A few weeks ago, I mentioned the appointments of two new House Transportation Committee chairmen, Republican John Taylor and Democrat Bill Keller. I’m pleased to pass along an opportunity to meet them both at a March 3 breakfast sponsored by the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania.
The event will be at the Harrisburg Hilton from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The House chairmen will be joined by their Senate counterparts, John Rafferty and John Wozniak.
The cost will be $35 per person through Feb. 18, $45 per person thereafter. To register for the event, look for the box at the bottom of this newsletter.
Be of Good Cheer,
— George Wolff
Transportation Issue Update
- While the “conventional wisdom” is that a federal gas-tax increase would be dead on arrival, Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon has reintroduced his proposal to increase the federal gasoline tax by 5 cents per gallon during each of the next three years. The American Public Transportation Association believes it’s a good idea.
- Here’s a progress report on how the 70 mph initiative is working out on the Turnpike and several Interstate Highways.
- Is it better to have two years of traffic-snarling lane restrictions, or simply close the bridge and cut the repair time in half? Here’s how Allentown is grappling with the question.
- In mapping the country’s most dangerous bridges, the Washington Post has given new meaning to the term, “red state.”
- In one of his first transportation-related acts since taking office last month, Gov. Tom Wolf announced an incentive program to increase cargoes at the Port of Philadelphia.
- President Obama is calling for $478 billion in infrastructure spending over the next six years, although the details about where the funding will come from are a bit vague, since the “repatriation” of overseas-held profits is a short-term approach at best.
- State and local officials, tired of federal inaction on infrastructure funding, are turning increasingly to private investment, and Pennsylvania is emerging as a success story.
- And here’s a brief analysis of how PennDOT’s particular approach may catch on elsewhere.
- They’re safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and they facilitate better traffic flow. Look for more roundabouts, coming soon to your neck of the woods.
- In Turnpike news, Sean Logan, Allegheny County Democrat and former state senator, was chosen to chair the Turnpike Commission.
- While Congress continues to flail away, states are beginning to step up to address funding needs. And, here’s an account of Michigan’s attempt to address the issue.