycling and walking are safer ways of getting around. Connecting the paths will help people to avoid driving, which is a good thing...for our road congestion, for our air quality and for our waistlines.

Anonymous said...

Who is the Bike Cyclist Coalition? I have been a bicycle advocate in the region for many years and have never heard of them. If you are going to be effective at "exposing the truth" you will need to make sure that you have at least your most important points correct. How do you know where most of this group's members live?

Anonymous said...

People who want a quite reflective passive park can go to West Park.

People who want vigorous activity use the trails. Right now, the Little Lehigh Parkway is a great example of existing paths, some macadam, some gravel that provide lots of choices for a variety of different users.

Generally, it is the skinny tire bikes that go fast and are perceived of as dangerous (and the cyclists on them are most often cited as inconsiderate of others). And, generally speaking, it is mountain bikes or hybrids with fat tires that are seen on Allentown's trails. It might be worth considering excluding racing bikes from the trails. You don't generally see them, because the trail riding by its nature cannot be very fast, from a cycling perspective. As a rule, the trails attract recreation riders, moms and kids on bikes.

BTW, it's not just pedestrians and dog walkers that don't want conflicts with bikes; cyclists like to avoid crashes, too. It is in everyone's interest to have these trails and have them safe for everyone.

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned the horses that also use the trail in the Parkway. How does THIS work into the mix? If anyone thinks that the asphalt "trails" near the Rose Garden at Cedar Beach are beautiful,or even exceptable, go check it out for yourself. #%$!@%$? UGLY !!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Trexler Trust only funded things in Lehigh County. I guess out of town consultants don't count?