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Remember: January Thaw 2: Cedar Beach Parkway (New Paving)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Thaw 2: Cedar Beach Parkway (New Paving)

I realized I had jumped the gun on the January thaw when I stepped outside yesterday morning. I found myself standing in a summerlike downpour. The temperature was nearly sixty degrees. I headed down to Cedar Beach.

Heavy rains had fallen over the previous night and coupled with recent precipitation and snowmelt, Cedar Creek was flooded.

Large areas of the lowlands in Cedar Beach Parkway were underwater.

I discovered the walking path dug up. I believe it to be in the preparation stage of further black top paving.

All around the asphalt paths near the reflecting ponds was water. Large channels aside the newly paved paths were full and some were serving as run off canals towards the creek.

As the debate over the trails plan has heated up of late, one serious area of contention has been in regards to the types of trails that would be installed under this initiative. Many people, including yours truly, have stated that they would prefer to see less paved paths in future park developments.

Check back here tomorrow for a full exploration on the topic.

After leaving the mud and water of Cedar Beach, I drove to the Lehigh County Soccer Fields to catch what was left of the sunset. Here, beyond the community gardens, day was expiring.

Perhaps to find itself in Tomato Heaven:

Warm air over the winter bramble and idle cornfields felt strange, felt like a tease. I am looking forward to the life of spring.

(To Pave or Not to Pave, that is for tomorrow…)

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Blogger michael molovinsky said...

andrew, as you think about your post for tomorrow, and realize all the paving going into cedar parkway, despite adding hard surface to an obvious floodplain, reflect on the comments stated at the trail-network meeting. "there has been no final decision of whether the paths will be paved, public input will be sought." as one who attended no less than 5 council meetings on cedar parkway, i can tell you public input means jack to this administration. anybody who thinks all the paths in all the parks will not eventually be paved and widened is being less than realistically honest.

January 26, 2010 at 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I guess this may be an unpopular opinion, but although immediate logic says "don't pave in a flood zone" I can see several benefits to paved paths in the flood plane at Cedar.

1. Any non-paved surface contributes to the sedimentation problem after floods. The riparian buffer can mitigate this problem, but you still don't want the riparian buffer being flooded by gravel or dirt every time the creek floods. By having a paved surface, and keeping the gravel surface upstream of the paved trail, the sedimentation will be reduced.

2. Useability should generally be secondary to environmental concerns, but a paved trail is useable basically immediately after the flood waters recede, whereas unpaved trails can be unuseable for days after the rain. As someone who actually does try to walk in the park every day, this is a big plus to me, and I'm sure to many other park users.

just my opinion.

January 26, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

i should clarify that i believe the unpaved sections of the bridle path in lehigh parkway will remain unpaved to accommodate the boots and saddle riding club. paved surface is very hard on the horses.

all paths in all the remaining parks will eventually be paved to accommodate the bicycle riding lobby

January 26, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger jody said...

"all paths in all the remaining parks will eventually be paved to accommodate the bicycle riding lobby". Please explain what other parks are not paved already( besides the obvious wrong doing at the Rose Garden) which the "bicycle riding lobby" was against.

January 26, 2010 at 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, yes usability should be secondary to immediate use after a weather event. If water remains on the surface for long it means one of several things: 1) The path is in a flood plain,already problematic. 2) The path is in a wetland area, already sensitive by definition. 3) Rain water is not entering the ground and is pooling because of soil impermeability or compacted soil structure. All three of these situations add to runoff,increased flooding and erosion of stream banks. All of this leads to degradation of Allentown's source water. All the professionals involved must know this. If they don't, they are not qualified for their jobs. This includes city employees, consultants and funders. The Wildlands Conservancy, to name one group contracted by the city surely has an obligation to speak up. Some times Mother Nature is telling us, if we listen, please stay out of this area at this time. What good is usability if we degrade our wonderful and sensitive park land?

February 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

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