As we mentioned several weeks ago, the Coalition set out to hold a series of candidate briefings this fall. It was aimed at all candidates – especially first-timers, but we have also invited incumbents – to bring them up to speed on current and imminent transportation issues, through the eyes of the Coalition members’ constituencies.
We have now completed half of our six planned briefings, one in the Pittsburgh region and one each in Philadelphia Center City and King of Prussia. We are pleased with the results.
The turnout by candidates and by Coalition members has been gratifying. It seems that our diversity as transportation advocates all united behind the banner of adequate funding lends considerable credibility to our messages.
This outreach initiative stemmed from recognizing there will be considerable turnover in the General Assembly this election cycle, but we have been so pleased with the results that we’re already beginning to think of how we might continue to offer them more frequently.
Three more are scheduled – Friday in Harrisburg, a week later in Scranton and Oct. 22 in State College. We’ll let you know how they go.
Thanks to all the Coalition members who have pitched in to make this a successful endeavor, and to all the candidates who have availed themselves of a chance to learn about transportation issues.
Transportation Issue Update
- Expansion of passenger rail service in western PA has become a topic of conversation once more. The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat believes it’s a good idea.
- PennDOT is once again seeking unsolicited proposals for Public-Private Partnership transportation projects. Details are available on the state’s P-3 website.
- PennDOT has announced a major reconstruction project on state Route 61 that will include road improvements between Frackville and Saint Clair. The project, estimated to cost of $65 million, will take five years, beginning in 2021.
- Governor Wolf announced that 42 highway, bridge, transit, ports and waterways, and bike and pedestrian projects will be in line for $49 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund throughout the Commonwealth.
- The Senate, by a 47-1 vote, concurred with House revisions to PA’s automated speed enforcement bill and sent the measure to the governor for final approval.
- An increasing number of states are following PA’s lead in raising revenue for transportation funding. The latest is New Jersey.