8TH ANNUAL GALA CELEBRATES THE PAST, WHILE FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE - December 2021, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Local governments are going to need to step up their broadband game to deal with an increasingly virtual future, the nation’s plummeting birthrate will affect everything and the new infrastructure bill is going to change how communities fund transportation projects.

Those were just a few of the revelations from an expert panel of futurists who appeared during the 2021 Lehigh Valley Gala + Awards, the LVPC annual event that aired December 9 on Vimeo.

The 60-minute event also included appearances by community leaders, an LVPC and LVTS 60th year anniversary celebration video and a tribute to former longtime LVPC Executive Director Mike Kaiser, who died in August.

The Gala culminated with the awarding of the FutureLV Heroes Award to the Youth Ambassadors in the CREATE Resilience program at Nurture Nature Center in Easton.

The full Gala + Awards video is now streaming at lvpc.org/lv-awards.

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LVPC AWARDED $21.2 MILLION GRANT TO BUILD COMMUTER ROAD AND TRAIL - December 2021, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission has been awarded a $21.2 million grant to build a scenic commuter road and trail from the Allentown’s Lehigh Riverfront into Whitehall Township.

The money, awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Transportation Discretionary Grant program, will help fund a $55.6 million project creating a robust multimodal commuting, emergency management, and equitable access corridor connecting urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods along a 3.5-mile stretch from Hamilton Street in Allentown, beyond Route 22, and into Whitehall Township.

The LVPC, with help from dozens of businesses, government and community partners, applied for the federal grant money to be added to the $34.4 million in matching funds which includes money from state grants, the City of Allentown and The Waterfront Development Company, which is owned by Jaindl Enterprises, owns the right-of-way and is building a $425 million business and residential park along Allentown’s riverfront.

The Waterfront Development Company, and its major development project, played an integral role in providing matching funds and information for the grant application.

The grant was announced in November by U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

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TRACY OSCAVICH BECOMING LVPC ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR WITH BRUCE RIDER’S RETIREMENT  - December 2021, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

As the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission closes its 60th year of serving Lehigh and Northampton counties, it looks to a 2022 with new administrative leadership.

Bruce Rider, Director of Administration, will retire December 31, bringing an end to a stellar six years in which he helped stabilize LVPC finance and pension funds and guide the organization’s growing role as a resource for data, development and social policy.

Rider’s retirement opens the door for Director of Development Tracy Oscavich to take over as Director of Administration January 1.

“Bruce has been such a vital part of who we’ve become over the past six years. We’re certainly going to miss his steady leadership,” said Executive Director Becky Bradley. “But we’re also excited for Tracy. She’s been working side-by-side with Bruce for years and her experience really puts us in a great situation heading into 2022.”

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STEVEN GLICKMAN ELECTED LVPC CHAIR - December 2021, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The New Year will bring new leadership at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission with the election of Steven L. Glickman as chair of the 37-member board, during the annual reorganization December 23.

Glickman, RA, CSI, is an Easton architect taking the reins from Greg Zebrowski, whose maximum two-year term ends with the close of 2021.

Glickman is a 24-year Commission member who has been Vice Chair the past two years and previously served as Chair in 2010-2011.

“I am honored to serve Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley as Chair of the LVPC,” Glickman said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done with Greg as Chair, and I plan to continue shaping the LVPC’s path toward a more sustainable and equitable place for all residents to live, work and enjoy.”

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IF YOU NEED TO GET AROUND, NOVEMBER WAS A BIG MONTH - November 2021, Morning Call Column, Becky Bradley, LVPC Executive Director

Cue the fanfare trumpets because this week deserves musical flourish. First, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill into law, followed by the announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission $21,158,854 for the Riverside Drive Multimodal Revitalization Corridor.

I’ll start with what I’ve been asked at least a dozen times in the last few days. What does the new federal infrastructure funding means for the Lehigh Valley? It means a minimum of $330 million dollars over the next four years with a potential for an additional $10-$12 million. Those funds are determined and distributed by a complicated formula that involves population, miles of road, safety, congestion and air quality data, among other factors outlined by Congress, USDOT and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The funds are sent to the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS), the LVPC’s sister agency, to be programmed over the next four years on what is known as the Transportation Improvement Program or TIP.

It’s also important to note that the allocation by Congress to transportation makes up generally 80% of all transportation funding in America, making the federal government the largest investor in our mobility.

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Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616