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Pennsylvania Chapter of APA Policy Statement on Transportation

Issue

Pennsylvania’s transportation system is one of our most significant assets economically and socially. It is diverse: An extensive web of highways, freight and passenger railroads, ports, mass transit systems and airports spread across the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure is in poor condition and worsening every day. Almost half of our bridges and major roads are structurally deficient, functionally obsolete or simply in bad condition. The economic vitality of the Commonwealth is sapped by the loss of business and tourism that follows.

During the 15-year period ending in 1997, Pennsylvanians developed raw land at a pace that ranked it 12th in the nation. At the same time, we were only 45th in population growth. As we’ve spread out, our air quality has decreased as vehicle miles driven and emissions increased. As we’ve concentrated scarce funds and limited energy on new construction, the existing transportation infrastructure has been decaying into a very real safety and usability issue.

The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA recognizes the importance of a fully functional transportation system and the critical linkage between transportation and economic viability.

Vision

We see an efficient and strong transportation system, respectful of the environment, assuring access to all citizens, with functional connectivity between modes and an assured funding source.

Supported Actions
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports establishing a common vision among state agencies, local government and business, and communicate a statewide agenda for transportation and land use through the State Planning Board.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges PennDOT lead an effort to integrate the movement of goods within the transportation system of the Commonwealth.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports efforts to improve inter-modal connections, including automobile, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, multi-modal transportation centers, and park and ride facilities.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges reuse of “brownfields” and previously developed sites in urban and suburban communities to lessen the need for new transportation infrastructure.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges government and business leaders to greatly enlarge opportunities for telecommuting, car pooling, compressed work schedules and other means by which to reduce commuting from home to work.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports amending the Commonwealth’s constitution to permit gas tax funds, indexed to inflation, to fund all modes of transportation, not just road and bridge improvements.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges the Commonwealth to consider giving counties the responsibility for apportioning transportation funds across the full array of modes as long as this is done within the parameters of the statewide vision.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports continued emphasis by state, regional, county and local governments to encourage public involvement in transportation planning as well as implementation of technology to ease these communications.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges expanded intergovernmental coordination for planning and transportation associated decision-making, linking planning with programming and performance horizontally at the appropriate local, county or regional levels, and vertically with state agencies.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports state, regional, county and local encouragement of transit- and pedestrian-oriented land use, and mixed-use development that reduces vehicular trips. The General Assembly should change the Municipalities Planning Code enabling local governments to exert a greater influence on development through zoning and design standards.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports state government management systems, including measures and standards to monitor performance, and to select and rank improvements, using safety as the top priority.
  • The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA urges government at all levels to insist upon improved accessibility to vehicular alternatives such as well-maintained sidewalks for pedestrians and paved shoulders or wider curb lanes for bicyclists, buggies, scooters and other similar means of transportation.