Jan 17, 2017

Allentown's New Park

Pawlowski has been praising Allentown's plan for a new park off of Basin Street by the old incinerator parcel.  As a student and advocate of the park system,  I can tell you that the existing park system has never been in worse shape.  As a student of local government, I can tell you that this plan shows how misguided priorities can be in this city.

Allentown's Park Director, Lindsay Taylor, is also elated. “I am very excited at the prospect of the city’s creating a plan for Allentown’s own “Central Park,” a park and trail hub that will link to downtown and provide the type of recreational facilities that will encourage people choosing to move to the downtown.” Lindsay, it would be a pretty gritty ride from the new Strata Lofts to Basin Street. Quite a tour past the prison, down to Union Street.  You know where to find me in the parks everyday. I'll be glad to take you around, and show you 100 things that should be maintained before you even think about adding a new park to the neglected existing system.


Jamie Kelton said...

Once you get past the public relations, what does this new park provide for the people of Allentown? Will it have walking or bicycle paths? What about places to have a picnic? Is it a scenic area?

Or is it a piece of land that the city bought that it doesn't know what to do with, so "lets make it a park"? What is the difference between unimproved land and a park ?

It looks like this park is in a flood plain so it's not an easy sell to developers for housing or commercial real estate. Also didn't the railroads once have some sort of switching yard there? In other cities, the land would be offered to developers for free if they would submit a redevelopment plan. But Allentown doesn't believe in private development. It's a city where government develops the land. This is why we have the NIZ.

Not the Allentown my parents grew up in.

michael molovinsky said...

jamie@8:48, the area has some attributes, HOWEVER, there is virtually no housing or residents nearby. further more, the big problem is priorities. the existing park system is falling apart. unless the landings are repaired on the WPA double stairwell, that structure is in immediate jeopardy. It was the feature that the entire lehigh parkway was built around.

Monkey Momma said...

Isn't this the land Allentown bought from Atiyeh at a grossly inflated price?

michael molovinsky said...

momma@10:11, yes, at least the northeast portion. justifying that shenanigan is part of the plan.