Automated Work Zone Enforcement Advances in the Senate

Senate Bill 840, sponsored by Senator David Argall (R-Berks), which creates a pilot program for automated camera enforcement in work zones, passed unanimously out of Senate Appropriations Committee last night. Before passage,… [read more]

Automated Work Zone Enforcement Advances in the Senate Automated Work Zone Enforcement Advances in the Senate

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

In the last few weeks, editorials and op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers around the state in reaction to the Associated Press story about “free” state police coverage. The AP noted that nearly half of Pennsylvania’s… [read more]

‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag ‘Free’ police coverage has a high price tag

Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance

Under Act 89, the comprehensive multi-modal transportation funding bill, Pennsylvania municipalities receive a sum of money annually to maintain local roads and bridges. This year, PennDOT will release more than $445 million… [read more]

Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance Local Governments to Receive $445 Million for Road Maintenance

PennDOT, State Police & PHIA Observe State Highway Safety Law Awareness Week

This week is Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Law Awareness Week, and PHIA joins PennDOT and State Police in encouraging motorists to pay special attention to the laws of the road. State Police and PennDOT highlighted the following… [read more]

PennDOT, State Police & PHIA Observe State Highway Safety Law Awareness Week PennDOT, State Police & PHIA Observe State Highway Safety Law Awareness Week

PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study

HARRISBURG (Feb. 8, 2016) – The president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association today urged a legislative committee to request a study to determine the appropriate level of support for State Police operations with… [read more]

PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study PHIA president Van Buren supports State Police funding study



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 81

June 27, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

Transportation options are expanding, but can they reach the urban poor?

Much has been made over the last few years about new trends in transportation. Americans—particularly millennials—are buying fewer carsdriving less, and turning to public or alternative transit more. A boom in transportation options, investment in transit in dense urban areas, and a growing sensitivity to the impact of cars on the environment has allowed some people to make fewer car trips and own fewer vehicles.

Yet, the households with the most to gain from expanded transportation options are also the ones most likely to be excluded from them. Whether it is car ownership, new forms of ride sharing, or traditional transit, low-income families may struggle to pay for reliable transportation, may be missing out on new options, and may have fewer fallbacks when their transportation falls through.

Government, Crowdsourced Data Might Help People with Disabilities Get Around

For someone in a wheelchair, directions to a place a few blocks away can be a whole lot more complicated than they might be for a person who has full use of their legs. There are stair-only pathways to consider, elevator locations, slanted sidewalks, curbs and hills.

But government data — and possibly crowdsourcing — might be able to help make those trips a little easier. In Seattle, one organization has put together a service called AccessMap that aims to provide routing around the hill-laden city for people with disabilities. The service uses data sets from several sources, including the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the U.S. Geological Survey, to show where bus lines are, where ramped curbs exist, which streets have steep grades and more.

Brandywine, Drexel Unveil $4.5B Plan for Philly Transit Hub

As the culmination of a two-year effort, the plan for redeveloping about 100 acres of downtown Philadelphia was released late last week by Amtrak,Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). The partners also announced several early projects to improve the immediate station area and help trigger development throughout the 30th Street Station District.




PHIA News Digest – Vol. 80

June 20, 2016 -- Leave a Comment

PDSITELOGO2Massive plan has 30th Street Station at ground zero

A collaborative, long-term vision for the growth and development of the area surrounding Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station has been unveiled.

Officials announced the 30th Street Station District Plan on Thursday, which lays out a comprehensive vision for the landmark’s future over the next 35 years and beyond. The master planning effort is led by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.



P3 Board approves Turnpike fiber optic cable project

June 17, 2016 -- Comments Off on P3 Board approves Turnpike fiber optic cable project

P3altLate last week, the state Public-Private Partnership Board approved the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s proposal to seek a firm to install fiber optic cable along the Turnpike and its extensions.

The cable will span more than 550 miles and significantly improve the communication capacity for the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT. The proposal invites a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the cable network and lease the remaining capacity of the network to other users.

Utilizing the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act of 2012 will enable the Turnpike Commission to reserve its capital for rebuilding the toll road. The Commission expects bids from large firms located in metropolitan regions of the country.

Industry input will be sought by October of this year, and the Commission plans to have a preferred firm selected by June of 2017, with construction to be completed in 2018.

“The aging system is nearing its capacity, and maintenance costs are increasing,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “An economically efficient P3 project is a great way to improve wireless infrastructure and capacity to meet the Turnpike’s needs into the future.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 79

June 14, 2016 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 79

Pennsylvania’s gas tax highest in the U.S., so where is it going?

PDSITELOGO2The gas tax comes from Act 89, passed in 2013. The revenue is used for road and bridge projects, some administrative overhead, infrastructure maintenance, and Pennsylvania State Police.

The PSP funding is a sticking point. The rationale behind it is that troopers patrol the highways, but lawmakers are questioning whether there should be different sources for State Police funding. The gas tax revenue makes up a large portion of the PSP budget, and PennDOT would like to free up that funding for road improvements.

Local Officials Announce Availability Of Transportation Plans For Public Review And Comment

The Reading Area Transportation Study Coordinating Committee, the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation in Berks County, is pleased to present the Draft FFY 2017 – 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan and Draft FFY 2017 – 2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and related documents for public review and comment.

State Transportation Innovation Council Hosts Eastern Regional Innovation day

The Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC), a collaboration of state, federal, local and transportation officials, today held their Eastern Regional Innovation Day today at the Berks Campus of Penn State University. The purpose of the innovation day was to promote the use of innovative solutions in the areas of construction, design, environment, facilities, intelligent transportation systems, maintenance, materials, project delivery, safety, structures and technology to PennDOT employees from its Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg and Philadelphia regions.

PA Public-Private Partnership Board Approves Commonwealth Fiber Optic Communication Project

Pennsylvania’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently approved a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission project to install a fiber optic cable along the 550-mile Turnpike and extensions to provide communication capacity for the commission, state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and other commonwealth needs.

The board also approved the 2015-16 Annual Report from PennDOT’s P3 Office, which provides updates on active P3 projects and notes accolades received.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 78

June 6, 2016 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 78

PDSITELOGO2Hands-on policy taken for driverless vehicles rules
State Sen. Randy Vulakovich admitted Wednesday that he isn’t smart enough to understand how self-driving cars work.

So the Shaler Republican and other state lawmakers enlisted those who do to help them develop legislation to regulate the emerging technology.

“I’m sure we’re going to learn a lot today about this vehicle; I can understand and appreciate what this vehicle will be able to do, but I’m not quite sure I’m smart enough to know how it all works,” Vulakovich said Wednesday with Carnegie Mellon University’s autonomous vehicle idling behind him.

Pennsylvania looks to lead transportation revolution
Coming soon to a road near you: self-driven cars?

PA Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards and several state lawmakers took a ride in Carnegie Mellon University’s autonomous Cadillac SRX on Wednesday in support of legislation working its way through the State Senate.