April 11, 2012
YOUR STATE Legislature's on break. Your Congress is on break. And your roads and bridges are about to break. If this sounds familiar, you've been paying attention. Your "full-time" Legislature is on Easter break this week, off for who-knows-what next week and off for primary elections the week after that. Your Congress has the week off because, you know, like everybody else, whenever there's a holiday such as Easter or Passover, you take a whole week off. But if you're thinking, aha, maybe that's why nothing gets done, you'd be wrong.
March 10, 2012
By Llewellyn King Even railroad fanatics like me have to admit that the future of passenger transportation by rail, particularly urban commuter rail, is pretty well frozen where it is. New rail - even light rail, an idealistic indulgence - is doomed by high costs, lack of appropriate track, and political squabbling. New subways, the elegant way to get around a city, by going under it, are an almost impossible dream. The costs are too great in times of austerity, and the costs of maintenance can be prohibitive as a system ages.
February 23, 2012 |
A new federal transportation funding plan could cripple SEPTA's ability to buy vehicles or rebuild stations, general manager Joseph Casey said Wednesday. Casey joined executives from the nation's largest transit agencies to oppose the funding bill being pushed by Republican leaders in the House because the bill eliminates dedicated funds for mass transit and gives it to highway projects. "It would be devastating to Philadelphia," Casey said. Currently, 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax goes to buses, subways, and commuter rail lines.
February 22, 2012
Motorists stung by rising gas prices may be on their own in the short term, but it's vital that they learn how to cope - for the sake of their household budgets as well as the nation's fragile economic recovery. The early arrival of springtime price increases at the gas pump is being fueled by factors beyond the control of most consumers. There are fears stemming from tensions in the Mideast over Iran's nuclear aspirations, as well as speculation involving crude oil prices.
February 22, 2012 |
A new federal transportation funding plan could cripple SEPTA's ability to buy vehicles or rebuild stations, general manager Joseph Casey said Wednesday. Casey joined executives from the nation's largest transit agencies to oppose the funding bill being pushed by Republican leaders in the U.S. House, because the bill eliminates dedicated funds for mass transit and gives it to highway projects. "It would be devastating to Philadelphia," Casey said. Currently, 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax goes to buses, subways, and commuter rail lines.
February 7, 2012 |
Is transportation too expensive to pay for? Gov. Corbett said Tuesday he did not budget for rescuing troubled highways, bridges and mass transit systems because the problem is so vast. Corbett's own transportation funding advisory commission urged last August that the state increase motor vehicle registration and license fees and raise a component of the gasoline tax to produce $2.5 billion more a year for highways, bridges, and mass transit. Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges than any other state - more than 5,000.
February 3, 2012 |
With Washington deadlocked over funding for the nation's highways and transit systems, several transportation experts warned Thursday at a forum in Philadelphia that continued wrangling could jeopardize the nation's recovering economy. "Even a catastrophe doesn't seem to bring it home," said Peter J. "Jack" Basso, chief operating officer of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. He cited the 2007 collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis, which he said brought only momentary attention to the state of America's transportation system.
December 5, 2011 |
The homeless people encamped under the I-95 overpass in Port Richmond had all left the area by about 11 a.m. Monday, as ordered by PennDOT. They are still looking for a permanent solution, perhaps a house they could rehab or land on which they can build simple homes. Paul Klemmer, one of the homeless men, has written two letters about their plight over the past week. The first letter, dated Nov. 30, was sent to Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and other officials. The second letter, dated Dec. 4, was sent to Nutter, other city leaders and PennDOT.
November 7, 2011
How not to balance a budget Of course Gov. Corbett balanced the state budget without raising taxes. He is cutting funding for the Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, for health care, and for public schools and colleges ("Planned cuts at Phila. Library for the Blind opposed," Oct. 27). He is ignoring our roads, bridges, and mass transit. He isn't taxing natural-gas drillers. He pays allegiance to the no-tax pledge of Grover Norquist - who isn't even a Pennsylvanian.
October 28, 2011 |
Gov. Corbett may not push for more transportation funding this year despite the recommendations of his advisory commission. State transportation secretary Barry Schoch said Thursday that other pressing issues and the state's weak economy may persuade Corbett to delay action on some or all of the funding proposals of his panel. The governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, chaired by Schoch, called in August for increasing registration and license fees and raising a component of the gasoline tax to produce $2.5 billion more for highways, bridges, and mass transit.