ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Members of the public have a chance to weigh in on a downtown urban design and development plan in Allentown.
Plenty of changes are already happening in center city and now people can offer input on what happens next.
Consultants from Goody Clancy, a company from Boston, are holding open house sessions Wednesday and Thursday to talk to people about what they'd like to see.
The first session was held Wednesday afternoon in Center Square.
"We're here on the street today inviting everyone to come along and share ideas with what are the priorities with how to make downtown a better place for economic development for the Lehigh Valley, for Allentown and also to be a greater center of community for all of Allentown," said Ben Carlson, Director of Urban Design for Goody Clancy and the project manager for the Allentown project.
"It's important in any plan to reach out to the broad public to make sure that the planning we're doing reflects the priorities and the needs and the aspirations of the broad community," Carlson added.
Among the topics the public can discuss are infrastructure, land use, development policy and management.
Lower Macungie Township Commissioner Ron Beitler was among the people who offered input.
"I do believe very, very strongly that a strong center core is not only good for residents who live down here downtown but it's also great for us who live out there in the suburbs," said Beitler.
Carlson said, "We're looking to how can downtown add more jobs, add more education opportunities, add park spaces, add retail opportunities, add walkable streets."
Allentown resident Paulette Hunter stopped by and spoke with Carlson. She wants to make sure her voice is heard.
"I'm kind of frustrated, I told him that, because I've been to a lot of meetings and the city council where we put stickers on things and yellow things on things and it doesn't go anywhere," she said. "I would like to see something happen or you tell me why it didn't happen. Don't let me put sticker and waste my time."
Another open house is being held Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton Streets. There will be a third session Thursday at PPL Plaza at 9th and Hamilton from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Carlson said they will return in the fall for more public engagement opportunities.
Allentown, PA 18102