PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 7

February 18, 2020

Rough roads: Pennsylvania facing tough decisions on transportation funding

Transportation funding will take center stage in Harrisburg in the coming weeks as officials face a Bermuda Triangle of issues that threaten the condition of local roads across Pennsylvania.

County detective, prosecutor will crack down Turnpike toll scofflaws

As part of the Turnpike’s efforts to crack down on drivers who are avoiding paying tolls, the agency that oversees more than 500 miles of highway in Pennsylvania has granted the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office $327,705.07 to investigate and prosecute fare evaders who rack up high bills between this year and the end of 2022.

‘Strike while it’s hot’: Somerset County to lobby for Route 219 completion

Somerset County Commissioners have hired a Washington, D.C., consultant with local ties to lobby the Route 219 project.

Pa. only state that doesn’t let local police use radar

Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Dauphin County, introduced House Bill 1686, which would allow local officers to use radar. It’s currently in the transportation committee and mirrors a similar measure under consideration in the state Senate.

PennDOT on mission to remind people of REAL ID deadline

PennDOT is ramping up its campaign to remind people that Oct. 1 is the deadline to comply with the federal government’s REAL ID program.

Editorial: Funding plan for Pennsylvania State Police falls far short

Meanwhile, state leaders are reducing the amount of money state police get from the motor license fund. It’s the right thing to do, as more proceeds from the gasoline tax and driver’s license and registration fees should be spent on the state’s transportation infrastructure.

Trump’s infrastructure budget big, bold and unlikely

BIG, BOLD AND UNLIKELY: The Trump administration released its proposed fiscal 2021 budget on Monday, but ultimately many of its proposals will be tossed out altogether at appropriations time.

IBTTA president, vice president take office

Samuel Johnson, chief toll operations officer for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, took office last month as president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). Mark Compton was also elected to serve as IBTTA’s first vice-president. Compton is Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO and will serve as IBTTA president next year.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 6

February 11, 2020

Feds break from policy, allow self-driving vehicle to bypass human-driver safety rule

For the first time, the U.S. government’s highway safety agency has approved a company’s request to deploy a self-driving vehicle that doesn’t need to meet the same federal safety standards for cars and trucks driven by humans.

Pennsylvania State Police sees decline in seatbelt use

According to state police, there were two fatal single-vehicle crashes last week, both of which involved people not wearing their seat belts.

Report: Sign advised lower speed in snowy turnpike bus crash

Light snow was falling during a bus crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that killed five people last month, and the bus had just passed a sign warning to keep below 55 mph (89 kph) on a curve, according to a preliminary investigative report released Thursday.

PennDOT to shift $3.15 billion from local roads to interstate improvements

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will shift $3.15 billion from local road projects to improvements on the interstate highways over the next nine years, a decision that has district officials scrambling to adjust their local maintenance plans to eliminate needed projects they can’t pay for.

Senate committee gives green light to sheltered bike lanes

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, that changes state parking laws to permit protected bike and pedestrian lanes — lanes on public streets with barriers sheltering them from traffic.

PA officials conduct study on statewide littering, forming action plan to reduce it

Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful organization announced the results of a statewide litter research study on Wednesday.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 5

February 3, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear OOIDA’s appeal of toll ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case petitioned by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) involving the group’s battle against what it considers to be excessive tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Cap and trade for your car? Pa. is looking at limiting transportation emissions

Gov. Tom Wolf is kicking the tires on cutting carbon emissions from commuters’ and truckers’ tail pipes, even if it could result in an increase to the Keystone State’s already high gas prices.

Public comment period for PennDOT’s Statewide Public Participation Plan now open

PennDOT announced that it will hold a 45-day public comment period on proposed updates to its Statewide Public Participation Plan, which will begin today and conclude on March 11.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 4

January 27, 2020

Vehicle fee hearing set for Tuesday

Luzerne County residents will get a chance this week to tell county council members whether they think council should terminate a controversial county-wide vehicle registration fee.

State House scales back proposed emissions inspection overhaul

The state House scaled back a proposal that would have exempted many Pennsylvania drivers from vehicle emissions inspections — now calling for a study instead of an immediate overhaul.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 3

January 22, 2020

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.