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You may soon be able to drive on the Schuylkill Expressway's shoulders

PennDOT announced the proposal at the Philadelphia Business Journal's 2016 Economic Conference.
A rare traffic-free day on the Schuylkill Expressway on Jan. 1, 2016.Montgomery County Planning Commission

Everyone hates driving on the Schuylkill. Across the region, Philadelphia's drivers spendon averagethree solid days sitting in traffic every year, according to Billy Penn.

Drivers who take I-76 are gettinga welcome change to their commutes, though. Writing for the Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilarioreported 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 ideaat the PBJ's2016 Economic Conference.

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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– leadresearchers to regularly declare Philadelphia trafficas 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.

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