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Registration Now Open for 2019 PHIA Annual Transportation Conference

Registration is now open for the 2019 PHIA Transportation Conference and Annual Meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at the Hilton Harrisburg.  Click HERE for more information and to register!    … [read more]

Registration Now Open for 2019 PHIA Annual Transportation Conference Registration Now Open for 2019 PHIA Annual Transportation Conference

Fuel-tax drop reflects need for funding solutions

John Finnerty, who covers the Statehouse for newspapers in Johnstown, Meadville, New Castle, Sharon and Sunbury, dug up an interesting story recently noting that Motor License Fund revenue fell $58 million short of projections… [read more]

Fuel-tax drop reflects need for funding solutions Fuel-tax drop reflects need for funding solutions

Using highway money for its intended purpose

The Pennsylvania auditor general created quite a stir recently when he unveiled an audit that said the Commonwealth had diverted more than $4.2 billion from the Motor License Fund (MLF) in the last six years to support State Police… [read more]

Using highway money for its intended purpose Using highway money for its intended purpose

Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’

The Southeast Partnership for Mobility, which consists of SEPTA, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and PennDOT, joined a growing number of entities this week in sounding an alarm over a rapidly approaching transportation funding… [read more]

Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’ Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’

TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding

Most readers of this publication and George Wolff’s Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition newsletter are aware of the transportation funding issues facing the Commonwealth. Those issues include the lack of progress in… [read more]

TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding

NEWS & UPDATES

News

Report shows Pa. highways are improving

August 23, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

The Reason Foundation, a self-described libertarian public policy think tank, is seldom kind to Pennsylvania in assessing the quality and performance of our transportation system. The foundation’s methodology makes for imperfect comparisons with other states, so we tend to view its reports with some skepticism.

Nevertheless, whether one agrees that Pennsylvania’s highways deserve to be ranked 35th in performance and cost effectiveness, the foundation’s latest report acknowledges that there has been improvement since its previous report, in which our ranking was 41st.

We can postulate that there would have been virtually no chance for improvement without the passage of Act 89 of 2013, which boosted fuel taxes and license and registration revenue by $2.3 billion annually. To view the foundation’s latest report, which was released this week, click here.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 33

August 19, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

PennDOT didn’t send savings from registration stickers to law enforcement: Here’s why

PennDOT officials said in 2016 that the department might use the savings from eliminating license plate stickers to fund expensive cameras for police departments. That never happened.

Police split over necessity of bringing registration stickers back to Pa. license plates

Police in Pennsylvania are divided as to whether registration stickers should be brought back to license plates.

House panel hears concerns for PA vehicle registration

The committee heard testimony on two bills that address issues stemming from the implementation of the no-sticker requirement in late 2016.

License plate readers gain support for crime-fighting, but bill would address privacy concerns

Rothman has introduced a bill that would regulate how both ALPRs and the data they collect are used. He says the bill wouldn’t only help law enforcement but could also protect Pennsylvanian’s privacy.

Lawmakers might bring back license plate stickers with a new twist

The state House Transportation Committee is considering a bill to reinstate those little vehicle registration stickers on Pennsylvania license plates.

U.S. appeals court hands truckers defeat in Pa. Turnpike toll suit

High tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike do not violate the right of truckers and other motorists to travel between states, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, upholding a lower-court dismissal of a lawsuit against state agencies and officials.

How Pa. transportation secretary is shifting the infrastructure conversation

Secretary Leslie Richards is trying to re-engineer the engineering process by making community engagement a top priority.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 32

August 12, 2019 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 32

Storms, floods cause $1.2B damage to public infrastructure

The Associated Press tallied about $1.2 billion of damage in 24 states based on preliminary assessments of public infrastructure categories established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The tally includes damage to roads and bridges, utilities, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, and parks.

PennDOT has plans for Lancaster County spot notorious for congestion

There is a $40-million plan to ease congestion in Lancaster County. PennDOT plans to add lanes and make a stretch of Route 222 in Manheim Township a six-lane highway. PennDOT hopes to ease congestion where Routes 30 meets 222.

Uber and Lyft suggest the days of cheap rides could be over

THE DAYS OF cheap ride-hailing may be ending. Uber and Lyft reported quarterly financial results this week and indicated that their cutthroat competition to woo riders with coupons and other gambits is easing.

A wider Route 22 is still a priority, despite $380M cut to Lehigh Valley transportation

The futures of many local transportation projects are uncertain after PennDOT’s announcement last month that $380 million will be cut from long-range Lehigh Valley transportation projects. One project seems sure to stay: The planned widening of Route 22.

State hoping Restore Pennsylvania gets funding to fix rural roads

Two administrators from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation came to the PennDOT Stockpile off Route 99 in Cambridge Township on Monday to discuss how Restore Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s infrastructure, could improve roads across the county and region.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 31

August 6, 2019 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 31

Pennsylvania’s gas tax no longer highest

After having the nation’s highest gasoline tax for more than four years, the Keystone State was bumped to second place on July 1, when a tax increase in California took effect.

City of Pittsburgh seeking public input on transportation vision

PGH MOBILITY 2070 will establish a framework to guide investment, development, and management in a network of transportation infrastructure, information, and services that could support the city’s needs if its population grows from the current 302,000 residents to 450,000 residents over the next 50 years.

Lawmakers reach deal for $3 billion to repair ailing bridges

Senators have brokered a deal to reauthorize the highway trust fund for another five years, proposing to spend an unprecedented $287 billion on surface transportation projects.

PennDOT agrees to deploy automated speed enforcement unit in fall in I-78 work zones

State Senators David Argall (R-29) and Judith L. Schwank (D-11) have announced that PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards has agreed to their joint request to deploy automated speed enforcement units in work zones along Interstate 78 in Berks County when they become available this fall.

V-tolls: What they are and why you might be paying them if you travel the Pa. Turnpike

Mysterious charges appeared on E-ZPass statements of Pennsylvania Turnpike customers at least 350,000 times over the course of a year. Called V-tolls, these are $10 charges incurred by E-ZPass users when an E-ZPass transponder doesn’t get read as a vehicle exits the turnpike.

Pa.’s four-year-long partnership to fix 558 bridges approaches its conclusion

PennDOT and its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project development partner, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, recently started construction on the 558th and final bridge in the program.

Who needs a valet? Cars in this garage can park themselves

Parking-related crashes happen at lower speeds, so they’re fortunately less likely to hurt or kill people (or get reported to police). But they’re costly, and insurance companies are very interested in getting rid of them. Basically: The world would be better without parking.

 

News

Partnership reaches milestone in bridge replacement program

August 1, 2019 -- Comments Off on Partnership reaches milestone in bridge replacement program

Earlier this month, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners began construction of the 558th and final bridge included in the Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Program, in Straban Township, Adams County, not far from the Gettysburg Battlefield.

The program was among the early initiatives following the passage of Act 89, the transportation funding measure that raised an additional $2.3 billion in annual revenue, in November of 2013. It was a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between Plenary Walsh and the Commonwealth, costing $899 million.

While this final bridge is expected to be completed this fall, the partnership will continue for 25 years, as Plenary Walsh will be responsible for maintaining all of the program’s bridges before turning that responsibility back to PennDOT. The private-sector consortium also financed and designed the bridges in addition to building them.

When the project was unveiled, PennDOT noted that it would enable the Commonwealth to replace the bridges decades sooner than with a more traditional approach. It also enabled the Commonwealth to put the distinction of leading the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges into the proverbial rear-view mirror, helping to reduce the number from more than 6,000 to about half of that.