PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 31

August 6, 2019

Pennsylvania’s gas tax no longer highest

After having the nation’s highest gasoline tax for more than four years, the Keystone State was bumped to second place on July 1, when a tax increase in California took effect.

City of Pittsburgh seeking public input on transportation vision

PGH MOBILITY 2070 will establish a framework to guide investment, development, and management in a network of transportation infrastructure, information, and services that could support the city’s needs if its population grows from the current 302,000 residents to 450,000 residents over the next 50 years.

Lawmakers reach deal for $3 billion to repair ailing bridges

Senators have brokered a deal to reauthorize the highway trust fund for another five years, proposing to spend an unprecedented $287 billion on surface transportation projects.

PennDOT agrees to deploy automated speed enforcement unit in fall in I-78 work zones

State Senators David Argall (R-29) and Judith L. Schwank (D-11) have announced that PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards has agreed to their joint request to deploy automated speed enforcement units in work zones along Interstate 78 in Berks County when they become available this fall.

V-tolls: What they are and why you might be paying them if you travel the Pa. Turnpike

Mysterious charges appeared on E-ZPass statements of Pennsylvania Turnpike customers at least 350,000 times over the course of a year. Called V-tolls, these are $10 charges incurred by E-ZPass users when an E-ZPass transponder doesn’t get read as a vehicle exits the turnpike.

Pa.’s four-year-long partnership to fix 558 bridges approaches its conclusion

PennDOT and its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project development partner, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners, recently started construction on the 558th and final bridge in the program.

Who needs a valet? Cars in this garage can park themselves

Parking-related crashes happen at lower speeds, so they’re fortunately less likely to hurt or kill people (or get reported to police). But they’re costly, and insurance companies are very interested in getting rid of them. Basically: The world would be better without parking.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 30

July 29, 2019

Study: Half of teens who die in Pa. crashes aren’t wearing a seat belt

More than half of teens who died in crashes in 2016 were not wearing a seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says seat belt use is the most important factor in preventing death.

Pennsylvania needs a transportation-funding fix

Pennsylvania gets a big chunk of its transportation money from the feds. The feds want more of that cash to go the 1,300 miles of interstate highways in Pennsylvania. That means less for state roads and bridges.

Inclined Plane rehab grinds to halt; turnpike lawsuit delays state grant

A major rehabilitation of the Johnstown Inclined Plane has been put on hold by a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Pennsylvania Turnpike using technology to clear accident scenes quicker

In the year since the turnpike began using the app, the turnpike has seen the average delay for accidents and other incidents reduced from an hour and 46 minutes to 1:18.

4 drivers rack up more than $21,000 in unpaid tolls on Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is continuing to crack down on toll cheats. Authorities have charged four more drivers with theft for repeatedly dodging tolls at Pennsylvania Turnpike entrances in Bucks County.

$380 million in PennDOT funding cuts could triple the amount of time to complete roadwork

PennDOT is cutting the region’s transportation funding by $380 million over the next 12 years.


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PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 29

July 24, 2019

Ever-rising turnpike tax

This is the 12th consecutive year of toll increases and, this time, it is 6% across the board for E-ZPass and cash customers alike.

Mid-year update on PennDOT road and bridge construction progress

Through June 30, PennDOT crews have improved more than 800 miles of roadway and rehabilitated or replaced 27 bridges statewide this year. In the same timeframe, 372 construction contracts for highway, bridge, and other improvement projects were issued statewide to PennDOT’s private-sector partners.

Wilkes-Barre interested in Philly rail service

The city is interested in starting passenger rail service to Philadelphia to boost economic development and improve the quality of life in the region.

Gas tax drop has state looking for answers

The Motor License Fund — which includes gas tax and revenue from license renewals and fees — ended 2018-19 almost $58 million below what the state had projected for the year, according to the Department of Revenue.

Officials tested how many drivers respected pedestrians in crosswalks in Bethlehem

The law gives the right-of-way to pedestrians in these cases; drivers need to wait for pedestrians to pass in front of them before moving along. But they frequently don’t.

Pa. Turnpike tolls to rise 6 percent in 2020

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 6% increase at a meeting Tuesday. The toll increases apply to E-ZPass, cash and Toll-By-Plate passenger and commercial systems across the entire turnpike. In most places on the turnpike system, the new rates will go into effect in January 2020.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 27

July 1, 2019

Daunting task: Building the Southern Beltway’s interchange underneath I-79

For the first 11 miles of construction of the Southern Beltway, the concept has been pretty much the same: knock down hills, fill in valleys and create a flat surface for the new 13-mile toll road on the Allegheny-Washington County border.

Pennsylvania resolution urges federal government to make infrastructure a priority

The Pennsylvania state House recently advanced a resolution that urges the federal government to make the resiliency of the country’s infrastructure a priority.

11 things you need to know before getting a Real ID in Pennsylvania

Residents who want Pennsylvania’s federally compliant ID cards are required to provide a slew of paperwork and information when they apply.

Pennsylvania highway deaths slightly increased last year, despite national dip

Early estimates show 36,750 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationally in 2018, a roughly 1% year-over-year decrease, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As Trump and Congress consider infrastructure funding, road builders call for more federal dollars

Dave Bauer, the CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, says the Trump administration and Congress need to pitch in to help states accomplish their transportation goals.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 26

June 25, 2019

Pa. mayors urge legislature to approve protected bike lanes

If passed, House Bill 792 would allow vehicles to be parked within 12 inches of a buffer area separating them from the bikes. This would mean that bike lanes could run in between parked cars and the curb instead of next to moving traffic.

Pa. Senate panel advances bill to beef up ban on snow-topped cars

On Tuesday, the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved the bill sponsored by Sens. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, and Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, that gives drivers 24 hours to clean off their vehicles.

Pennsylvania Senate panel advances local speed radar use

Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that prohibits municipal police from enforcing speed limits with radar. Since 1961, only state troopers have been allowed to use radar. The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Wednesday, June 12, to advance a bill to change that distinction.