첥Ƶ

Skip to content

Local 첥Ƶ |
Allentown’s Center Square redesign: New look praised, but some concerned over traffic

This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection. (Omnes Studio/Contributed image).
This artist’s rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection. (Omnes Studio/Contributed image).
Author
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Allentown unveiled its final Center Square redesign plans Wednesday, with an anticipated completion date of 2025, and it’s already generating attention online.

The $6.5 million project would change the intersection at Seventh and Hamilton streets, creating a plaza-type space around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that can be used for events. Seventh Street will be reduced to two lanes, and a bike lane will be added.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall.

The city shared the new design on its Facebook page, highlighting some additional improvements, such as enhanced paving, new trees, green spaces and public art.

  • This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center...

    This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection (Omnes Studio/Contributed Image).

  • This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center...

    This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection (Omnes Studio/Contributed Image).

  • This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center...

    This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection. (Omnes Studio/Contributed image).

  • This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center...

    This artist's rendering shows the plans for a redesigned Center Square in Allentown, which would reduce travel lanes for motorists while adding a bike lane through the intersection (Omnes Studio/Contributed Image).

of

Expand

The post generated a lot of attention, gaining nearly 300 shares and more than 300 comments in less than a day. Many pointed out that they liked the design, however the issue of traffic came up as a concern.

With the intersection being right outside the PPL Center, it’s already one of the busier areas of the city.

Genesis Ortega, the city’s communications director, said Thursday that consultants have conducted an intersection capacity analysis as part of the project planning process.

They determined that the proposed redesign will meet traffic standards set forth by PennDOT, according to Ortega.

Ron Young, a PennDOT spokesman, said the proposed changes at the intersection will need a Highway Occupancy Permit from PennDOT. The city has submitted an application for one.

PennDOT typically issues them to property owners, developers, utility companies, municipalities and municipal authorities, and other interested parties who desire access to the state’s right-of-way, Young said.

He said PennDOT has no oversight on the land use, but does have responsibility to accommodate access onto state roads.

Initial plans for the overhaul of the busy intersection were presented last June. Those plans made it clear the Soldiers and Sailors Monument would stay in the square, after some feared it could be moved as part of the redesign.

The landmark, which honors the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteers who served during the Civil War, was dedicated in 1899 and has been the focal point of the square ever since.

More in Local 첥Ƶ