Wolf Announces PennDOT Partnering With Waze App for Traffic Info


waze-penndot-940x540Crowdsourcing has changed the face of everything from restaurant reviews to fundraising. Now the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is using its power to keep motorists better informed of road conditions on highways all over the state.

PennDOT announced today that it was joining Waze’s Connected Citizens Program for sharing of real-time information on highway traffic conditions. Waze is a smartphone app that uses information submitted anonymously by individual drivers to update users on such things as accidents, road work and slow-moving traffic. The Connected Citizens Program provides a two-way connection between users, known as Wazers, and city and state traffic control centers. Government agencies and private road operators can receive field reports on road conditions from Wazers to supplement their own data, and Wazers in turn get up-to-the-minute information from the traffic control centers as well as other users. Read more »

Traveling To or From Philly For Thanksgiving? Google Maps Says This Is When You Should Do It

If you have plans to head elsewhere this Thanksgiving, or expect to welcome out-of-town friends, here are some travel tips courtesy Google Maps (scroll in the map above to find the Philly data), which each year searches its huge database of searches to tease out travel trends in a number of U.S. cities.

As Curbed Philly reports, the last time you (or your visitors) should be on the road to or from Philly before Thanksgiving is on Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m., so maybe you should take off a day early and set out for your destination on Tuesday. The only worse time to travel around here is Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Traffic in this area is 15 percent worse on Saturday than on Sunday, which is a good excuse to linger a while with your friends or relatives or have them stick around a bit longer.

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Travel Alert: 86-Mile Stretch of Pa. Turnpike Closed


[UPDATE] The eastbound detour was also lifted.

[UPDATE, 12:57 p.m.]: Turnpike officials report that the westbound detour at Breezewood has been lifted:

ORIGINAL: An 86-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is closed in both directions in Western Pennsylvania due to an overturned truck.

The long stretch, between Exit 75 (New Stanton) and Exit 161 (Breezewood, the Town of Motels), is closed while hazardous materials crews clean up the fuel, antifreeze and fuel leaking from the truck.

There are currently no reports of injuries from the accident. Read more »

Fix It: The Terrifying Unmarked On-Ramp Near Eakins Oval

Screenshot via Google Maps

Screenshot via Google Maps

The unmarked on-ramp on 24th Street in Philadelphia is a death trap. I mean, look at it on the right.

Located alongside Eakin’s Oval on the Parkway, the I-676 entrance is inappropriately and dangerously labeled “24th St.” That’s it. There is no sign nearby indicating that an expressway is right around the corner.

“Someone in a car or on a bike could easily think this is a local street or maybe a winding entrance into a gated community,” said David Curtis, co-founder of the urbanist PAC The 5th Square. “Then it suddenly dumps you onto three lanes of freeway traffic.” Read more »

One Way to Reduce Center City Traffic: Ban Private Cars

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Dublin has one-third the population of Philly and is tucked within one-third of the square mileage. It’s comparably dense, but many times more congested. In the annual congestion rankings of the world’s most populous cities, Philadelphia comes in at 136; Dublin at 18. Your average commuter in Dublin faces 103 hours of delays over the course of year. That’s a full a day and a half longer spent in traffic than the average Philly commuter.

Meanwhile, the Irish government is predicting that the greater Dublin area could grow by as much as 14,000 people per year in the coming decades, meaning that commuter congestion is bound to get substantially worse. People entering the city during weekday peak hours is expected to rise by 20 percent in the next eight years. That’s why the Dublin City Council has moved forward with a proposal to curb automobile traffic in the downtown area. And it’s really bold.

They’re banning cars from big sections of downtown. Read more »

BizFeed: Another Hospital Exploring Merger; Navy Yard’s Sustainable Power Plan

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

1. Just Days after Abington and Jefferson Merger, Aria Health Exploring a Deal

The News: Aria Health is the latest health system to explore a merger deal. Although the company says there is no deal or potential partner is in place, it would certainly be an attractive partner considering its three hospitals in Northeast Philadelphia. Aria hopes to make a decision by late summer.

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WATCH: West Philly Man’s Frantic, Mesmerizing Time-Lapse Commute

Anyone who commutes into or out of Philly on a daily basis knows that the term rush hour is something of a misnomer. Everyone may be in a rush, but just ask John Butterworth: Nobody’s getting anywhere fast.

Ryan Godfrey of West Philadelphia commutes to Hybrid Software in Langhorne a couple of times a week. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Ryan for years.) As part of a program at Penn’s Kelly Writers House in which presenters were invited to explore the concept of “Rush,” he decided to play with his own rush hour by recording his normally one-hour-or-so drive to work with his iPhone, condensing it to seven minutes, adding some wry text commentary in the editing room, and setting it all to John Coltrane’s frenetic “Mr. P.C.” The results are at turns mesmerizing, humorous and, for anyone who’s completely lost their head in an I-95 gaper delay, crazy-making.

We asked Godfrey to tell us a little bit about the project. Read more »

Brace Yourselves: Traffic Circles Are Making a Comeback

Logan Circle. Lovely, but not particularly safe. New-fangled roundabouts are. | Photo from VisitPhilly.com

Logan Circle. Lovely, but not particularly safe. New-fangled roundabouts are. | Photo from VisitPhilly.com

Roundabouts—those circular intersections without traffic signals—are ubiquitous in many states (the most terrifying ones live in New Jersey), but are relatively rare in Pennsylvania. There’s only about two dozen statewide.

But that’s about to change in a big way. According to an interesting report from the Morning Call, Pennsylvania is on the brink of a roundabout boom. At least 40 new traffic circles are planned across the Commonwealth, the Morning Call reports. “They’re going to start becoming predominant,” state Department of Transportation engineer Thomas Walter told the Morning Call. Read more »

Roads, Bridges, SEPTA, and Sidewalks Are a Complete Mess Today


This morning’s freezing rain is wreaking havoc on the area’s roadways. Major portions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike are closed or at a standstill, and all bridges between Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been affected by flash icing, with some remaining closed as crews apply salt.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, here’s where things stand:

Read more »

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