The Best Thing That Happened This Week: PennDOT Said It Might Open the Shoulders on the Schuylkill Expressway

One of the worst bottlenecks in the country could be getting some help.

Schuylkill Expressway I-76 road

The Schuylkill Expressway on a relatively traffic-free day.

The Schuylkill Expressway has been backed up pretty much since it opened in 1958. Within three years, the highway from Valley Forge to the Walt Whitman Bridge had acquired a killer rep, and we don’t mean that in a good way. Narrow lanes, a contorted layout, curves, flooding, mudslides, deer, left-lane entrances and exits — it’s the original highway from hell. This week, PennDOT announced that it is studying whether to allow cars on the shoulder between routes 202 and 1 during peak commute hours. This won’t solve all the problems on the Expressway, the biggest of which is human idiocy. But it sure would be fun to see the effect on “lane rangers,” those rugged Mad Max types in pickups and 18-wheelers who straddle the lines to block would-be shoulder riders from passing during backups. We kind of enjoy their unsanctioned attempts to impose order on the road.

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