This evening I had the honor to hold our Lanta Victim's Meeting at Faith Baptist Church on north 12th street. It's a small, plain but dignified sanctuary. Many of the candidates attended, below are comments from two who could not make the meeting.
from Michael Donovan, City Council Candidate;
In my early career, I gained knowledge of public transportation as a result of studies and exposure to professionals in the field. I am not an expert, but I have some experience with these issues.
While I do not have all the information that went into the Hamilton Street decision, I am extremely disappointed that bus routes were taken off the city's major urban street without adequate consideration of the various populations that would be affected. I applaud the creation of an indoor/covered switching center, but do not believe that also warranted wholesale changes in routes and/or stops. Two things come to mind if the major consideration was that congestion, indeed, was one of the problems to be solved: Change the sequence and timing of the lights. The design is not consistent with sound traffic flow. Only a few seconds are allowed for cars to pass west to east. I do not propose allowing high speeds along Hamilton -- just the ability to let traffic flow smoothly, say at 20-25 miles per hour. Second, spreading the stops a bit wider along Hamilton would help a bit, too. Walking one block on the same street is far different than many blocks.
In brief, my sense of the decision is that LANTA did not involve enough people to make a holistic, sensible decisions that provided for a new central location while maintaining excellent service along critical routes. I believe that if you bring the appropriate people to the table where ideas and concerns are expressed honestly and without censorship, we will create sound, productive decisions for the community. This has been true in other public challenges of this type where I have been involved. When the appropriate parties are not involved, we have disappointment, lack of trust, and a loss of community."
From Robert Smith Jr. City Council Candidate;
DEAR MERCHANTS, I am shocked of the poor planning by the Lanta board AND THE TOTAL DISREGARD FOR MERCHANTS,SENIOR CITIZENS,AND Students that use Lanta transportation. Despite what the mayor says that this is not a city issue,any time a transportation change,and elimination of bus stops that affect Allentown businesses,Allentown residents, this is a city issue .I ROBERT E SMITH JR. A CANDIDATE FOR Allentown city council, and current elected school board member demand these bus stops be restored,and city council should have a member on Lanta board,because current members are out of touch with the people of Allentown or just do not care about the merchants on Hamilton street or people that are poor and are middle class. We as a nation must conserve our oil supplies,we tell people not to drive,take buses when you can,and this city lets Lanta eliminate bus stops.We need leadership that represents all the people not just politicians and wealthy elitists who want to keep those people off Hamilton street. I THANK THE MERCHANTS FOR STICKING IT OUT DOWNTOWN,AND THANK you mike for organizing this event .I am at a school board meeting tonight and sorry I could not be here .I WILL HELP ANY WAY I CAN, GOD BLESS YOU ALL. Robert e. smith Jr.