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Hit the road to transit-oriented development

By LVEDC Staff on April 9, 2013

In a first of its kind regional collaboration, Envision Lehigh Valley is teaming up with Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative, and Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority to promote “transit-oriented development” – a key corridor initiative already in place in such cities as Pittsburgh and Portland, Ore. A special bus tour is scheduled for May 9. Riders who register with Envision Lehigh Valley’s Lenore Pitsilos at [email protected] by May 2nd will get a tour of Allentown and Bethlehem locations that can benefit – or are already benefitting – from TOD.

“The continued redevelopment along key corridors of our public transportation system is key to creating a more sustainable Lehigh Valley,” said Holly Edinger, director of Envision Lehigh Valley.By taking part in the afternoon bus tour, passengers will find out how we can author smart land development with appropriate infrastructure, increase the quality of life for our residents and protect our natural resources. Edinger says it is critical cities such as Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton engage in TOD.”TOD factors into attracting new, young professionals,” she said.

Riders on the “Transit-Oriented Development’ tour will travel aboard a LANTA bus during the May 9th event.

According to the website transitorienteddevelopment.org, the benefits of TOD include:

  • Higher quality of life
  • Better places to live, work and play
  • Greater mobility with ease of moving around
  • Increased transit ridership
  • Reduced traffic congestion and driving
  • Increased foot traffic and customers for area businesses
  • Greatly reduced dependence on foreign oil
  • Greatly reduced pollution and environmental destruction

The event is slated to kick off at 12:30 p.m. in downtown Bethlehem where attendees will hop a LANTA bus at the corner of West North and Guetter streets in front of the Hyatt Hotel. The first stop is 1 p.m. at the Lehigh Dairy where Whitehall Township Mayor Ed Hozza, Planning Director Lee Ruckus and broker Ron Eichenberg will offer an overview of the MacArthur Parkway master plan.

The bus then hits the street for Schoen’s on Hamilton Street in Allentown. Riders will get an overview of the redevelopment plans and learn the benefits of the site’s nearness to the Allentown Transit Center.

A third stop includes a brief tour of Bennett Toyota on Hanover Boulevard in Allentown. Fifteen minutes later, the bus will swing into Straub Chrysler Jeep in Bethlehem for another short tour.

At 3 p.m., the group will stop at 1 E. Broad St. in Bethlehem where officials will discuss the goals of the Moving LANTA Forward Plan and how it will benefit the greater Lehigh Valley.

The day wraps up with a mixer at 4 p.m. featuring brokers, developers and LVEDC partners.

For more information or to register for a spot on the bus, please contact Lenore Pitsilos at [email protected]

 

 

 

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