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the PennDOT thread

Lots of stuff to grouse about concerning PennDOT, but let's keep them together. Maybe someday I'll scour the board for all the wonderful discussions we've had about this topic over the years, and post links herein. In the meantime, here is a real doozy I saw in Wednesday's P-G. $75M set aside for traffic signal upgrades. Check out the story's lead paragraph: Pennsylvania will make up to $75M available to local governments for improvements to traffic signals, some of which date to the 1950s, with a goal of reducing the amount of time people spend sitting at red lights. I suppose this is a good thing, but my beef is that the goal is not safety but convenience and traffic flow. The words "safety", "bicycle" and "pedestrian" do not appear a single time.
2014-10-10 11:48:53
Unrelated to the above, but definitely still on-topic, you can now subscribe to PennDOT's monthly newsletter. I received the latest one just today. Here is the verbatim text of the email: * * * * Dear Transportation Stakeholder: The October edition of the E-PennDOT Digest newsletter is now available. This quarterly newsletter aims to keep you informed with PennDOT’s latest efforts to improve your quality of life and maintain your mobility in Pennsylvania. In this issue, you’ll learn about embracing the season with safety, infrastructure improvements due to Act 89, PennDOT’s 70-mph speed limit pilots, Public-Private Partnerships and much more! You can also get timely updates and information on PennDOT through social media! Visit our Facebook page at, follow us on Twitter at, or subscribe to our YouTube page at Any comments on these articles, including ideas for topics you’d like to read about, can be directed to the PennDOT Press Office at Please feel free to share this with others who may be interested in following the latest PennDOT news. To subscribe: Click To unsubscribe: Click
2014-10-10 12:29:22
The PennDOT newsletter is, of course, only available in Flash or PDF.
2014-10-11 17:28:38
PDF isn't too bad. At least it isn't flash-only.
2014-10-13 09:18:28
To anyone who was around for the discussions of the West Carson Street re-construction 12-18 months ago - wasn't one of PennDot's points that the project was limited in scope to the rebuilding the failing railroad bridge at Esplen (?), and that adding bike infrastructure just wasn't in the budget? I seem to remember that, but I don't have the time or inclination to track back that whole thing. They certainly somehow found the ability to explode the scope to include the whole of West Carson from the Rocks to the West End Circle. I would like to find out what the initial budget was and what it has expanded to. My opinion of PennDot can't really get any lower, as I find them to be a band of retrograde bureaucratic human vermin, but it would be interesting to know.
2014-10-14 05:59:34
No, I think you're recalling that that was what I wanted the scope to be, since that was all that was really in need of immediate repair. Just that the original error PennDOT made was to expand the scope from Stanhope to the WEC. That's what got bid, that's what got designed, and bicycles were thrown in as an afterthought from the word "go".
2014-10-14 09:22:03
I would differ on one point. Bike infrastructure was in the mix in the beginning, thanks to the work of BikePgh! and others, but it got rinsed out because PennDot strongarmed their consultants to recommend against it. This is perfect, Assholes,
2014-10-15 19:24:08
PennDOT Sorta Tries to Care... J/K! PennDOT conveniently sent along a return envelope in a friend's drivers' license renewal form. Imagine my surprise when I saw "Bicycle Safety is for All of Us!: Learn More About Bicycle Safety" on the back flap of the envelope: Bicycle Safety is for All of Us! (click for bigness) The URL that the QR code points to is: Given the text and the URL, you (like me) might expect that landing page to provide drivers with up-to-date content on laws and safety considerations for conscientiously sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians. But you (like me) would be sadly disappointed. Yep. The landing page is PennDOT's completely generic "Travel In PA: Safety" page. Not only is it not bicycle-specific, but there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO BICYCLE- OR PEDESTRIAN-RELATED CONTENT on the entire page! Which leads to the observation I should have made in the first place. Apparently I misread the intent of what was clearly printed (note the textual URL on the envelope). As is obvious to me now, it should have been read thus: Bicycle Safety? JustDrivePA. Thanks for the "effort", PennDOT...
2017-03-27 09:32:18
*long sigh* At least they have a page to go to. Now, to improve the content.
2017-03-27 12:25:44
The Pennsylvania Driver's Manual has a bad diagram for how to pass a bicycle - they show a car passing a cyclist with about 1 foot of clearance! See a previous thread: http://localhost/message-board/topic/pa-bicycle-laws/#post-326642 . I wrote there about a bad diagram in the 2015 edition of the manual. I emailed Roy Gothie, PennDOT's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, about the problems in May 2016. We'll see later this year if the bad diagram is corrected in the 2017 edition. Another observation about bias against cyclists in the Pennsylvania Driver's Manual: check page 2 (a valuable spot, in any book!) where they devote a full page to "Sharing the Road with Motorcycles". . I agree that car/truck/bus drivers need to take care around motorcycles, and be aware that motorcycles behave a little differently from cars, but where's the same level of sympathy and education regarding cyclists? Maybe the motorcycle lobby has better connections with PennDOT executives than the cyclist lobby?  
2017-03-28 22:32:37
PennDOT survey. I am sure that if we fill out this survey PennDOT will take action.
2018-01-20 10:37:53
I filled it out. Took 5 minutes. Wasn't horrible.
2018-01-20 15:40:35
I just filled it out too.
2018-01-20 17:08:35
This is the same survey I already filled out!
2018-02-15 14:58:44