PHIA News Digest – Vol. 106

December 28, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania Transportation Planners Identify Critical Freight Corridors

The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study committee has approved a list of six regional roads that it believes are worthy of the “critical urban freight corridor” designation in the federal government’s new National Highway Freight Network.

Investing in our waterways

The need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure continues to garner bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., and the Pittsburgh region stands to benefit from recently passed legislation.

Earlier this month, Congress passed a multibillion-dollar infrastructure-funding package — the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act — which will make critical investments to maintain and improve our nation’s ailing waterways infrastructure. This legislation will have a major positive impact in southwestern Pennsylvania due to the importance that inland waterways and river navigation have on our region’s economy and quality of life. Indeed, from businesspeople to boaters to consumers, we are all affected by the stability of this system.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 105

December 20, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Mobile LiDAR Captures Pennsylvania Traffic Signal Data

Michael Baker International has completed a nearly $7-million project for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to collect data from more than 8,600 traffic signals across the state. In one year, the firm, along with PennDOT’s Traffic Signal Asset Management System (TSAMS), collected nearly 20 million data fields for each of the 8,623 traffic signals analyzed. They populated a centralized database to support PennDOT’s future planning, design, maintenance and operational decision making.

Pennsylvania to Eliminate Vehicle Registration stickers

Pennsylvania is doing away with renewal stickers for license plates in a change designed to save millions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will stop issuing the stickers at the end of December , producing more than $3 million in annual savings of production and mail costs.



Driverless technology advances in Pennsylvania

December 14, 2016

Autonomous self-driving driverless vehicle with radar on the roadWhile engineers and auto manufacturers continue to work on driverless technology, Pennsylvania is beginning work on the regulations that will guide this fledgling industry.

PennDOT assembled an Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force to draft recommendations on the rules for driverless cars. The goal was to combine the state’s focus on innovation with the public’s need for safety.

Combining input from organizations including the Federal Highway Administration, AAA, Carnegie Mellon University, General Motors, Uber, the University of Pennsylvania, SAE and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, the task force produced a report containing the following recommendations: Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 104

December 12, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Carnegie Mellon Awarded $14 Million from U.S. DOT for Mobility Research Center

Carnegie Mellon University will receive $14 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to establish a new National University Transportation Center (UTC).

The UTC, which will be named Mobility21, will focus on safely and efficiently improving the mobility of people and goods in the 21st century by investigating and deploying novel technologies, incentives, policies, and training programs.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to Crack Down on Toll Violators

A new state law will enact harsher penalties on drivers who fail to pay Pennsylvania turnpike violations.

Starting next year, the transportation department can suspend the vehicle registrations of scofflaws with six or more violations, the Associated Press reports. The law is an attempt by the department to collect some of the millions of dollars it’s owed in unpaid tolls.

Regulations for testing driverless vehicles are being floated in Pennsylvania

The testing of driverless vehicles will soon have some guidelines in Pennsylvania as engineers continue developing autonomous vehicle technology.

The Autonomous Vehicles Testing Policy Task Force has delivered recommendations to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as it develops testing policies for driverless vehicles. The goal of the task force is to create a framework for testing driverless vehicles in Pennsylvania that balances public safety with innovation. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 103

December 5, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Manheim Township’s Marc Lemon is running Donald Trump’s transportation and infrastructure policy team

President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promised to “transform America’s crumbling infrastructure into a golden opportunity for accelerated economic growth.”

Now, Manheim Township resident Marc Lemon is helping fulfill that promise of fixing and rebuilding highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and other critical infrastructure.

One of Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters in Lancaster County, he is leading a group of nine people assigned to develop the new administration’s transportation and infrastructure policies.

Trump Picks Washington Insider Elaine Chao For Transportation Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump ran an insurgent, anti-establishment campaign, but the latest addition to his prospective Cabinet is about as establishment as it gets.

Elaine Chao, whom Trump picked Tuesday to head the Department of Transportation, worked in both Bush administrations, has ties to the conservative Heritage Foundation, has sat on numerous corporate boards and spent several years running the United Way of America. She also happens to be married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Adams County commissioners got it right (letter)

Traditionally, the Pennsylvania Motor License Fund (gas tax and license fees) was primarily used to support PennDOT transportation, State Police patrols and funds for municipal roads. The Pennsylvania General Fund (sales tax and income tax) was used to support other government operations.

Last year the General Assembly took transportation funds from PennDOT in order to help out the General Fund.  The General Assembly, with Act 89, provided that the county could impose a $5 per vehicle fee if they wanted to restore funding on PennDOT roads.

Service upgrades ride shotgun with final bus deal

Perry County Transportation Authority has finalized its assimilation into the York-based Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, known as rabbittransit.

The Perry County commissioners on Nov. 21 signed off on the agreement which adds local Shared Ride and bus services to the 10-county regional organization, which ranges from York, Adams, Union, Snyder and Columbia counties.