Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

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Traffic Trends Report

 

Traffic Trends Report

for selected Lehigh Valley Locations

 

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) annually conducts approximately 100 traffic counts throughout Lehigh and Northampton counties under a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Statewide, 8,000 traffic counts are performed annually. The counts are useful in monitoring traffic flows, determining traffic background growth rates, calibrating the regional travel demand forecasting  model, projecting future traffic volumes, determining road design, allocating Federal funds, determining priorities for improvement projects, assessing air quality impacts, and maintaining congestion management systems. In addition, commercial realtors and developers utilize the data for marketing properties.

 

March 2014 Report PDF

 

Model Floodplain Regulations

 

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission released updated model floodplain regulations in March. The guide and model regulations was funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) through the Delaware and Lehigh National Corridor. The new model regulation is timely in advance of Northampton County communities receiving new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) this summer which may require each community to change their floodplain management ordinances. The current model regulations were written by the LVPC using the policies of the 2005 Regional Comprehensive Plan, the 2013 Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, the updated 2012 DCED floodplain provisions and the 2013 NFIP Community Rating System Coordinator’s Manual as guides.

 

Full Report PDF

Traffic Safety Plan for the Lehigh Valley

 

Safe Driving Saves Lives

The new update to the traffic safety plan highlights trends, goals, high crash study areas, and high crash intersections in the Lehigh Valley. It is created to be used as a resource for municipalities and a plan here at LVPC. The plan highlights significant crash types in the Lehigh Valley and compares them to goals set in Pennsylvania's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).  It also identifies high priority study areas and intersections from an in-house analysis that will be used as candidates for future projects here at the LVPC. This was created with the use of PennDOT's 2008-2012 crash databases.

 

Full Report PDF

Annual Subdivision and Building Activity

The Annual Subdivision Activity and Building Report was released on March 28, 2014.  The LVPC reviews subdivision and land development plans from Lehigh Valley municipalities relative to the policies of the Comprehensive Plan The Lehigh Valley ... 2030.  Since 1972, the subdivision activity report has been updated annually to provide an overview of development activity during the year.

 

In 2013, there was a modest rebound in subdivision activity in the Lehigh Valley over recent years. The combination of development spurred in the City of Allentown by the Neighborhood Improvement Zone and an improving unemployment rate (annual 8.7% in 2012, annual 7.0% in 2013) may generally explain the increase in regional subdivision activity. Unlike the previous decade where single family homes were being proposed in great numbers, the recent trend of more apartments and assisted living units being proposed by developers continued in 2013.

 

Non-residential development saw a substantial increase in 2013 with a nearly 7.5 million square feet, a 288% increase over 2012, approved by local municipalities for warehouses, office space and retail development.

 

Full Report PDF

 

Graph: Comparison of Proposed Single Family Dwellings and Apartments by Year, Regional Unemployment Rate and Annual Average Mortgage Rate, Lehigh and Northampton Counties 1984-2013  PDF

 

Graph: Comparison of Regional Unemployment to Subdivision Activity 1973-2013  PDF

 

Home Buying during Economic Uncertainty

 

Housing Sales in the Lehigh Valley, PA 2008-2012

 

Owning a home is considered a part of the American Dream. What happens to this dream when the national economy is reeling from uncertainty on Wall Street and other financial markets? Housing sales data is important data in analyzing housing demand and can provide a clear picture about the health of the housing market and to a lesser degree, the regional economy from year to year. This report provides a local analysis of housing sales from 2008 – 2012 at the regional, county, municipal and school district level.

 

Full PDF Report (7.3 mb)

 

Lehigh Valley Energy Profile

 

Energy powers our daily lives from heating and cooling our homes and offices to our modes of transportation. Pricing and availability go hand and hand with energy and its consumption. In order to make practical decisions about energy consumption and conservation an existing baseline must be established. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s staff developed an information packet consisting of baseline energy data on the state and region. The packet was developed to assist the LVPC’s Environment Committee craft goals, policies and strategies for the energy element of the Lehigh Valley Comprehensive Plan. The committee believes the information contained in the packet such as: Energy Sources, Energy Pricing, House Heating Fuel for Occupied Units and Heat Calculator are timely for the discussion on powering the valley for the future.

 

Full Report PDF

Public Participation Plan

 

Lehigh Valley Transportation Study

Public involvement is a vital component of the

transportation planning process. Providing full disclosure of plans and programs not only during the development phase but also after the adoption of these plans and programs allows the general public the opportunity to be involved, comment on, and influence the development process. Every person, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, or socio-economic status should have the opportunity to take part in and influence the transportation planning process. This Public Participation Plan provides for and documents the methods utilized by the LVTS to achieve this outcome.

 

Full PDF Report

Natural Heritage Inventory

 

The Lehigh Valley has many important natural areas worthy of protection, such as rare plants, threatened and endangered animal species, and high quality natural habitats. It is areas such as these that provide the hubs and nodes of the Lehigh Valley greenways network. The LVPC contracted with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program) to complete a study titled Natural Heritage Inventory of Lehigh and Northampton Counties Update 2013.  This document was an update to the 2005 report (the original study was completed in 1999) and identifies the outstanding floral and faunal features in the Lehigh Valley. The project was financed in part by a Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Program grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

 

Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program:

County Natural Heritage Inventories Page

Lehigh Valley Trails Inventory

 

This 2013 update, in addition to incorporating updated trail information, includes two new components: identifying priority trail gaps and providing guidelines to designing safe road crossings for trails. These two new components are part of a statewide effort by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to help organizations and municipalities to implement trail initiatives.  There is a lot of interest in trails in the Lehigh Valley, and hopefully this compilation of current trail efforts will provide municipalities, counties, and conservation partners a tool in advancing the development of the Lehigh Valley trail network.

 

For a larger version of the map and table (24 x 36), please contact our office to purchase for $10.00, plus tax and shipping.

 

Lehigh Valley Trails Inventory PDF

 

  • Public Invited to Share Input on Transportation

     

    Harrisburg – The public is invited to share their feedback on transportation priorities and investments through a survey at www.PAOnTrack.com as part of PennDOT’s efforts to update the state’s Long Range Transportation Plan and develop the state’s first-ever Comprehensive Freight Movement plan.

     

    The plans will provide a strategic vision for investing in transportation assets to meet current and future demands. The plan’s goals, objectives and recommendations will help guide the state’s future 12-Year Programs and regional long-range transportation plans.

     

    “PennDOT and its planning partners are constantly reviewing our transportation priorities, and we’re once again asking the public to help us plan for the future,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “Input from our customers is vital in ensuring we have as much information as possible to make informed, long-term decisions.”

     

    The survey, available until May 30, asks the public to identify their top transportation priorities among all assets, from freight connections to bike and pedestrian facilities. Participants will then rate the appeal of how various investment scenarios, such as preservation and technology enhancements, affect their top priorities.

     

    People taking the survey can also identify project needs that address traffic congestion, bridges, transit and more.

     

    The state Comprehensive Freight Movement Plan’s development was recommended by the state’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, which Governor Tom Corbett created in 2011 to develop innovative solutions to Pennsylvania’s transportation funding challenges.

     

    Following a yet-to-be-established public-comment period, the freight and long-range plans will be finalized in fall 2014.

  • LVPC Hires Architectural Designer

     

    The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) has hired, William Deegan, of Bethlehem, to assist the region’s communities with design issues. Deegan, is well known for his work on a variety of institutional and public projects, including ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™ and the Easton Intermodal and City Hall currently, in construction.

     

    Link to full Press Release PDF

  • LVPC Newsletter - Spring 2014

     

    We are pleased to release the Spring issue of the LVPC newsletter. We are very proud of our new logo which is featured on the first page of the newsletter. Our newly revamped website is also featured on the first page of the newsletter.

     

    Inside this issue of the newsletter you will find articles relating to transportation such as the Lehigh Valley Travel Model, additional transportation funding approved by the State of Pennsylvania, 2013 Local Technical Assistance Program training sessions coming up, and 2013 transportation capital project accomplishments.

     

    Also in this issue you will find schedules for upcoming LVPC and LVTS meetings. Two reports have been updated — Floodplain Guide | Regulations and the Annual Subdivision and Building Activity Report. Our Energy Profile, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainability Communities program, is highlighted in this issue.

     

    The environment is featured in this issue in articles on Livable Landscapes, Return on Environment, and information about our first ever Floodplain Management Forum which was held March 20, 2014 during National Flood Awareness Week.

     

    Newsletter PDF

     

  • Business Matters- FedEx Jobs vs. NIMBY Syndrome- What wins?

    Original Airdate: 3/31/14 | Guests: Bob Heimbecker - Hanover Township Council & Concerned Citizen, Robert Nappa - East Allen Resident, Don Cunningham - Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Becky Bradley - Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

     

  • Will Allentown rebirth end the suburbs?

     

    Cities will continue to attract jobs, businesses and additional investments in the years to come as lifestyles and demographics continue to evolve,

     

    Link to the Lehigh Valley Business article.

     

  • 2014 Meeting Schedules

  • 2014 Planning Web/Audio Training Series

     

    Lehigh Valley Section of the American Planning Association & the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission are teaming-up to offer nine American Planning Association & Lincoln Institute of Land Policy audio/web conference training programs:

     

    May 14, 2014 - Jane Jacob's Legacy & New Urbanism (1 CM), 4-5 PM

    Hosted by Bethlehem Township, 4225 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem

    June 4, 2014 - Introducing New Density to the Neighborhood (1.5 CM), 4-5:30 PM

    Hosted by the LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd, Suite 310, Allentown

    June 25, 2014 - 2014 Planning Law Review (1.5 Law CM), 4-5:30 PM

    Hosted by the LVPC, 961 Marcon Blvd, Suite 310, Allentown

     

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616