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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 25, 2021 09:33 AM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence
To: All House members
Subject: COSPONSOR MEMO – Reforming the Process for Honorary Road Designations
Dear Colleagues –

In the next session, I plan to reintroduce legislation regarding the process by which roads and bridges are ceremonially named in Pennsylvania.

For many years, the General Assembly has honored prominent community leaders and fallen war heroes by naming a stretch or road or a bridge in their memory. Recently, the time dedicated in the legislature to this process has increased, as have the costs associated with the installation and maintenance of these honorary signs.

My proposal establishes a new procedure that allows citizens to propose road/bridge namings directly to the Secretary of Transportation. Applicants would need sign-off from the member of the House and Senate where the road or bridge is located, a petition showing local support, and (in most instances) a check to pay for the road signs.  Applications to honor members of the military/police/EMS who fell in the line of duty would have the fee waived.
While nothing in my legislation would prohibit the current practice of passing such road namings one-by-one via legislation, my proposal would create a system that would greatly simplify honoring a deceased war hero or local emergency responder.  Filling out a PennDOT form takes a lot less time that passing legislation.  The legislative sponsorship requirement would ensure members of the General Assembly continue to play an important role in this tradition.     

This legislation is patterned from a similar approach in the state of Missouri, and allows for an important avenue of remembrance to continue at less time and expense to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. I would appreciate your support of this initiative.

Introduced as HB2085