PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – No. 2, Vol. 26

June 26, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Baer: Could Pa. courts do what lawmakers won’t?

I’m wondering whether Pennsylvania’s judiciary is on the edge of a new era, one in which our state government could actually improve.

Yes, judiciary is just one branch of a troubled tree. And it hasn’t been disease-free. But consider it in the context of the operational whole.

Balancing road repair, police service

State government faces many tough choices as it works very hard to strike a balance between meeting critical needs and keeping the burden on taxpayers as fair as possible. One such tough balancing act involves addressing law enforcement needs across the state and keeping our highway and bridge system in the best shape possible.

Major resurfacing project to begin on Schuylkill Expressway

A major highway connecting the suburbs to the city is about to get very busy with construction crews. The Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) will undergo a major asphalt resurfacing that will impact the commute of tens of thousands of drivers every day.

A better way to manage how we get around

Urban mobility is undergoing its starkest transformation since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line more than a century ago. Emerging services like car-, bike- and ride-sharing have provided city dwellers with a vast — and often confusing — array of options for getting around. And it’s too early to predict the impact of technologies that are on the horizon, such as driverless cars.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 25

June 19, 2017

PDSITELOGO2When it comes to building new infrastructure, there are no free rides: Robert Latham

We do not doubt that privatization can offer efficiencies and cost advantages, as well as shift some of the investment risk away from taxpayers.

Privatization does not, however, make the costs for infrastructure improvements magically disappear. In the case of highway improvement, the bottom line is that you can’t have financing without funding.

‘Economic roadmap’ will help locate opportunities

The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway won’t fully open to traffic until 2024, but business leaders are wisely thinking now about how the Routes 11-15 bypass project will change the local economic landscape.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are hosting an educational forum Wednesday designed to offer information on economic opportunities that may be created by the new highway.

Chokepoints: Road construction that may slow you down this summer

A number of projects taking place around the Capital Beltway — the loop around Harrisburg that’s a combination of interstates 81 and 83 and state Route 581 —  will affect almost everyone who travels in Dauphin and Cumberland counties this summer.

In addition, PennLive asked PennDOT representatives to identify the road construction projects in each district around the state, from Erie to Philadelphia, that will have the greatest impact on travelers.

Trillium CNG celebrates opening of York fueling station

Officials with PennDOT and Rabbittransit in York, Pa., held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the commonwealth’s newest public compressed natural gas (CNG) station. The facility is the second public CNG station Love’s Trillium CNG designed, built and maintains for numerous transit authorities in Pennsylvania as part of a public-private partnership PennDOT awarded to the company last year.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 24

June 13, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Council voices concerns on thruway project

The Shamokin Dam Borough Council is asking PennDOT to reconsider portions of the southern section of the $650 million Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway, including an abandoned option to connect Route 15 to the future highway before Winfield.

Data suggests cities are making progress in reducing pedestrian deaths

In recent years, a number of U.S. cities have been intently focused on reducing the number of pedestrians who are killed in traffic accidents. These cities have started to transform their streetscapes to minimize pedestrian, cyclist and motorist deaths as part of the Vision Zero movement, which emphasizes that no traffic deaths are acceptable.

But the big question about those efforts is just how effective they really are. Now, new data is emerging that gives policymakers a better picture of where Vision Zero is working. And more data tools are on the way that could help address dangerous conditions before traffic deaths or injuries occur.

Pa. legislators rally in support of Mon-Fayette Expressway extension

The Mon-Fayette Expressway extension from Jefferson Hills to Monroeville is a “once in a generation opportunity” to foster economic growth, a group of state legislators say.

They want officials at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the Turnpike Commission and PennDOT to stay the course on the long-standing project.

Who – or what – is driving that 18-wheeler?

We have seen the future, and it looked like a beer truck. In October, a tractor-trailer equipped with self-driving technology delivered a load of Budweiser 120 miles down Colorado’s Interstate 25. After navigating the roads from the brewery to the highway, the driver of Uber’s truck hit the “engage” button and left his seat. It was the first delivery of commercial cargo by a self-driving vehicle.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 23

June 6, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Gov. Wolf announces investments to improve nine airports

Nine airports will make safety upgrades and expand operation opportunities with the assistance of $10 million in state investments, Gov. Tom Wolf announced.

The funds are administered by PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation through the Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, which is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds. The program complements the state Multimodal Fund, which dedicates $6 million to aviation in this fiscal year alone.

The fund was created by Act 89, a far-reaching transportation funding program that clears the way for significant investments in all transportation modes.

Memorial reminds motorists to drive safely through construction zones

As road construction projects shift into high gear, the state Department of Transportation brought its Workers Memorial to Schuylkill County to remind drivers to use caution when traveling through work zones.

The memorial was set up Wednesday at PennDOT’s maintenance office in Schuylkill Haven. It will remain there for a week before traveling throughout the other counties in PennDOT’s District 5.

The 87 reflective vests and hardhats mounted on stands each represent a PennDOT employee killed while working since 1970.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – No. 2, Vol. 22

May 31, 2017

PDSITELOGO2Gov. Wolf, PennDOT announce 2017 highway improvements in SE Pa.

Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT today announced that more than $550 million in highway and bridge improvements will begin or be bid across the Philadelphia region during the 2017 construction season, bringing the region’s total contract work this year to roughly 125 projects worth $2.2 billion.

PA lawmakers advance multiple proposals for State Police funding, coverage

State lawmakers have been considering changes to how Pennsylvania State Police provide coverage in communities without local law enforcement, and how to pay for it. There are no fewer than five related proposals that have been introduced this session.

Residents voice their concerns about thruway project

Curiosity and concerns about noise and traffic brought out more than 300 area residents eager to know more about the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway, southern section — and three alternative routes that were developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to avoid construction on the two nearby fly ash waste basins.

The three routes, dubbed the western, central and eastern alternatives, came about after feedback received at a February meeting. Thursday night’s meeting filled the Selinsgrove Area Middle School auditorium, where PennDOT officials updated the crowd on progress made on both the northern and southern CSVT.

PennDOT abolishes the bikeway occupancy permit

After an 11-year advocacy effort, PennDOT has eliminated the bikeway occupancy permit and replaced it with bike lane request/approval letters. The occupancy permit, which had been law up until now, required a municipality that wanted a new bike lane to maintain any bikeway in PENNDOT’s right of way. Read more

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