PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 40

October 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
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New Fern Hollow Bridge on track to reopen this year

The new Fern Hollow Bridge remains on track to reopen by the end of 2022, according to leaders with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Letter to the editor: Solving turnpike debt problems

The editorial “Turnpike debt problems must be Harrisburg priority” (Sept. 12, TribLIVE) was spot on: We need a solution to the state’s longstanding transportation-funding shortfall.

Study: Pa. has some of the least-most aggressive driving

Thousands of drivers use the Pennsylvania Turnpike every day, and you would think that means a lot of road rage, however, a study shows that you’ll actually encounter almost none compared to other states.

Turnpike, Drivewyze and INRIX to offer slowdown alerts to truck drivers

Drivewyze, the leader in connected truck services and operator of the largest public-private weigh station bypass network in North America, has announced real-time, in-cab traffic alerts in partnership with INRIX, a leader in transportation analytics and connected vehicle services, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

 

How do PA drivers rank in confrontational behavior?

September 30, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
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We can’t vouch for the soundness of its methodology or the reliability of its data, but we pass along the following, for what it’s worth: In a nationwide online survey of 5,000 U.S. drivers, Pennsylvania’s ranking of the most confrontational drivers came in at – drumroll, please – 49th.

In other words, except for good old North Dakota, Pennsylvania drivers are the second-most docile in the country, according to the study. Topping the list as the most confrontational were Utah (this surprises us), Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The survey was conducted by the Forbes Advisor, which describes itself as a provider of educational content and is affiliated with the Forbes business magazine.

Each state was scored on a list of 10 confrontational behaviors, which include ramming another vehicle on purpose, following another car and exiting the car to confront the other driver, forcing another car off the road, and threatening another driver with a gun.

To view the complete rankings and the rest of the confrontational behaviors, follow this link.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 39

September 29, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
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PennDOT’s I-83 expansion takes more than 200 properties. Where does the project stand?

A decades-long planned expansion of I-83 in Harrisburg is aimed at reducing congestion and repairing a crumbling elevated highway. But it will come at a human cost: Hundreds of residents and business owners will lose their properties and the resulting closures will tear at the already frayed fabric of a fragmented community.

Bill would require drivers to pay outstanding tolls before registering vehicles

State Sen. Marty Flynn says he’ll introduce legislation requiring drivers to pay any outstanding tolls before registering their vehicle. A recent audit found more than $100 million in unpaid tolls.

PennDOT pushes Real IDs ahead of May 3, 2023, deadline

PennDOT wants to remind people that they have only a few more months to get their Real ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card. The deadline to get a Real ID in Pennsylvania is May 3, 2023.

Pa. House calls for study of PennDOT

A measure moving through the Pennsylvania House calls for a study of PennDOT. The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously Monday to advance a resolution to compare PennDOT with other state DOTs.

Data show roundabouts reduce fatalities, injuries

PennDOT announced that, according to department data, fatalities, injuries and crashes decreased overall after intersections at 33 locations were replaced with roundabouts.

 

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 38

September 19, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 38
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PennDOT gives options for U.S. 322 corridor in State College

PennDOT has identified the three routes it believes should move forward for further study as part of a major highway project in rural Centre County.

PennDOT resumes reviews for bridge replacement projects

PennDOT announced it has resumed planning work and federal environmental reviews for six bridge replacement projects proposed as part of the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership.

Wolf announces $25.4 million for EV infrastructure

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the Biden administration has awarded Pennsylvania $25.4 million to invest in clean transportation through the state’s plan for electric vehicle infrastructure deployment. Pennsylvania is one of the first states in the nation to be approved for this first round of funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Changes proposed for specialty Pa. license plates

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) would generate money for the Motor License Fund by giving residents the option to purchase specialty license plates. The House passed the bill 118-83 largely along party lines with a handful of representatives crossing over both sides.

PennDOT phasing in new driver’s license design

PennDOT is phasing in newly-designed driver’s licenses with enhanced security features.

PennDOT accepting Transportation Improvement Project applications

PennDOT announced that applications will be accepted through Nov. 14 to fund transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 37

September 12, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 37
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Pa. Turnpike explores electrified road services

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is jumping into solar energy production to power its maintenance and office buildings with a long-term goal: using solar-generated power to electrify portions of the toll road so electric vehicles can charge as they travel.

DEP announces bigger rebates for electric vehicles

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced it’s offering bigger consumer rebates for electric vehicles, with a focus on working-class households, and providing $3.4 million in Pennsylvania Volkswagen settlement funds for installation of 54 DC fast chargers in 16 locations in major traffic corridors.

Auditor general releases audit of Turnpike Commission

Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor released a performance audit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which found it continues to face significant challenges to meet its financial obligations putting the burden on travelers.

Pgh. Regional Transit pledges to eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2045

Allegheny County’s public transportation agency, Pittsburgh Regional Transit, announced Wednesday that it will completely replace its diesel fleet with greener buses by 2045. It plans to ramp up its investment in zero-tailpipe emissions buses in the next three years, with the goal of purchasing only the cleaner buses after 2032.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 36

September 6, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 36
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PA may change procurement rules for major projects

For some major transportation projects, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering a rule change to choose contractors based on the best quality bid, rather than the lowest cost. House Bill 2747 would allow a Design Build-Best Value Procurement method for certain projects, rather than the current sealed bid method that prioritizes lowest cost. Supporters framed it as focusing on value instead of price.

Pa. lawmakers considering ’90 days or free’ law for PennDOT

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a law that would require PennDOT to process paperwork in 90 days or else the “job is free.” On Sept. 1 a public hearing will be held for House Bill 2638, which was referred to the House Transportation Committee on June 1.

Revenue Department releases August collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $239.7 million for the month, $25.3 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $480.6 million, which is $24.7 million, or 4.9 percent, below estimate.

Philadelphia plans for a transit revolution

Three planning initiatives are pushing forward the vision put forth in the SEPTA Forward strategic plan — Reimagining Regional Rail, the Bus Revolution, and the Trolley Modernization project.

 

California zero-emission vehicle mandate spurs discussion

September 2, 2022 by · Comments Off on California zero-emission vehicle mandate spurs discussion
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California’s recent ban on the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 – and the auto industry’s apparent acceptance of it – represents a major momentum boost to the conversion to zero emission cars across the globe.

While there has been chatter for years about this conversion, continuing advances in electric vehicle technology, battery life and recharging capability, the emergence of public policy incentives and the public’s growing concern about climate change are lining up to nudge market transformation.

Last week, a Washington Post article argued that the forces driving this market shift face “a much heavier lift” – convincing skeptical consumers to come along for the ride.

“The (Biden) administration’s push to upend an entrenched culture of fossil-fuel-powered motoring comes as electric cars are struggling to shake their image as a trophy of coastal elites, unreliable and a headache to charge,” the Post wrote.

The Post cited a nationwide survey by Consumer Reports that revealed that while more than a third of consumers would consider purchasing an EV, concerns related to EV ownership must first be addressed, such as creating greater access to charging, extending vehicle range, and lowering purchase prices.

While 2035 is 13 years away, remember the adage that “dates on the calendar are closer than they may appear.” To read the Post article, follow this link.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 35

August 29, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 35
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Pa. license plate frame enough for police to pull you over, court rules

A state appellate court ruling affirmed the right of police officers to stop drivers if any part of their license plate is obscured. That doesn’t just include the unique combination of letters and numbers that make up a person’s license plate — but any lettering — including the visitpa.com URL — or, for that matter, the paint around it.

How to pay for Pa.’s bridges? An open question

The defeat of PennDOT’s plan to toll bridges across the Commonwealth ended one transportation battle, but it did not solve another question: how to pay for transportation infrastructure. The Senate Transportation Committee met on Wednesday to learn more about the issue.

Best states for infrastructure

The condition of infrastructure is key to evaluating the quality of life for any state’s citizens. While the U.S. is among the top nations for education, entrepreneurship and quality of life, it lags behind in infrastructure, earning a C- in the American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Infrastructure Report Card.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 34

August 22, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 34
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Pa. State Transportation Commission updates 12-Year Program

Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Commission has updated the 12-Year Program. A total of $84 billion is anticipated to be available over the next 12 years and will go toward roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.

Public hearing on Act 84 and improving Pa. major bridges

Senate Transportation Committee
Wednesday, August 24, 1 p.m.
Southwestern PA Commission
112 Washington Place, 4th Floor, South Room
Pittsburgh, PA

PennDOT offers second chance to drivers facing suspension

PennDOT announced that select drivers facing a suspension due to accumulation of points on their driving records or for a conviction of excessive speeding now have a chance at redemption through successfully completing the newly-instituted Driver Improvement School.

Counties with the most super commuters in Pa.

There are more than 283 million vehicles on the road in the United States, and many of those cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles are used to ferry people to and from their homes and jobs during their daily commutes.

New Pa. law authorizes truck weigh system

Pennsylvania recently became the 48th state to adopt a truck weigh system. Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to direct PennDOT to establish an electronic weigh station bypass system for trucks moving across the state.

Pa. to open facility addressing traffic incident management

Three Pennsylvania agencies recently announced plans to open a facility assisting emergency responders, transportation technology companies, and research institutions while supporting the local economy.

Roosevelt Boulevard anti-speeding program a success

According to data released by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, in the first seven months of its implementation, Automated Speed Enforcement helped reduce traffic fatalities occurring on Roosevelt Boulevard by an approximate 50%.

 

Electric vehicle update

August 15, 2022 by · Comments Off on Electric vehicle update
Filed under: Featured, News 

They may not be getting lots of attention, but electric vehicles are gearing up to take a significant bite out of market share in the years ahead.

PennDOT reports that there are now more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, three times the number that were registered in March 2019.

Last month, PennDOT submitted its plan to the federal government for building a network of charging ports across the state. The plan (which can be found at this link) calls for at least 5,000 EV charging ports at 2,000 sites in Pennsylvania by 2028.

PennDOT counts 2,800 public charging ports at more than 1,200 locations across Pennsylvania at present.

The plan was required in order to receive $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years. An additional $2.5 billion in grant funding is available as well.

Also tied to the funding is something called the EV Equity Guiding Principles, which states are obliged to follow. They include making EVs more affordable and charging more accessible; investing in fleet electrification; investing in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and increasing EV awareness, education and technical capacity.

Vehicle manufacturers across the globe have expressed strong interest in growing the EV market, and advances in battery and charging technology have piqued consumer interest. Prices will become more competitive as the market grows and as environmental standards tighten.

Pennsylvania also must settle in on a system to assure that all vehicle users make a fair contribution to bridge and road construction and maintenance. Currently, EV users do not contribute to paying for the wear and tear on the transportation system.

 

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