Turnpike’s Shuey to Speak at May 18 PHIA Breakfast
The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) will host a legislative/policy leaders breakfast at 7:45 a.m. on May 18, 2016 featuring Pennsylvania Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. Mr. Shuey will update… [read more]
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]
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]
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]
PennDOT Secretary Richards highlights need for more PennDOT funding
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards held media availability recently to discuss PennDOT’s ongoing projects and needs. One of the more pressing needs she addressed was reliable federal funding. “It helps us if we have a long-term… [read more]
NEWS & UPDATES
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced seven project selections for the Low- and No-Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, known as Low-No. The seven transit providers in five states will receive a share of $22.5 million toward transit buses and related facilities that utilize battery-electric, fuel cell and other innovative technologies to reduce harmful greenhouse-gas emissions and improve operating efficiency.
This weekend’s profile of Leslie Richards, the state’s Secretary of Transportation, focused on her interest in finding ways technology can improve transportation in the state. There are things PennDOT is exploring that I thought were worth highlighting here.
We talked about ride sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft, and Richards said she was interested in finding ways to partner with them to help provide state services. PennDOT is exploring the possibility of offering a grocery delivery service for the elderly and disabled. Contracting a ride sharing business to provide that service might end up being cheaper than having it done by government directly, she said.
Pennsylvania saw 1,200 traffic fatalities on its roads in 2015, the second lowest rate of any year since 1928. The lowest rate of traffic fatalities was set in 2014, with 1,195 on Pennsylvanian roads and highways.
PennDOT maintains statistics on the types of crashes, and 2015 also saw significant decreases in traffic fatalities involving older drivers, aggressive drives and accidents at intersections. Unfortunately, there were increases in other types of accidents, including single-vehicles running off the road, and fixed object crashes.
Overall, the two-year streak of low traffic fatalities comes after PennDOT invested nearly $50 million for safety improvements in the last five years. These efforts have taken shape in the form of rumble strips, improved signage, pavement markings and updated road delineators. Read more
Study: Raised speed limits have increased traffic deaths
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission say they intend to proceed with increasing the speed limit on some state roads to 70 mph next month despite a study released Tuesday that shows a substantial increase in traffic deaths in other states where the limit went up.
This unexpected city might lead the way with driverless cars
When considering what cities are most likely to get autonomous transportation off the ground, several other finalists on that list stand out, like Austin, Texas, a testing site for Google’s driverless cars, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home to Uber’s driverless car efforts.
Pa. transportation chief not just one of the guys
Bring up self-driving cars and Pennsylvania’s transportation secretary gets enthusiastic.
Leslie Richards is just as excited about using apps to understand traffic, installing smart signs to shrink gridlock, or getting rid of registration stickers.
Pa. Turnpike on blizzard: We’ll get better at weather
While admitting no missteps in its storm planning, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on Tuesday pledged to improve its weather-forecasting capacity after coming under fire for its response to a January blizzard that stranded hundreds of motorists for 24 hours.
The recommendation came in a 30-page “After Action Report” that summarized what commission officials had billed as its comprehensive, 10-week internal review of how it handled the storm.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Selects Michael Baker International to Improve I-90 Corridor in Erie County
Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, is playing a critical role in improvements to a seven-mile stretch of I-90 in Erie County, Pa., part of the longest interstate highway in the nation. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation selected the firm to develop preliminary engineering, environmental, geotechnical and final design plans for the project, which is aimed at increasing safety and efficiency for the 20,000 vehicles that use the roadway daily.
Road deaths in Pennsylvania near record low
There were 1,200 traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2015, the second-lowest since record-keeping began in 1928 and five more than the record low in 2014.
“We and our safety partners continue to work on infrastructure improvements, as well as promoting the use of education, enforcement and outreach in efforts to influence driver behavior and drive down crash and fatality numbers,“ said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “We strive to meet the national vision of Zero Fatalities knowing that transportation impacts Pennsylvanians daily. We urge the motoring public to be aware of their driving behavior by observing traffic laws, paying attention and using caution.”
Following an 18-month pilot project, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has voted to increase the speed limit on most of the toll road to 70 miles per hour.
The decision will become effective when new speed limit signs are installed.
The pilot project, launched in 2014, involved a 100-mile stretch of the Turnpike from Morgantown to Blue Mountain. The study determined that there was little or no change in the average speed or in collision rates. The 55 mph speed limit in urban areas will remain, and lower speed limits will be posted in work zones as well.
PennDOT is considering raising the speed limit on other highways, including I-80 and I-380. Portions of those highways were part of another pilot program testing a 70 mph limit.
“Our first priority at PHIA is motorist, passenger, and highway worker safety,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We are encouraged that the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT believe the increase will allow everyone to continue to travel safely.”