Critter Crossings In Pennsylvania

Critter Crossings In Pennsylvania

By Bob Small

The Pennsylvania State House is backing “critter crossings”.

These are bridges or tunnels that let wildlife cross the roads.

Many states have them and now it appears the Keystone State will be joining them.

It’s understandable as Pennsylvania leads the nation in leads the nation in animal-vehicle collisions. Critter crossings: Pa. builds safe road passages for wildlife

Pennsylvanians have a 1 in 57 chance of hitting an animal on state roadways, says State Farm Insurance. Nationally, it’s 1 in 115 .

A Bi-partisan resolution introduced by Mary Jo Daley (D-148) and Jason Ortitay (R-46) asks a legislative body to help PennDOT develop a plan.

Not everyone has applauded this proposal which passed on a 129-72 vote.

Barb Gleim (R-199) expressed concern that the state would use eminent domain to seize property for crossings.

It should be noted there is a total of $350 million in federal funding for “animal infrastructure” from the Feds for the states.

There are already 35 “critter crossings” on state highways but only one on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

PA is due to receive $840,000 from the Federal Highway Administration for the crossings.

In Canada, where they have moose and caribou there are 38 undercrossings and six overcrossings in the Trans-Canada Highway which have reduced wildlife collisions by 80 percent.

Another reason for these “critter crossings”, is to “expand the dating pool” for these various animals.

According to Patricia Cramer of the Wildlife Connectivity Institute trainer deer teach other animals how to use the crossings.

Now some areas have highly intelligent animals. Brian Goldfarb says urban coyotes in Chicago look both ways and cross at the crosswalks

tSadly, our Pennsylvania deer are generally, not “roadsmart”.

For a counterview, see Is it safe? Why some animals fear using wildlife crossings

Critter Crossings In Pennsylvania
An obviously dumb deer in Delco

5 thoughts on “Critter Crossings In Pennsylvania”

  1. “It should be noted there is a total of $350 million in federal funding for “animal infrastructure” from the Feds for the states.”

    No, Bob Small, that isn’t “federal funding…from the Feds.”

    That money is from me, and you, and Cousin Bill, and everyone else who has pays federal taxes.

    That is OUR money. The federal government has no money of its own. It only has the money it takes from us under threat of violence.

    You need to be clear about that.

    And I don’t believe any of MY money should go for a boondoggle like this. MY money has to be taken away under threat of violence to be used for something so stupid.

  2. I’m personally thrilled to see this moving forward. I was involved in a similar effort years back, but it didn’t get off the ground. What would really cut back on collisions, is more responsible humans, but we don’t seem to be able to accomplish that. Aggressive driving, drunk driving, texting while driving, and so forth, are huge factors leading to collisions with both wildlife and each other. Why not step up fines for these things, and let that pay for a lot of the infrastructure changes? And throwing lit cigarette butts out the window, which I have personally seen start fires. So many ways to get funding if they would just be enforced.
    We humans have. A used tremendous habitat destruction, and I’m glad we are finally taking at least some measures to make up for it.

    1. Typos! Last sentence should read, “We humans have caused tremendous habitat destruction…”

  3. So, if I’m understanding this correctly, critters all read and know where and when to cross the road to get to the other side. And we are training otherwise unemployable useless-degree holders to scam us into thinking that these animals read and know what to do at the critter-crosswalks….

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