Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF DEVELOPABLE LAND - Becky Bradley, Executive Director, Your View column in The Morning Call, February 25, 2019

Mark Twain once said “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” We’re not in the business of giving investment advice, but the last part of that quote is particularly relevant to the Lehigh Valley today. The fact is, this is an attractive region not only for all those companies buying up land to build massive distribution centers, but for people moving here to take advantage of our affordable living, beautiful open space and high quality of life.

As a result, our land is being developed at a rate of roughly two square miles a year. That’s in this market of moderate growth. During the housing booms of the 1980s and mid-2000s, we were developing greenfields at nearly twice that rate. To put it bluntly, we’re running out of developable land. No one is suggesting we’re in crisis – yet. But we planners tend to play the long game, so it’s in all of our best interest to take steps now before a crisis happens. Certainly, no one is suggesting we halt development.

But what we are advocating is finding a healthy balance. Warehousing versus farmland. Housing versus open space. Development versus preservation.

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WHERE SHOULD WE PARK ALL THESE TRUCKS? - March 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Imagine you’re looking for a parking space and if you don’t find one soon, you could be fined or maybe even risk losing your job. And by the way, your car is 70 feet long and it’s illegal to park it on your community’s public streets.

That’s the plight of today’s tractor-trailer driver. Truck parking is a growing issue in communities across the nation, but it’s particularly relevant in the Lehigh Valley, which sits at the epicenter of one of the nation’s busiest warehouse and logistics corridors.

While communities race to pass laws designed to rid their streets of idle trucks they argue are loud, unsightly, pollution-causers, truck drivers trying to contend with new restrictions are lobbying for more places to park and rest.

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I-78 SET TO BE ALTERNATIVE FUELS CORRIDOR - COULD ROUTES 22 AND 33 BE NEXT?

- March 2019, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Efforts to reduce carbon emissions are changing how we travel and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has decided Interstate 78 should help lead the way into a greener future.

PennDOT is recommending to the Federal Highway Administration that I-78 be designated as an Alternative Fuel Corridor, making the highway a more attractive route for people with electric or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and putting it in line for the funding needed to install alternative fueling stations.

It’s the third round of designations for a federal program started in 2016, and LVPC officials are asking that Routes 22 and 33 be added to the list in the next round. Interstate 476, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension, was designated in 2016.

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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