Hoeffel: Transportation should be ‘green and sustainable’

March 24, 2010

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel on Wednesday charged into the infrastructure and green jobs arena by announcing at a press conference that be believes in a “safe, efficient, green and sustainable transportation infrastructure.”

Hoeffel promised to double transportation funding in the Keystone State by tapping all available state and federal funding, including federal stimulus money.

The candidate made his remarks at a closed, decrepit bridge in West Philadelphia, near the Philadelphia Zoo at 40th Street and Pennsgrove Avenue.

Check out PlanPhilly coverage of the state of West Philly’s bridges.

Hoeffel said his transportation plan would “create thousands of engineering and construction jobs and build a strong 21st century transportation network.”

That includes fast-tracking repairs to highways and bridges across the state; improving rail and mass transit service; embracing “multi-modal solutions and plan infrastructure on a regional basis”; developing transportation centers and corridors; and establishing sustainable funding sources.

“Pennsylvania cannot continue to defer maintenance on our aging bridges, like this one here in West Philadelphia, any longer,” said Hoeffel, who serves on the board of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. “In 2008, PennDOT rated 8,000 Pennsylvania bridges on state and local roads as ‘structurally deficient.’

“Forty-six percent of our roads are rated ‘poor’ or ‘mediocre’. This isn’t just an inconvenience, it puts Pennsylvania businesses at a competitive disadvantage. We must, and we will improve our roads and bridges.”

Hoeffel also said he will extend high-speed rail through Pennsylvania, seeking federal funds for targeted high-speed rail going from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

He is also campaigning in favor of tolling “long-distance travel” on Interstate 80 – meaning interstate trucking. Residential travelers on the highway would not be tolled under his plan.

Contact the reporter at thomaswalsh1@gmail.com.

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