Thursday, November 26, 2015

Transportation fun facts

Not everything in the new transportation law got a full airing during coverage of the debate. Here are some examples.

Transportation fun facts


The new $2 billion-plus PA law to fix roads, bridges and better fund SEPTA has a few facts that haven't gotten a full airing.

For example, the new law raises the speed limit to 70 mph.

A revenue enchancer? One could suggest PA drivers driving faster burn more gas at new, higher prices to better fund the bill.

Also, PennDOT says replacing the state's 700 roadside signs showing the current speed limit of 65 mph will cost $171,500. That's $245 each.

Hmmm. Maybe PennDOT could save money. Bounty the signs at $50, or even $100. Bring in a sign, pick up some dough. Just a thought.

Don't run out there just yet though. The Associated Press reports it'll take at least six months for PennDOT to decide which highways can jump to 70 mph.

Meanwhile, since the new law is phased in over time, PennDOT estimates it'll cost the average driver about $22 a-year more in 2014, up to $130 a-year more by 2018.

Speaking of the law, Gov. Corbett was to sign it at three locations Monday: Centre County, Montgomery County and Allegheny County. Wonder why Centre County? Couldn't have anything to do with Penn State, could it?

Speaking of politics, former Gov. Rendell, a supporter of the bill, lashed out at fellow Democrats who voted against it when it failed in the House on its first vote last Monday. He called them (of course) "wusses." And he singled out Montco Democrats. The result? Well, on the vote that led to House passage Montco Democrats voted exactly the same way, five against, four in favor, nobody changed their vote.

Finally, one of my favorite quotes during floor debate on the measure came from Republican Rep. Brad Roae, of Crawford County. He argued that one option to paying for highways might be using funds that now go to grants for the arts.

"I like the arts," he said, "I go to that stuff sometimes."

Roae, by the way, doesn't like the new law. He plans to introduce a repeal measure soon.



Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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