Dec 20, 2012

Whose Quality of Life?

According to news reports, last night when the County Commissioners postponed distributing funds for Trail Network Plan, Allentown mayor Pawlowski said "Quality of life issues cannot be classified as unnecessary or frivolous." But whose quality of life was he really referring to? The MLK Pathway represents the very worst of plans for the Allentown park system. The former park director, Greg Weitzel, deferred essential maintenance and put his emphasis on new projects, to enhance his personal resume. The strategy worked for him, but not Allentown; This past summer he left for a new position. The new pathway would pass the Fountain Park Pool, closed now for three years, because the filter pump was never repaired. That pump replacement was estimated to cost $170,000, while phrase 1 of the Trail Network Plan will cost $674,700.00. While Weitzel spend untold $thousands of $dollars planning a destination water park at Cedar Park, the pool at Fountain Park stood empty of water. If Pawlowski and Weitzel had any institutional knowledge of this town, they would know that thousands of kids over the generations cooled off in that pool, after a game on a hot day. That's why the pool was next to the extended athletic fields. Whose quality of life was Pawlowski referring to? The intercity kids without a pool, or the suburban spandex cyclists?  Allentown parks are indeed in need of help, especially after Hurricane Sandy, but not a paved pathway, connecting  one broken and damaged park with another.

Postcard shows Fountain Park Pool, when it had water and kids, before the Pawlowski/Weitzel era.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This does nothing to improve Allentowns parks.

ALFONSO TODD said...

People in Allentown are tired of not being VALUED and only TOLERATED....

Alfonso Todd

www.alfonsotodd.com

We CAN Do Better....

Anonymous said...

Great. Dump more people into the parks we can't maintain with current staff now.
Keep the city blacktop crew building hardscape trails that "the book" itself says are destructive. Bikes flying by pedestrians. Increased security concerns when even city employees speed through the park at twice the posted speed limits.
No Park Dept Director and an incompetent chairwoman on the city Council Parks committee.
Connect the wrecks....... The City Without Limits.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:09, although i oppose the trail network plan, i do not agree with your characterization of the people mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Forget about damage from harricane Sandy. There are still whole trees down, some laying in the creek, from the great Halloween snowstorm well over a year ago. The parks have never looked so ratty.
Answer?
Create infrastructure that will need more maintenance when we can't take care of what we have now.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying the chair of City Councils Parks Committee has been doing an adequate job for the citizens of Allentown?
That was the only individual mentioned.

michael molovinsky said...

no, i misread your comment of 11:09. there is an acting park director. frankly, i feel that they have been doing a respectable job cleaning up cedar park, which was hit very hard by sandy. concerning ms. motta; council has been passive about the park system since pawlowski was elected for 06. they approved all plans put before them until the outrageous cedar park water park plan, which was blatantly absurd. ms. motta has been doing no harm, which is all one can hope for from this council.

Anonymous said...

The harmcommences when blacktop trails are run through our parks.

Anonymous said...

None of this misadventure is the falt of the hard pressed,hard working, parks staff.
They, more than most, see full well what a train wreck this has become. We all owe them our gratitude for carrying on under these condishions.

Anonymous said...

The city needs to take care of what it has FIRST! Then when all of that is taken care of along with regular maintenance, move on to improvements.

As for the park employees speeding - the police need to enforce it, after all they would ticket you or me so...

Alfonso there was a time when the people and visitors of Allentown were valued and appreciated. Now unfortunately it is all about building ones legacy.

In my way of thinking it is follow the money. Do the people of Allentown generate most of the city governments money or does it come from outside the city from Harrisburg or DC? Since I believe more than half comes from outside then who is the city responsible to? Not it's citizens.

Frank

Anonymous said...

Not primarily park employee speeding, traffic going to and from the Allentown Police Academy are major offenders!
Who tickets them?
Are they above the law? This has been going on for years and it's no better now.
Ask anyone who walks or runs there.

Anonymous said...

It's not only the thought of children cooling off at Fountain Park, it's getting there that is critically important to downtown families. That new MLK park near the Parkettes requires crossing a high volume some would say dangerous four lane highway at rush hour is sure to work for families wishing to enjoy the outdoors. As for Weitzel,
seems he had the last laugh.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Not primarily park employee speeding, traffic going to and from the Allentown Police Academy are major offenders!
Who tickets them?
Are they above the law? This has been going on for years and it's no better now.
Ask anyone who walks or runs there.

December 21, 2012 4:20 AM

Absolutely accurate. Residents have called city hall about the speeding but nothing changes. Why the city refuses to install at least one speed bump along the park's roadway is beyond reason. Many savvy commuters now cut through the park to avoid congestion and speed up the back road to exit at Lehigh Street. Bethlehem has installed speed bumps in targeted areas to cut the flow of traffic. Check out Moravian College.

Anonymous said...

Speed "humps" or platforms ARE THE ANSWER.
They are used all over Bethlehem. Also used extensively in Lehigh County Parks.
The speeding on Park Dr. ( Lehigh Parkway) is flagrant and persistent and the city refuses to do anything about it.
How dare they even talk about new trails. How about safe streets in our major parks?
20MPH thru the park is treated like a joke. I have NEVER SEEN A CITY WHERE THIS IS TOLERATED!

Anonymous said...

Let's see--- a blacktop "trail" runs past a closed swimming pool, below crumbling WPA stone work, into neglected parks where simple traffic safety and speed limits aren't enforced.
Makes perfect sense to me.

Anonymous said...

....... and that blacktop trail/road would also take one past the spot where the 15th St Bridge once stood.

You couldn't make this stuff up!

( Why did the Mayor himself attend the County Comm. meeting to make the cities case?
Answer: because this "trail plan" is a legacy of the now moved on Greg Weitzel and has no natural constituency!

Anonymous said...

I was at that county commissioners' meeting. It was a travesty. Percy Dougherty gets my vote for speaking and voting his conscious. The rest of it was a kangaroo court.