PHIA News Digest – Vol. 20

April 20, 2015

PDSITELOGOUnder Pa. consideration: Speed cameras, wider ignition-lock use
Acting Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Transportation Committee told business and transit executives that Washington gridlock could undermine funding boosts approved by state lawmakers in 2013.

The funding authorization for the federal Highway Trust Fund expires May 31, and if Congress fails to act, “that could pretty much erase the good work that Act 89 has done,” Richards said, referring to a state law enacted in 2013 to increase transportation funding by raising state gasoline tax and vehicle fees.

Bipartisan House duo unveiling gas tax bill today — Lawmakers prepare to punt on long-term transportation funding solution
Reps. Jim Renacci and Bill Pascrell are introducing a bill today aimed at tackling the Highway Trust Fund crisis once and for all. The Renacci-Pascrell bill, first reported by MT in March, would index the gas tax to inflation and then form a sort of Highway Trust Fund supercommittee to find a long-term funding solution. Renacci told MT that many of the details reported in March — including that the committee would be both bicameral and bipartisan — are still accurate. (Refresher: But the Ohio lawmaker wasn’t as forthcoming when asked if he had the backing of other Ways and Means Republicans: “Everybody knows about it,” he said before walking down the Capitol steps Wednesday evening.

Car, bike or motorcycle? Depends on where you live
Last year, we asked people in 44 countries whether they owned certain household items such as microwaves, televisions or radios. We did this in part to explore whether owning more household goods has an effect on life satisfaction – and, indeed, owning more key items increases happiness by a substantial amount.

We also asked whether people have a car, bicycle or motorcycle in their home, and we found major variations of ownership by region around the world. One caveat: We didn’t ask about whether people used these items, just whether they had one in working order. People might primarily use other forms of transportation, such as public transit or walking, in their daily lives. Nevertheless, we found notable differences between economically advanced nations, emerging markets and developing countries

Funding Challenges in Highway and Transit: A federal-state-local analysis
With the temporary increase in funding for the federal highway trust fund set to run out by May 2015, states and localities are again facing the prospect that shortfalls in the fund could delay or reduce the federal money they rely on for transportation projects. As they wait to see what federal policymakers will do, many states are taking action to make their own transportation funding more sustainable. These efforts highlight the major challenges that all levels of government face in maintaining investments in highways and transit systems—problems that will require policymakers to make difficult choices in the years ahead.

Roads, bridges, and transit are funded through a partnership among the levels of government in which the financial contributions are substantial and deeply intertwined.

Pennsylvania Infrastructure Tour Underscores Essential Federal Role in Transportation | Commentary
By Rep. Bill Shuster

Earlier this month, I was joined by members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which I chair, other members of Congress and five state secretaries of Transportation from around the country as we traveled across my home state of Pennsylvania.

We traveled together in a bus, stopping at bridges in desperate need of repair and along highways that have become congested to the point of gridlock. We held roundtables and listening sessions on transportation issues with business leaders, local officials and members of the transportation community.


One Comment on this post.

  1. LinuxGuy
    April 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  2. Speed cameras still produce erroneous readings, no matter what you may have seen. It has been documented.

    If we still post absurdly low speed limits(and ticket barely over them), fail to promote the zipper merge in work zones, and keep putting stop signs on acceleration ramps, what will we accomplish?

    We could try CORRECT engineering for a change in PA!