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Thread: Why Pennsylvania DOT is going to hell...even though they corrected their actions.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Wherever I May Roam

    Why Pennsylvania DOT is going to hell...even though they corrected their actions.

    When it comes to public works or public safety, aesthetics seem to be disregarded. This I disgree with so long as true public safety is not compormised. In this case, it's PennDOT.


    Paving with bricks is expensive, but many places think the ambience they create is worth it. Until recently, any pedestrian crossing South Broad Street in central Philadelphia would surely have noticed the handsome crosswalks, which were set off from the asphalt with interlocking Z-shaped bricks. The
    brick was an extravagance, to be sure, where two white painted lines would do fine. But former mayor Ed Rendell, who had the brick installed several years ago, thought the crosswalks were worth the extra cost. They added an ambience that helped market the street's theaters and concert halls as the "Avenue of the Arts." Apparently, officials in Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation weren't so keen on them. PennDOT has its own name for South Broad--State Highway Route 611--and when it turned up on a list of roads to repave this July, maintenance crews saw the bricks not as an urban enhancement but as a maintenance nuisance. They ripped out the expensive bricks one crosswalk at a time until Rendell, who is now governor, found out and ordered the work to cease. It's not every day that a governor intervenes in a road-paving project, but then again, Philadelphia really loves its bricks. James Kise, the architect who designed South Broad's streetscape, called PennDOT's brick bumbling "an act of vandalism." PennDOT chief Allen
    Biehler apologized for the department's aesthetic insensitivity and promised to rebuild the crosswalks as they were. The brickwork won't be done until the middle of September--at a cost of $280,000.

    Taken from www.governing.com

    Any comments Mike D.?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    how horrid

    but my question is why not use dyed concrete or use forms and paint on the asphalt to make it look like bricks?

    NC and Arlington Va have both done this with very good results.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Paris of Appalachia
    Ah PennDOT. Wonderful, wonderful PennDOT.

    How can you not help but love a government agency that can do so much for the urban environment. Somehow they can't afford to keep the potholes in the existing streets from swalling your car, nor can they seem to maintain the bridges around town but, bless their souls, they've managed to find BILLIONS to build a us a new beltway system to draw people away from the city. That is so thoughtful of them.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    At least they fixed it.

    Repo - you have some experience with stamped versions - how are they holding up?

    We're putting them in (stamped and colored) on a county highway project this fall. Should be interesting.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    We have used them with a great deal of success, and I have seen whole streets in the Fan District of Richmond stamped with a brick pattern (not colored). You can't tell the difference.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Dec 2001
    Mr. Cool Ice
    This was an issue that was really blown way out of proportion in the media. PennDOT is responsible for state-owned roads. They own them. Broad St (611) is a state road.

    Road broke, PennDOT fix. Philly Streets Dept of course in typical laxadasical (sp?) fashion pays no attention to the project description for the remilling and surfacing of the road when it is put on the Transportation Improvement Program 2-3 years ago.

    PennDot begins work. City no like. PennDOT fixes the problem. Be more pissed that your tax dollars were wasted fixing the problem the city should have caught a while back.

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