PHIA News Digest – Vol. 25

May 26, 2015

PDSITELOGOPennsylvania rural roads among most deficient in U.S., report concludes
The nation’s rural road and bridge network is deficient and often dangerous, and Pennsylvania is among the leaders in deficient bridges, poor pavements and fatalities on those roads, according to a national report released Tuesday.

Pennsylvania had the nation’s highest percentage of deficient rural bridges; it ranked 17th in the fatality rate on rural roads; and it was 20th in the U.S. with 18 percent of its rural pavements in poor condition, according to the report, “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland,” by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Shuster responds to passage of Highway and Transportation Funding Act
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) released a statement regarding yesterday’s passage of his legislation, H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

“This legislation is a short-term patch necessary to get to the long-term surface transportation bill that Southwestern Pennsylvanians and the rest of the nation are calling for and need,” Shuster said. “The American people want a long-term transportation bill, our businesses want it, and I am confident that there’s a strong will in Congress to get it done.”

Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility
Incredible innovations within the transportation sector are being driven by the growing recognition that cars, once synonymous with freedom and ease of mobility, have become a victim of their own success. In cities around the world, congestion is undermining mobility, imposing huge costs not just on commuters or people out to run a simple errand but on society as a whole. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, the average American commuter spent 34 hours delayed in traffic in 2010, up from 14 hours in 1982. If things don’t change, commuters can expect to spend more than 40 hours annually sitting in traffic by 2020. All told, the annual cost of congestion in America alone now exceeds $100 billion.

PennDOT Invites Public to Help Shape Pennsylvania’s Transportation Future
The public is encouraged to visit to provide their input on transportation priorities for the update of the commonwealth’s Twelve Year Transportation Program before the survey closes on May 29.

Pa. considering photo-enforcement system to catch work zone speeders
In Maryland last year, more than 450,000 motorists were caught on camera while speeding in construction zones, and each received a citation carrying a $40 fine.

They kept the pedal to the metal, exceeding the speed limit by 12 mph or more, despite conspicuous signs warning of the presence of the cameras, which snap pictures of the offenders’ license plates.

But the program, begun in 2009, has drastically reduced speeding in work zones, from 7 percent of drivers to about 1 percent, and Pennsylvania lawmakers, stung by two recent crashes that injured five construction workers, are pushing to begin similar enforcement here.

Rough country: Pennsylvania’s rural roads need more attention
Rural Pennsylvania roads and bridges rank among the most perilous in the country, with substandard pavement on 18 percent of roads and structural deficiencies on 25 percent of bridges. A report released last week said the crisis has real consequences, increasing traffic fatalities, stifling commerce and making it more difficult to visit some of the best vacation spots here and around the country.


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