Monday, February 1, 2010

Open House for Montco transit plan

The Montgomery County Planning Commission will host an open house for the Northwest Montgomery County Strategic Transit Plan on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Marlborough Elementary School.

The study focuses on the feasibility of expanding transit into Northwestern Montgomery County and devising a long-range plan for service.

With gas prices creeping higher, citizens in Northwestern Montgomery County municipalities have been turning to their elected officials for help, said state Sen. Bob Mensch.

"With family budgets strained, residents are looking for alternatives to driving," Mensch said. "The debut of the Upper Perk coaster last year was a good first step, but now we want to expand service to more residents."

Residents are encouraged to attend the open house to provide feedback about the study’s progress thus far. Brief remarks about transit feasibility will be repeated at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

The study is sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Board members consist of state and local elected officials, business owners and residents.

Marlborough Elementary School is located on 1450 Gravel Pike (Route 29) in Green Lane.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

America's 75 Worst Commutes

What!? No Schuylkill Expressway in the Top 10? Obviously the folks who complied the list have never driven the Schuylkill Expressway at rush hour.

The Daily Beast Ranks America's 75 Worst Commutes


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dick Thornburgh: Abolish PA Turnpike Commission

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh, writing at The Commonwealth Foundation Web site, makes a strong case for getting rid of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which he says is "a dumping ground for the institutionalized entitlement."

From Thornburgh's column:
During my campaign for governor more than 32 years ago, I made a pledge to restore integrity and efficiency to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

At the time, 40 percent of our roads and 25 percent of our bridges were in substandard condition. It was widely acknowledged that PennDOT served as a patronage dump; I went so far as to label it the "home of the three Ps – payoffs, patronage and potholes." It was clear that fixing PennDOT was a necessity.

The residents of the commonwealth agreed, having faith in my pledge, and elected me governor. Shortly after beginning my first term, I began a thorough reconstruction of PennDOT.

Working with state Secretary of Transportation (and future Federal Highway Administration head) Tom Larson, I ignored all threats of political retribution and scrubbed PennDOT clean of graft and corruption. The difficult task of fixing PennDOT was a resounding success. In 1981 PennDOT was recognized as "one of the best managed – and financed – public works agencies in the country" by trade magazines.

Larson was recognized by one publication as its Man of the Year. That was nearly 30 years ago.

Today the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) has replaced PennDOT as a dumping ground for the institutionalized entitlement we helped eradicate.
Read the full column, "A Road to Savings: Abolish the PA Turnpike Commission," at The Commonwealth Foundation's Web site.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

PA Highway System Ranks 38th in Nation

Anyone who has ever driven in Pennsylvania or anyone who has examined how much money PennDOT spends each year will not be surprised at the results of a new study.

Reason Foundation's 18th Annual Highway Report ranks Pennsylvania 38 in a listing of the nation's most cost-effective state-owned highway system.

The state's roads and bridges have been neglected by the Rendell Administration for the past seven years, while the Governor of Philadelphia has siphoned off money to pay union fat cats and prop up failing mass transit systems.

Study Ranks State Highway Systems: North Dakota, New Mexico Top the List While New York, New Jersey, and California Are Among the Worst

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Public Comment Invited on Pennsylvania State Passenger, Freight Rail Plan

Friday, January 16, 2009

PennDOT Releases List of Candidate Projects for Anticipated Federal Stimulus Program

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rendell wants to raise the gas tax

After six years of fumbling around to find a way to pay for fixing Pennsylvania's crumbling roads and bridges and subsidizing mass transit, the Rendell administration may fall back on its favorite option: Raising taxes.

Rendell's plan to make Interstate 80 a toll road was rejected by the federal government. His backup plan, lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a Spanish firm, has met stiff resistance in the state Legislature.

So what's a tax-and-spend career politician to do? Raise the gas tax, of course.

Pennsylvania residents already pay 32.5 cents per gallon, one of the highest tax rates in the country. Rendell said the gas tax would have to go up at least 10 cents a gallon to raise enough money to fund transportation needs.

"To make up the shortfall, we're looking at a gas tax increase," Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Where else are we going to find the money for the shortfall in transportation funding?"

Republican lawmakers say the state can find the money in its existing revenues to repair roads and bridges and fund mass transit.

State spending has increased nearly $8 billion since Rendell became governor in 2003, but little of that money has been used for transportation.

Read more about Rendell's gas tax plans in today's edition of The Tribune-Review.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First look at toll locations for I-80

A map showing the I-80 Preliminary Toll Locations is on display during a news conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg Wednesday. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has narrowed its list of potential locations for nine toll collection sites along Interstate 80. The 20 zones under consideration cover most of the 311-mile roadway across Pennsylvania. Final sites will be selected in the fall.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Rendell's bridge gap

There are 6,034 structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania, the most in the nation, and Gov. Rendell is bragging that he's finally found the money to repair 411 of those brides.

After ignoring the problem of the state's deteriorating bridges and highways for nearly six years, Rendell shouldn't be taking credit for anything.

The bottom line is that Pennsylvania's infrastructure is much worse off today than it was in 2003 when Rendell took office. Billions of dollars that should have been used for bridge and road repairs were instead diverted to prop up failing mass transit systems and build new stadiums for Rendell's corporate buddies.

Governor Rendell, National Transportation Leaders Release Bridge Report

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