This week a robust group of our Coalition members held a “meet-and-greet” event with newly elected legislators as they arrived in Harrisburg for the opening of the new legislative session.

Several of the lawmakers said they were impressed by the broad range of interests that Coalition members serve. Our group certainly has a multi-modal orientation and encompasses constituencies with great diversity, coming together in support of an adequately funded transportation system for all Pennsylvanians.

Moreover, we are pleased to see and be part of a group that has a continuing interest and commitment to our cause. Despite the passage of Act 89 more than three years ago, we cannot let our advocacy rest.

As the year begins, we look forward to interacting with new and veteran legislators alike to address funding needs and work zone safety, not to mention a funding solution at the federal level as well.

Transportation Issue Update

  • Shortly before being sworn in as Vice President, Mike Pence assured hundreds gathered for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting that Donald Trump will follow through with an infrastructure plan.
  • While many would welcome addressing the country’s transportation infrastructure needs, it’s not certain where the money would come from or whether there are enough skilled workers to meet such an ambitious goal.
  • In one of its first acts of the new legislative session, the Senate Transportation Committee advanced for a floor vote a bill providing for automated speed enforcement in work zones.
  • A bridge that carries Interstate 276 over the Delaware River will be closed indefinitely following the discovery of a cracked truss last Friday. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes jointly own the span.
  • The City of Pittsburgh and Penn State were selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as proving grounds to encourage the testing of autonomous technology just weeks after the applications were submitted.
  • The federal Department of Homeland Security agreed to extend the deadline for Pennsylvania to comply with “REAL ID” requirements after state officials promised to move forward with the initiative.
  • Governing Magazine published an interesting article on the multimodal nature of transportation in the future.
  • A recent analysis has concluded that Pennsylvania’s 10-county southwest region can expect freight movement to increase by up to 40 percent by 2040.
  • PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission have formed a “Smart Belt Coalition” with transportation agencies in Ohio and Michigan that will focus on automated and connected vehicle initiatives.