Aug 25, 2014

A Personal Memoir

I'm not sure memoir is a good title, rather than facts and records, I have hazy recollections. Assuming my memory will not improve at this stage of the game, let me put to print that which I can still recall. In about 1958 my father built Flaggs Drive-In. McDonalds had opened on Lehigh Street, and pretty much proved that people were willing to sit in their cars and eat fast food at bargain prices. For my father, who was in the meat business, this seemed a natural. As a rehearsal he rented space at the Allentown Fair for a food stand, and learned you cannot sell hotdogs near Yocco's. He purchased some land across from a corn field on Hamilton Blvd. and built the fast food stand. In addition to hamburgers, he decided to sell fried chicken. The chicken was cooked in a high pressure fryer called a broaster, which looked somewhat like the Russian satellite Sputnik. The stand did alright, but the business was not to my father's liking, seems he didn't have the personality to smile at the customers. He sold the business several years later to a family which enlarged and enclosed the walk up window. Subsequent owners further enlarged the location several times. The corn field later turned into a Water Park, and you know Flaggs as Ice Cream World.

I'm grateful to a kind reader who sent me this picture of Flaggs

UPDATE: I first published the above post on Flaggs in March of 2009. I reprint it today in regard to yesterday's post about The Hamilton Boulevard Makeover. The proposed crosswalk funnels people between Dorney Park and Ice Cream World. My initial reply to the proposal was that it was an incredible gift to Ice Cream World, at taxpayer expense. However, although some valid questions have been raised in the comment section of yesterday's post, public safety requires some accommodation for pedestrians crossing Hamilton Boulevard.


Anonymous said...

In addition to the comments made yesterday, if you really want to improve safety along that section of Hamilton, they should remove the bus stops.

Having a large vehicle regularly slowing down and stopping on a busy highway invites accidents, as does having large groups of people waiting on the side of the highway.

In my mind, our taxpayer-subsidized friends at LANTA are once again at the center of making a problem worse. And of course the taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the purported "solution" as well.

Anonymous said...

If you'll allow another comment about potential pitfalls with the planned "makeover", consider these points:

1). If you slow traffic somewhere, traffic will naturally divert and look for shortcuts. Heading toward Allentown, one wonders if there is an increase in traffic along Lincoln Avenue (which I believe has a playground along it). Even more likely is that the road beside Ice Cream World becomes a convenient shortcut or much more heavily used, particularly if a signalized crosswalk is considered. I would expect similar occurrences in the opposite direction along Haines Mill Road and into Cetronia.

2). Not too long ago, government paid a handsome price to acquire (and sometimes take) private land and build a bypass (Dorneyville) to keep traffic moving quickly. Now, since that government expenditure has apparently worked too well, government is again looking to spend money to slow that traffic down. I would argue that adding an area that slows traffic down, between two areas (the Bypass and the Interstate) that encourage better traffic flow, only invites accidents.

Perhaps the real purpose of the proposed improvements is to create an easy area for revenue-raising speed traps in SWT.

michael molovinsky said...

anon@8:06, there would be a stoplight at the crosswalk. there is no speed-trap motive, just a genuine concern for pedestrian safety.

Anonymous said...

The speed trap comment was a bit tongue in cheek, although increased enforcement will surely be needed as a result of slowing traffic between two areas designed to move traffic quickly.

The safety issue is not really confined to just the section of Hamilton by Dorney. Pedestrian deaths have occurred near the interstate on ramps and near Cedar Beach in Allentown. Simply put, the road is not intended to be a town center type road, but rather a major artery for carrying vehicular traffic.

I think the better solution is to put a concrete divider up along the Dorney portion of Hamilton Boulevard and removing the bus stops. That would actually discourage more pedestrians and increase safety for all.

If the township is hell bent on putting in a crossing to Dorney, it should be via a bridge with the same concrete medians and bus stop removals mentioned above.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:21, the pedestrian bridge was mentioned, but it's apparently much more costly. there already exists a stoplight at lincoln and one at cedar crest, so it would be just an additional light.

it's interesting you mention town center type road, because that's the atmosphere they want to create. as a side note, i feel that the township has somewhat of an identify crisis, and likes the idea of having a town center. the landscaping on the plan, and other amenities, are much more than necessary for a crosswalk. never the less, although initially skeptical, i now support the plan. at this point, it's just a starting concept for them.

Anonymous said...

I would simply put a relatively high chain link fence along Hamilton Blvd. The only opening would be at the crosswalks, and the bus stops should also be in those locations.
Forget 'speed traps": I would heavily fine any pedestrian who crosses any place but the crosswalks.