Feb 12, 2010

PennDOT Slow Learner

Do a Google Search for Rendell and Distributions Centers, and you find pages of press releases. Distribution has replaced industry in Pennsylvania. Although these massive centers don't employ that many people, a few jobs are better than none. Bringing these centers to western Lehigh County hasn't been cheap. Between the grants, cardboard checks and tax incentives, it takes years before they pay off. To bring the water bottling companies here, we have to suck the Little Lehigh Creek dry. Seems like PennDOT keeps forgetting that the section of Route 78, between Hamburg and Fogelsville, needs special attention. This same area got away from them in 2007, 2009 and again on Wednesday. After closing the entire InterState, it took PennDOT over 24 hours, till yesterday afternoon, to reopen the road. Pennsylvania supposedly closed the roads for safety sake, but now will allow the truckers to drive 14 straight hours to catch up on distribution. The picture shows the pass over Jugtown Mountain on New Jersey's section of Route 78, keep open during the storm.

ADDENDUM: PennDot reported last year that 42 trucks were assigned to that section of the road during the 09 storm. Later they disclosed actually only 10 trucks were used. Yesterday they claimed the snow drifts were 10 feet deep on the road.


gary ledebur said...

Michael; I found it interesting and even informative when you took pot shots at local government folks. Now you are going after state officials and the governor. First the Department of Public Welfare, then Penn Dot and now our governor. The federal stimulus money was necessary to keep our economy from going under. Governors had to use this money quickly and one way so to do is to create these distribution centers based on existing retail needs. Major companies such as Walmart and Kraft are partnering here. I am sure you would have used the money in different ways but be advised that state officials are not as stupid as you make them out to be nor are they careless about making Pennsylvania better. Having worked in state government for ten years and knowing many officials today I wish you were kinder in your criticisms of them.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, i am being kind. to have invested uncountable billions in the distribution business, then not keep the roads open is foolish. i heard this morning, third hand, that rendell told penndot to take it easy on the supplies and overtime because of budget constraints. furthermore, i do not believe penndot news releases. although we had the snow, the wind never meet the forecast. the only way 10foot drifts would develop is if they stopped plowing after they closed the road- which is possible considering it took till 3:00 pm yesterday to reopen.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

After having read Mr. Kumbaya's comment at yesterday's post, I have come to conclusion your efforts with respect to PENNDOT are, indeed, futile.

You are speaking to a Lehigh Valley who believed the big lie and voted for the already failed Presidency that is Barrack Hussein Obama.

You are speaking to a Lehigh Valley who believe the Porkulus actually worked (even if unemployment did rise above 8% despite Obama's assurances to the contrary).

You are speaking to a Lehigh Valley who believe in Global Warming and support the destructive Cap and Tax Policy.

You are speaking to a Lehigh Valley who have, obviously, never lived in places like Buffalo or Minnesota and, therefore, have absolutely no clue about what REAL inclement weather is and how to cope with such.

You are speaking to a Lehigh Valley that accepts and, apparently, is satisfied with mediocre, if not worse.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 12:50, i share your views about the snow event, it was in actually manageable. tuesday evening the snow was of no consequence, maybe 5 inches. wednesday afternoon it snowed about 9 inches in about 5 hours, heavy snow for sure. the wind, at least in allentown, was never heavy. washington gets paralyzed with 1 inch of snow. in new hampshire or vermont it would have been a non-event. had penndot put forth the effort, as per inquiry from the valentine storm of 2007, the interstates could have remained open. advising people to stay off the roads is proper, but if you're acting in the public's best interest by closing the road and suspending or slowing down snow removal is debatable. it is certainly not unpatriotic or rude to have the debate.

Anonymous said...

I think the most telling evidence you have to make your case is the fact that, apparently, Pennsylvania's neighboring states did not experience as much difficulty with their highways.

I am talking Maryland, New Jersey, etc.

I understand Minnesota and upstate New York keeps more equipment on hand so I am comparing apples to apples here.

I think it is most telling NO ONE has acknowledged the comparison of PA's Mid-Atlantic neighbors.

But, hey, whatever.

If the majority is satifsfied with mediocre or worse...so be it.

Happens all the time, in my opinion, here in the Lehigh Valley.

Anonymous said...


"Durbin : D.C. Residents Panic As If Snowstorm Is 'A Nuclear Attack'"

D.C. / L.V.

Could have the same story here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
I didn't know where to put this.
SNAFU in Allentown.
On Thursday the 11th 2010, after the snow storm, I scoured the Allentown City website, the sweep site, the APA site, and channel 69's site for information regarding snow removal. Why does Allentown even have a website? Same question for Sweep and the APA. The quality of both the Allentown City web site and the Allentown Parking Authority site has always been lacking, but this is unbelievable.
I then dialed a half dozen city phone numbers until I finally was told that signs would be put up 24 hours prior to the event.
On Friday, 12 2010 at three in the afternoon residents living on Turner St found signs tied to telephone poles stating vehicles were to be removed from both sides of the street for snow removal by 7:00 AM the next day.This was 12 hours prior to the presumed cleaning job. The signs directed us to have the street clear of vehicles by 7:00 AM until the job was to be finished. It is now 3:00 PM and the snow has been cleared from 17th ST where they started to 13th street. It took eight hours to do four blocks. Meanwhile the entire population of W. Turner ST. ran around trying to find alternate parking - with no idea how long the job would take.
At four hours per block for cleanup there was no need for us to all jump through hoops to move vehicles by 7:00 AM on a Saturday.
This incompetence wasted a great deal of time for all involved.
Who organized this schedule?
There is a rumor on the street that the APA is providing free parking at some of their facilities, but I found no evidence of this at any of the before mentioned sources.
At the rate they are moving the crew is not likely to finish cleaning the area they posted today or any time soon.
One would think that snow has never fallen in our city before this storm.
Every time is like the first time.
A Turner Street Local