Pancho got my mind reeling with a question: what does Allentown need? It's a broad question and there are so many, many answers, but I thought that the Lehigh Valley blog network would be good to ask. Who has opinions if not bloggers?
I feel that the most important thing that would help center-city is to attract more jobs to the downtown. Getting more Lehigh Valley companies to move their headquarters, attract new businesses that would usually prefer a new business park. I think once the new jobs are created, things can slowly domino in the positive direction. More jobs > more tax dollars > more police/less crime, >more support & service industries etc. (or however you want to imagine it) I just wish we could do it all overnight, so everyone would feel comfortable.
So, what do you think are the top three things that need to get done in order for downtown Allentown to be an attractive downtown? If you think more police would make it better, post it; if you think a permanent giant parade float installation would make it better, post that too. Allentown's urban development is something I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, and I really need some new things to consider.
My initial thoughts involve a long laundry list and exclamation points: Keystone Opportunity Zone reformation! Improvement of Public Transportation! Public education programs! Wider sidewalks! More trees! More street lamps! The Americus! Urban gardens! Neighborhood- and city-scale marketing! Zoning law reformation! Waterfront - do something with it! Preservation! Sustainable development! Train access! The list goes on and I want YOU to add to it.