Take a walk, share your thoughts on pedestrian safety
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Following a day of walk audits in Easton on June 28, folks will be putting one foot in front of the other elsewhere in the region.
Bethlehem residents can take part in a walk audit Thursday, July 13, to share their thoughts on walkability and pedestrian safety in different areas of the city.
They can join other auditors for Community Walk Day at 9:30 a.m. at Sand Island to get involved.
- Community Walk Days will bring attention to troublesome intersections and roads throughout the Lehigh Valley
- Officials involved said this is a way for residents to get directly involved with improving their areas, and even get some exercise
- Following the date in Bethlehem, another walk day will take place starting at Allentown's Fountain Park at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 10
The Valley-wide walk audit began in April, allowing those interested the chance to bring attention to potential improvement areas in their neighborhoods. But Community Walk Days provide a chance for people to take a day, come out and join others in the efforts.
Carmen Bell, senior director of healthy aging with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, said the effort is a joint collaboration involving AARP, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Age-Friendly Lehigh Valley, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
“We want to make sure that we do all that we can to ensure that these intersections and routes are safe as they can be for everyone, including those who are in wheelchairs, on canes, pushing strollers, who are rollerblading or bicycling.”Carmen Bell, senior director of healthy aging with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Bell said the events give people “the power to create the community that we want,” offering opportunities for direct engagement in the area while also getting some good exercise.
“We want to make sure that we do all that we can to ensure that these intersections and routes are safe as they can be for everyone, including those who are in wheelchairs, on canes, pushing strollers, who are rollerblading or bicycling,” Bell said.
“So it’s not just drivers and walkers, it’s everybody who’s impacted by intersections and routes that can be improved with some additional safety features.”
How to participate
Bell said those coming Thursday should bring the clothes on their backs, some comfortable shoes and a cell phone if they’re comfortable sharing their contact number with an audit team leader.
Folks can also print out their audit worksheets ahead of time from the Age-Friendly Lehigh Valley site, or they can get one at the event.
“It’s right there within our reach to do things that actively impact our own quality of life."Carmen Bell, senior director of healthy aging with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
“It’s right there within our reach to do things that actively impact our own quality of life,” Bell added.
If you can’t make it Thursday, you can opt to participate on your own time by visiting the Age-Friendly Lehigh Valley website. For those who aren’t able to participate in the walk audit for whatever reason, there’s also a section on the site to describe the conditions of one’s area to place attention on it for future audits.
What's to come, statistics
The program is planned to continue through the end of November. At that point, LVPC will use the results to assist in the development of its next transportation safety plan, according to LVPC Managing Editor Matt Assad.
A May 2023 newsletter from LVPC stated that throughout the Lehigh Valley from 2017-2021, 35 pedestrians were killed, with another 458 injured by vehicles. Four bicyclists were killed during that time, and another 143 were injured by vehicles.
Areas of concern
The list of audit locations has been updated since the start of the project. The Bethlehem Community Walk Day will see audits of the following locations throughout the city, including one location in nearby Fountain Hill:
- Fourth Street: Intersections at Hayes Street and South New Street
- Wyandotte Street: Intersections at Summit Street and Fourth Street
- Intersection at Main Street and Bridge Street
- Intersection at West Broad Street and Sixth Avenue
- Intersection at Catasauqua Road and Kaywin Avenue-Westgate Drive
- Intersection at Ostrum Street and St. Luke’s Place
- Intersection at East Church Street and Center Street
- Intersection at Center Street and East Elizabeth Avenue
- Intersection at East North Street and Maple Street
- Intersection at North New Street and Union Boulevard
LVPC identified 50 troublesome area locations in April — spots known for pedestrian injuries, fatalities, high use or proximity to schools, churches or senior centers. Those locations include the following:
- Airport Road: Intersections at East Highland Street, Union Boulevard, East Clay Street
- Intersection at Chew Street and North 22nd Street
- Intersection at Hamilton Street and South 19th Street
- Hanover Avenue: Intersections at East Hamilton Street and East Linden Street
- Intersection at North Second Street and Turner Street
- Intersection at North Sixth Street and West Liberty Street
- Intersection at North Seventh Street and north end of bridge over Sumner Avenue
- Intersection at North Ott Street and Parkway Boulevard
- Intersection at South Carlisle Street and East South Street
- Intersection at Union Boulevard and North Maxwell Street
- West Allen Street: Intersection at 15th Street and North 14th Street
- Intersection at Walnut Street and South 15th Street
- West Union Boulevard: Intersections at Eighth Avenue and Old York Road
- Intersection at Third Street and Hayes Street
- Intersection at East Fourth Street and Fillmore Street
- East Broad Street: Intersections at Maple Street and Wood Street
- Stefko Boulevard: Intersections at Butztown Road, Walters Street and Crawford Street
- Intersection at West Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue
- Intersection at Butler Street and South Elder Street
- Intersection at Butler Street and South Elder Street
- Intersection at North 13th Street and Northampton Street
- Intersection at North Third Street and Bushkill Street
- Main Street: Intersections at Bachman Street and Thomas Avenue
- Intersection at Cetronia Road and Mosser Road
- Intersection at Brookside Road and Hanover Drive
- Intersection at Donegal Drive and Village Lane
- Hamilton Boulevard: Intersections at Broad Street and entrance to Costco and mall
- Intersection at Main Street and South Front Street
- Intersection at North Cedar Crest Boulevard and North 29th Street
- Intersection at Main Street and Second Street
- Intersection at South Cedar Crest Boulevard and Chestnut Street
- Intersection at East Center Street and South Broad Street
- Intersection at West Center Street and Forest Drive
- Intersection at Nazareth Road and Kingston Road
- Intersection at South 25th Street and Hillside Avenue
- Intersection at William Penn Highway and South 27th Street
- Intersection at High Point Boulevard and Stoke Park Road
- Intersection at Blue Valley Drive and Main Street
- Intersection at Main Street and South Best Avenue
- Intersection at South Broadway and Fifth Street