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Old 02-13-2018, 01:18 PM
 
27,070 posts, read 26,348,407 times
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I can't count the number of times, they've raised the tax on gasoline, using the premise of fixing our roads.

And if you take note, they always do this before an election, (wondering why)

But, they never fix our roads and bridges.....

They almost always allocate that money in a different direction.

It is time we PA residents start writing the powers that be, and demand they use that tax to repair our roads, not overlay them, but actually repair them.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
4,948 posts, read 4,407,758 times
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Several bridges in Stroudsburg and vicinity have been replaced over the last few years. That's where I live. The money must have come from somewhere.


Heck, it's pothole season everywhere.


And don't look now but a storm's a-brewin' down in Washington, where a certain person wants trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure of all kinds. Presumably PA would get some of that money and could put it toward fixing roads.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:37 PM
 
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They have replaced numerous bridges, all along the turnpike for example - just look how new they are, but many small country ones as well over the last 5 years or so. I know because some of my routes to work were detoured for quite a few months as yet another small bridge was replaced. I hated to see the little old stone bridges go but I understand the need to support the traffic.

The roads are repaired and replaced pretty well too, it's just that it's an ongoing job. Has to be done all over again! Pennsylvania has very high ground water levels, gets lots of rain, and has a long freezing-thawing season. Tons of creeks flowing beneath roads cause cracks and pot holes (tiny sink holes) as they swell and wash away the stone underneath.

I'm not saying they couldn't do a better job in Harrisburg! But due to the climate and geology here we will always have these "bad roads".
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:32 PM
 
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Around Lancaster I thought most of the roads were pretty good last I was there. It looked like an area they kept up on that stuff.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,906 posts, read 1,094,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cremebrulee View Post
I can't count the number of times, they've raised the tax on gasoline, using the premise of fixing our roads.

And if you take note, they always do this before an election, (wondering why)

But, they never fix our roads and bridges.....

They almost always allocate that money in a different direction.

It is time we PA residents start writing the powers that be, and demand they use that tax to repair our roads, not overlay them, but actually repair them.

Here is the reality.

1) I am a former Transportation Planner for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Southeast Pennsylvania. There are these MPO's in every region of the state. Specifically my work involved a program called TIP. Known as the Transportation Improvement Program. This is also a process IN EVERY REGION of Pennsylvania. This is a very formal process, democratic in its function in determining what project moves forward and how to prioritize funding. I am not sure what region of Pennsylvania you live. But I included a link for the Transportation Improvement Program for Greater Harrisburg as a reference. Transportation Improvement Prog.


2) Pennsylvania is a LARGE state. And we are a VERY OLD STATE. We are the 5th largest state in the nation in terms of population, and we have a very sizable rural population, which means we have ALOT of roads. And I mean ALOT. Our topography also lends us to have ALOT OF BRIDGES. Pittsburgh has more bridges than any city in the entire world.


3) Our infrastructure is very very old. We have more deficient bridges than any state in the nation. Many bridges are even over 100 years old! Therefore if you go to the TIP and look at funding sources FIRST hand you will see that a great deal of funding has gone to simply repair bridge work. I mean we do not want a bridge collapse tragedy to be repeated.


4) This is one topic I have to say the politicians are not out to get you on. Act 89 was one of the most comprehensive BI PARTISAN transportation bills out of Harrisburg in I would say over 30 years. It was signed by a Republican Governor and passed by a Republican Legislature in Harrisburg, but also had majority Democratic support. For ONCE our state proved we could work together. In my mind it was a MIRACLE. (GASP. Republicans raised and signed into law our gas taxes to be the highest in the nation. NOT DEMOCRATS. lol).

5) With that, yes our road system is in dis repair. The problem is that we OVER BUILT our roads in Pennsylvania. We have too many highways. HECK we have more road miles than the State of New York AND New England combined.

6) Solution; Penn Dot. The agency needs to be restructured on a state level. Its districts need to be redesigned and there needs to be consolidation on projects/priorities and IMPROVED design mechanics. Much of Penn Dot's work is engineering focused without thinking about material, aesthetic, etc, and the design process on how we can achieve our goal at a lower cost, while still please the public.

7) I am not sure how old you are. But trust me. All these LOW TAX sunbelt cities now, bathing in delight, will be paying up in 20 years, as there infrastructure begins to crumble and they find sprawl = HIGH TAXES.

8) If you want LOWER TAXES. Call your local representative and tell them you support Pennsylvania towns and restoring walkable communities. This is proven to reduce infrastructure spending and lower property taxes.

Have a good day.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,220 posts, read 4,011,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post

4) This is one topic I have to say the politicians are not out to get you on. Act 89 was one of the most comprehensive BI PARTISAN transportation bills out of Harrisburg in I would say over 30 years. It was signed by a Republican Governor and passed by a Republican Legislature in Harrisburg, but also had majority Democratic support. For ONCE our state proved we could work together. In my mind it was a MIRACLE. (GASP. Republicans raised and signed into law our gas taxes to be the highest in the nation. NOT DEMOCRATS. lol).
IIRC, Act 89 implemented the first increase in the state's gas tax in a decade, maybe longer; I don't know where the OP got this bit about gas taxes constantly increasing. But it did take the state's gas tax from one of the nation's lowest to one of its highest.

And it came at the end of Gov. Corbett's term. At the start of it, a blue-ribbon transportation funding commission Corbett appointed recommended a gas tax hike as the way to fix the state's crumbling transport infrastructure. He shelved that recommendation for most of his term until things came to a head in the form of a hugely debt-ridden Turnpike Commission, which had been paying for such road and transit repairs as were being made under the previous fix, Act 44, which sought to toll I-80 in order to fund the state's transportation program. (The Feds kept telling the Commonwealth "No, you can't do that; you can only toll I-80 to fix I-80," but the solons in Harrisburg kept trying anyway.)

But I did recently find out how Corbett got that tax hike past the General Assembly, and I have to give him credit for it. He had PennDOT staff draw up lists of every structurally deficient bridge in each state House and Senate district, then showed them to the legislators with the message that PennDOT would be circulating these with the warning that weight limits on these bridges would be lowered, in some cases dramatically, unless they got fixed - and that it would also hand out the phone numbers their constituents should call to voice their displeasure.

The Turnpike still has that mountain of debt to pay off, which means that tolls will remain sky-high for years to come, but at least the funding's been fixed.

Quote:
7) I am not sure how old you are. But trust me. All these LOW TAX sunbelt cities now, bathing in delight, will be paying up in 20 years, as there infrastructure begins to crumble and they find sprawl = HIGH TAXES.

8) If you want LOWER TAXES. Call your local representative and tell them you support Pennsylvania towns and restoring walkable communities. This is proven to reduce infrastructure spending and lower property taxes.

Have a good day.
Have you heard about a fellow named Chuck Marohn?

This self-described "recovering highway engineer" from Brainerd, Minn., founded an organization called Strong Towns not quite a decade ago.

He spent most of the first years of its existence criss-crossing the country delivering "curbside chats" in which he explained how "the suburban growth Ponzi scheme" was going to bankrupt our cities and towns unless we reversed course on the way we'd been building communities.

He called it a "Ponzi scheme" because the autocentric, highway-oriented building pattern did not generate enough property tax revenue to pay for the upkeep of its own infrastructure. It only worked if you kept building out and building out - until eventually your community hit a wall.

He said in those talks (I attended one he gave in Philadelphia ~2010) that when the bill for replacing all that infrastructure first came due in the 1970s, we papered over the problem with debt. It was about time to pay the bill again, he said, and we couldn't just borrow our way out of the problem this time.

His talk included a slide show, one of whose slides was of the main street of Brainerd ca. 1900. "Wasn't this place amazing?" he said. "And the people back then just knew how to build it."

And one of the funny things is, our zoning laws since then have made building such places illegal. This point was driven home at a meeting a few years back in Narberth, a Main Line borough beloved by just about everybody, but especially its residents, for its walkability and small-town neighborliness. The meeting was called to rework the borough's zoning code, and one resident said during it, "If this town were to burn to the ground tomorrow, it would be illegal to rebuild it as it is under our current zoning code."

The car-oriented attitude dies hard, though. Philadelphia revised its zoning code five years ago, and one of the biggest changes was a dramatic reduction in the parking requirements for multi-unit residential construction. Since then, City Council has attempted to raise those requirements again because people in reviving neighborhoods complain about the lack of parking - and it has also voted to downzone some relatively dense neighborhoods, which will make the production of housing within reach of those with modest incomes or lower harder.

You, Chuck and I have a lot of evangelizing left to do.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,220 posts, read 4,011,658 times
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One other thing that I think isn't widely known about Act 89:

It also got around a state Constitutional prohibition on the use of the motor vehicle fuel tax on anything other than highways. (This was important because the state's mass transit infrastructure, most of which is located in the Southeast, also needed some care and feeding. One of the reasons the effort to toll I-80 met with backlash in the state's rural precincts was because rural residents saw it as an attempt to make them pay for SEPTA.)

It did so by shifting the tax from one on the volume of motor fuel sold at the pump, which was subject to the prohibition, to another one levied on gas stations, which wasn't.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:27 AM
 
27,070 posts, read 26,348,407 times
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Quote:
rowhomecity;51018659]Here is the reality.
Hello and thank you kindly for your report.

I will be 70 years old in December, and well over 25 years ago, I worked for Local Union 1#58 out of Harrisburg.

I was the first woman laborer in our union. I luted blacktop, was a concrete tech, finished concrete, installed 32 inch concrete pipe, installed conduit pipe for wiring, tamped and jack hammered. I worked with a unique concrete machine up on 80 and 380, a Gomaco, that installed two entire lanes of highway on a string line. I also worked on 3 sections of I-78 when they built that road. And I worked from Philadelphia all the way up to the Pocono areas....

Nowadays, the state overlays blacktop and calls that a repair....waste of money. Chip and stone is a much bigger waste of taxpayers money that only ends up on the shoulders. Why they continue to do this is beyond me, well actually it isn't, b/c most people see them overlaying blacktop and think they are doing their jobs, when in fact, an overlay job, can buckle and break up the following season, depending on how cold it gets.

We were repairing a road up north (,and in those days when I say repair a road, we didn't simply overlay it. The state came in and marked out the weakest spots on the entire stretch of road. Then we came in and broke up the blacktop. Underneath the blacktop was concrete road, so we bought in a diamond saw, and cut out the concrete in these areas, after replace manholes, and new drain water pipes along the road...patched the hole with new concrete and once that was completed, we blacktopped the entire road and redid the shoulders.

Quote:
1) I am a former Transportation Planner for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Southeast Pennsylvania. There are these MPO's in every region of the state. Specifically my work involved a program called TIP. Known as the Transportation Improvement Program. This is also a process IN EVERY REGION of Pennsylvania. This is a very formal process, democratic in its function in determining what project moves forward and how to prioritize funding. I am not sure what region of Pennsylvania you live. But I included a link for the Transportation Improvement Program for Greater Harrisburg as a reference. Transportation Improvement Prog.
Happy to meet you. I travel County Line Road every weekend to Souderton, and that road is an embarrassment, as well as many other side roads in PA, that stretch of Rd. in particular, needs to be dug up and redone, completely, along with drainage ditches, and new shoulders. I've reported it to our local but they still have done nothing about it, not even patched it.


2) Pennsylvania is a LARGE state. And we are a VERY OLD STATE. We are the 5th largest state in the nation in terms of population, and we have a very sizable rural population, which means we have ALOT of roads. And I mean ALOT. Our topography also lends us to have ALOT OF BRIDGES. Pittsburgh has more bridges than any city in the entire world.

you are correct, however, that is no excuse for the condition our roads and bridges have been left in. And yes, PA has been having an influx of people moving into the state for the past 20 years. I lived in the Poconos, when a great exodus of people from NYC were moving in and still working in NY.


Quote:
3) Our infrastructure is very very old. We have more deficient bridges than any state in the nation. Many bridges are even over 100 years old! Therefore if you go to the TIP and look at funding sources FIRST hand you will see that a great deal of funding has gone to simply repair bridge work. I mean we do not want a bridge collapse tragedy to be repeated.
Maybe so, I cannot account for all the bridges in the state of PA, but I do know of many bridges down towards and in Philly that still have not been touched...and all I've seen was small bridges, on small two lane back roads being repaired. And by the way, while we're at it...We dug up and build large sections of highways in a season...and it takes PA an entire year to shut down and repair a stinking small two lane bridge that might measure, what, 200 feet in length. I actually contacted Penn Dot, b/c the bridge repair was done, and they left equipment and the closure signs up with no one working there for months. When I called, within a week, the tiny bridge was opened??????

Yes, I know PA is A large state, but that is no excuse, there are other states in the U.S. larger and their roads are not nearly as bad as ours....there are actual holes in Bridges down in Philly that you can stick your head thru.

When I was working construction which is many years ago, I was sharing stories with a State Inspector (extremely nice man) and he was telling me then, how completely out of touch our state was with road and bridge repair.

So, regardless what your excuse is, even if our State is large, or not, that was well over 25 years ago. PA is known for it's lousy roads, it's actually a joke...the moment I drive north from MD, to PA, I always say, "well I'm back in PA" Terribly bumpy.

So, the size of the state is an excuse. There are other states in the U.S. much larger than ours, plus all the money that Harrisburg has collected in taxes over the years on our gasoline, should have sufficed repairs. I remember in particular, they taxed our gas here in PA several times under the guise of bridge and road repair, and guess what, it was never done! And I'm going back well over 25 years ago. I remember Rt. 309 bypass, from Quakertown down to Hatfield, when they built that. I as in my 20's and before knowing anything about construction, on weekends, road my horse down to the new stone grades they built and opened him up.

Quote:
4) This is one topic I have to say the politicians are not out to get you on. Act 89 was one of the most comprehensive BI PARTISAN transportation bills out of Harrisburg in I would say over 30 years. It was signed by a Republican Governor and passed by a Republican Legislature in Harrisburg, but also had majority Democratic support. For ONCE our state proved we could work together. In my mind it was a MIRACLE. (GASP. Republicans raised and signed into law our gas taxes to be the highest in the nation. NOT DEMOCRATS. lol).
Yes, well, that's fine, and I'm so happy we were able to do that, thank you for the information, however, they need to get going on fixing our roads.

Quote:
5) With that, yes our road system is in dis repair. The problem is that we OVER BUILT our roads in Pennsylvania. We have too many highways. HECK we have more road miles than the State of New York AND New England combined.
Too many highways? Are you kidding me? We have people coming into PA from NY, NJ, DE, MD, for goodness sakes, if it wouldn't be for all those highways, we'd have traffic jams out the gazoo by now. More and more people are moving into the area....Rt I-78 is packed with traffic...Western Rt. 22 is really bad, and traffic is very heavy on that road? Are you serious?

Quote:
6) Solution; Penn Dot. The agency needs to be restructured on a state level. Its districts need to be redesigned and there needs to be consolidation on projects/priorities and IMPROVED design mechanics. Much of Penn Dot's work is engineering focused without thinking about material, aesthetic, etc, and the design process on how we can achieve our goal at a lower cost, while still please the public.
I cannot speak for Restructuring Penn Dot, but as far as materials, James D. Morrissey, proved that you can put up temporary plants (which we did do) to provide the jobs with all the materials you need. As far as designing processes on how you can achieve goals at a lower cost? Good Luck! Your already wasting PA taxpayers money by not keeping up with repairs. Now our roads are in such dire straights, all you keep doing is overlaying, which isn't a fix...and you know that. And I'm sorry, but when you figure, all that money PA is making by increasing taxes on Gasoline for "ROAD REPAIR", where has all that money gone?
And PA is still doing this? Now you might be able to fool others, but when you figure how many people in PA are driving and the amount of money PA is making on each person, when they stop for gas, MY GOODNESS, you could have restructured all our roads in PA over the past 20 years, and yet, PA is always crying broke? WhY?

Quote:
7) I am not sure how old you are. But trust me. All these LOW TAX sunbelt cities now, bathing in delight, will be paying up in 20 years, as there infrastructure begins to crumble and they find sprawl = HIGH TAXES.
Low tax sun belt cities...what, you mean you want to tax us to death, like New Jersey does to their citizens, with all the influx of vacationers they have coming and going in that state? Don't get me started.
Our infrastructure has begun to crumble over 25 years ago....so, don't try and say it's just now started.

Quote:
8) If you want LOWER TAXES. Call your local representative and tell them you support Pennsylvania towns and restoring walkable communities. This is proven to reduce infrastructure spending and lower property taxes.
I'm not talking about lower taxes, I'm talking about all the money, the state of PA has taxed on gasoline, over the years, which caused the prices of gasoline to rise, in the guise of road and bridge repair. Where is all that money going? How many times in the past 70 years has that happened? And people just sit on their duffs and say nothing every time they do this to us? I'm not talking about cheaper taxes, I'm talking about using the money for what it was allocated for.

Most people don't even realize the obscene amount of dollars tacked onto gas, which is the main reason for gas prices going sky high in PA and NJ. What are our politicians spending our money one.

I posted this thread, to wake people up...not to beg for cheaper taxes but to use our money they way they are supposed to...for the reasons they raised taxes.

Quote:
Have a good day.
You as well.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:47 AM
 
27,070 posts, read 26,348,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBToast View Post
They have replaced numerous bridges, all along the turnpike for example - just look how new they are, but many small country ones as well over the last 5 years or so. I know because some of my routes to work were detoured for quite a few months as yet another small bridge was replaced. I hated to see the little old stone bridges go but I understand the need to support the traffic.

The roads are repaired and replaced pretty well too, it's just that it's an ongoing job. Has to be done all over again! Pennsylvania has very high ground water levels, gets lots of rain, and has a long freezing-thawing season. Tons of creeks flowing beneath roads cause cracks and pot holes (tiny sink holes) as they swell and wash away the stone underneath.

I'm not saying they couldn't do a better job in Harrisburg! But due to the climate and geology here we will always have these "bad roads".
yes, we do have challenges due to climate and geology, but that's minor. What about Maine, Conn., and all the other northern states that have the same problems.

The sink holes are also from all the mining they did way back when. I just had a service man come to my home and when he and I started talking, he was so angry, about the pot hole that literally ripped off his wheel, not tire, but his entire wheel....he called and reported it and the man he spoke with got very arrogant and tried to use excuses with him. And that was the 2nd time he had to repair his truck from pot holes. The pot holes are becoming more and more, b/c our roads are so bad.

Our roads don't need overlay, they need to be completely dug up, and re-stoned, graded, hightened, concreted and then have blacktop put over them.

The life span of black top is what, 2 - 4 years, concrete, 4 - 7 years? Now take into account tractor trailors and tri-axels traveling those roads with heavy loads. And btw, I travel down Allentown Road every single day and you wouldn't believe the overloaded Tri-axels getting away with heavy loads.

They needed to replace the bridges all along the TPK, but in doing so, the back roads are still in disarray....
Plus TPK road repair gets seen by many doesn't it?

Did you ever take notice to how long it takes them to replace these so called small bridges.

Drive up to Rt. 80 and Rt. 380 and see the bridges we repaired up there many years ago, in one entire summer season?

They could most certainly do a better job, with all the money they've been taxing on gasoline. People complain about gas prices, and they don't seem to understand, it isn't the gas companies, it's our politicians constantly putting more taxes on our gasoline for bridge and road repair.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:58 AM
 
27,070 posts, read 26,348,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
One other thing that I think isn't widely known about Act 89:

It also got around a state Constitutional prohibition on the use of the motor vehicle fuel tax on anything other than highways. (This was important because the state's mass transit infrastructure, most of which is located in the Southeast, also needed some care and feeding. One of the reasons the effort to toll I-80 met with backlash in the state's rural precincts was because rural residents saw it as an attempt to make them pay for SEPTA.)

It did so by shifting the tax from one on the volume of motor fuel sold at the pump, which was subject to the prohibition, to another one levied on gas stations, which wasn't.
I do appreciate this and your effort, however, as I said, for years now, they've imposed taxes on gasoline, and not fixed our roads...they have though built new highways which we did need....but I'm sorry, the monies allocated, over these last 25 - 30 years, has not been seen.

Ask yourself this question, if other states have good smooth roads, why are ours always so shabby?

I mean to tell you, I had a state inspector back then, tell me in our conversation how bad our roads are. He actually predicted a bridge collapse.
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