Venture Group discusses adjustments to D&L Heritage Corridor landscaping
PATRICK BECHTEL/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS From left, Josh Friebolin, who is supervisor chairman of Washington Township; Jason Breidinger, who is chairman of the Venture Group, and Dan Stevens, who is president of Northern Lehigh Future Focus. Future Focus presented a check for $1,700 for the Slatington Trailhead Building Project at the Feb. 13 meeting, and Washington Township presented a check for $5,000. The Venture Group is still collecting funds for the roof of the building. According to Breidinger, the building project is going to cost around $155,000 total, and the Venture Group still needs about $20,000 or $30,000 to finish the project. For more information, visit http://www.greaternorthernlehigh.com/ and click on the Trailhead Building Project link on the left side of the page.
At the Venture Group's meeting Saturday morning the group discussed making some adjustments to the landscaping project the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor has planned for the Slatington Trailhead. D &L's plans, which have been approved by Lehigh County and Slatington Borough, include a gate at the Main Street entrance to the trailhead so that all traffic would move through the Railroad Street entrance. Bryon Reed, who is a member of Slatington Borough Council, said that the gate is located at the best place to exit the trailhead and that the Railroad Street exit does not provide good eyesight for drivers pulling out of the trailhead.
The consensus at the meeting was to ask D & L if they're willing to adjust the plans to leave the Main Street entrance open and close off the Railroad Street entrance. Pete Papay said that this doesn't have to be done with a gate; it could be done with shrubbery, which would make the trailhead a greener sight.
"I don't see any advantages. I only see disadvantages to putting a gate at Main Street."
Papay said that there was a plan for the Slatington Trailhead in the 1990s that moved the crosswalk across Main Street further away from the Main Street entrance to the trailhead. That plan had the crosswalk come off of the D & L Trail (on the south side of Main Street) and go straight across Main Street. The trail made a sharp left turn on the north side to meet up with the rest of the trail. In it's current state, the left turn is on the south side of Main Street. This places the crosswalk right next to the vehicle entrance. Papay said that moving the crosswalk down Main Street a little bit toward Walnutport, leaving the Main Street entrance open and closing off the Railroad Street entrance would be a safer scenario.
We have to acknowledge that what the D & L is doing is a good thing. Someone described this [the Slatington Trailhead] to me as a show piece, and I think we can make this into that," Jason Breidinger, who is chairman of the Venture Group, said.
There were some other small changes that the Venture Group would like to make to the D and L's proposed project. They include drainage, parking, sidewalks and access to the pumping station that is in the vicinity of the trailhead. Darren Heckman, of Lehigh Engineering, drew up a plan for the Trailhead that addresses most of these issues. He said that he e-mailed that to Scott Everett, who is the stewardship and trail manager of the Slatington Trailhead.
Heckman is going to try to set up a meeting with Everett and the architect that drew up the plans for D and L.