Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association

03/13/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/13/2018 12:58

Prominent Elected Officials Speak on Transportation at Annual Legislative Breakfast

March 13, 2018

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - GVF, is a not-for-profit organization created to advocate and promote a viable transportation network for the region's economic vitality. GVF held its first signature event of the year, Monday, March 12th the Annual Legislative Breakfast.

Over 100 industry executives were in attendance to hear from some of the top local and state elected officials, who provided updates on relevant transportation issues in our region.

Federal updates provided from:

Congressman Dwight Evans discussed Federal funding for Transportation and Infrastructure, the importance of investment made in our infrastructure and the return it provides.

'The larger issues that you have heard about is the proposal by the terms of the Trump administration as of federal 2018, $200 billion in federal spending over 10 years to incentivize infrastructure, for example$100 billion dollars will be set aside for city infrastructure projects, $50 million rural infrastructure projects, $20 billion will be set aside for discretionary transportation programs, $20 billion would go to expansion of existing infrastructure, and $10 billion capital revival ... the approach is different from years previous ... it is a different philosophy than what has happened in the past ... I am not so sure that there is a general consensus about thatapproach,' said Congressman Evans.

The Congressman went on to answer a question regarding the use of toll roads 'I have mixed feelings about it. You hear the argument that those roads have already been paid for and then you are going to turn around and ask those people to pay for it again. So I have mixed feelings about just adding toll roads. For me personally I am not a big advocate of adding toll roads to solve something that has already been paid for. '

State updates provided from:

State Representative Kate Harper, Transportation Committee and GVF Board Member discussed current transportation funding issues, State Police funds and the success of ACT 89.

'Most, but not all of transportation funds are protected by constitutional amendment that says you can only use gas taxes for roads and bridges and public safety related to that. So its appropriate for us to pay for some of the State police out of the transportation budget because they do patrol roads and bridges and they are very important. The bad news is as the cost for State Police raises they cut into the money we have for building and replacing roads and bridges. Those of us who are interested in transportation have been looking for a way to ween state police off of the Motor License Fund, which is your gas money, and put it back into the general fund. We have not been able to do that.' said State Representative Kate Harper.

Representative Kate Harper went on to talk about potential solutions that the committee has identified, but stated it is unlikely they will be incorporated into this years budget.

'The good news is ACT 89 is still working because gas taxes under the formulate go back, in some measure, to where they were raised. District 6 and all of South Eastern PA, will be getting money back.' said Rep. Harper.

State Representative Tim Briggs, Transportation Committee and GVF Board Member spoke on regional projects such as I-76 expansion, Chester Valley trail, and ACT 89.

'Secretary Leslie Richards and the team have really made smart investments to connect I-76, to get all the lights and technology flowing together and then by doing some innovated stuff like hard shouldering to try to resolve a little bit of I-76 challenges.' said State Representative Tim Briggs.

Briggs spoke on ACT 89 funding. 'They are attacking what we did with ACT 89, they are attacking the fee increases, they always want to lower the fee increases, they are attacking SEPTA funding, they are attacking everything that we built and it was largely because of the advocacy of GVF that allowed us to do it. So this attack isn't going to stop and we need Rob and the organization to continue to support and advocate in Harrisburg to maintain the investments we made. The legislation did address putting a cap on and a schedule to reduce the State Police investment, but we do have to fund that as well, so in June we will be advocating for another transportation bill.'

State updates were also provided by:

  • Senator Daylin Leach
  • State Representative Madeleine Dean
  • State Representative Matthew Bradford
  • State Representative Mary Jo Daley

Local updates provided from:

Local county updates were provided by Chester County Commissioner Chair Michelle Kichline, GVF Board Member and Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chair, Kenneth Lawrence, GVF Board Member.

Commissioner Kichline spoke on current projects taking place in Chester County. Landscapes3 the county's Comprehensive Plan encourages public input and focuses on affordable housing, purchase and stewardship of open space, transportation alternatives, stream impairments, and zoning flexibility.

Commissioner Lawrence spoke about Montgomery County's current projects and what the future could hold. Projects included; the King of Prussia Rail Project, Lafayette St. Phase 3, SRT Pottstown.

'I want to thank Congressman Evans, Senator Leach, Rep's Briggs, Bradford, Dean, Daley and Harper and Commissioners Kichline and Lawrence for taking time out of their day to speak to our members. Transportation and TDM are going through many changes and it's important that we have a dialogue with our elected officials so that we can all cooperatively work together to have a viable transportation system for our collective future. I would also like to thank the GVF Board of Directors, our staff, our sponsors and our attendees', said Rob Henry, Executive Director of GVF.

Pictures from the event can be found on GVF's Facebook page.

A special thank you to our 2018 Annual Event Sponsors:

Platinum:Boles Smyth, Brandywine Realty Trust, Kaplin Stewart, McMahon Associates, Pennoni, RK&K, Suburban Transit Network, Urban Engineers, Vanguard

Gold:King of Prussia Mall, Traffic Planning & Design Inc., WSP

Silver:AECOM, Comcast, DVRPC, Enterprise Ride Share, Gannett Fleming, HNTB, Michael Baker International, SEPTA, STV Inc. Volkert, Well + Associates.

Founded in 1990, GVF is a not-for-profit organization created to advocate and promote a viable transportation network for the region's economic vitality. To maximize awareness and develop sustainable support, we partner with public and private entities.

GVF's mission is to achieve a desirable quality of life and a healthy, competitive economic environment by developing multi-faceted transportation strategies. For more information about GVF or to learn about the benefits of partnership, visit www.gvftma.com.