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The Allentown Department of Parks and Recreation is in need of snow shovels


My feet on the sidwalk in West Park

This isn't an official request, it is more my personal opinion after visiting eight of our local parks on the afternoon of Monday, January 4, 2010.

My dog Milo and I were in need of a walk, so I decided we would head out to West Park.  We were going there in my capacity as dog owner and exerciser, not Parks Examiner.  When we got there, we found that most of the sidewalks were covered with ice and snow.  Only a small path, running straight from each entrance on Turner Street and Linden Street, had been carved out.  It was about two feet wide and allowed the fleet-footed to traverse the park from north to south or south to north.  The east-west sidewalks were covered in snow and encrusted in ice.  It wasn't possible to safely walk a dog around the outer perimeter of the park.

Parks Examiner mode kicked in, and Milo and I decided to visit a few more parks.

My feet on the jogging path in the Lehigh Parkway

Trexler Park was passable, by human and dog alike, as I expected it would be.  Lehigh Parkway was the best of the bunch, maybe because of the recent Lights in the Parkway display, with even the jogging path well cleared.

My feet on the sidwalk in Bucky Boyle Park

Bucky Boyle had a clear parking lot, but the sidewalks had simply never been touched.  It would easily have been safer for inner city children to play on their sidewalks rather than in their park.

Fountain Park, Keck Park and Alton Park are composed mostly of sports fields but the perimeter sidewalks had been thoroughly cleared of ice and snow.  Irving Park sidewalks were in good shape, although I don't know if we can attribute that to the Department of Parks and Recreation or the Allentown School District.

Some people might say that I am being unfair in my reaction to poor snow removal conditions in two of eight Allentown Parks.  Let's remember, however, that these are inner-city parks.  Four of the parks have very little sidewalk and I didn't get around to visit any more on Monday. Perhaps I am naïve, but when there is no grass to cut, no flowers to plant, no weeds to pull, no trees to prune, and no leaves to rake, I would expect the main task of Parks Department workers to be snow removal.  I spent more than three hours traveling around these parks and taking photos, during which time I never saw a single Parks Department worker anywhere.

So, when it snows again, you can look for more pictures of my feet hitting the sidewalk.

My feet on a residential sidewalk in inner-city Allentown


  • William 5 years ago

    I noticed that the residential sidewalk was cleared much better than the ones at West Park and Bucky Boyle. As an Allentown homeowner, I realize that the city can fine us for not clearing our sidewalks. Isn't the city risking a law suit if someone should fall, especially at a place like West Park?

    I suppose if that happened, they would just raise taxes and make us pay.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your feet after the next snowfall.

  • Allentonian Transplant 5 years ago

    I can't believe the Parks Department and the West Park Association have left West Park like that... and with Allen High School students walking through it no less. When I was younger (much younger) we used to pick a city to go to on holidays. I know we came to Allentown (to Hess, etc.) a couple of times and it would have been a big disappointment not to be able to walk around the parks on New Year's Day because of snow and ice.

    I know the Parks Department is short staffed. I'm sure there is a lot to do in every season... but, seriously? I would hope they realize that some of us really do like to walk the parks in snow.

  • Joe 5 years ago

    just curious ... does anyone remember how the parks stacked up last year?

  • Harry 5 years ago

    In Sept. 2009 39 City workers were laid off. Most likely this is the reason why this condition exists?

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