Michael Brett has a good point that more private service amenities will make downtown Easton an even more attractive place to live, but it’s also important to think about this as a land use and transportation issue:
Brett says one of the goals of the tour is to show off the upper housing development which has over a hundred units that have either been completed or will be completed in the next year. Also being looked at are the spaces available for potential new businesses. “We have 33 businesses that have opened up in the first half of 2013, which is astronomical in this economy,” said Brett. Easton is seeing its fair share of brand new retail and restaurants coming to the area; however they’re in need of one particular business and that’s service businesses, for the people who are living in the city. “They want to walk out their door and just as easily walk to a grocery store or a pharmacy as they can a restaurant or an art gallery,” said Brett.
How much of the increase in traffic in the Lehigh Valley is about population growth increasing the number of routine trips to the grocery store or the pharmacy or the doctor’s office? One way to try to deal with those traffic increases would be to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on a highway expansion. But a much cheaper way would be to try to lure grocery stores and other service businesses into locations close to where people live. If downtown Easton residents (and people in other cities) can access most of their daily needs without ever leaving the neighborhood or setting foot in a car, then there will be fewer cars on the roads.
(via Rosa Duarte)