DELMAR – The first phase of the Town of Bethlehem’s 1.3 mile Delaware Avenue project lasts through July 7 as the Town continues to solicit public comments on the three preliminary concept plans unveiled by the Town at a June 15 public meeting.
To date, the Town has received 18 public comments through its DelAveCompleteStreets.com web site, 18 public comments by e-mail and an additional 25 public comments submitted on written comment forms that were distributed at the meeting.
Of the 18 comments received on the website, three respondents stated their enthusiastic preference for Plan 2A, the most comprehensive of the plans. However, seven of the 18 comments received on the website, indicated dissatisfaction with there being no infrastructure included in any of the plans for bicycle safety. When asked whether those comments would cause the Town to reconsider including bicycle infrastructure in the plan, Bethlehem Director of Planning Rob Leslie said, “we would have to wait until the close of the public comment period to see where the community’s sentiment lands and to determine what is and is not feasible.”
One thing Leslie was certain of, in response to a handful of other comments at the other end of the spectrum that recommended keeping the status quo, doing nothing to change Delaware Avenue is not an option.
“I doubt we would contemplate that. Our common goal is to reduce speed and improve safety,” he said, noting that right now the Town has the funds available to do that. “If we do nothing, we lose the money,” Leslie said.
It is anticipated another public meeting will be held in the Fall after the Town has assessed the public comments it has received. In the meantime, the Town will work with individual local businesses and property owners over the summer concerning the impact to them of specific sidewalk and driveway improvements and driveway consolidations.