Hi All: After three meetings, including a great professionally-led visioning session, and three or four edits, we are sending out our Pedestrian/Biking Bridge mission statement. (attached). It is the first section in a four part study conducted by the citizens of Bethlehem to address the nature and plausibility of a pedestrian/biking bridge across the Lehigh River.
But, please note, that our visioning session, even to our surprise, has yielded much more than a span across the river. We have, in our discussions, come to see the real potential meaning of the bridge as a cultural force; a window to the future City of Bethlehem. For the magic of the bridge lies in the creation of a full, alternative landscape for the city; a two mile pedestrian commercial and cultural zone that is largely separate from the vehicular city. The bridge, as a link between the North and South Sides, suddenly redefines what we mean by the term “walking city.
On November 14th, next Monday, at the City Center Rotunda, the Lehigh Valley Sierra Club and Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative will host our second of four public meetings on the bridge. This meeting will focus on the multiple uses of the bridge and serve to collect citizen testimony on its possible function and its need. Now, with a basic outline in hand (the mission statement), it would be great if all of us could reach out to the people we know should be there- the bikers, walkers, runners, fishers, naturalists, artists, health professionals, merchants, cultural and historical advocates, our multi-ethnic population, and all the other Bethlemites who have or might have a practical and cultural use for such a bridge across the Lehigh.