Boosting the Turnpike Speed Limits

Looks like they want to up the limit to 70mph, according to Capitol Ideas. The only problem here is that the main reason you can’t easily traverse Pennsylvania the long way in a short amount of time isn’t the 65mph speed limit (which no one pays attention to anyway), but the endless multi-mile long construction zones, where speed is reduced to 40mph and there is often no evidence of construction of any kind.

If the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wants to help people get from point A to point B faster in Pennsylvania, it would do better to more competently manage construction zones that it would to boost the speed limit. As a regular turnpike user, I’ll take the boosted speed limit, but I’d much prefer fewer and shorter construction zones.

8 thoughts on “Boosting the Turnpike Speed Limits”

  1. Bitter may remember this: I-44 between OKC and Tulsa is a heavily used turnpike. It’s also the most expensive in the state. It’s also the most damned “maintained” piece of road in Oklahoma from what I can tell. I-35 which runs N/S through OKC (from the Texas corridor up towards Kansas City, eventually) carries at least as much commercial traffic and has only a fraction of the maintenance going on at any one time.

    The difference? The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority would be in pretty hot water if they were found to be making a profit…they would have to lower the tolls. So we have constant mowing, trimming, tweaking, barrier repair, etc etc.

    Also in Oklahoma, IIRC the law says if even ONE turnpike is still under construction, ALL turnpikes can charge, which leads to more shenanigans like a turnpike out of Tulsa to the Arkansas line which sees little traffic but sure looks nice, or “expansion” projects on existing turnpikes. It’s all a racket, I tell ya.

  2. Texas does something similar where when the toll road is paid for they have to yank the tolls off of it. So in the case of the North Dallas Tollway every time it is about to be paid for they just keep extending it further North. It is going to end up going all the way to Oklahoma because they don’t want to take Tolls off of it.

    1. I’d be ok with ALL the highways being toll roads, in principle, provided my state ceased collecting and remitting federal fuel taxes. The more I think about it, it would move the graft back closer to home, where we could more effectively combat it, and still save us all money.

  3. Pennsylvania has been under never-ending road construction since I was a kid barely able to see out the windows. I have no idea what it is about that state, but it’s literally the worst of the states I have been in, lived in or had to regularly traverse through (PA in the latter camp).

    I-81 in PA can join the PA turnpike as being horrendous.

  4. It is something that I have noticed the few times that I have driven around Pennsylvania: never-ending road construction. The only thing equivalent here in Idaho is the Ada County Highway District (abbreviated ACHD, although ADHD is more accurate). They seem to be constantly resurfacing roads, and they always do parallel and immediately adjacent arterials–never two arterials on opposite sides of town. You can imagine the chaos it causes.

    I am of the opinion that ADHD is just a jobs project.

  5. What’s even more baffling about the never ending road construction is that most of the roads are horrible. I’m not even sure what they’re doing to fix the roads half the time.

  6. Interstate 80 in PA should be renamed The Highway of Purpetual Repair/Construction. I’m convinced they have three road crews out there. They start on one end of the state at five week intervals and work their way to the other end of the state. Once there, they start over again. (The five week interval allows them to be spaced apart at the most annoying distance.)

    Emergency repairs, mowing, and bridge construction just adds to the aggravation.

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