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On transportation, candidate Wolf steers to low road

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

The transportation funding bill enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett last fall was a shining example of bipartisanship at a time of polarization and gridlock in our political system.

If he becomes governor, Tom Wolf is going to need bipartisanship if he wants to get anything done. But Mr. Wolf has elected to take a shot at Mr. Corbett’s support of the transportation bill in a TV commercial.

“Corbett raised your gas taxes through the roof,” Mr. Wolf says as a graphic appears saying “Gas prices going up 28 cents a gallon.”

Some context: By eliminating a loophole, the legislation caused the gas tax to rise by 9.5 cents on Jan. 1. It is projected to cause an overall increase of 28 cents over a five-year period. To say that “Corbett raised your gas taxes through the roof” is, at best, shading the truth. The governor signed a bill that had broad support among Democrats and Republicans, not to mention business, labor, environmental groups, transit and bike-pedestrian advocates and countless other civic organizations.

Implicit in Mr. Wolf’s criticism is that he doesn’t support the transportation bill, which could be construed to mean he thinks our roads and bridges were in dandy shape and that public transit systems should continue to slash service and raise fares to cope with their financial problems.

Mr. Corbett’s campaign has pointed out that the commercial came on the heels of this comment from Mr. Wolf during a public appearance: “I applaud the Legislature and the governor for actually coming through, coming up with a transportation plan that actually allows us to fix our bridges and actually move our transportation infrastructure forward.”

As the campaign continues, we’ll see if Mr. Wolf’s applause is the one-handed variety.

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menatworkNorth Pioneer Road will be closed at the intersection of West Hardies Road in Hampton from 8 p.m. today through 5 a.m. Monday for widening and resurfacing that is part of the Route 8-Hardies Road improvement project. The closure of West Hardies Road is projected to continue through Aug. 30.

Work on Elizabeth Mon City Road in Forward will cause intermittent closures between William Penn Road and Williamsport Road. The work will require the use of one lane of the road, with flaggers directing traffic through the open lane. Full closures of up to 15 minutes may be necessary. Work occurs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 22.

Move-in day for first-year students at Carnegie Mellon University will cause street closures in Oakland from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The closures: 5100 block of Margaret Morrison Street, between Forbes Avenue and Tech Street; 100 block of Tech Street, between Margaret Morrison Street and Schenley Drive; 1000 block of Morewood Avenue between Fifth and Forbes avenues. Fifth Avenue congestion is likely at the campus, and officials recommend avoiding it if possible.

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