Streetsblog: When the State DOT Thinks Your Local Street Is a Highway

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Benzo
Participant
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When the State DOT Thinks Your Local Street Is a Highway – This is what is wrong with PennDOT. They don’t listen locally.

Residents submitted a petition signed by nearly the entire neighborhood requesting a speed limit reduction…

Penndot’s answer is to actually increase the design speed of the road.

http://streetsblog.net/2013/10/23/when-the-state-dot-thinks-your-local-street-is-a-highway/


edmonds59
Participant
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Wow. No adequate words. I’ll be back when my brain stops exploding.


WillB
Participant
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Holy crap that is infuriating. Engineers and bureaucrats sure do love to follow rules and procedures. We need to figure out how to change the rules and procedures. Anyone know if this is a state or federal issue at its core?


jonawebb
Participant
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I’ve been reading a biography of Robert Moses, who built most of the highways in New York, and ignoring the public is built in to the DNA of these guys. Moses didn’t listen to anybody — mayors, governors, Presidents, nobody — and taught a lot of the people who run departments of transportation how to do that. It is incredibly frustrating dealing with that attitude.
I would think that the way to get things done is through the state legislature, not the DOT. The DOT follows the rules set by the legislature, and mainly, those rules say to keep traffic moving without accidents. If you want a road that is currently a highway designated something else I think it would be more useful to talk with your state representative than to talk with the DOT.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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It would also help, I would think, to become familiar with the fine print of all the laws on the books that pertain to transportation. Title 75 has the traffic laws, as we’ve cited from time to time, but those are mainly Chapters 31 through 38. There are dozens more. I just went looking for the statute about 85% of design speed, and didn’t find it, but there are still laws on the books about building Turnpike extensions and how to pay for them, limitations on public transportation, and hundreds of other things.

I got two minutes of face time with Rep. Mike Turzai a few months ago and tried to talk with him about public transit funding, and rapidly got schooled in what funded what and how, and how that wasn’t going to be modified anytime soon, and I simply wasn’t prepared to argue. I may hate his policies, but he knows his stuff, and I thought I did, too, but I was wrong.


KBrooks
Participant
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Saw that Streetsblog post — unfortunately in the context of trying to make Braddock Ave. safer for pedestrians. Hopefully PennDOT won’t have to get involved.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Good news, for you, KBrooks. We hope to have a team out looking at safety along Braddock Avenue sometime in the Spring/Summer of 2014. More details will follow. Watch for them here, or send me an email and I’ll be sure to send you details as they become available.


KBrooks
Participant
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Good news indeed!


Ahlir
Participant
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Robert Moses, who built most of the highways in New York, and ignoring the public is built in to the DNA of these guys.

Fun fact: Moses was the consultant hired to design the highway system running in and out and around and through Pittsburgh. Fortunately, not all of his ideas were implemented.


Drewbacca
Participant
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If I lived there, I’d rent a jack-hammer and make that road very painful to drive on at a high rate of speed.

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