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ScrantonWilkesBarre

I-81

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Isn't it wonderful that we supposedly don't have enough money to update the ailing transit infrastructure in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area? With most roads at 2-3 times their intended capacity, we've been told by PENNDOT that there is simply "no funding available" to permit widening roads or funding studies into mass transit options to alleviate the congestion. In response, "Focus81", a local grass-roots effort between local commuters and elected officials has been established to lobby for improvements to the often-nasty corridor between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Tailgating, road rage, and accidents are frequent occurrences along this stretch, yet we're apparently not important enough for the state to give a rat's behind about. I've done my part by carpooling with fellow students to the college via I-81, but with 80,000 vehicles using this stretch everyday and rising (The original capacity was just 40,000) it is now apparent that things will only continue to deteriorate, especially as our area grows in the upcoming years as we become a bedroom community to NYC.

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There used to be a site,

www.PennDotSucks.com

guess they never got the bridge to that rehabbed and it fell in some river, ain't there no more. lol

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www.PennDotSucks.com

:rofl:

I will admit, PennDOT does a great job with new freeway construction whether its a new road or rehabiltation of the existening freeway.

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There used to be a site,

www.PennDotSucks.com

guess they never got the bridge to that rehabbed and it fell in some river, ain't there no more. lol

Don't get me wrong. I realize that at least half the blame can go to the thousands of lone commuters I see chugging along to work at 7:30 AM between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre while their own next-door neighbors are three car lengths behind them heading to the same office park. If everyone in our area who was ABLE to carpool did indeed do so, several thousand vehicles would be off of this congested 20-mile or so stretch of the interstate. However, even with carpooling, our area's economic growth over the past few decades has been centered NEAR I-81's interchanges, making it necessary to use this highway to access most industrial parks, office parks, our minor-league stadium, minor-league arena, shopping malls, ski areas, movie theaters, etc. I-476 paralells I-81 through this region, but the toll and scarcity of exits make it an unviable alternative, even though the Turnpike Commission DID try making it toll-free for a short time to see if it would alleviate congestion on I-81 (which it did not).

I realize that as someone who uses this highway to get to both class at King's College and work at the local Lowe's store, both ten miles from my home, I'm part of the problem, since I DO have at least one alternate route I can take through the communities themselves (but it would take an additional 5-10 minutes) However, PENNDOT does need to take some responsiblity for not planning any improvements to this roadway since building it 40 years ago while our area sprawled out around it. By not only refusing to widen the artery but also not providing funding to study alternatives in the way of mass transit being implemented, PENNDOT IS indeed being unreasonable here, especially when a local media outlet, WNEP-TV, even went so far as to do an independent report on the future problems facing I-81, in which they basically blamed PENNDOT for dropping the ball.

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Great info on I-81 up there SWB, one of the major problems for PennDOT from what I've heard is that Transportation $$ on the federal level are apportioned by state (not metro which should really be the way they are calculated) and since Bud Shuster through the 90's drained hundreds of millions from FedDOT coffers for I-99 and other west/central state improvements near Altoona and environs, Pennsylvania's formula for FedDOT $$s are in deficeit for at least the forseeable future. Basically PennDOT has only the anemic state revenue to go on for anything but the most dire of needs transportation wise. Again, this is what I hear from the DOT policywonks federally and in Hburg, might just be how they are "spinning" this.

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^Sounds similar to NC. The rural areas get the road money more than the urban areas since rural politics dominates the state.

The I-99 designation is a joke, why is it 99? Couldnt it be A N O T H E R number that fits the interstate numbering pattern? -_-

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^Sounds similar to NC. The rural areas get the road money more than the urban areas since rural politics dominates the state.

The I-99 designation is a joke, why is it 99? Couldnt it be A N O T H E R number that fits the interstate numbering pattern? -_-

Well, we're all familiar with I-95, which runs along the Eastern Seabord between Houlton, Maine and Miami, FL. Then we also have I-93, which runs roughly between St. Johnsbury, Vermont and Boston, MA. I-91 runs between the Canadian/Vermont border and New Haven, CT. There is also an I-89, I-87, I-85, I-83, I-81, I-79, I-77, I-75, a proposed I-73 in the Carolinas, an I-71, and a proposed I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis. I-67 would be the first available number, from what I can tell, which SHOULD be designated roughly in the Chicago area, NOT in the Northeast! As a result, they chose "I-99." Basically, the U.S. is just running out of Interstate numbering options, which doesn't surprise me with how automobile-dependent we've become!

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The great thing about being a tenured congressman (or Senator) and then gaining ranking member status on the committee that is most important to you is that you can basically snap your fingers on those issues and there it is, whatever you want. Shuster was one of those that took residency on the transportation committee (or was it Ways and Means too), where after so many decades you can basically rewrite any law that committee oversees to your whim. America is truly a great country. lol.

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I've used 81 through WB/S on many occasions, but usually on weekends. Even 'then' it's very busy and it can be very frustrating to drive. I always seem to get stuck behind a slow driver or truck in the right lane (going 45-50) but then feel like I'm in the way of every teenager or road-rage-aholic who wants to go 85 in the left lane. It's a no-win highway for me. Once I get to the wide section just north of Scranton (I'm usually headed to I-84, bound for Matamoras/Port Jervis) it's like paradise.

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^^Maybe that is a congressional district line you are crossing :P, more likely PennDOT got that section greenlit and had no property and NIMBY obstacles there.

Call your congressmember, or blog him/her, it's amazing what an organized movement in a district can accomplish over the course of a decade or so.

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