Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
PennDOT confirmed this week that metropolitan and rural planning organizations across the state will have their transportation funding cut by $289 million over the next four years, a result of declining tax revenue, the lack of federal support for transportation programs and the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars for non-highway uses.
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards has been sounding a warning about declining revenue available for highway projects. Soon we’ll begin to see what the effect will be in various regions of the Commonwealth.
If there was a ray of hope this week, it is that House Republicans announced they are creating an infrastructure task force to look for solutions, and that “the time for kicking the can down the road is over.” That quote was from task force chair Martina White, a Philadelphia Republican.
The situation would be bad enough even without the expiration of a $400 million annual subsidy from the Turnpike for public transportation after 2022. Neither Congress nor the Trump administration appear to be any closer to a federal solution than they were when the federal Highway Trust became insolvent in 2008.
We will see what the specific impacts will be in the coming weeks.
Be of Good Cheer,
— The Wolff
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- House Republicans announced the creation of an infrastructure task force to be chaired by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia).
- At least one newspaper editorial board believes an annual fee for electric vehicles is reasonable. Will others follow suit?
- PennDOT’s annual online survey of motorists’ views on various safety issues is awaiting your input.
- PennDOT awarded 372 construction contracts this year through June 30, for those of you keeping score at home.
- Wilkes-Barre is interested in starting passenger rail service to and from Philadelphia to boost economic development and quality of life.
- Pedestrians in Bethlehem did not fare too well in a test of how well drivers follow crosswalk laws.