March 1, 2013 |
Motorists and public transit users have little to fear from impending federal budget cuts. Most of the federal money for highways and mass transit operations comes from the Highway Trust Fund, which is exempt from the looming sequester, the mechanism that could require $85 billion in federal spending cuts this year. However, some rail or bus expansion projects could be delayed by cuts to the Federal Transit Administration's "New Starts" program. A 7.8 percent cut would mean about $150 million from a budget of $1.9 billion a year.
May 24, 1998 |
Think of the huge highway and mass transit bill that passed the House and Senate on Friday as a dream lottery where everyone draws a winning ticket. But in this case, the prize is an avalanche of public works projects. The bill, which President Clinton is expected to sign, includes $8 million for a tram connecting Camden and Philadelphia, $13 million for a new interchange and other improvements to Interstate 95 near Philadelphia International Airport, and millions for several ambitious SEPTA projects, including new commuter rail service to Reading.
November 30, 2004 |
The two-year state legislative session officially ends today, without a stopgap plan to aid SEPTA in place, but the effort to save the agency from drastic cuts and fare hikes will continue. On Thursday, SEPTA's board will consider a plan to end weekend transit service and raise fares 25 percent in January - unless Gov. Rendell rides to the rescue. For now, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is quietly preparing to mend SEPTA's $62 million budget deficit with federal highway funds.
September 18, 1990 |
Gov. Casey's chief spokesman said yesterday that the administration was confident it could meet any requirements imposed on the state as a means of retaining Pennsylvania's share of federal highway money. Discussing a proposal before Congress by U.S. Rep. William H. Gray 3d (D., Pa.) that would withhold $142 million of federal money until the state came up with a dedicated source of mass transit funding, Casey spokesman Vincent P. Carocci said, "There are ways to comply with the law. " Refusing to elaborate, Carocci said, "Pennsylvania will not lose federal highway dollars no matter what the federal requirement.
February 25, 2004 |
If Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel has his way, major upgrades for two of Philadelphia's busiest traffic arteries and two of its most dangerous intersections will become a top priority. The Northeast Philadelphia Republican, on a roll when it comes to legislative coups, said he had talked with Gov. Rendell about building double-decker lanes above portions of the Schuylkill Expressway and Interstate 95 to ease congestion. "You will pay like a $10 fee," Perzel said, explaining his rough, early vision.
February 24, 2005 |
In an effort to jump-start talks over a long-term solution to the state's mass-transit funding crisis, Gov. Rendell met yesterday with legislative leaders to discuss his own $562 million plan for transit and roads. But when Rendell and lawmakers emerged from the 90-minute meeting, they appeared no closer to resolving the question of how to provide a permanent source of money for transit agencies, an issue they have been grappling with on and off since November. "I think there was simply an agreement to continue to work and see if there are some new ideas," said Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill (R., Lebanon)
March 7, 1998 |
In a test of congressional sentiment for affirmative action, senators turned back a move yesterday to repeal a law that guarantees a small share of federal highway contracts to construction firms owned by women and minorities. After a two-day debate, the Senate voted 58-37 to kill an amendment by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) that would have nullified a 16-year-old law requiring states to make a good-faith effort to ensure that at least 10 percent of federal highway spending goes to "disadvantaged business enterprises.
April 11, 1989 |
A coalition of environmental groups said yesterday that it would file a suit in U.S. District Court today against Pennsylvania and the federal government for the failure to curb ozone pollution in the Philadelphia region. The suit seeks to block more than $100 million in federal highway and clean-air planning grants until the state takes action to address the area's pollution problem. Last year, Philadelphia exceeded federal health standards for ozone - an acrid gas linked to a wide range of respiratory problems - 21 times.
January 22, 1988
A quirk in the federal highway legislation could punish states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania that have chosen to stick to the slow lane and maintain the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit on rural interstates. This seems particularly pernicious in view of the fact that sticking with the 55-m.p.h. speed limit is starting to look increasingly prudent. Many of the 38 states that have raised the speed limit on their rural interstates to 65 have seen notable increases in the number of traffic fatalities since the new speed limits were posted.
January 30, 2013
With his second veto of a proposal to place a huge digital billboard along the Vine Street Expressway, Mayor Nutter couldn't have made the right city policy much clearer to City Council - other than by posting the mayoral veto on a giant flashing sign of his own. Council members should take Nutter's message to heart this week in the event that the sign proposal's author, Councilman Mark Squilla, goes ahead with an effort to override the veto. Even if a share of the ad revenue from the billboard, to be affixed to the Electric Factory at Seventh and Callowhill Streets, supports programs at three nearby schools - a chief selling point, Squilla says - it's clear that the sign would be ill-advised in many ways.