Nov 15, 2016

Allentown's New Park Plan


A tradition almost 100 years old ended yesterday, as Allentown started to pave the bridal paths in Lehigh Parkway.   Although, they were equestrian friendly by design,  Pawlowski is now in high gear to extend bike paths, and defend the land he purchased from Abe Atiyeh two years ago.  The city received an $85,000 grant from Harrisburg to plan a new park near Basin Street,  incorporating that purchased land. Pawlowski has proclaimed that it will be called Central Park,  and attract more millennials, and eventually adjacent housing for them. Considering the neglected conditions in our existing park system,  the grant and plan symbolizes the illness of the Pawlowski administration. While the city applied for that grant, they ignored the neglect in all the existing parks.  Although, the collapsed portion of the Lehigh Parkway wall was rebuilt so that they could reopen the park entrance road,  the remainder of the wall received no attention.  The centerpiece, which is the double staircase, is literally falling apart.   The current park director, Lindsay Taylor, is as pliable as her predecessors.  She doesn't stand up to defend or repair the existing parks, and is instead apparently more concerned with her paycheck and resum√©.

Pawlowski claims that this new park plan heralds back to previous plans under former director Greg Weitzel.  I attended his bike path meetings back then,  and there was no bike path proposed east of where  Martin Luther King Drive divides off of Union Street.  Paving the Parkway bridal path now is more part of a legal defense, than a park improvement.  The paving changes the nature of the Parkway from pastural to urban, instantaneously. 

Allentown hasn't had the funds to maintain the existing parks properly for over a decade.  There are less park employees now than ever.  So far,  both Allentown City Council and the Trexler Trust have also failed to insist on proper priorities for the existing park system.

11 comments:

Dave said...

If Allentown really wanted to open up our parks, it never should have banned motor vehicles from Trexler Memorial Park. Also the closure and subsequent renovation of Kline's Bridge meant less access to the park. But I suppose as the Democrats want the millennial vote, bicycle riders have a higher priority than families.

Robert Trotner said...

Michael, I'm so glad you're back to doing what you do best, and i agree wholeheartedly.

Dennis P said...

Here we see Pawlowski again reducing the history of East Allentown into the ash heap ... Central Park was the Amusement Park in East Allentown ... Use another name for that park ...

Aaron White said...

Doesn't Allentown already have the highest percentage of park space of any city in the country? Why do we need more park space in a city?

Monkey Momma said...

This is my theory:

We need more park space here as an excuse for why Pawlowski bought this overpriced land from Atiyeh. It is widely speculated that this land was simply bought as part of Pawlowski's Pay-to-Play operations as a favor to Atiyeh, and this land purchase may very well be at the center of the FBI investigation.

Clearly, the city has enough parks. And clearly, the city is doing a horrible job of maintaining some of these parks. It is irresponsible and arrogant to accept further responsibility for even more parks at a time when the city cannot take care of what it already has.

AuH20 said...

Not long ago Allentown's parks were so respected. Now we turn some into amusement parks, don't fix pools. Just a shame.

43ba69bc-a5d6-11e5-bb24-8fe257599b88 said...

Among my bragging points when I moved to Allentown in the '70s was the park system. Now it's in near shambles, passive parks become play parks, swimming pools are virtually plugged up....just a shame.

Julian Kern said...

The city can't maintain the parks we already have and they want to build another one. The city administration and council have their priorities mixed up. Shaking my head.

Julian Kern said...

The city can't maintain the parks we already have and they want to build another one. The city administration and council have their priorities mixed up. Shaking my head.

Rich Fegley said...

We are waiting for the Feds. City Council and the city employees will not stand up to Pawlowski. They have said that they are also waiting for the Feds.

In about-face, Atiyeh gets Allentown billboard deal

Pawlowski purchased this property from Atiyeh at a time when he was "fighting" with Atiyeh.

We wait.

Unknown said...

Pave the bridle paths. That will be a horrible solution! They are one of the things that makes the Parkway so special. Who is making this decision?