After continuously criticizing the series of short-term transportation funding measures at the federal level, it may sound counterintuitive for our Coalition to push for a two-month extension this time instead of a six-month extension.
But the closer we get to another federal election year – and 2016 is one – the less likely Congress is to pass a multi-year funding bill that would bring a degree of relief and stability to those who are trying desperately to keep the transportation system in decent condition.
We had the opportunity to share that view with Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly this week. The Butler Republican stopped in for a visit with a mix of construction industry and Coalition representatives.
The congressman did a fair amount of listening, which he said is important for any elected official. He left with a keener understanding of how we addressed Pennsylvania’s transportation funding needs with Act 89 in 2013, and some ideas for how a similar approach may provide a road map for action at the federal level.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Kelly will have an important role in addressing transportation funding needs, not just in Pennsylvania but across the country. We appreciated his time and attention and look forward to continuing our constructive dialog with him.
Transportation Issue Update
Following her stellar appearance recen tly before the Senate Transportation Committee, the full Senate unanimously confirmed Leslie Richards to head PennDOT. The Coalition congratulates her and looks forward to working together to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
It has been talked about for some time, and the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader says transportation planners should move ahead with using the Turnpike’s Northeast Extension as part of a beltway around Scranton.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is entering into a data-sharing partnership with Waze, the real-time, crowd-sourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. The goal is to improve the accuracy, timeliness and availability of roadway and traffic information.
Walking is a form of transportation too. Delaware County Council approved a measure to begin a rails-to-trails project in the county.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association, in an analysis of AAA’s of how much motorists pay in vehicle ownership and operating costs, posed the question of how it stacks up with how much they pay to maintain the transportation system itself. The short answer: not enough.
Potential partners in the consolidation of south central PA public transportation agencies continue to weigh various options.
Interstate 78 serves as an excellent example of how transportation infrastructure can spur economic growth over the years, and there are no signs of things slowing down in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, a longtime KTFC supporter, teamed up with PennDOT, the State Police and the Department of Agriculture to promote Rural Roads Safety Week last month. In particular, motorists need to be on the lookout for slow-moving farm equipment.