Designed to keep municipal officials informed about federal funding and help the Valley better address its transportation needs. About 60 representatives from Lehigh and Northampton counties, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and a host of towns and townships attended.
The Lehigh Valley must consider a mix of solutions to help people get where they need to go quickly, at a reasonable cost and without exacerbating development problems such as disappearing farmland, said Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham said.
'The Lehigh Valley will need to have passenger rail,'' particularly a regional rail system to help transport residents within the Valley, Cunningham said. Plans for commuter rail improvements, including proposals to link the Poconos with New York City and Reading with Philadelphia, also are in the works.
Northampton County Executive John Stoffa recommended an even longer-term approach to transportation planning, calling for development of a 20-year plan using population and development projections.
''Adequate and predictable funding is essential'' from state, federal and local sources, Stoffa said.