PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 10

March 9, 2020

Legislation would create additional funding options for infrastructure projects

House Bill 2064 would allow county infrastructure banks to apply for loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank. The state bank would provide lower interest rates and special terms that are otherwise unavailable to a county infrastructure bank.

I-80 exits to Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos closed until May

An Interstate 80 exit to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos is closed in both directions until late May. Paving work begun Monday closed the on-and off-ramps at exit 277 on I-80 in Kidder Township, Carbon County, which leads to Route 940 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension/Lake Harmony, PennDOT said.

Work zone speed cameras about to be enforced. Here’s what it means.

Registered car owners will receive a warning letter for an initial offense, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said. A second violation will result in a $75 fine and the fine goes up to $150 for a third offense.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 9

March 2, 2020

Gas, diesel pumps closed for 10 weeks at Turnpike’s Allentown service center

The service plaza, accessible to both northbound and southbound turnpike traffic, will close the pumps starting 7 a.m. Monday, through May 21, according to a news release. Business 7-Eleven will be replacing the underground fuel tanks, fuel lines and installing new fuel dispensers at the plaza’s fuel pumps.

New PA Turnpike proposal for Allegheny Tunnel in Somerset County

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said the project is still in its very early stages, and that it will be years before any dirt is even moved.

Etown’s alum in politics series: Rep. Martina White

Having graduated from Etown with a B.S. in Business Administration and dual focuses in finance and marketing, White said she feels that the College’s business professors had a significant influence on her professional development and later entry into politics.

KYW In Depth: A look at e-scooters in Pennsylvania

Advocates of personal electric vehicles, or PEVs, say having a shared e-scooter program similar to Philadelphia’s current bike-share program would benefit commuters and tourists that need to go that extra mile public transportation just can’t provide.

Only a fraction of Pa. residents have a Real ID, but PennDOT says that’s OK

PennDOT said so far, only about 821,000 of the roughly 9.8 million people with state IDs and driver’s licenses have made the switch. But spokesman Diego Sandino said even though it’s a relatively small number, the department believes it’s on track.

Could charging Pa. motorists for rush-hour driving pay for infrastructure? PennDOT wants to find out

Officials at PennDOT told a House panel this week that they’re studying a congestion fee as a solution to the state’s constant search for cash to fund highway and public transit investment.

PennDOT faces big costs and dwindling resources

During a budget appropriation hearing on Tuesday, state lawmakers pressed PennDOT’s acting secretary to explain how the agency sets its priorities and asked about funding concerns. One thing was clear: the commonwealth is going to have to find a lot more money.

Consensus still lacking on solution to Pennsylvania transportation woes

A House Appropriations Committee budget hearing descended into partisan bickering after lawmakers blamed each other for rejecting ideas that could generate revenue for the state’s aging transportation infrastructure.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 8

February 24, 2020

Fewer than 10 percent of Pennsylvania drivers have Real ID

With only 223 days until the Real ID deadline, the demand for Real IDs is increasing.

Planning for I-81 upgrades moves into next stage of multi-year effort

Transportation planners are looking at ways to improve the superhighway as it traverses roughly 100 miles from the Maryland border in Franklin County, through Cumberland and Dauphin counties and about 20 miles of Lebanon County to Interstate 78.

Design work progressing on schedule for thruway’s southern section in Snyder County

Final design of the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is progressing on schedule and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation anticipates no issues obtaining the remaining permits.

Pa. makes national list for top truck bottlenecks

The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America, and six Pennsylvania locations made the top 100.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 7

February 18, 2020

Rough roads: Pennsylvania facing tough decisions on transportation funding

Transportation funding will take center stage in Harrisburg in the coming weeks as officials face a Bermuda Triangle of issues that threaten the condition of local roads across Pennsylvania.

County detective, prosecutor will crack down Turnpike toll scofflaws

As part of the Turnpike’s efforts to crack down on drivers who are avoiding paying tolls, the agency that oversees more than 500 miles of highway in Pennsylvania has granted the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office $327,705.07 to investigate and prosecute fare evaders who rack up high bills between this year and the end of 2022.

‘Strike while it’s hot’: Somerset County to lobby for Route 219 completion

Somerset County Commissioners have hired a Washington, D.C., consultant with local ties to lobby the Route 219 project.

Pa. only state that doesn’t let local police use radar

Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Dauphin County, introduced House Bill 1686, which would allow local officers to use radar. It’s currently in the transportation committee and mirrors a similar measure under consideration in the state Senate.

PennDOT on mission to remind people of REAL ID deadline

PennDOT is ramping up its campaign to remind people that Oct. 1 is the deadline to comply with the federal government’s REAL ID program.

Editorial: Funding plan for Pennsylvania State Police falls far short

Meanwhile, state leaders are reducing the amount of money state police get from the motor license fund. It’s the right thing to do, as more proceeds from the gasoline tax and driver’s license and registration fees should be spent on the state’s transportation infrastructure.

Trump’s infrastructure budget big, bold and unlikely

BIG, BOLD AND UNLIKELY: The Trump administration released its proposed fiscal 2021 budget on Monday, but ultimately many of its proposals will be tossed out altogether at appropriations time.

IBTTA president, vice president take office

Samuel Johnson, chief toll operations officer for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, took office last month as president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). Mark Compton was also elected to serve as IBTTA’s first vice-president. Compton is Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO and will serve as IBTTA president next year.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 6

February 11, 2020

Feds break from policy, allow self-driving vehicle to bypass human-driver safety rule

For the first time, the U.S. government’s highway safety agency has approved a company’s request to deploy a self-driving vehicle that doesn’t need to meet the same federal safety standards for cars and trucks driven by humans.

Pennsylvania State Police sees decline in seatbelt use

According to state police, there were two fatal single-vehicle crashes last week, both of which involved people not wearing their seat belts.

Report: Sign advised lower speed in snowy turnpike bus crash

Light snow was falling during a bus crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that killed five people last month, and the bus had just passed a sign warning to keep below 55 mph (89 kph) on a curve, according to a preliminary investigative report released Thursday.

PennDOT to shift $3.15 billion from local roads to interstate improvements

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will shift $3.15 billion from local road projects to improvements on the interstate highways over the next nine years, a decision that has district officials scrambling to adjust their local maintenance plans to eliminate needed projects they can’t pay for.

Senate committee gives green light to sheltered bike lanes

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Philadelphia, that changes state parking laws to permit protected bike and pedestrian lanes — lanes on public streets with barriers sheltering them from traffic.

PA officials conduct study on statewide littering, forming action plan to reduce it

Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful organization announced the results of a statewide litter research study on Wednesday.