Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

WALK/ROLL LV ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE - May 2020, Matt Assad, Managining Editor

Over the next four years, more than $451 million will be invested in the Lehigh Valley’s transportation network. It’s not enough. Not even close.

This is no time to retrace the history of how we got here or to waste effort on trying to assign blame. We are in an unprecedented time in our country that is forcing us to pull together, to lean on each other and most of all, reprioritize the things that make America work.

It’s the right time to reinvest in our infrastructure.

As COVID-19 takes a terrible toll on our nation and the world, the health of our friends, families and neighbors will always be the top priority. That is undebatable, but even as that remains our primary focus, we now have an opportunity to begin addressing our infrastructure shortcomings.

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WALK/ROLL LV ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE - May 2020, Matt Assad, Managining Editor

Fresh off its approval by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission last week, the region’s first ever bicycles, pedestrian and multimodal transportation master plan is racing toward the finish line.

After an 18-month open table process that included 250 contributors from across the Lehigh Valley, the Walk/RollLV: Active Transportation Plan will go for final approval before the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study Coordinating Committee at 9 am June 3.

In order to give organizers time to prepare their presentation to the LVTS, the May 27 Multimodal Working Group meeting is canceled.

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<<LINK TO WALK/ROLL PLAN>>

THE FUTURE IS COMING SOONER THAN WE THOUGHT - May 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The race to build warehouses in the Lehigh Valley will re-energize, the retail slide will accelerate, more people will work from home, but none of that will mean the region’s busiest roadways will remain free of traffic.

Covid-19’s impact on the region will not end when the economy reopens or when a vaccine is developed, and the new normal may simply bring the region’s likely future about much sooner than expected, the LVPC’s Community Planning experts told people during a webinar examining the impact of Covid-19 on development.

“More and more people are switching to online shopping and grocery delivery and pickup — and they may not revert to their old habits when the pandemic ends,” said LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley, during an online webinar attended by 38 people last week. “This will continue to fuel the development of warehouses, for better and for worse, and will accelerate the decline of shopping centers necessitating redevelopment of these “greyfields”. FutureLV: The Regional Plan predicted the retail center decline and has several policy directives to support reuse and redevelopment. We think it will happen more quickly now due to the pandemic.”

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PA'S ACT 15 GUIDES PUBLIC BODIES THROUGH THE PANDEMIC - May 2020,

Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Covid-19 has left public bodies with a dilemma: How can they keep the public at a safe distance, while giving them the access that is their legal right?

Pennsylvania’s Act 15 bridges that divide, by allowing municipalities, planning commissions like the LVPC and other public organizations to safely conduct business, while keeping the public involved during the Covid-19 crisis.

The law enables municipalities to conduct public meetings electronically, eliminates the need for in-person contact, and pauses review and filing time limits that many municipalities have struggled to meet with their doors closed to the public and so many employees furloughed or working from home.

“This Covid-19 pandemic is certainly one of the largest disruptors of our time,” said LVPC Becky Bradley in opening a webinar on the new law. “We’re here today to talk about the unprecedented legislative response to local government and development.”

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WHY THE LEHIGH VALLEY NEEDS YOU TO BE COUNTED IN THE 2020 CENSUS -

May 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

If someone was willing to give you $2,093 for filling out a 12-question survey of routine queries like name, address and age, would you do it?

Well, that’s sort of what happens when you fill out the Census, because that count dictates how $26.7 billion -- $2,093 for every person in Pennsylvania -- will fund everything from roads to hospitals to schools to housing, according to a study by George Washington University.  Getting undercounted means getting underfunded, as money that should be coming here goes elsewhere.

That’s one of the many factors that makes filling out the 2020 Census more important than ever.

Beyond that, accurate count data is vital in planning for the future, its effects how much say our region has in federal government policy, and it plays a role in whether people and businesses want to come here.

In other words, missing people means missing out on a lot.

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THE LEHIGH VALLEY'S ESSENTIAL FREIGHT INDUSTRY - May 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

We’ve all been stuck on Route 22 and wondered “maybe if all these trucks weren’t out here, this wouldn’t be gridlock.”

Trucks, warehouses and freight have become a familiar target in a Lehigh Valley that’s become a national epicenter of distribution and logistics growth.

But these days, those trucks are among the few vehicles on the road, and rather than being the answer to why you’re annoyed, they’ve become part of the solution to how to deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic.

As the Pandemic spreads, the supply chain keeps on trucking – often with the essential goods needed to sustain a sheltered-in-place population.  That includes everything from food to consumer goods to masks to respirators.

It’s particularly evident in the Lehigh Valley, which has become an e-commerce supplier for the entire Northeast.

“In a lot of ways, they’re as much on the front lines as medical personnel, police officers and postal workers,” said Lora Cecere, Founder of Hanover, Pa.-based Supply Chain Insights and author of Supply Chain Shaman. “Not only are they exposed, but they’re providing the goods that we need to keep things going through this crisis.”

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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