PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 32

August 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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Pennsylvania bill would reinstate turnpike toll collectors

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 13-1 to reverse a decision made by the commission to permanently let go of 492 employees, most of which were fare collectors.

SEPTA introduces social distancing coaches

SEPTA is introducing social distancing coaches to help promote mask-wearing compliance and social distancing.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 31

August 4, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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Coronavirus led to less traffic

The coronavirus pandemic upended commuting patterns in the Pittsburgh region. In the early months of Pennsylvania’s shutdown, traffic dropped by as much as 50 percent in Allegheny County, according to Streetlight Data. On average, PennDOT officials say vehicular traffic remains about 20 percent lower than normal.

Report: 49 percent of Americans support mileage fees

A report from the Mineta Transportation Institute found that nearly half of all Americans support a mileage fee and that 75 percent of Americans support a gas tax increase if the money is used on maintenance projects.

PennDOT deals with COVID-19

Western Pennsylvania has two seasons — winter and road construction — or so the old gag goes. But this year, construction season is overlapping with pandemic season. And PennDOT’s road crews are clad in suitable attire, including face coverings.

Fare hikes, layoffs, shutdowns possible for Pa. mass transit without billions in funding

People who rely on mass transit are concerned because their means to get around – as well as their jobs – could be in danger if critical funding isn’t provided quickly.

There’s not enough money to fix all of the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, PennDOT says

The Wolf administration is projecting gas tax revenue could decline as much as $800 million over the next 18 months.\

PennDOT seeks public’s input with annual highway safety survey

PennDOT has released its annual online Highway Safety Survey and is encouraging motorists to take it.

 

Remembering Nick Micozzie

July 30, 2020 by · Comments Off on Remembering Nick Micozzie
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This week, we note with sadness the passing of former state Rep. Nicholas Micozzie, 89, after suffering a fall the previous week.

Nick, of Delaware County, served in the House from 1979 until his retirement in 2014. He will be remembered mostly as the longtime Republican chair of the House Insurance Committee, but he played a major role in advancing the legislation that became Act 89 of 2013, the transportation funding measure.

Nick took on the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee following the death of Dick Hess in September, 2013. Many wondered why he would leave the relatively comfortable job as Insurance chair and take on the difficult and controversial challenge of transportation funding.

In keeping with his longtime public policy philosophy, he explained that he believed it was “the right thing to do.” He shepherded the measure through the House, and two months later, Act 89 became law.

We at PHIA and throughout Pennsylvania transportation circles send our deep condolences to Nick’s family and friends. To read more about his professional and personal life, follow this link to the DelCo Times.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 30

July 27, 2020 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 30
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Reading Area Transportation Study group approves $274.8 million four-year transportation plan

The Reading Area Transportation Study group unanimously approved a $274.8 million four-year transportation improvement plan, but there is much uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect it.

PennDOT extends expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits

Expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver licenses, identification cards and learner’s permits are being extended again, this time until Aug. 31, PennDOT said Friday.

With e-bikes becoming more popular, Pa. lawmakers want to regulate where you can ride them

A bill being considered by Pennsylvania’s House Transportation Committee seeks to update the state’s vehicle code to regulate these so-called e-bikes and determine where they can operate.

Pa. Turnpike raising tolls again in 2021; those without E-ZPass will pay much more

Those driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike should expect to pay more next year, and those without E-ZPass could see a significant increase in their tolls.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 29

July 21, 2020 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 29
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Pa., 14 other states set goals to jump-start transition to electric trucks

A coalition of states is following California’s lead in setting goals to jump-start a transition to electric-powered trucks, vans and buses in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for communities choked by diesel fumes.

Governor Wolf announces investments in 27 multimodal projects

Governor Tom Wolf announced that 27 highway, bridge, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties were selected for $30.2 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

$451M Lehigh Valley transportation plan heads to PennDOT, the feds

Local officials have signed off on a $451 million transportation plan for Lehigh Valley roads and bridges over the next four years, without the Route 22 widening project as planned.

House OKs bill to honor Geist

Legislation to honor former state Rep. Richard A. Geist was approved by the House, said state Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Blair, the author of the bill. “Rick” Geist was an Altoona native and a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 79th District who was first elected in 1978. He represented Altoona in the state House of Representatives from 1979 to 2012.

Unity museum program will provide trip through Pa. highway history

The evolution of Pennsylvania’s road system will be discussed by Jeff Kitsko July 27 at the Lincoln Highway Experience transportation museum in Unity.

Long-delayed Lehigh Valley bridge projects nearing completion

Two Lehigh Valley bridges — the final projects in a statewide bridge replacement project — should finally be completed in early August after years of delays.

 

House passes legislation to honor Rick Geist

July 17, 2020 by · Comments Off on House passes legislation to honor Rick Geist
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The Pennsylvania House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would honor a longtime House Transportation Committee chair, the late Rick Geist.

Sponsored by Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), the bill would dedicate the 17th Street bridge over Interstate 99 in Logan Township as the Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge. Representative Schmitt occupies the 79th District seat formerly held by Chairman Geist.

First elected in 1978, Rick served 17 terms in the House and was Transportation chair for nearly two decades. He was the longest-serving majority chair of that committee in House history. In 2011, he was named PHIA Advocate of the year. In August 2019, he died from a heart attack at age 74 while on vacation in Russia.

“Rick Geist was a tireless advocate for transportation,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “He was very well regarded among those in the construction industry, dozens of whom considered him not just an industry supporter, but a friend. He would appreciate being honored in this way.”

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 28

July 13, 2020 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 28
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PennDOT ironing out details for southern section of thruway project

PennDOT continues working on engineering design details and is developing a noise impact report for the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project.

PennDOT: All CSVT work still on schedule after COVID stoppage

Despite about two months of its COVID-19 stoppage, PennDOT officials say work on the CSVT project is anticipated to remain on schedule.

Erie drivers might be warming to roundabouts

Not a lot of people completed and returned questionnaires on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to improve Erie’s Bayfront Parkway. But a surprising percentage of those who did support plans for roundabouts at Holland Street and Sassafras Street Extension and even prefer a roundabout at State Street, where PennDOT instead plans to control traffic with a traditional signal at a new intersection raised above the parkway.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 27

July 6, 2020 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 27
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PennDOT accepting unsolicited P-3 proposals until July 31

The PennDOT Office of Public-Private Partnerships is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through July 31. PennDOT usually holds an unsolicited proposal period in April and October each year. However, due to COVID-19, the April submission period was postponed until July.

PA Revenue Department releases fiscal year 2019-2020 collections

The Motor License Fund received $246.9 million for the month, $6.2 million below estimate. Fiscal year- collections for the fund — which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues — total $2.7 billion, which is $186.4 million, or 6.5 percent, below estimate.

Could the coronavirus kill the gasoline tax?

A crisis in how to pay for roads and bridges with a gasoline tax had been worsening for decades. With Americans traveling less, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating it.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 26

June 29, 2020 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 26
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With people driving less, PennDOT puts brakes on some road and bridge projects

Pennsylvanians are driving less because of the coronavirus pandemic and that’s putting the brakes on some road construction projects.

Speed cameras in Pa: Thousands of violations in 3 months of enforcement

Nearly 30,000 violations have been issued so far to drivers who sped through active work zones, said Jennifer Kuntch, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

Work set to begin on Northeast Philly stretch of I-95

Drivers who use I-95 through the city should be prepared for more delays. PennDOT is set to begin long-term roadwork on a busy stretch of the highway in Northeast Philadelphia.

National study puts PA among worst states in country for road deaths blamed on speeding drivers

The analysis, by researchers at CoPilot, a car-shopping app, found that in Pennsylvania, 41.9% of total traffic deaths involve speeding. Pennsylvania has the fifth highest percentage of traffic deaths that involve speeding in the U.S.

PennDOT extends exp. dates on driver licenses, ID cards, learner’s permits until July 31

As of June 23, 2020, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, through July 31, have been extended until July 31, 2020.

PennDOT to begin collecting wind speed data on thruway bridge over the Susquehanna

Data collected from the monitors will be analyzed along with that from a wind tunnel study, Matt Beck, the PennDOT plans engineer at Montoursville, said. A consultant will use models in the tunnel study to determine how wind speeds affect certain vehicles, he explained.

 

New tool provides highway investment info

June 26, 2020 by · Comments Off on New tool provides highway investment info
Filed under: Featured, News 

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association launched a tool this week that highlights the benefits of highway investment across the country.

It shows that Pennsylvania leveraged nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds to spur more than $2.2 billion in highway improvements in the 2018 fiscal year.

Called the ARTBA Highway Dashboard, the tool is designed to provide elected officials and the public with information about how and where states invest their transportation tax dollars. The tool comes as we approach the expiration of the federal FAST Act surface transportation law on Sept. 30.

In Pennsylvania, two-thirds of the cost of projects was for reconstruction or repair work on existing roads. Planning, design and engineering accounted for 13%, added capacity 12% and new construction 1%.

“This tool provides useful information for the public and policymakers as we get closer to the time that decisions on funding will need to be made,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “Sound decisions start with sound data, so we’re pleased to have it available.”

To view the ARTBA Highway Dashboard, click here.

ARTBA is a national trade association for the highway industry, with more than 8,000 public and private-sector members.

 

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