Monday, July 19, 2010

Environmental Assessment and Public Hearing: Easton Intermodal Transportation Center

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), and the City of Easton, have completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Easton Intermodal Transportation Center.

Click here to view the final draft of the Easton Intermodal Transportation Center Environmental Assessment

This EA has been prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act for FTA as the lead federal agency. This project involves the construction of an intermodal transportation center along with a 3-level parking garage and a 3-story commercial building at 123 and 181 South Third Street (former Perkins Restaurant and Marquis Theatre properties) in the City of Easton, Northampton County.

The EA is available for public review online at and during regular business hours at the following locations:

City of Easton, Planning Bureau, City Hall, 3rd Floor
Easton Area Public Library, 515 Church Street

LANTA, Easton Office, 3610 Nicholas Street

LANTA, Main Office, 1060 Lehigh Street, Allentown

The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2010:

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Informal Public Open House
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Presentation and Public Comment Period


Grand Eastonian Suites Hotel

140 Northampton Street
Easton, PA

The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. Anyone requiring special accommodations for this meeting, or for more information, contact LANTA at (610) 435-4052.

A 30-day public review period for the EA begins July 21, 2010 and will end August 20, 2010 at 5:00 PM. Comments must be received by no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, August 20, 2010.

Comments may be made at the public hearing, or submitted in writing, faxed, or emailed to:

Mr. Armand Greco, Executive Director

Lehigh & Northampton Transportation Authority

1060 Lehigh Street

Allentown, PA 18103

Tel: (610) 435-4052; Fax: (610) 435-6774;


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lehigh Valley Commute

Check out the new Lehigh Valley Commute site: transportation information for commuting in and about the Valley.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Electric cars versus Transit: Is it time to choose again?

Most have heard by now about the ''Great American Streetcar Conspiracy" with GM, Firestone, Standard Oil - and even Mack Trucks - through a company called National City Lines, worked to purchase and dispose of trolley and light rail lines in favor of rubber-tire buses in the 1950's. The film released a few years back: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," was about the demise of the 'red line' trolley in Los Angeles - the land of the new American travel path: the 'freeway.'

The unintended consequence of this 'revolution' was that less attractive bus systems began to lose ridership big time as the love affair with the private auto in post-war America took hold.

As we look out upon the sea of automobiles moving in and out and around our urban areas on ribbons of expensive highways, while a skeletal system of public transit struggles to compete and to maintain balanced budgets with public subsidies, there is no doubt that the auto 'won' the hearts of Americans in the post WW II decades. And it took but a handful of decades to make the private transit systems unprofitable.

We quote this statistic: 50 million passengers rode the public transit system in the Lehigh Valley in the year 1950. By 1971, this figure dropped to 2.6 million! That loss of volume resulted in service cuts and fare increases until the public sector had to assume responsibility for a community asset that could not be let to disappear. In 1972, LANTA, the bi-county transit authority was created so that many who did not or could not own autos or drive had a public transit alternative.

Recently, fuel shortages and high energy costs and a movement to counter Urban sprawl has us at another crossroads. How the next few years sorts out with our mobility choices will have an impact on our nation likely for another set of decades to come.

Will low-cost, fuel efficient or alternative powered private automobiles be developed and marketed to replace the existing vehicle fleet or will governments - national, state and local - expand their support and funding for public transportation so that it again truly becomes a viable alternative to driving?

An interesting article on the electric vehicle versus transit is worth reading and pondering:

Which way should our future be influenced to unfold? And who is going to win or lose this next competition?