Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

WORKSHOPLV: HOUSING KICKS OFF REGIONAL EFFORT -

January 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Lehigh Valley will need to determine where to build homes for the more than 4,000 new residents who arrive each year and how to make all that new development available to people of all preferences and incomes.

That’s just one of many housing questions facing the region in the coming two decades.

More than 50 housing experts, advocates and community leaders gathered Wednesday to begin answering those questions during the first meeting of WorkshopLV: Housing. The open table working group called together by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, is working on how to manage the region’s growth, without ruining its appeal or pricing some people out of an evolving housing market.

Wednesday’s kick-off centered on identifying the biggest housing issues, who should solve them -- and getting to work.

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DRAFT BICYCLE AN PEDESTRIAN MASTERPLAN IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT -
January 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Lehigh Valley has a robust road and bridge network, more than 300 miles of trails and a public transit system that serves more than 5 million riders a year.

Transforming those components into a seamless transportation network for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and even drivers is key to the region becoming one of the nation’s most livable.

That’s the mission of Walk/RollLV, the Lehigh Valley’s first ever active transportation masterplan. The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study released the first draft of Walk/RollLV in early December, opening up a 45-day public review process designed to give community leaders, elected officials and the general public the first look at the blueprint for improving walking, biking and accessibility in the roads, trail and transit system.

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DRAFT BICYCLE AN PEDESTRIAN MASTERPLAN IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT -
January 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The Year 2019 will go down in LVPC history as one of our most momentous. We laid the foundation for 30 more municipalities to work together on comprehensive plans, worked to create the first ever bicycle and pedestrian masterplan, adopted a $2.5 billion Long-Range Transportation Plan and partnered to create a Blight Reversal Plan for Northampton County, among a list much too long to detail on one page.

And by the way, we crafted FutureLV: The Regional Plan, creating a blueprint carrying the Lehigh Valley to 2045 and beyond.

But 2020 figures to be an extension of that busy year after the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission board Thursday adopted a 2020 Workplan that includes implementing the policies of FutureLV, completing comprehensive plans for 26 communities, helping to assure a complete count for the 2020 Census, bolstering the LVPC’s DataLV online project and adopting a more than $400 million Transportation Improvement Program. That is added to the usual day-to-day tasks – such as reviewing every development plan filed in the region, educating prospective community leaders and municipal workers and facilitating more than $100 million a year in transportation projects – that come with being the two-county Planning Commission and serving as the staff for the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study, which serves as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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DRAFT BICYCLE AN PEDESTRIAN MASTERPLAN IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT -
January 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The New Year will bring new leadership at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, after Greg Zebrowski was elected by the 37-member board to take over as Chair, during the Commission’s annual reorganization December 19.

Zebrowski will be taking the reins from Stephen Repasch, whose maximum two-year term ends with the close of 2019.

Zebrowski has been Vice Chair the past year. Repasch and Zebrowski helped shepherd the commission through a busy year that included developing and adopting one of the nation’s first comprehensive plans that combines land use policy with the Long-Range Transportation Plan.

“Steve has done a great job. I’m honored to follow in his footsteps to continue the exemplary work of the LVPC,” Zebrowski said. “With the growth pressures this region is facing, our work is more important than ever. I’m excited to be part of the team.”

Zebrowski, of Bethlehem, formerly served on Northampton County Council, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. board and Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority board. He was appointed to the LVPC board in 2018 and became Vice Chair in 2019.

Also elected at the annual meeting were Vice Chair Steven Glickman, an architect from Bethlehem, who moves up from the Treasurer’s post. Pam Pearson, a Crayola worker and Tatamy Borough Councilwoman, becomes the new Treasurer.

LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley serves as Commission Secretary.

DRAFT BICYCLE AN PEDESTRIAN MASTERPLAN IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC COMMENT -
January 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

One of Pennsylvania’s most successful Local Technical Assistance Programs has released a 2020 schedule of 11 courses that can help make your community safer and more efficient.

Now in its 11th year of partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission has opened all 2020 courses for registration, led off by its popular Roadway Safety Features, January 29. The full-day class can help municipalities identify roadway hazards and establish the right countermeasures on residential streets.

All LTAP classes are free. Half-day classes run from 8 am-12 pm, and full-day courses that run from 8 am-3 pm include lunch. You can find the full schedule and registration information at http://lvpc.org/ltap.html.

Other courses include Drainage: The Key to Roads That Last, Work Zone Traffic Control and the newest course, Pedestrians and Crosswalks. All of the courses are held at the 961 Marcon Boulevard offices on the LVPC in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

Lehigh Valley public works and municipal workers have made this region’s LTAP classes the most well-attended in the state, with class sizes averaging 23.5 students.

“These courses offer a lot of value for municipalities that want their workers to learn the best practices for designing and maintaining road and traffic systems,” said Brian Hite, LVPC Senior Planning Technician. “We actually get students who travel from other regions for these. And why not? It’s useful information and it’s free.”

While the primary objective of all of the courses is to keep local road crews and municipal workers up to date on their training, some make the worker, elected officials or municipality eligible for cheaper insurance rates.

Since 2009, 2844 students have attended LTAP classes at LVPC, including 14 who have earned the title of Roads Scholar, for attending at least 10 classes over a three-year period.

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