Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) public comment period for the Draft Pennsylvania Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) ended. But not before more than 200 of you sent letters and comments calling on the Department to establish multimodal strategic directions for the state’s transportation network. In early October, we shared with you that review was underway and we would provide our recommendations to address the climate crisis and the impacts we are experiencing now and for future generations as well as commitment to the Vision Zero strategy and policy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2050.
Thanks to your support, PennDOT received over 200 letters that asked the department for stronger commitment to zero traffic related fatalities and modal shift from driving.
Please see the full letter of recommendations that was written by the Bicycle Coalition, Transit Forward Philadelphia, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Clean Air Council, and 5th Square. Our letter urged PennDOT to move the state towards significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate the development of active transportation infrastructure to reduce the growth in demand for energy sources based on fossil fuels and a commitment from PennDOT to achieve no traffic related fatalities by 2045 by aligning with Vision Zero policies.
In addition to the full letter of recommendations, see what recommendations made up the 200 + letters sent by those who took action:
1. Strengthen the Mobility goal by creating an explicit policy that supports and encourages the design and development of communities that make walking and biking viable enough to create a significant modal shift towards less driving and more walking and cycling over the next 24 years.
2. Reanalyze the Mobility goal by directly calling out the $1.65 billion dollars/year necessary to replace Act 89’s funding for transit. This number was determined by the Pennsylvania Public Transit Association and will bolster the state’s Public Transit Trust Fund. The proper investment in transit will allow public transportation systems in PA to grow and in turn boost our state’s economy.
3. Enhance the Mobility Goal to enable local governments to implement new transit funding mechanisms. These local funds should be supplemental and not used to replace a shortfall from the state, with state transit funding being flexible around capital and operations. The Mobility Goal should also describe PennDOT’s plan to move towards clean, electrified public transportation fleets that retain and create union mechanic and engineering jobs in garages across PA.
4. Enhance the Safety goal by aligning with Vision Zero policy and a commitment that PennDOT will improve the design and management of the Commonwealth’s transportation systems so that zero fatalities and serious injuries will become a reality by 2045.
5. Strengthen the Resilience goal by identifying a source of revenue to increase Pennsylvania’s transportation resilience to climate change and other risks to reduce the environmental impacts that climate change is expected now and for future generations.
6. Build upon the Resilience goal by adopting obtainable goals to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, set an objective to reduce vehicle miles traveled and fossil fuel consumption by planning an objective around mode shift from driving to biking, walking and taking transit.
Looking ahead, we will be on the lookout for updates following PennDOT’s public comment period on the LRTP and share any news we receive on this action.