PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 12

March 19, 2019

Philadelphia lawmaker’s bill authorizes speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard

Councilwoman Cherelle Parker introduced a bill Thursday that would authorize the installation of speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard. The cameras would be placed between 9th Street and the Philadelphia County line.

‘Hyperloop’ study: Could packages zip across Pennsylvania in minutes? Maybe

Packages hurtling from one end of the state to the other in under a half hour? Pennsylvania transportation officials think it’s less futuristic than it sounds, and they have committed $2 million to study the cost and impact of building a “hyperloop” across the state.

PennDOT announces liquid fuels distribution to municipalities

The March 1 distribution marked a $11.7 million, or 2.4 percent, increase over the $489 million distributed in 2018. Act 89 of 2013 made more funding available for locally owned roadways. Before the law, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.

Regional rail service returning to Coatesville

SEPTA said last week that regional rail service will be returning to Coatesville. The proposed new rail line would extend from the current terminal in Thorndale to a new station in Coatesville.

Why Pennsylvania transportation funding could be in deep trouble

In a doomsday scenario, Pennsylvania could lose $18.5 billion in transportation funding over the next 12 years. That’s according to a state Department of Transportation advisory committee, which recently released a report on risks facing the commonwealth’s highway, bridge, and transit financials from the present until 2030.

York County company testing automated flagging for work zones

D.E. Gemmill Inc is now using automated flagging devices connected through a tablet with real-time video, providing an alternative to placing flaggers in harm’s way. According to company president David Gemmill, the new system will remove flaggers from the traffic flow, creating a safer work environment.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 11

March 11, 2019

CAT faces multi-million-dollar shortfall as lawsuit over Pa. Turnpike tolls lingers in court

Capital Area Transit is under new management, but now that state funding has been put on hold, any improvements the bus service has been making could stall out.

Lawmakers upbeat on ag budget proposal

Gov. Tom Wolf’s $24 million package to help Pennsylvania farmers has passed its first test in the legislature. During budget hearings this week, Appropriations Committee members in both chambers appeared generally favorable to the proposal.

State to begin study of hyperloop technology, potential Pittsburgh-to-Philadelphia route

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission this week approved a four-year contract worth up to $2 million for consultant AECOM to review the potential for a hyperloop system that would extend across the state.

Plan envisions adapting roads, expanding trails for walkers and bikers countywide

A plan scheduled for adoption next month aims at nothing less than “changing the culture of transportation” in Lancaster County. Currently in draft form, the 166-page Lancaster Active Transportation Plan envisions a county where communities are linked by trails for walking and biking.

State police issue 2K citations to commercial drivers during storms

State police noted enforcement wasn’t as extensive during this past Sunday’s storm, when commercial vehicle restrictions occurred on fewer miles of road in the central and eastern sections of the state. That was reflected in generally lower traffic incident numbers — 245 citations, 14 warnings and eight commercial vehicle wrecks on restricted roads.

City and autonomous vehicle companies agree to testing guidelines

An executive order signed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Monday outlines objectives and expectations for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles in the city.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 10

March 5, 2019

Pennsylvania removes barrier to third-party EV charging station ownership

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has approved tariff supplements for four FirstEnergy utilities that will clarify rules around third-party electric vehicle charging in an attempt to encourage development of charging infrastructure.

PennDOT details new local access tied to I-80/I-99 interchange project

After being discussed for what seems like ages, the proposed high-speed interchange at Interstates 80 and 99 is kicking into gear with a $34 million federal grant received by PennDOT.

Commitment to Route 322 project is welcome, and long overdue

The old description of Penn State as “equally inaccessible from all directions” might finally fade in the rearview mirror with Gov. Tom Wolf’s February commitment to completing U.S. Route 322’s “missing link” near State College.

Pedestrian deaths up 41 percent in Pennsylvania

Fueled by ubiquitous sport utility vehicles and distracted drivers, Pennsylvania saw a 41 percent increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2018 over a similar period the previous year, a new report has found.

2018 was the worst year for pedestrian deaths since 1990

Pedestrian deaths have been on the rise for a decade, reaching their highest level since 1990 last year. According to preliminary estimates, there were 6,227 U.S. pedestrian deaths in 2018.

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PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 9

February 26, 2019

Proposed state police fee would hit some municipalities hard

As a leader of a municipality that hasn’t had — or paid for — a police department in 15 years, Plymouth Twp. Supervisor Gail Conrad is open to a proposal to charge a per-resident fee for state police coverage.

Transportation projects ongoing throughout Cambria, Somerset counties

Improving the safety of existing roadways, using creative solutions to repair structurally deficient bridges and advocating for the connection of the area’s major highways with others makes transportation an ongoing theme in Cambria and Somerset counties.

Almost 40 SEPTA projects stalled over Pa. Turnpike lawsuit

SEPTA officials put almost 40 improvement projects on hold this month as it awaits the outcome of a lawsuit that could slash a third of its capital budget by this summer.

Pa. taxpayers continue funding state troopers in towns without cops after years of capitol debate

State lawmakers have been talking for years about changing that, but still can’t seem to agree on a way to do it. And the pressure has been building as the state has been tapering off diversions to the Pennsylvania State Police from the commonwealth’s Motor License Fund, which is intended to fund infrastructure repair and maintenance.

Senator calls on State Police to get creative with fee-based funding approach

Officials from the Pennsylvania State Police say their personnel and equipment budgets will be in jeopardy if the municipalities they police full-time don’t help them foot the bill.

Five Pennsylvania locations top nation’s worst bottlenecks

Five Pennsylvania locations made the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) top 100 most congested bottlenecks for trucks in the United States. The locations are I-76 at I-676 in Philadelphia, I-81 at I-83 in Harrisburg, I-476 at I-95 in Philadelphia, I-76 at I-476 in Philadelphia and Route 581 at I-83 in Harrisburg.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 8

February 21, 2019

AG: Rising police demand tied to pension problems

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale drew a link last week between helping struggling municipal pension plans get out of debt and easing demand for state police coverage in additional parts of Pennsylvania.

State Police nab 1,800 drivers for ignoring restrictions during winter storms

Pennsylvania State Police issued citations to more than 800 drivers of commercial vehicles — including tractor-trailers, flatbeds, box trucks and buses — for ignoring or violating emergency road restrictions during severe storms this week.

‘Roadmap’ puts DEP squarely behind greater use of electric vehicles

It may not be the Green New Deal, but a new report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tries to nudge the state toward greater use of electric vehicles.

Pennsylvania commits funding $670 million transportation project for State College connection

A $670 million project to improve the connection on U.S. Route 322 between the top of the Seven Mountains and State College will become a reality, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Rep. Smucker to serve on three transportation infrastructure subcommittees

Smucker will serve on the Hazardous Materials and the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.