Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The nation's worst roads

We're No. 2!!!! We're No. 2!!!

Pennsylvania no longer has the distinction of having the worst roads in the United States. After holding the No. 1 spot for the worst roads during each of the past four years of the Rendell administration, the Keystone State has dropped to No. 2.

It took Hurricane Katrina to push Pennsylvania out of the much-deserved top spot in the annual Highway Report Card published by "Overdrive," a trucking industry magazine.

Louisiana, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is No. 1 on the latest list of the worst roads and highways, according to a survey of truckers.

Pennsylvania, which was hit by its own natural disaster in 2006 (the re-election of Ed Rendell as governor), was a close second on the list. Rounding out the list of states making the list of 'Top 5 Worst Roads' are California, Illinois and Michigan.

(The best roads, according to the survey, are in Texas and Florida.)

After ignoring the problem for four years, Gov. Rendell has come up with a plan to fix the state's roads and bridges for a mere pittance ... $1.7 billion.

And where will our intrepid governor come up with the money? First, he’d like to raise the state's gas tax (already the highest in the country) by 12.5 cents. And if that won't fly past the Legislature (chances are slim and none and slim just left the state), Rendell plans to sell or lease the rights to the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private company.

A big chunk of the money the state could get by privatizing the Turnpike would go to one of Rendell's pet projects, subsidizing the state's failing transit systems in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, so there's a good chance Pennsylvania will return to the No. 1 ranking of worst roads.

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