Lehigh Valley’s freight economy to double — Comment to LVPC by Aug. 2


Do you realize that the Lehigh Valley’s freight economy is expected to double by 2040? The Morning Call recently reported that the total tonnage of goods traveling through our region would increase from “40 billion tons in 2011 to more than 80 billion in 2040.”

If you care about what happens with truck traffic in the Lehigh Valley, you may want to make your voice heard by commenting on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s new report – MOVELV Lehigh Valley Regional Freight Plan.

The deadline to comment is Aug. 2, 2015 at 5 p.m. and you may submit comments four ways:

· Click here for online submission

· Mail: Lehigh Valley Transportation Study, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

· Email: comments@lvpc.org

· Phone: 610-264-4544

In the report the LVPC wraps up its findings with twelve recommendations on the topics of Safety, Mobility, System Preservation and Stewardship. After reading these, I still had many questions. For instance, will the LVPC’s recommendations address issues like pedestrian safety? Of particular concern to me is the impact of truck traffic on small towns that have their Main Street designated as a state road.

One of the report’s recommendations is to “develop and publicize alternative routes for heavily used freight corridors.” Would this steer trucks to our downtowns or away from them? Would it help to prevent tragedies like the one in downtown Emmaus where an 11-year-old girl was hit and killed by a car while crossing the main thoroughfare?

We encourage you do to so as well. After the comment period is over, LVPC will host a lunch/discussion to discuss the plan on Aug. 13, from 12 to 1 p.m. at the LVPC offices at 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109. The LVPC website states that the discussion is expected to include “strategies for infrastructure investment as our freight economy is anticipated to double by 2040.”

Balancing safety and economic opportunity while preserving our clean air, our regional identity and our quality of life will likely prove challenging. If these issues matter to you too, you may want to consider serving on our smart transportation committee. Let us know at smartgrowth@renewlv.org.

By the way, what do you think of supporting a plan that strives for zero pedestrian and bike deaths? RenewLV’s Smart Transportation committee is discussing this idea that already has the support of the mayors of New York City and Philadelphia: Vision 0. According to a recent article at PlanPhilly.com, Vision 0 was “invented in Sweden in 1997 and the premise is that there’s no such thing as an accident, and life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society.” That’s a beautiful ideal to hold while we plan for increasing freight traffic to the region.

Posted on July 22, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve only had a chance to glance at the plan and its recommendations — all of which seem to focus on how to make freight work better, mostly for the RR & truckers. Nothing about making things safe for bicyclists & pedestrians (or even for other motorists, except for dealing with RR grade crossings on busy routes).
    And not even a hint that there might be things we could and should do to slow or reduce this growth. Planning should involve more than reacting to problems — it should be exploring ways to prevent problems at their root. Every new warehouse or distribution center will increase truck traffic. Municipalities should be warned that every such development will have human consequences in terms of accidents — and because the LV has consistent problems with ozone & Diesel pollution, increased traffic will also cause more health-related deaths and illnesses.
    People should take a hard look at this plan and at the mindset at LVPC.

  2. One of my concerns is about the Main Streets in the region that are also state roads. Are those going to be considered “alternate routes” for trucks. If so, quality of life in those communities is sure to be impacted in a negative way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: