Wednesday, March 7, 2018

After the Horse Has Left the Barn

Trucks were a big part of my father's business when I was growing up.    Many of my friends had family members in the trucking business.  I have a great deal of respect for the profession and the people in it.

I love ordering something from Amazon or Chewy, and having it delivered to my front door in only two days.  Trucks make that happen.  Trucks make America work, and they are a hugely important part of the economy.

Having established that foundation, they should be ordered off the roads when big snow comes.  Jackknifed tractor trailers helped clog the interstates last week, causing highways to be closed for hours.  Thousands of people were stranded and that's just plain wrong.  It shouldn't have happened.

Hours before the first snowflakes fell today, Governor Wolf ordered a list of trucking restrictions.  It's like locking the door after the horse has run out of the barn.

PennDOT will impose a ban on empty straight trucks, large combination vehicles (tandem trailers and double trailers), tractors hauling empty trailers, trailers pulled by passenger vehicles, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, or RVs, on:
  • Interstate 78 from the junction with Interstate 81 in Lebanon County to the New Jersey line.
  • I-80 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey line.
  • I-81 from the Maryland line to the New York State line.
  • I-84 from the junction with Interstate 81 to the New York State line.
  • I-380 from the junction with Interstate 80 to the junction with Interstate 81.
At the same time, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will prohibit these vehicles from traveling the northeastern extension between the Lehigh Tunnel and Clarks Summit.
Additionally, at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, all commercial vehicles will be banned on I-380 and I-84 within Pennsylvania.
Restrictions will remain in place as long as warranted through the storm. As conditions develop, speed restrictions and wider truck and vehicle bans will be considered on these routes.