PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 21

May 20, 2024

PennDOT invites applicants to the Pedalcycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

PennDOT announced that the department is accepting letters of interest and resumes for voluntary positions on the Pedalcycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PPAC). PPAC advises and comments on all aspects of cycling and pedestrian program activities being undertaken or financially assisted by PennDOT and other agencies of state government. Applications are reviewed by PennDOT and ultimately subject to approval by the governor. Applications will be accepted until June 6.

Ride of silence held in Harrisburg to recognize bicyclists injured and killed in 2023

A ride of silence took place on Wednesday night in Harrisburg to recognize bicyclists injured and killed in crashes in 2023. Cyclists participated in a 2.5-mile ride that ended at the steps of the state Capitol.

REAL ID uptake only 21%; PennDOT halves answering time on calls

PennDOT is noticing more Real IDs issued in the commonwealth — but expects only a quarter of residents to have them by the federal deadline in 2025.

Va. has highest interstate road tolls

Virginia’s maximum fee on interstate toll roads averages $3.27 a mile — significantly higher than any of the other 23 states analyzed. In fact, it’s 89.0% higher than in Pennsylvania, which has an average maximum fee of $1.73 a mile on interstate toll roads. Maine ($1.56) rounds out the top three. Conversely, Utah has the lowest maximum fee (averaging $0.03 a mile), followed by Massachusetts ($0.07) and Indiana ($0.08).



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 20

May 13, 2024

MI budget calls for pilot study of “mileage tax” for road funding

Debate continues in Lansing on how to raise money for roads as more people buy electric vehicles. One idea is what critics call a “mileage tax” on every mile you drive, or at least a voluntary pilot program to study it.

Real ID conversion has 2025 deadline; what you need to do before next May

The federally mandated change goes into effect on May 7, 2025, after being delayed in 2022. Originally, everyone with licenses or identification cards had to “meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act” by May 3, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security said. But the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the federal agency, prevented some people from getting the new identification cards after backlogs piled up during the shutdown.

Bill prohibiting cellphone use while driving goes to governor

A bill that would make it illegal for people to use a cellphone while driving in Pennsylvania is now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature after it passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

Pedestrian deaths drop 10%, but still above pre-pandemic level

Early data are showing that America’s streets are getting safer for pedestrians, though deaths are still higher than pre-pandemic. Pennsylvania is doing better than most states, but hasn’t bucked the general trend.

Pa. Turnpike to expand capital spending to record level for new year

Over the next year, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is expected to have its busiest and most expensive construction schedule ever.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 19

May 7, 2024

State reps. want to study local fee for State Police services

State Reps. Tim Brennan, D-Doylestown, and Michael Sturla, D-Lancaster, are circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation that will study a fee on municipalities that don’t have their own police force.

Md. officials release timeline, cost estimate for rebuilding bridge

The state plans to build a new span by fall of 2028, said David Broughton, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Transportation. He said the cost estimate is preliminary, and detailed engineering specifics have not been confirmed.

Revenue Department releases April collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $270.0 million for the month, $22.4 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 $2.5 billion, which is $8.1 million, or 0.3 percent, above estimate.

Pa. delegation’s plea for federal aid in infrastructure overhaul

A united front of 18 members from Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, led by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), drafted a letter on Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The group urged critical federal funding to replace the Interstate 83 John Harris Memorial Bridge, or the I-83 South Bridge.

Meet Mason Jones, “The Guardrail Kid,” helping PennDOT scout dangerous guardrails

Mason Jones is known as “The Guardrail Kid” on TikTok to his 19,000 followers but he’s also known to road safety advocates, guardrail industry heads, and managers with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

PA Turnpike emphasizes year-round safety as Distracted Driving Month ends

Even though April 30 marks the end of National Distracted Driving Month, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wants to remind drivers that safe driving is a year-round event.

Pa.’s Aurora Innovation to debut self-driving trucks onto U.S. roadways

On a three-lane test track along the Monongahela River, an 18-wheel tractor-trailer rounded a curve. No one was on board. A quarter-mile ahead, the truck’s sensors spotted a trash can blocking one lane and a tire in another. In less than a second, it signaled, moved into the unobstructed lane and rumbled past the obstacles.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 18

April 29, 2024

Advocates team up to fight Turnpike’s plan to cut ‘permanent scar’ through Allegheny Mountain

Atop the eastern slope of the Allegheny Mountain ridge, Randy Musser was surrounded by nature – and faced the unsettling thought that it could be disrupted forever.

PennDOT announces EV funding details

PennDOT announced program details for Round 1B of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding opportunity. The proposal period will open on May 13, and close on July 10 at 5:00 PM EDT.

PennDOT suspends I-83 construction project in wake of work-zone fatalities

Officials with PennDOT say the construction project on Interstate 83 in York County has been suspended due to last week’s fatal crash that claimed the lives of three local men.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 17

April 22, 2024

Economic fallout from Baltimore’s bridge collapse hits home

Maryland legislators are taking steps to protect workers and businesses affected by the port and highway closure. There are broader, indirect effects, however, that are creating additional uncertainty.

Pa. crash statistics for 2022

There were 115,938 traffic crashes in the Commonwealth in 2022, the most recent year for which crash data are available. Those crashes claimed the lives of 1,179 people and injured 67,012 others.

PennDOT and lawmakers share plans for I-80/I-99 high-speed interchange project in Bellefonte

PennDOT and local lawmakers are highlighting the start of construction season in Pennsylvania, including a long-awaited project that will connect two interstates in Bellefonte. This is the third and final phase of a project that was announced in 2018.

SEPTA serious crimes down 45%, mirroring national trend

Philadelphia residents have had to suffer more criminal activity in recent years, but the tide may be turning. Though some violent crime rates are still higher than before the pandemic, public transit is getting safer.