Letter to the Editor: Road Widening Will Increase Truck Traffic, Cost Taxpayers

An open letter from the Friends for the Protection of Lower Macungie Township asking taxpayers to attend the May 3 BOC meeting and to voice their opinions. A costly issue that could sharply increase truck traffic may come up for a vote.

To the residents of Lower Macungie Township:

The Spring Creek Properties (Jaindl) Subdivision will require Rt. 100 to be widened to five lanes, and the new Sauerkraut Lane extension to four lanes at its intersection with Rt. 100.

The widening will require the township to take property from the houses along Route 100. Furthermore, more than 1,000 additional tractor trailers and car are predicted to be traveling on Route 100 during rush hour.

Do you think this will lower property values along the Route 100 corridor?

Our township engineer has warned that all four access roads into Ancient Oaks West, (Aster, Wisteria, Foxglove and Columbine), will have limited access or traffic lights when Rt. 100 is widened and the Sauerkraut extension is built. Add to this 'recipe for disaster' a major commercial strip being planned along Rt. 100 at the Romig Farm.

The township Board of Commissioners may vote to approve this subdivision at its May 3 meeting.

Please attend and ask the commissioners hold a special public hearing on this plan before they vote on it. There are far too many unanswered questions about the long-term impact of this plan including how much taxpayers will be on the hook for it.

You can view the plan online. All the detailed traffic notes can be seen on the township website under public notices. Click the link and bring up page 12 A. Scroll to the right to find the chart of traffic improvements.

The Route 100 widening and Sauerkraut Lane extension are not included under those road improvements to be paid for by the developer. This begs the question, who will pay for this? The taxpayers? This is just one of many questions that need to be answered. 

Additionally, we must be shown projections that this giant development will produce enough tax revenue to cover costs of future road maintenance and public services like fire protection. 

It's time our elected officials advocate for us instead of the interests of land developers. Please attend the May 3 meeting and speak your mind.


Friends for the Protection of Lower Macungie Township Steering Committee

Ron Beitler

Scott Bieber

Percy Dougherty

Jane Fretz

Bob Rust

Mark Spengler

Rob Hamill

Anthony Rodale

Ann Friedenheim

Kathryn Dixon

Sandy Beldon

Robert Sentner May 02, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I am convinced this is not only an LMT issue, but a regional issue. There has been no communication between townships, or boro's on this issue. All of the area township and boro's adopted the southwest comprehensive plan in order to have a map of how to plan for the future. And yes I believe it is a living document that needs to be tweaked here and there as time goes on, BUT this is not tweaking there is no thought what so ever about the impact to the area other than GREEDY DOLLARS plain and simple. We need another warehouse, strip mall, gas station like we need a hole in our head. Just poor planning, poor leadership and disrespect of what the people want. We take some of the best soils in the entire area, the flatest lands and cover them with impervious just STUPID. I have been a critic of EPSD and the tax increases but I have also taken there side about some talks about sustainable growth, we need to have many more talks about this before approving this rediculous plan.
Ron Beitler May 02, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Definitely regional issue. Between yesterday and Monday we flyered 200 houses in Ancient Oaks west. It's crazy how little people really know about this project. Despite all the press. Despite the door knocking. I think it's in part to how complicated it is. Subdivision plans are like a foreign language if you aren't used to looking at them. Which is why I think the community DESERVES a public hearing. This is the single largest development in township history. First it's nuts that it's on community groups to try to get information out to the public about such a mammoth development.... You would think our elected officials would go above and beyond. Two recurring themes I heard on my walks the last 2 days: 1. Confusion. People really do not understand the scope of the plan. (For example, Rt. 100 widening to 4 lanes, the rush hour traffic loads, Saurkraut extension ect. ect.) One woman thought the issue was over since she read the appellants won in county court. and 2. People feel helpless and frustrated. One lady said she would love to speak at a public meeting but it's very intimidating. And it is. I speak in public for a living and I get intimidated when I go speak into a mic at a podium addressing 5 men staring at you from a Dias being filmed at public meetings with a 3 minute timer on. This whole issue should have been coupled with welcoming public information sessions and forums the last 2 years.
Ron Beitler May 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM
2nd I hope they say they did this to 'create jobs' tomorrow at the meeting. They have said this before. No doubt it will. But NOT for the residents of LMT who are paying the price both in dollars & cents and also in QOL. These jobs ARE sorely needed in Allentown and urban centers. Not LMT. It makes no sense regionally to build these warehouses in green fields miles away from the people who need the jobs. It makes all the sense in the world to build in Brownfields in Allentown/Beth/Easton. Currently LANTA is exploring more lines to Fogelsville. Who will pay the bill for LANTA to service the outlying communities when you could build the jobs where they ARE needed. I am all for public transit but not when it's a result of poor planning/no planning. I talked to a friend who works at a major distribution center in Fogel. Warehouse workers at his job make 10.50 /hr. These are ones who are full time employees of the company. Many are temps who make 9.50 /hr. How many people in LMT are looking for 20k yr jobs? His estimate (estimate only) is at least 75% of workers commute from Allentown and Reading. It's reality. For the whole operation he estimates there are 15-20 managers who make salaries. Realistically these are jobs that would be filled by LMT residents. SO.... we are building 4 million Sq foot of warehousing to employ maybe 100 LMT residents? The community is being asked to subsidize this project for possibly 100 jobs? This is incredibly inefficient.
Freddy Valdivia May 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Mr Beitler is rigth saying those jobs are in benefit of other towns,we should wake up before our beautiful Lower Macungie becomes another town like Newark,NJ,poluted,traffic nightmare,high taxes,high crimes,definitely will be at the meeting tomorow,thanks guys ! !
Ron Beitler May 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yap Freddy. Warehouses are the worse worse worse worse type of development for our township. The opposite of what we need in terms of jobs and a sustainable tax base. We need office/tech and high end retail (think promenade) These are revenue winners.


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