TOP STORIES

Safety, funding measures top 2019 highway issues

In our final edition of E-motion for 2019, we reflect on the public policy highlights of this year. At the top of the list was the enactment of the automated speed enforcement measure. The pilot program began in the fall with… [read more]

Safety, funding measures top 2019 highway issues Safety, funding measures top 2019 highway issues

Task force unveils transportation funding proposals

A PA House Republican task force whose mission was to address transportation funding needs has finished its assignment and presented its report. The task force, chaired by Rep. Martina White of Philadelphia, made several recommendations,… [read more]

Task force unveils transportation funding proposals Task force unveils transportation funding proposals

Automated speed enforcement cameras are up and running

The 60-day clock has begun for the “pre-enforcement testing period” of automated speed cameras in Pennsylvania highway work zones. That means fines for traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit could begin… [read more]

Automated speed enforcement cameras are up and running Automated speed enforcement cameras are up and running

PHIA holds annual conference

This week PHIA held its annual Transportation Conference and Luncheon in Harrisburg. The presentations featured: PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton with an update on various toll road projects. Republican and Democratic House… [read more]

PHIA holds annual conference PHIA holds annual conference

Pa. autonomous vehicle team receives $8.4 million grant for work-zone study

A team consisting of Carnegie Mellon and Penn State universities, along with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, has received an $8.4 million grant for testing and evaluation of integrating autonomous driving systems in work… [read more]

Pa. autonomous vehicle team receives $8.4 million grant for work-zone study Pa. autonomous vehicle team receives $8.4 million grant for work-zone study

NEWS & UPDATES

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 3

January 22, 2020 -- Leave a Comment

Mark Compton: Safety drives every decision at turnpike commission

The turnpike’s rate of fatalities is 0.22 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to the national average for interstates, which is 0.53. Our injury rates are similarly lower.

Southern Beltway on track for fall 2021 completion

After slow progress around the holidays, construction crews are back to work on the Southern Beltway project, which is on schedule to open to traffic in fall 2021. The $800 million Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission project will stretch 13 miles from Route 22 near the Pittsburgh International Airport to Interstate 79 in Robinson and Cecil townships.

News

Rep. White briefs stakeholders on transportation revenue recommendations

January 16, 2020 -- Leave a Comment

Last month, we reported on the results of a study of transportation funding options by a 10-member task force made up of members of the House Republican Caucus. This week, its chair, state Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), briefed the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition on the recommendations.

The recommendations included numerous options for addressing transportation funding needs, such as:

  • Lessening or halting revenue diversions from the Motor License Fund, the constitutionally protected repository for fuel taxes and license and registration fees.
  • Expanding public-private partnership opportunities.
  • Streamlining permitting processes.
  • Changing the way large highway projects are bid out.
  • Giving local governments the ability to impose additional fees.
  • Creating county infrastructure banks.

Representative White filled in some details and provided insight into the task force’s deliberations. PHIA and other transportation stakeholders are hopeful that the General Assembly and governor will agree to accelerate the rollback of the revenue that is being diverted from the Motor License Fund. Rolling back the entire diverted amount to zero would make more than $700 million available for bridge and highway projects without raising fuel taxes and license and registration fees.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 2

January 14, 2020 -- Leave a Comment

Pa. House passes bill to study exempting newer vehicles from emissions testing

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives wants the state to conduct a study that will determine how old a vehicle can be to be exempted from the state’s annual emissions testing requirement and still comply with federal environmental rules.

Empower communities to protect cyclists and pedestrians

Parking protected bike lanes and pedestrian plazas not only provide more safety, they have been shown to attract investment from young professionals and the kind of forward-thinking employers our cities desperately need.

Luzerne County councilmen vouching for $5 vehicle fee ordinance

A hot topic in Luzerne County is the 5-dollar vehicle registration fee that residents no longer want to pay.

Electric cars will challenge state power grids

As Washington and other states urge their residents to buy electric vehicles — a crucial component of efforts to reduce carbon emissions — they also need to make sure the electric grid can handle it.

Rep. Hennessey announces reelection bid to 26th Dist. House seat

State Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-26th Dist., has announced his candidacy to seek a 14th term in Harrisburg. Hennessey is majority chair of the House Transportation Committee.

No toll hikes on bridges across the Delaware River — for now

The Delaware River Port Authority has some good news for drivers who use its four bridges: A no-toll-hike pledge is being extended for an extra year.

Public input sought for potential region-wide transportation emissions cap-and-invest program

A draft version of a regional cap-and-invest program for the transportation sector is open for public input until the end of February. Pennsylvania is one of 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, involved in the Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, which is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Plans for next round of Lehigh Valley transit projects begin without Route 22 widening

The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study prepared a list of nearly $563 million of projects it intends to tackle in the next 12 years, but widening Route 22 was not on it. By voting Wednesday to send the draft plan to PennDOT’s central office, study members acknowledged they do not have the funds to widen the Lehigh Valley’s busiest and most congested highway.

New bill could ban drivers from using handheld cellphones in PA

Pennsylvania could soon join 20 other states in banning drivers from using handheld cellphones while operating a vehicle.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 1

January 6, 2020 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 1

Pa. Turnpike tragedy: 5 dead in ‘horrific incident’ that could take weeks to investigate

Five people died in what Pennsylvania State Police called a chain-reaction crash near mile marker 86 in the westbound lanes in Mt. Pleasant Township. More than 50 others were taken to hospitals across the region.

EDITORIAL: Answer needed on Turnpike toll spirals

Benjamin Franklin famously noted there were but two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Were he around today, he would no doubt add a third: Toll hikes on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

SEPTA General Manger Leslie Richards joins Weitzman faculty

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design welcomes former PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards to the faculty in the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Get an electric car for Christmas? Here’s how many places Pa. has to charge it

Pennsylvania has 1,131 electric car charging stations statewide, which is, frankly, far more than we thought the state would have. It’s also better than some of our neighboring states: Ohio, at 1,115 is the Keystone State’s nearest rival, while New Jersey has 846 charging stations.

 

Events, PHIA Programs & Awards

PHIA Takes Nominations for Annual Road & Bridge Safety Awards

December 30, 2019 -- Comments Off on PHIA Takes Nominations for Annual Road & Bridge Safety Awards

Each year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  Go HERE for complete information.

Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2019.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.