PA Turnpike Fast Facts
If the Administration, the General Assembly, or the general public desire certain levels of performance from the Turnpike Commission, then it would be useful to inform the Turnpike Commission of those expectations. If directed to operate within certain parameters or generate a certain level of return for the state, the Turnpike Commission would probably achieve the tasks it was given. This has been true throughout its history, and the organization and its employees deserve the opportunity to show that they can meet the expectations set forth for them.
Instead, in this case the Governor joined by a handful of legislators and anti-government activists simply stated the Commonwealth’s need for revenues for transportation infrastructure and threw the idea of selling the Turnpike into the public square. No effort was made to meet privately with Turnpike Commission officials and employees to study what other courses of action might be available and what levels of performance could the roadway achieve if put to the test.
Organizations are frequently like children; they “live up” to our expectations of them. The Turnpike Commission has the ability to adapt and become whatever we wish it to be. First, we need to achieve a consensus on that question so the organization can be given the opportunity to meet whatever performance indicators it is given. The Turnpike Commission staff possesses adaptability and organizational skill that has not been recognized to this point.
Before we continue to thrash about somewhat aimlessly on this issue of transportation infrastructure repair, should we not have a clear understanding of what repairs are needed, what is the time frame in which they should be accomplished, and what are the costs and benefits of all the different ways of achieving these goals? Before we dismantle an organization that has served the Commonwealth well over many years and accomplished everything we have asked of it, should we not give that organization an opportunity to achieve whatever our new goals are for state transportation? Where is our common sense?