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stinkweed

Cross state connection

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With a state the size of Pennsylvania and two large cities on each end you'd think there would be a better way across the state then the interstate. I don't think that amtrak even has a direct route from philly to pitt. I know there is the keystone line but I think that only goes as far as Harrisburg? Not sure on that one.

But my point is if PA invested in widening and modernizing the current I-276 cross state, it might open up a lot of trade for the two cities and the state. Think about it, you have all the major north east city on one side and all the major midwest cities on the other.

Not to mention tourism. I've driven across the state and it isn't pleasant let me tell you.

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With a state the size of Pennsylvania and two large cities on each end you'd think there would be a better way across the state then the interstate.  I don't think that amtrak even has a direct route from philly to pitt.  I know there is the keystone line but I think that only goes as far as Harrisburg?  Not sure on that one.

But my point is if PA invested in widening and modernizing the current I-276 cross state, it might open up a lot of trade for the two cities and the state.  Think about it, you have all the major north east city on one side and all the major midwest cities on the other.

Not to mention tourism.  I've driven across the state and it isn't pleasant let me tell you.

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Come to think of it, transportation in Pennsylvania in general sucks. I know we're an old state but come on. I-475 north is undersized as well. I can understand poor roadways in the north central part of the state due to population but the east part of PA is pretty built up. I know there was once a plan to put a high speed train system around the state but I think that was politician fluff. Does any one know what's going on now?

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Its a surprising decline since 75-100 years ago the railroads in Pennsylvania were considered to be the most advanced and most admired in the world.

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With a state the size of Pennsylvania and two large cities on each end you'd think there would be a better way across the state then the interstate.  I don't think that amtrak even has a direct route from philly to pitt.  I know there is the keystone line but I think that only goes as far as Harrisburg?  Not sure on that one.

There used to be two daily trains from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and on to Chicago and NYC on either end. One was the Pennsylvanian and the other was the Three Rivers. The Pennsylvanian was cancelled in 2004 and the Three Rivers was cut back this last weekend from Chicago to Pittsburgh. Thus, there's now jsut one daily train between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (the Three Rivers). Pittsburgh gets the Capitol Limited but that one goes to DC.

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But my point is if PA invested in widening and modernizing the current I-276 cross state, it might open up a lot of trade for the two cities and the state.  Think about it, you have all the major north east city on one side and all the major midwest cities on the other.

Not to mention tourism.  I've driven across the state and it isn't pleasant let me tell you.

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The thing is that there is very little relation between eastern and western PA. It is more like two separate states - one Midwestern and the other East Coast, stuck together. I don't think much traffic from western PA actually crosses to the east and if it does its often truck traffic carrying goods to the ports of New York and Baltimore. This si why the busiest sections of the Turnpike are on in eastern PA, as you would suspect, but in western PA. Heading east, a large amount of traffic heads off SE at Breezewood to go to Baltimore (again, much of the traffic is trucks headed to the port) and then another huge amount veers off to the NE at Carlisle to take I-81 and I-78 to New York.

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The thing is that there is very little relation between eastern and western PA.  It is more like two separate states - one Midwestern and the other East Coast, stuck together.  I don't think much traffic from western PA actually crosses to the east and if it does its often truck traffic carrying goods to the ports of New York and Baltimore.  This si why the busiest sections of the Turnpike are on in eastern PA, as you would suspect, but in western PA.  Heading east, a large amount of traffic heads off SE at Breezewood to go to Baltimore (again, much of the traffic is trucks headed to the port) and then another huge amount veers off to the NE at Carlisle to take I-81 and I-78 to New York.

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But do you think if there was a much improved highway system across the state that it would increase flow form on end to the other? After all, I-276 does connect directly to the NJ turnpike. I would think this would be faster for trucking to NY and NE. Couldn't this result in more distribution centers and thus manufacturing in PA, being centrally located between both large urban areas.

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I agree with urban, many people think of Pennsylvania as more like Texas when in fact it is much more like California--San Francisco being more relative to Seattle and Portland demographically etc. and LA being more like Vegas and Phoenix demographically.

In fact--I thought I knew Philly pretty well--I have very little knowledge of what or where I-276 goes (isn't this the turnpike spur surrounding Philly). If so then 276 doesn't go as far as Lancaster or York yet alone Harrisburg (and Hburg is only about 1/3 of the way to Pittsburgh).

I have heard mention that a great route as far as entering the southwestern part of the state is to extend I-376 along its natural course US 22 through Murraysville, Johnstown, Altoona, then ride up the ridgeline to State College area and across . . . more along the route of the ORIGINAL pennsylvania railroad mainline (there is a reason there is a line of "big towns" along the center of the state . . . from 1860 to 1960 PA RR made them huge amounts of money). Those same "big towns" like Altoona and Johnstown in the west and Lancaster and Reading in the East are only served poorly today by Interstate Spurs if at all.

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Come to think of it, transportation in Pennsylvania in general sucks.  I know we're an old state but come on.  I-475 north is undersized as well.  I can understand poor roadways in the north central part of the state due to population but the east part of PA is pretty built up.  I know there was once a plan to put a high speed train system around the state but I think that was politician fluff.  Does any one know what's going on now?

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Here is the link the the high speed train system. I did a search on google and this is what I found. From my memory they have been talking about this for about a decade or more. At 350 m.p.h., I could be in pittsburgh in 2 hours. It looks really cool.

MaglevPA

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^^SW they have been throwing that idea around here for the last 5-6 years, I know Congress has earmarked funds to get it off the ground, but its still in its first planning stages still (I believe that the route planning is done or close to being done but the enviro studies and infrastructure planning has yet to be completed).

The original plan though was just to link Metro Pittsburgh, I would like to see it hook up with the Baltimore-Washington one in planning and spur over to Philadelphia and maybe on to NYC and Boston. Right now though its just a big ole pile of dreams. Even the technology isn't a sure bet with some critics saying that Maglev on a large scale would never work to be cost effective etc. I am a believer in it but would like to see this thing get off the ground before my kids (which I don't have yet) go to school. ;)

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Maglev is not going to happen in the next 25 years because it is too expensive, too costly to operate, and the long terms effects of subjecting humans to high magnetic fields are unknown. The Bush Administration is especially anti-transit and will only budget money for very few projects. All federal manlev demonstration projects in the USA have been terminated including the one that was slated for Pennsylvania.

Pennslyvania's best bet for a cross state connection is to do like North Carolina and develope and operate its own passenger rail system. We use state gasoline taxes to fund the NC Railroad which operates two passenger trains that operate between Raleigh and Charlotte. And provide daily train service between the two with connections to the major cities in between. Because of he popularity of the service they are looking to add an additional train for midday service.

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Maglev is not going to happen in the next 25 years because it is too expensive, too costly to operate, and the long terms effects of subjecting humans to high magnetic fields are unknown.  The Bush Administration is especially anti-transit and will only budget money for very few projects.  All federal manlev demonstration projects in the USA have been terminated including the one that was slated for Pennsylvania. 

Pennslyvania's best bet for a cross state connection is to do like North Carolina and develope and operate its own passenger rail system.  We use state gasoline taxes to fund the NC Railroad which operates two passenger trains that operate between Raleigh and Charlotte.  And provide daily train service between the two with connections to the major cities in between.  Because of he popularity of the service they are looking to add an additional train for midday service.

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My point was more directed at the need for such a line not so much the specific type of technology used. It just seems to me, as the website says, that Pittsburgh lies smack in the middle of half of the U.S. and Canadain populations but doesn't really take advantage of it.

As for as, using a gas tax, I don't think that would ever happen. The Gov. is already making plans on tapping that for local transit plans around the state. And I think we probably pay as much as any state at the pump. Not to mention the fact that PA is usually a good decade or two behind the times. Too many rural hicks in Harrisburg if you ask me. You know what they say, "Philly in the east, Pitt in the west and Alabama in between."

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My point was more directed at the need for such a line not so much the specific type of technology used.  It just seems to me, as the website says, that Pittsburgh lies smack in the middle of half of the U.S. and Canadain populations but doesn't really take advantage of it.

As for as, using a gas tax, I don't think that would ever happen.  The Gov. is already making plans on tapping that for local transit plans around the state.  And I think we probably pay as much as any state at the pump.  Not to mention the fact that  PA is usually a good decade or two behind the times.  Too many rural hicks in Harrisburg if you ask me.  You know what they say, "Philly in the east, Pitt in the west and Alabama in between."

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Don't lump Harrisburg in with the rest of Central Pennsylvania. The city is rather progressive and really has nothing in common with even York, Williamsport or any other Central Pennsylvanian city. It's actually a lot like Pennsylvania's Washington DC (in more ways then the obvious one).

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Don't lump Harrisburg in with the rest of Central Pennsylvania. The city is rather progressive and really has nothing in common with even York, Williamsport or any other Central Pennsylvanian city. It's actually a lot like Pennsylvania's Washington DC (in more ways then the obvious one).

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I wasn't refering to the people of Harrisburg as much as the politicians from aroung the state.

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The Bush Administration is especially anti-transit and will only budget money for very few projects.

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You know what they say, "Philly in the east, Pitt in the west and Alabama in between."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Pennsyltucky!

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thanks for the link Mayae and welcome to the board hope you find some interesting stuff here and post your thoughts often :thumbsup: . . . as I posted both the Cal U. Maglev in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley and the Metro Pittsburgh Maglev are both on target with funding.

I think the confusion was that we got political . . . Bush did cut transportation funding but not maglev funding. Until he runs for governor the Congress and Harrisburg have more to do with Pennsylvania transportation then him. :)

Santorum, Hart and Spector have all vouched their support to the two Pittsburgh maglev projects and given their clout on Capital Hill the money won't be cut anytime soon--delayed or reconfigured maybe but not cut.

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a link to the urban (the more discussed system is the metro maglev from the West Hills and Airport to the East Hills and Latrobe and Palmer Airport) maglev planned for Cal U. in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=10406

Full funding is still being debated but the project is rolling right now and has some powerful allies on Capitol Hill from both parties.

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The keystone state's problem for decades (since the 70s) is NIMBYism and funding. Check out PAHighways and read up on many projects that what would of been, could of been and should of been.

I agree.

I never understood why PA is always short of funding, however. That seems to be a chronic problem - much more so than it is in other states. I guess a huge part of it is that much of the state is economically depressed and the kind of drags everything else down. Most other states around here don't have that problem and the ones that do (like West Virginia) don't have big cities to contend with so they can more easily manage their highway dollars.

As for NIMBYism, that's generated by the fact that the state is divided up into all these little fiefdoms called townships, boroughs, and cities and each municiplaity seems to think that a proposed road will benefit everyone but themselves and thus are out to kill it. PA lacks the type of central planning that states in the South and West (where entire counties form the municipal basis) have. That said, other states in the Northeast and Midwest (which are also fragmented in these little fiefdoms) don't have the problem anywhere nearly as badly as PA so I don't really know what gives there.

I guess NJ does have its issues given how long it took them to build I-287 and the NIMBYism that blocked I-78 from being completed and is still blocking I-95. BUt NJ still seems to be able to build its roads. I guess NJ has more of a commuter culture in general. By contrast, Pennsylvanians haven't met a road proposal that they didn't want to quash immediately...

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I never understood why PA is always short of funding
Short of funding and holds one of the highest gas taxes in the nation.

As for NIMBYism, that's generated by the fact that the state is divided up into all these little fiefdoms called townships, boroughs, and cities and each municiplaity seems to think that a proposed road will benefit everyone but themselves and thus are out to kill it.

This is where small mindness and selfishness wins over planning for the future. PA is not the only state thats bad for this, Connecticut is the WORST in my opinion!

I guess NJ does have its issues given how long it took them to build I-287 and the NIMBYism that blocked I-78 from being completed and is still blocking I-95. BUt NJ still seems to be able to build its roads

I-78 is completed and i would not count the jersey city section of 78 being a 1 mile boulevard before the Holland Tunnel anywhat incomplete. Maybe you were referring to I-278?

NJ road building days are over after the NJ 18 northern segment gets finished in Piscataway Twp, Middlesex County. All we're going to see are highway upgrades and widening projects if anything in the future.

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This is where small mindness and selfishness wins over planning for the future. PA is not the only state thats bad for this, Connecticut is the WORST in my opinion!

Still CT manages to actually build their roads. PA, on the other hand, doesn't. This is why all across the state you have half-completed stubs of expressways. Also, CT manages to widen their roads whereas PA almost never does.

I-78 is completed and i would not count the jersey city section of 78 being a 1 mile boulevard before the Holland Tunnel anywhat incomplete. Maybe you were referring to I-278?

I was referring to I-78 in Phillipsburg, NJ. This was left incomplete until the late 80's. Contrary to popular belief, PA had completed its section of I-78. The Lehigh Valley Expressway (US 22 expressway in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area) was the original routing for I-78. This is why there's a PA 378 branching off of it to Bethlehem. This was originally I-378 and got demoted to PA 378 when the I-78 designation was taken off of the ABE and placed on the then-newly proposed southerly route it now takes. NIMBYs in NJ blocked the completion of I-78 through Phillipsburg (much like how they blocked the completion of I-95). During the course of that period, it was decided to reroute I-78 on a bypass south of A-B-E and NJ also chose a more southerly routing to avoid Philipsburg. This was when I-78 was completed.

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Im actually glad I-78 forms a bypass of Phillipsburg and the Lehigh Valley because after driving US 22 through what would of been all I-78, the traffic would of been unbearable plus the roadway would of been one of the most deadliest in PA if no improvements were made to the roadway to this day.

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I agree.

I never understood why PA is always short of funding, however. That seems to be a chronic problem - much more so than it is in other states. I guess a huge part of it is that much of the state is economically depressed and the kind of drags everything else down. Most other states around here don't have that problem and the ones that do (like West Virginia) don't have big cities to contend with so they can more easily manage their highway dollars.

As for NIMBYism, that's generated by the fact that the state is divided up into all these little fiefdoms called townships, boroughs, and cities and each municiplaity seems to think that a proposed road will benefit everyone but themselves and thus are out to kill it. PA lacks the type of central planning that states in the South and West (where entire counties form the municipal basis) have. That said, other states in the Northeast and Midwest (which are also fragmented in these little fiefdoms) don't have the problem anywhere nearly as badly as PA so I don't really know what gives there.

I guess NJ does have its issues given how long it took them to build I-287 and the NIMBYism that blocked I-78 from being completed and is still blocking I-95. BUt NJ still seems to be able to build its roads. I guess NJ has more of a commuter culture in general. By contrast, Pennsylvanians haven't met a road proposal that they didn't want to quash immediately...

I'll reinforce your argument here about a lack of cohesion or cooperation between these little "fiefdoms." My school district, which encompasses nearly the entire suburban area between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, is comprised of eight municipalities, each with their own elected officials and corresponding egos. Pittston Township, the point that is equidistant to both of the larger cities, has seen the most growth and sucess economically while the others have mostly all languished in the "Dark Ages." While Pittston Township approves a new Super Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Bass Pro Shop, etc., its tax base gets boosted at the expense of the surrounding communities that get nothing but the leftover traffic congestion and the hit to their tax rolls when mom-and-pop businesses close up shop. When a new housing development spurts up here, once again the surrounding communities suffer not only with increased traffic and a loss of the tax base, but also usually with water runoff issues because the township is at a relatively-high elevation as compared to others in the school district. Whenever a resident of another community attempts to make a suggestion that could potentially improve the ENTIRE school district, they are squashed as being "self-serving" and potentially a "threat to the township." While the township's pursestrings overflow so much as to allow the elimination of residential property taxes (further encouraging new housing developments and hurting the surrounding communties) the other towns are all suffering in decline. If we had less municipal red tape among communities, less of that "my town first" attitude, and more cooperation between these "fiefdoms", then we'd be much better off!

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