Oct 15, 2015

As Allentown Turns

Linden Street is reduced to one lane today, as a private contractor installs stencils on the street for the bike lane. I had forgotten about this idiotic plan. Let us hope that the projections for the arena's success are more realistic than their vision for the bike lane's use. Also observed on my patrol today was the unbelievably slow progress of the 15th Street Bridge project. More concrete and steel is completed in one day on the arena and City Center buildings, than has yet to be completed on the bridge. The entire southside of Allentown remains prisoner to misplaced priorities. Talking of misplaced priorities, yesterday the Administration applauded itself for starting the eastside fire house, a year and half late.
UPDATE: ABOUT THIS POSTCARD- Earlier this week I used a postcard of Lehigh Parkway in the Give A Damn, Save A Dam post.  Both cards have a similar coloration and were photographed by Harold Becraft in the early 1950's.  Becraft was a photographer from Suffern N.Y.,  who produced many of the images used in the postcards of Allentown's parks.  These cards were produced locally by E.H. Schall Co.  In addition to Becraft's name on the front, they're also marked Kodachrome.  Although Becraft did many park scenes for Schall, the image shown above is one of his few cityscapes.

reprinted from May of 2013

UPDATE OCTOBER 15, 2015: We seem to have two types of government, slow or greedy. The entire square arena block was built before the 15th street bridge was completed. While two and four men worked on the bridge for two years, 300 men worked around the clock on the arena. The old 15th Street Bridge, built around 1953, was a study in neglect. One city administration after another deferred maintenance,  because there was a plan for a new bridge, although the plan took decades to come to fruition. Then the contract, to save money, wasn't time sensitive. The greater NIZ arena project, including affiliated buildings, which allows the developers to reap an unaccounted for money stream of public taxes, was built as if money was no object, because it wasn't.  So, while a city was inconvenienced by a snail pace public bridge project, our state taxes were used for overtime, to speed up a bonanza for the barons.


Bernie O'Hare said...

.. in which there were cracks to the concrete floor that mysteriously still passed inspection. An FBI evidence van was there to bore concrete samples just about two weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

When does the next shoe fall?

Anonymous said...

The apparent lack of accountability during the NIZ construction plan is troubling. I haven't seen any evidence of actual, INDEPENDENT accountability as to costs for labor and materials. The opportunity for abuse in those areas is great. Let's face it, when spending taxpayer dollars, costs paid ALWAYS seem too high. Like a 'golden goose' is in town.

Everything very well COULD have been on the up and up, but who said so?

The NIZ projects all seem to have come with price tags too high, I think. I don't see anything particularly special about the architectural designs, nor the quality of materials used.

Fred Windish

Guy Williams said...

Just tell me who you would believe. How high up would you have to go without having criticism ? There have always been non believers. Even if it was Reagan himself as a commander in chief.

Anonymous said...

Hard to determine who/what is believable with this entire project. There's been too much secrecy, in my opinion. I certainly would not automatically believe ANYONE who turns in the invoices (Butz?) or board members like Traub whose knowledge base was formed as a grocer. Surely NOT believe any recipient of the taxpayer funds.

Assumptions only, based upon available information. This sounds like a job for the 'crackerjack' investigative journalism team at the Morning Call.

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred@10:48, unfortunately, it's a different traub. sy traub is a lawyer, and also chairman of the AEDC, which the NIZ does transactions with. there is no accountability, and nobody seems to care. i credit jennings for pointing this out publicly, with his resignation from the NIZ board.

Anonymous said...

Alan J. is a man of principle---a profile in courage.
Who dares walk in the footsteps of such a n.man ����❤️❤️

Anonymous said...

Thank you for correcting my Traub confusion! I meant no offense to the Traub name, just pointing out a potential problem when someone not familiar with a topic pays public dollars for many items connected to it. Like our government paying $300 per toilet seat!

Bernie revealing a visit from an FBI team to inspect construction practices SHOULD raise everyone's eyebrows.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I saw a bunch of guys working on the WPA 10th street stairs again today. It's great to see!

-Jeffrey Anthony