News

PennDOT Partners With Waze

December 22, 2015 by · Comments Off on PennDOT Partners With Waze
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WazeGovernor Tom Wolf announced a partnership between PennDOT and user-crowd-sourcing traffic app, Waze.

The app shows users a map of their route along with updates from other users. Users are able to report accidents and road conditions. The partnership with PennDOT will allow PennDOT to share its information with Waze and improve the quantity and quality of information available to users.

“As travelers rely more and more on their smartphones for real-time traffic data, this new partnership represents yet another way PennDOT is modernizing to keep up with the demands of its customers,” Governor Wolf said in his announcement.

The app is already very popular in the state and Waze reports that Philadelphia has more than 417,000 active users per month and Pittsburgh has more than 80,000 active users per month.

“PennDOT is always looking for ways to make it easier and safer to travel on our roadways,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said.

“PHIA applauds every effort to make our roads safer and to help people manage traffic congestion,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “This will be especially helpful as many Pennsylvanians prepare to travel throughout the holidays.”

 

News

Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety

September 9, 2015 by · Comments Off on Roundabouts to grow in quantity, improve safety
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Drivers may begin to see more roundabouts in their Pennsylvania commutes, as studies have concluded that they are safer than traditional intersections.

ROUNDABOUTPHIAOne such study was recently conducted in the Lehigh Valley and found that there are 90 percent fewer fatal accidents in roundabouts than in intersections. They also found a 35 percent reduction in collisions with pedestrians. Unlike some traffic circles with lights, roundabouts are defined by yielding upon entry and operation without traffic signals.

This study was conducted by RK&K, on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study committee. The study recommended 26 roundabouts in the Lehigh Valley.

PennDOT is also increasing the use of roundabouts on state roads, with a handful planned for construction in the next year in District 1.

Since these constructions will be new to many Pennsylvanians, PennDOT is offering advice to motorists encountering a roundabout:

  • Slow down when approaching the roundabout and be prepared to yield to any pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Approach the “Yield” line, look to the left and check for approaching traffic within the roundabout. Circulating traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic. If necessary, stop at the “Yield” line until there is a safe gap in traffic.
  • Upon entering the roundabout, drivers have the right of way and should proceed counterclockwise to their exit point.
  • Drivers approaching their exit should use their right turn signal, watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk and be prepared to yield to pedestrians.

 “According to several studies, roundabouts will make travel safer for both motorists and pedestrians,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “Safety has always been a major concern of PHIA, and we encourage motorists to travel carefully through construction sites where roundabouts are being constructed.”

 

News

Plan ahead for the visit of Pope Francis

August 11, 2015 by · Comments Off on Plan ahead for the visit of Pope Francis
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For the first time in decades, the Pope will visit the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on September 25.

Anyone planning to travel through or near Philadelphia during his stay may need to take an alternate route. In order to protect Pope Francis during his visit, and ensure safe foot travel in the city, the following roads will be closed through September 27th:

  • I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95 and I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Extension).
  • I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95.
  • S. Route 1 in both directions from U.S. 30 to Belmont Avenue.
  • I-95 will remain open to traffic with only selected ramps closed due to street closures within the city and security needs.

Read more

News

TRIP study shows high cost of traffic congestion across PA

June 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on TRIP study shows high cost of traffic congestion across PA
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Traffic congestion costs motorists in some parts of Pennsylvania more than $2,900 per year in wasted time and fuel, according to a new report issued by TRIP, a national transportation research organization.

For the second time this month, TRIP released data demonstrating that the condition of the state’s highway system is costing drivers a significant sum of money – more than it would cost to address the transportation funding problem.

This time, TRIP identified the most congested corridors in five regions of the state: Harrisburg/Lancaster/York, Lehigh Valley/Reading, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The costs are highest in Pittsburgh and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the report said, coming in at more than $2,900 per year. Lehigh Valley/Reading drivers are snagged for more than $2,600 per year, Philly for $2,300 and Harrisburg for $2,000. Read more

News

Know of any ‘choke points’ in your neck of the woods? PHIA needs to know

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Know of any ‘choke points’ in your neck of the woods? PHIA needs to know
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Although it is unlikely that the General Assembly will act on the funding issue until next year, it is extremely important to keep transportation issues in the public’s eye through the fall.  PHIA and the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition plan to coordinate outreach and publicity efforts centered on a theme of “the cost of doing nothing.”

To support this effort, we are looking for examples throughout Pennsylvania of traffic “choke points” – places where congestion occurs on a daily basis, causing delays and wasting fuel and money.  As an example, if my 15-mile daily commute should ordinarily take 20 minutes, but congestion and the resulting stop-and-go traffic flow causes it to take an additional 10 minutes, I have driven the equivalent of 7 ½ additional miles.  If I do that twice daily, five days per week, I have driven the equivalent of 75 additional miles, which in my 25-mpg vehicle wastes three gallons of gas costing about $10. Read more

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Case study: the cost of doing nothing

July 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on Case study: the cost of doing nothing
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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported recently that a three-mile stretch of Parkway West – from Green Tree to the Fort Pitt Tunnel – has received the dubious distinction of being ranked as the ninth-most congested stretch of highway in the country. 

According to INRIX, an international firm that uses global positioning technology to track the movement of traffic, the average trip through that three-mile stretch takes 13 minutes.  At the 55 mph posted speed limit, it SHOULD take about 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

Now bear with us while we lay a little math on you.  If it takes you an extra 9 minutes and 45 seconds to drive that three-mile stretch through stop-and-go traffic, then you have driven the equivalent of 9 extra miles.  If you’re a commuter who drives it every weekday, twice a day, by the end of the week you will have driven the equivalent of 90 additional miles.

If your car gets 20 miles to the gallon, you’ve wasted about 4.5 gallons of gasoline in a week.  At $3.50 a gallon, you’ve spent $15.75 more than you should have – all because of this one measly three-mile stretch. Read more

News

The cost of doing nothing

March 29, 2012 by · Comments Off on The cost of doing nothing
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PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch frequently points out that there are costs for NOT addressing transportation funding needs.  A new U.S. Treasury report says traffic congestion wastes 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline per year.  Additionally, the report says, poor road conditions cost the average urban motorist an additional $400 per year in vehicle maintenance.  For a news account of the report, click here.

 

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A Primer on User Fees and Taxes

October 18, 2011 by · Comments Off on A Primer on User Fees and Taxes
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Triad Strategies recently posted an item on its blog, The Triadvocate, explaining the difference between general taxes and user fees. The following is a re-post of that blog:

Your teacher told you in grade school that it would be important to know how to use a dictionary. Now, the current Pennsylvania public policy debate on transportation funding has given you the perfect example of why she was right.

Most people say they don’t want new taxes. At the same time, people say they want better, safer roads and functional mass transit systems in urban areas. They are willing to pay a reasonable sum for using these facilities. So it’s important to know how you are paying for what you want and need and what the labels mean. Read more

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ReConnectPA.org launches public engagement effort

February 17, 2011 by · Comments Off on ReConnectPA.org launches public engagement effort
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PHIA is pleased to join Associated Pennsylvania Constructors and a myriad of other organizations representing transportation interests in a venture called ReConnectPA.org.

The site is a tool for reaching out and engaging the public in seeking solutions to Pennsylvania’s transportation funding problems. The home page of the ReConnectPA.org web site contains an interactive map of Pennsylvania, on which anyone can post a suggestion for improving the transportation system or identify a transportation-related problem. Read more

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Some Pa. commuters waste nearly a workweek and $1,000 per year in traffic

February 14, 2011 by · Comments Off on Some Pa. commuters waste nearly a workweek and $1,000 per year in traffic
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Last week, we provided a national overview of the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, issued by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. The report calculated the amounts of time and money that are wasted because of traffic congestion – an average of 34 hours and $808 per motorist per year, based on 2009 data.

The report also broke out individual urban areas, in Pennsylvania’s case, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown/Bethlehem. Following are the data for those areas: Read more

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