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Author Topic: PA Turnpike News  (Read 551021 times)

Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #275 on: January 14, 2012, 07:40:54 PM »

I will grant that closing a tube on a 2-2-2-2 tunnel would not be nearly as impacting to traffic as closing a tube on a 2-2 tunnel.

You're correct, although the point I was getting at was the one in your final sentence. Among other reasons, stopping the traffic in both directions in order to clear the lane that has to be reversed and to ensure that nobody drives into the other lane is a major hassle and causes massive delays. Being able to close one tube on a 2-2-2-2 (or similar design) at least eliminates the need to stop the traffic going the other way.
What? You're not stopping any traffic if you need to reverse a lane. You close the third lane in the unaffected direction, then run a maintenance or police car through as the last car. Once you've verified the lane is clear, flip directions and open it to the affected traffic. That's really not a hassle.

EDIT: Yeah, what he said, but still run your own car through first.
It's a lot simpler than that ... while traffic operates continually in the right lane, change the signals for the left lane to RED, wait for the lane to empty, then direct the opposing traffic to that lane.  Each direction sees GREEN signals for the right lane and RED signals for the left lane.

I assumed that a tunnel today would have enough CCTV cameras to view the entire tunnel area, and provide the ability to verify that the lane was clear.

The original surveilance method was to have patrol officers stationed throughout the tunnel, at least enough to visually cover the tunnel area, and the ability to report what they see by telephone or radio.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #276 on: January 25, 2012, 08:33:05 AM »

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #277 on: January 25, 2012, 09:44:25 AM »

I assumed that a tunnel today would have enough CCTV cameras to view the entire tunnel area, and provide the ability to verify that the lane was clear.

The original surveilance method was to have patrol officers stationed throughout the tunnel, at least enough to visually cover the tunnel area, and the ability to report what they see by telephone or radio.

I don't know what they do in Pennsylvania, but my assumption—which is based on my experiences the last several times through the Allegheny Tunnel—is that at least some of the tunnels on the Turnpike don't have CCTV cameras, or don't have full coverage with such a system. I've gotten stuck a couple of times in backups due to breakdowns and the like where it seemed like the authorities must have had no idea what was going on due to the length of the backup. (The most recent was on the way home from the 2011 Winter Classic when some woman in a #87 Pittsburgh t-shirt was attempting to change a flat in the right lane. I restrained myself from being the asshole opposing fan who would heckle as I drove past.)
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #278 on: January 25, 2012, 11:05:41 AM »

TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike

least useful news article ever.

what's next? "EVENT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE OCCURRED." ?
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #279 on: January 25, 2012, 01:40:18 PM »

TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike

That's news to me as I haven't heard anything in the news about any crackdown, unless they are sweeping from east to west.

Quote
No confirmation yet, or official comment.

If the writer is typing this (and obviously thinking this), then the article should not be posted otherwise it isn't news, it is hearsay.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #280 on: January 25, 2012, 06:36:41 PM »

TOLLROADSnews: Some law enforcement drama reported at toll plazas on Penn Pike

That's news to me as I haven't heard anything in the news about any crackdown, unless they are sweeping from east to west.

Quote
No confirmation yet, or official comment.

If the writer is typing this (and obviously thinking this), then the article should not be posted otherwise it isn't news, it is hearsay.
Tollroadsblog.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #283 on: March 07, 2012, 07:15:29 PM »

Pa. Turnpike Announces Completion of All-Electronic Tolling Feasibility Report

Interesting comment in the AET report (linked from the press release you linked above) on physical page 39 (with emphasis added):

Quote
Additional interchanges would be much more feasible with AET due to the lower costs and reduced right-of-way requirements. New interchanges could be constructed to provide Turnpike access at interstates and other major highways which now lack a direct connection.

So AET on the Pennsylvania Turnpike would (potentially) anger the toll collector's union and property owners near the Turnpike's non-interchanges at Breezewood (!), Carlisle, Bedford, Somerset and Pocono.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #284 on: March 08, 2012, 11:53:58 AM »

Not breezewood; the right of way was set aside when I-70 was constructed.  If it weren't for crybaby businesses, there would be a direct connection there.  The others, don't hold your breath.  The PTC moves at a glacial pace when it comes to roadway and interchange improvements.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #285 on: March 08, 2012, 02:06:41 PM »

If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #286 on: March 08, 2012, 03:13:08 PM »

If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

eh, this is the state where Bud Shuster can rewrite the interstate numbering scheme.  I wouldn't put anything past anyone.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #287 on: March 08, 2012, 07:49:03 PM »

If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned
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cpzilliacus

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #288 on: March 08, 2012, 08:34:24 PM »

If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

No, the original Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (a/k/a National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627)) did not fund "direct" connections between already-built toll roads like the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the then-new "free" Interstates like I-70 east (really south) of Breezewood.  That is  why there were breezewoods along many of the toll roads in the East and Midwest, including the N.Y. State Thruway (a breezewood at I-84/Newburgh was only recently remediated), the N.J. Turnpike (there's a breezewood between Turnpike Exits 2 and 3 where there is no connection to I-76/N.J. 42 (and the ACE)) and the Ohio Turnpike (several breezewoods along the Ohio Turnpike were remediated over the past 10 or 20 years).

Quote
By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned

Last time I was through there, I noticed that as well.  Maybe more people have decided to not patronize businesses at Breezewood?  I never, ever stop to patronize any businesses there - instead, I stop on the Turnpike or, even better, in Hancock, Maryland, so Pennsylvania gets less of my dollars.
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1995hoo

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #289 on: March 09, 2012, 09:07:15 AM »

If they already have the ROW, what is stopping them? Surely a handful of business owners in an otherwise insignificant wide spot in the road can't have THAT much clout in Harrisburg or DC.

As a driver who has to navigate Breezewood on a regular basis I've always been interested in it.  I was told years ago that it was written into the Defense Highway act that a direct connection there was forbidden.  Maybe it is just an urban legend.

No, the original Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 (a/k/a National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627)) did not fund "direct" connections between already-built toll roads like the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the then-new "free" Interstates like I-70 east (really south) of Breezewood.  That is  why there were breezewoods along many of the toll roads in the East and Midwest, including the N.Y. State Thruway (a breezewood at I-84/Newburgh was only recently remediated), the N.J. Turnpike (there's a breezewood between Turnpike Exits 2 and 3 where there is no connection to I-76/N.J. 42 (and the ACE)) and the Ohio Turnpike (several breezewoods along the Ohio Turnpike were remediated over the past 10 or 20 years).

....

From what I read, it was a little more complicated than "not funding direct connections." The original statute said that federal funding could be used to build a direct connection "to a point where such project will have some use irrespective of its use for such toll road, bridge, or tunnel." Apparently the FHWA interpreted this as meaning that if federal dollars had been used to bypass Breezewood, the PTC would have had to agree to stop collecting tolls once the bonds were retired, and the PTC refused. The PTC could have paid for a direct connection itself, of course, but didn't. The law has since been amended.

The only time I've ever stopped in Breezewood was at the McDonald's on top of the hill there on Boy Scout trips to Seven Springs when I was a kid, and that was a function of (a) I wasn't driving and the adults decided to stop there; and (b) when there were seven or eight cars full of Boy Scouts making the trip from the DC area, Breezewood WAS a logical place to stop to regroup to confirm nobody got lost or anything like that. Nowadays if I'm coming back down the Turnpike from the west my inclination is to exit at Bedford and take either US-220 to the Cumberland area (I-68) or US-30 east to I-70, simply because the Breezewood toll plaza can be a bottleneck. The one exception to that was last year on the way home from the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. While we sat in a 15- to 20-minute backup due to the toll plaza, the number of cars flying Capitals flags and stuff and beeping horns in celebration of the win made it fun.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #290 on: March 25, 2012, 01:13:34 PM »

Quote
By the way when I was through there last week it wassurprising how deteriorated and run down the Breezewood area is.  many of the longtime 'fueling stops' appear to be closed, some even abandoned

Last time I was through there, I noticed that as well.  Maybe more people have decided to not patronize businesses at Breezewood?  I never, ever stop to patronize any businesses there - instead, I stop on the Turnpike or, even better, in Hancock, Maryland, so Pennsylvania gets less of my dollars.

I patronize businesses in Breezewood every time I go through there, because it's an Interstate oddity.  Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near there, so I've only been able to do this three times thus far.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #291 on: March 25, 2012, 06:59:24 PM »


I patronize businesses in Breezewood every time I go through there, because it's an Interstate oddity.  Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near there, so I've only been able to do this three times thus far.
Your username is very apt.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #292 on: May 04, 2012, 10:01:39 PM »

I happened to notice a bill in PA's legislative system that would permit the PA Turnpike to increase its speed limit to 70 MPH.  No action on it yet.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2119&pn=2949
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #293 on: May 04, 2012, 11:47:55 PM »

Another PA Turnpike note:  The website for the reconstruction/widening from PA 8 to PA 28 is now up, the work is scheduled over 6 years, with many bridge replacements required for advance work.  It looks like because of all the bridge work, that the mainline widening will be split in half with one half done about 2-3 years before the other half.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #294 on: May 05, 2012, 09:25:24 AM »

What this proves is that the standards a road was built to have nothing to do with what speed limit the state decides to set it to.
I happened to notice a bill in PA's legislative system that would permit the PA Turnpike to increase its speed limit to 70 MPH.  No action on it yet.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2119&pn=2949
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #295 on: May 08, 2012, 11:12:37 PM »

Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2012/05/bill-boosting-turnpike-speed-limit-to-70-mph-advances.html

Quote
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Joseph Preston, D-Allegheny, said that he wanted to give authorities an option to raise the speed limit in certain areas, should they choose. He pointed to similar systems in Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Preston said that vehicles and turnpike facilities had improved since the legislature raised the speed limit to 65 miles an hour in 1995, and a further increase could only be a benefit.
Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Geist, R-Blair, said that though three legislators on the committee voted against it, the bill will likely pass.
He also said the increased speed limit might make the roadway more attractive to motorists. As it stands, he said, there is little difference now compared with the increased limit.
“If you go 65 on the turnpike, you’ll get run over,” Geist said.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #296 on: May 09, 2012, 12:08:40 AM »

Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2012/05/bill-boosting-turnpike-speed-limit-to-70-mph-advances.html

Quote
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Joseph Preston, D-Allegheny, said that he wanted to give authorities an option to raise the speed limit in certain areas, should they choose. He pointed to similar systems in Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Preston said that vehicles and turnpike facilities had improved since the legislature raised the speed limit to 65 miles an hour in 1995, and a further increase could only be a benefit.
Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Geist, R-Blair, said that though three legislators on the committee voted against it, the bill will likely pass.
He also said the increased speed limit might make the roadway more attractive to motorists. As it stands, he said, there is little difference now compared with the increased limit.
“If you go 65 on the turnpike, you’ll get run over,” Geist said.
All that, and one more note on "little difference" - compare time across the state on 76 versus 80.

Beltway

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #297 on: May 09, 2012, 08:56:23 AM »

Quote
If you go 65 on the turnpike, you'll get run over, Geist said.

Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #298 on: May 09, 2012, 11:37:40 AM »

Baloney.  That is about the prevailing speed, and nobody has ever "run over" me while at that speed.

in my experience, that is the prevailing speed only on the highly substandard sections of I-70.  on I-76, it is more like 72-75mph.
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Re: PA Turnpike News
« Reply #299 on: May 09, 2012, 04:49:15 PM »

Update on the 70 MPH bill.  It has passed the House Transportation Committee.  AAA supports the bill and the Turnpike Commission is neutral.

Hope it makes it out of committee. I've got a letter to my state representative ready and waiting to ask for his support should it make it before the full House. I agree, kinda, with Rep. Geist's comments, given I drive the eastern part of the Turnpike quite often. In my opinion, this probably won't raise the speeds the fastest people drive (assuming the Troopers keep enforcing at the same speed), but should give the slower people a bit more of a kick in the butt to drive faster. I'm not a highway engineer, but shouldn't everyone driving closer in speed be safer?

Edit: Err... okay, article said it cleared the committee. I was going by the current status on the PA Legislature website, which said it was still in committee. Guess I should send that letter.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 05:04:15 PM by Compulov »
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