Dec 31, 2013

Allentown, All Future No Present

Except for the 800 block of Hamilton Street, the merchants of center city are on their own about snow and litter. After the snow finally melted, the parking spaces and sidewalks were back to the accumulated litter and left over leafs from the fall. Although disruption of service can be expected with so much construction, what we're seeing is total disregard for the existing, taxpaying businesses of downtown. Although their state taxes are being funneled to the beneficiaries of the NIZ, they are not receiving even basic service. Although Pawlowski and Company may think that they can deter service until the arena project is complete, do a cleanup, and people will come, the locals don't roll that way. Perceptions and patterns are made over time, and a few new shiny buildings won't change that.


monkey momma said...

Thank you for posting this, MM! This block that you picture is the 900 block. The very same block that the PPL tower is located at downtown. That's right, it's the heart of downtown, and yet it was not properly plowed AT ALL during the past storm. For those who don't know, it is actually a really busy block downtown.

In fact, driving east from the suburbs to downtown was quite telling. Everything was clear and plowed immediately after the last storm, but the closer I got to downtown, the worse the roads. Once I was downtown, it was like I had driven somewhere "off the grid." And if you tried going through an alleys downtown, you were totally out of luck. If we didn't have that warm rain wash away the snow piles, they would still be there.

Also, the sidewalks in that area were semi-clear, but if you had to walk more than one block, it was difficult - there was no path cut in the snow so that it was easy to walk across the street. Folks were clambering over snow piles just to go across the street. (I did this myself @ 9th and Hamilton.)

It is my understanding that during the hockey season next year, patrons of the arena are expected to "stroll" for "2 or 3 blocks" downtown to reach the arena. Strolling in the winter sounds bad enough. But, how in the hell can they park downtown if the streets aren't plowed and the snow piles are banked up right next to the meters???

Anonymous said...

Essentially there was NO snow removal in this last storm. It seems all efforts in the city are focused on one area - the NIZ. Everyone seems to be getting on the "band wagon". Is all of Allentown myopic? The new building at 7th & Hamilton, at least to me, is hideous. The old building was offset from the street while the current one is not. Visually it appears out of place and Hamilton St. seems no different in perspective than the alleys to the north and south. I am waiting patiently to see how successful this whole endeavor will be. I hope my feelings are irrational and I am proven wrong by the resounding success Pawloski & Co. say it will be. Either that or the citizens of Allentown may have to rename Hamilton St. "Tumbleweed Alley".

Anonymous said...

There is a Hole town that has been neglected due to this endevor. Many housing tenaments in most of allentown pa are in blight condition, sell that part of the story too? I could locate four units that were just redone and have been falling apart since being issued CO's?