Bethlehem’s Main Street Wins Smart Growth America Accolades


Main Street in Bethlehem has a new reason to celebrate. Smart Growth America has chosen Main Street as one of its favorite streets in the country. Smart Growth advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods.

Everybody loves Bethlehem’s Main Street, but sadly it would be totally illegal to build that same kind of streetscape again today. People would lose their minds about the lack of parking, zoners would shoot down the Hotel Bethlehem even with the parking garage because of traffic fears. It’s no coincidence that all the most beautiful streets were built before government-mandated auto-oriented design regulations.

People who wish the rest of Bethlehem looked more like Main Street need to get behind rolling back parking minimums, minimum lot sizes and setbacks. The Mayor and City Council races are a great opening to start getting politicians on the record against all that nonsense.


  1. Love it – downtown Bethlehem is winning awards, so you want to change it.


  2. Andrew, have you read what Jon has said the past couple days?

    He wants to take Main St. and increase density by a factor of 3 or 4. That’s not taking the rest of the city and making it better, that’s changing the part that’s winning awards.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Andrew’s right, that’s my position – increase density in the rest of Bethlehem to match the award-winning part. The nice part of Main Street could stand to see some of the one-story buildings replaced by taller ones though. Lots of nice 4-6 story buildings over there.

  3. What you propose would turn it completely upside down. Thank god there are cooler heads than yours out there.

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