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Fund roads, transit

| Monday, July 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

We appreciate the Trib calling attention in the editorial “Funding roads: Dubious equation” (July 23 and TribLIVE.com) to our recent analysis that rural areas have far more miles of state roads per person than urban areas.

As PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch has said many times, including in testimony to legislators, the urbanized areas around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia subsidize rural roads to a greater degree than those rural areas subsidize urban mass transit.

According to Schoch, any two-lane state road that carries fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day costs more to build and maintain than users pay in gas tax and other fees. And most rural roads carry fewer than 2,000.

Different places have different transportation needs. Rural areas need extensive road networks to stay connected, to get people to jobs and goods to markets. Urban areas need mass transit to accommodate more people in less space.

And Pennsylvania needs a comprehensive, adequate and sustainable transportation funding program to keep the economy moving forward and help both rural and urban areas thrive.

Ken Zapinski

The writer is senior vice president, energy & infrastructure, of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (alleghenyconference.org).

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