Further notes on the Packer Ave. meeting

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Packer announcement

  • Gadfly says again that this didn’t feel like a neighborhood residential “community meeting.” Though realizing that sometimes the public just doesn’t turn out till the very moment of crisis, he still wishes he knew more about how this meeting was publicized.
  • Lehigh estimates that around 70% of the parking in the section that will be closed is by Lehigh people. In effect, this street area is a Lehigh parking lot.
  • An important question is where those displaced parkers will go. The fear is taking up neighborhood residential spaces.
  • Gadfly said earlier that he wasn’t sure what the Parking Authority was studying, but a review of the audio indicates they are studying precisely this question, where the displaced Packer Ave. parkers go.
  • Gadfly thought this briefly-made point strong, though it received no response. A man said that since all that was happening was that the traffic was being routed one parallel block down from Packer to Morton, he could not see that the connection with South Bethlehem (one of Lehigh’s goals) was improved. In effect, the border was just moved one block.
  • Dana Grubb made good comments about unforeseen future impact on vehicles and walkers as new developments on east 3rd st. bring new conditions and pressures. In response the Mayor mentioned the possibility of reconfiguring the ramp off a new Hill to Hill bridge to give us another east-west street. That was interesting.
  • City Council will have the ultimate decision if the Mayor decides closing Packer is a good idea.
  • If the Mayor’s decision is to close Packer Avenue, there will be another public meeting before City Council votes on the matter.
  • Breena Holland suggested that the data collected be available to the public to see before the Mayor makes his decision and that a meeting be held so that the public might inform that decision. “Well, we’ll consider that,” said the Mayor.
  • Questions were asked about gathering qualitative data, questions that got not much response.
  • Paige Van Wirt made the excellent suggestion of using the City web site to gather people’s responses. The Mayor liked that. [Gadfly could be a depository for such comments as well.]
  • By the way, 3 Council members were present: Crampsie Smith, Negron, Van Wirt.**

** Gadfly has been advised that Councilman Colon may have been there. Sorry, Councilman, if I misspoke.

to be continued . . .

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