Sometimes Gadfly wishes he could really fly

logo Latest in a series of posts on Walkability and Bikeability logo

Gadfly is posting this (and some others) Saturday to go “live” on Monday morning.

You may not hear from him Monday.

At least, he may sleep late.

He will walk in the Delaware & Lehigh half-marathon Sunday.

And will likely need some repair.


Election Day
Tuesday November 5

Gadfly’s tail crosses the Trail’s finish line

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Gadfly finished the 5-month Tail on the Trail challenge yesterday.

His goal was to double the 165-mile basic challenge.


He did most of his short-spurt walking on the D&L Trail between Freemansburg on the east and Kimmett’s Lock on the west.

He looks forward to a pedestrian bridge into the Southside — with a pit stop.

In the Capital Plan we saw in the last post, there is thought to expanding the Greenway a bit farther south.

Gadfly does his longer walking in “training” for the 1/2 Marathon mostly on the Saucon Trail. Last Sunday he walked on it as far toward Bethlehem as he could.

And said a prayer.

Please let him live to see the connection from Burnside close to Gadville, down to Sand Island, across the pedestrian bridge, onto the Greenway, and all the way to Coopersburg.

Bucket list #4.

What a recreational resource we have.

Tail 1

Tail 7

“We have to have public transportation available”

logo58th in a series of posts on Touchstone Theatrelogo

When was the last time you took a bus?

Maybe the better question is, have you ever taken a bus?

Not only are we not quite a walking community, but we are not a viable public transportation community either as well.

Silagh White laments.

  • “How many people drove their car here tonight?”
  • “One of the things that is part of the divide is accessible public transportation.”
  • “I would love to take public transportation; it does not work for my life.”
  • ‘If you have not been listening to what the kids are saying about our future, and we don’t start changing our own personal behaviors, we are just as much a part of the problem.”
  • “But it’s impossible to change our behaviors if we don’t have the opportunity to do that as a society .”
  • “We have to do more; we have to have public transportation available, so that the food deserts don’t mean as much any more — people can actually get to places.”

Festival UnBound
Closed but never forgotten

“What I see happening isn’t really promoting a walkable community”

logo57th in a series of posts on Touchstone Theatrelogo

He confessed it. Total admission. Put it right out there. No hiding.

“I love to walk.”

That was Wally Trimble at the “Poets, Troubadours, and Troublemakers” event.

“Hear, Hear,” a flock of Gadfly followers assented, “We’ll drink to that!”

Much on our minds on this blog.

But a ways to go, says Wally.

  • “I love to walk.”
  • “I wish it were a more walkable community.”
  • “We have a great trail system . . .”
  • “Our crosswalks seem designed as kill zones.”
  • “There are a lot of really dangerous places . . . “
  • “The best way to see [our] neighborhoods is to walk.”
  • “It makes us feel better just to talk with a stranger.”
  • “If everybody was out walking around and talking with each other . . .”
  • “What I see happening isn’t really promoting a walkable community.”

Festival UnBound
Closed but never forgotten

Gadfly’s last lap Tail on the Trail report

(Latest in a series of posts on Walkability and Bikeability)

Gadfly has been using you followers for accountability.

Reporting again on his progress in the Tail on the Trail Challenge.

His goal is to double the basic challenge of 165 miles (the length of the Delaware and Lehigh canal) in the 6 months between May 1 and November 1 = 330 miles.

5 months now gone.

Gadfly has done 313 miles with almost a month to go.

Gonna make the goal with plenty to spare.

Tail 6

Now Gadfly also plans the Delaware & Lehigh Half Marathon November 3.

Training-wise, he’s up to 9 miles.

And an inch shorter.

Festival UnBound
Ten days of original theatre, dance, music, art and conversation designed to celebrate and imagine our future together!
October 4-13

Sharing your reading: finishing off Speck

(7th in a series about sharing your reading)
(and also relates to walkability)

If you aren’t reading, you may not be thinking. If you aren’t reading, you may not be growing. What are you reading these days? How about sharing with us? Gadfly invites you to share a few clips of your reading  — with or without comment — or a few thoughts from your reading pertinent to the Gadfly project of the good conversation about Bethlehem that builds community.

Notes from the back of the RCN bill envelope Gadfly used as a page marker for Jeff Speck’s, Walkability Rules (2018):

— “Where nobody walks, nobody supervises the public realm, and nobody gets to know their neighbors.”

— “It is only when we are outside of vehicles, and relatively safe from them, that the bonds of community can form.”

— “In well designed neighborhoods, the most convenient playground is no more than a five-minute walk away.”

— “City leaders . . . ask the wrong question about parking, which is, ‘how can we have enough of it?’ Nobody seemed to be asking the proper question: ‘how can parking be planned, provided, and managed to help cities thrive?'”

— Think about bus routes. Are there places the buses can’t take us but should? Gadfly thought about recreation areas. Should we have a bus that goes to Sand Island, for instance?

— “Bus frequency is key to ridership.” Every 10 minutes is comfort zone. Gadfly’s bus to work was every half-hour. It did feel a strain. “Removal of uncertainty [by more frequency] makes the wait more bearable.”

— Gadfly thought the bus rides themselves uncomfortable. Buses should be “more focused on hospitality than efficiency.” Wow!

— “Two-way [street] reversions are sweeping the nation.” Center? Linden? Always talk, no action.

— More timely bus service to New York? Phila? — how’s regional bus service from North St garage working out?

— “The more lanes a street has [or the wider it is], the more it feels like a highway.” Why is West Broad Street so broad? It’s a mini-MacArthur road situation. Could anything interesting be done there for beauty, for walkability? Something in the center?

— Speck cites Wyandotte St — the way the traffic pattern there killed the shops along the east side. Sad. Anything to be done?

— “Biking popularity is primarily a function of biking investment.” Gadfly knows the City has tried things over the years. Not much success?

— Gadfly idea: if we wanted to nudge a resurgence in biking, how about a program starting with kids biking to school where possible. Would mean protected lanes etc from neighborhoods to the schools. Let’s say a mile radius from William Penn.

— “Creating car-free streets and zones in our towns and cities must be a goal and even a priority if we truly value walkability.”

— “A great pedestrian mall lets you sit down for a drink while the children roam.”

— the “pedestrian scramble” intersection — Wheee!

— “Put street trees almost everywhere.”

— street trees: “almost always central  to making sidewalks safe, healthy, comfortable, and sustainable.”

— Thinking about trees/sidewalks made Gadfly think about streets in his childhood neighborhoods that were interesting to walk because of outside displays of wares. Pedestrians would stroll and linger. Has that kind of thing disappeared?

— “Park Day” — 3rd Friday in September — that would be September 20 — “people around the world reclaim parking spaces for humans, transforming what would normally be automobile storage places into places for hanging out.”

— What the word bankrupt means to developers: “I’ll make less money than I promised my investors.”

— “Pedestrians demand to be entertained.”

— “Exposed parking structures and blank walls must be kept away from would-be walkable areas.”

— ” public artwork can be a great remedial tool for salvaging problem areas from . . . ‘the great blight of dullness’.”

— “Active facades provide the street with interest and energy.”

— “Most retail facades should have some sort of awning. The goal is to blur the distinction between the shop and the sidewalk.”

— Got Gadfly thinking of unused or underutilized public spaces — and Payrow Plaza came to mind. Cf. what the Health  Dept Kristen Weinrich just did with that as recently reported here. Any other spaces come to mind that could be enlivened?

Wow! Gadfly thought a lot, grew a lot from reading Speck. Tip o’ the hat to Tony Hanna again for the recommendation.

What’s in your wallet, er, home library or on your bed-stand?