Given the massive cloud of rumor, uncertainty, and arm-twisting that hung over Harrisburg this morning, I resolved not to write up a final postmortem of transportation in Pennsylvania until the General Assembly’s 11:00p curfew had passed tonight, to allow for any last minute surprises. Still, I was riding a train out to the suburbs to watch NASA launch a rocket from Wallops Island when the unexpected word came in, that a third vote on the Micozzie Amendment had passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
So, thanks to the 98 Representatives who voted ‘aye’ yesterday, and six Republican and two Democratic switchers who got us over the line tonight, we will have merely bad roads, bridges, and transit in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as opposed to non-existent roads, bridges, and transit. Hooray for small miracles. But that will keep the wolf from the door for the next year, as we enter a major election year and normal politics grinds to a halt. And for the 10,500 daily riders of the Media/Elwyn Line, that should be enough to keep their ride moving. So, thank you, PA House. After trying every alternative, you managed to do your job. And since you did have a choice in the matter, and seriously contemplated not doing your job, I supposed I’m grateful for it.
The official roll call on the vote is here, for those of you who want to know where your Representative stood. The bill now goes back to the Senate for approval.
My especial thanks to Mary Wilson and Kate Giammarise for live-tweeting the action from the State Capitol. They brought as much sense as could be brought to an often nonsensical week, and opinion-slingers like me couldn’t function without shoeleather reporters like them on the ground. Thanks, and we’ll see you again in 2015.