SENECA – State Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today is encouraging residents to sign a petition he has on his website opposing a potential proposal by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to reduce from four lanes to two a stretch of Route 8 from Franklin to Barkeyville.
“I want to give people who may not be able to attend a public meeting a chance to voice their opinion about this important issue,” James said.
PennDOT currently is conducting a study to determine the potential maintenance cost savings that could be realized by reducing Route 8 from four lanes to two. James said any cost savings realized by the state transportation agency likely would be overshadowed by economic decline, job losses, increased traffic accidents and overall inconvenience for drivers.
“Reducing the capacity of this road would be like reducing the capacity of your Internet connection by going from broadband service back to a dial-up connection. It may save you some money in the short term, but it would reduce your overall efficiency and productivity,” James said. “I fear this change might provide relatively modest savings for a state agency at a great economic cost for our community.”
Residents can electronically “sign” the petition by visiting James’ website at RepJames.com
and clicking on the “Sign the Route 8 Petition” link.
Residents without internet access can call James’ Seneca office by dialing 814-677-6413 to add their name to the petition.
James said he plans to share the names on the petition with PennDOT in an effort to show local opposition to the potential plan.
James supports revamping the existing four-lane stretch of Route 8 in an effort to help boost the local economy.
“That stretch of road provides local businesses with a direct link to Interstate 80 and the national and international markets it reaches,” James said. “Route 8 is our area’s connection to the larger marketplace and the local businesses and jobs it sustains.”
Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing