Don't blame PennDOT
Regarding the editorial “Those Pa. Turnpike tolls: Up, up & away” : It is unfortunate and misleading to depict increasing taxpayer investment in transportation improvements as feeding an out-of-control PennDOT.
The history shows the opposite. PennDOT has 44 percent fewer employees than 40 years ago and manages a huge and old system of highways and bridges in the face of dramatically escalating costs with only periodic adjustments to its revenue stream. At the same time, rising fuel-efficiency standards are reducing fuel consumption and cutting into revenues needed for road and bridge improvements.
In 2008, Act 44 was adopted and it relied on a combination of increased turnpike tolls and new tolls on Interstate 80 as a funding vehicle. Since the federal government rejected tolling Intestate 80, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was still required by law to provide a portion of the funds used to maintain other state roads and bridges. Act 89, signed by Gov. Corbett last year, addresses this imbalance by reducing the turnpike payment in 2022. Moreover, Act 89 will address bridge and pavement conditions that will save wear and tear on vehicles and ease delays caused by weight-restricted or closed bridges.
The writer, a professional engineer, is Pennsylvania's secretary of Transportation.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.