Everyone hates driving on the Schuylkill. Across the region, Philadelphia's drivers spend on average three solid days sitting in traffic every year, according to Billy Penn.
Drivers who take I-76 are getting a welcome change to their commutes, though. Writing for the Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario reported that PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said that the transportation agency will open up the Schuylkill's shoulders during peak travel times – maybe, eventually.
Richards floated the idea at the PBJ's 2016 Economic Conference.
Then again, any major changes – you know, big idea, visionary space age stuff – is next to impossible along the Schuylkill Expressway thanks to both the laws of physics and geography.
"We know we need to do something," Richards told the PBJ, "and we know we are restricted by the steep slope of the bedrock on the one side and the river on the other side."
The region's traffic woes – both on the Schuylkill and I-95 – lead researchers to regularly declare Philadelphia traffic as ranking somewhere between hellish and just mildly agonizing. Then again, hey, at least we're not Los Angeles.
PennDOT hopes to have a more concrete vision about I-76, and know whether or not you get to cruise on the shoulder, after completing a study sometime in spring 2016.