House Leader Dave Reed to Speak at June 17 PHIA Breakfast
The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) will host a legislative briefing breakfast at 8 a.m. on June 17, 2015 featuring PA House Majority Leader Dave Reed. Representative Reed will provide an update on the hot… [read more]
APC to seek work zone safety solution
It probably comes as no surprise that speeding through work zones is the top safety concern among highway construction workers. Add to that the increased speed limits on the Turnpike and on sections of some Interstate Highways,… [read more]
NEWS & UPDATES
While short-term extensions have been accurately portrayed as Band-aids on bullet holes, the extra time gives Congress a chance to put together a more comprehensive solution for long-term funding. Many view this as a more pragmatic move than attempting to force an imperfect bill through Congress on a tight deadline. It also is viewed as better than a six-month extension, which would let the issue fester and possibly spill into an election year.
The Obama administration introduced a six-year funding proposal with a $478 billion price tag, but with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, most observers believe that is unlikely to be the vehicle for long-term highway funding. Read more
Pennsylvania DOT co-hosts high friction surface treatment demonstration
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) highlighted the effectiveness of high friction surface treatments (HFST) in speedy application and improving friction qualities of pavements during a recent demonstration in North Cornwall Township. HFST involves using long lasting and water-resistant aggregates to increase tire “grip” on pavements to minimize slippage and improve stopping time in wet conditions. The goal also is to use fast-setting materials with these aggregates in creating the pavements so as to have a “minimal impact to the traveling public.”
Pennsylvania Is Making Its Roads Safer and Not In the Way You’d Think
The Keystone State is limiting accidents on wet pavement by increasing road friction.
Pennsylvania’s roadways are getting safer with the application of a pavement surface treatment designed to improve vehicles’ grip on roadways.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and State Transportation Innovation Council recently demonstrated the high-friction surface treatment, TyreGrip, which has already been applied in 42 “high-priority crash locations” statewide.
Senate OKs Leslie Richards as transportation chief
The state Senate unanimously voted Monday to confirm the nomination of the former Montgomery County commissioner as the head of the state transportation agency.
Pennsylvania Extends Alt-Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced the continuation of the state’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program, which provides rebates of up to $2,000 to help Pennsylvanians buy alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
“Alternative energy options are central to making Pennsylvania’s environment beautiful and sustainable for years to come,” says acting DEP Secretary John Quigley. “We encourage everyone to consider these renewable and clean technologies.”
According to the DEP, the program was established under Act 178 of 2004 to help reduce Pennsylvania’s dependence on imported oil and to improve the environmental quality by using alternative fuels. The agency, which last extended the program at the end of December, will continue to offer rebates for a full range of AFVs. Read more
Greene residents deserve better roads
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Transportation Commission released a report looking at several aspects of the state’s bridges and roads, and found almost 9,000 miles of road within the commonwealth were rated as “poor” and are in need of work.
While there were improvements noted in driver safety, the report also found 35 percent of bridges in Pennsylvania were structurally deficient and a full half of Interstate highways in the commonwealth surpassed the volume of traffic they were originally designed to carry.
In a 21st century economy, we need a 21st century infrastructure.
This is the first licensed self-driving truck. There will be many more.
Last night at the Hoover Dam, the Freightliner company unveiled its Inspiration Truck: the first semi-autonomous truck to get a license to operate on public roads.
The Inspiration is now licensed to drive autonomously on highways in Nevada. It works a bit like a plane’s autopilot system: a driver will get the rig on the highway, and can take control at any time once it’s there. But the truck will be able to drive itself at high speeds, using cameras to make sure it stays within its lane and doesn’t get too close to the vehicle in front of it.
Transportation Emerges as Crucial to Escaping Poverty
The impact of transportation on social mobility is stronger than several other factors, like crime, elementary-school test scores or the percentage of two-parent families in a community, said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the researchers on the study. It notes the connection in places with notoriously long commutes and poverty including Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., and Birmingham, Ala. Read more
The additional resources needed to support Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget will not be forthcoming without first addressing the state’s pension issue, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) told several dozen attendees at a breakfast hosted by the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association.
Corman, a longtime supporter of ample transportation funding, lauded the safety improvements to highways made possible by the passage of Act 89 in 2013. His constituents and all Pennsylvanians will see the benefits as the funding increases move ahead.
But he emphasized that neither the highway industry nor any other group receiving resources from the state can escape the impact of the increased pension obligation. Pensions are one of the largest cost-drivers of the entire state budget, and the pension system must be modernized to shift the risk away from taxpayers and to free up resources for other programs and services.
Corman informed the group that his caucus is working on a solution that could bring savings to the state by enrolling new state hires in a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan. Continuing to devote increasing resources to the pension deficit without reform is unacceptable, he said.