In principle, making Packer a pedestrian space is a good idea

logo Latest in a series of posts about Lehigh University and the Southside logo

Peter Crownfield is officially retired but spends most of his time working with students in his role as internship coordinator for the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.


In principle, I think making Packer a pedestrian space is a good idea and that most of the potential problems can be resolved. Unfortunately, I think “Lehigh sprawl” has already happened, with the development down to Morton Street — especially the new Health building — and the planned new building for the College of Business & Economics will extend this north of Morton.

There is a very big IF, though — if Lehigh won’t realize that what’s needed is far more than a “traffic study,” and that they need to commit to hiring an experienced consultant that is qualified to develop a plan that resolves the many concerns raised by the community. (The most pressing of which is probably a potential increase in vehicle traffic near Broughal MS.)

In addition, they need to really engage with the community to identify potential problems that haven’t even been discussed because many people haven’t been heard from.

It would be relatively easy for Lehigh to take community concerns seriously and to solve all the potential problems. Unfortunately, the historical record suggests they have little understanding or interest in this and will do as little as they can get away with.


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