Pennsylvania Highways
Pennsylvania Highways Ha Ha Page

This is a fax that my mother received a few years ago.  I thought that it was a perfect
addition to Pennsylvania Highways.  I have a t-shirt with the same cartoon.  Whoever
is the creator of it, I would like to say thanks.

Before he was the Secretary of Homeland Security, he was our governor.  Here is the picture of the former First Family of Pennsylvania that appeared on the 1995-96 state highway map.  I think that Tom Ridge, Jr. was not happy about appearing in the picture.

Randy Bish Gallery

Here is a cartoon that needs no explanation.
(March 25, 1999; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

This cartoon marked two weeks in a row mocking the Purveyors of Potholes.
(April 1, 1999; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

We can all remember the big Star Wars hype over the opening of Episode 1:  The Phantom Menace.  Randy felt it was a good opportunity to poke fun at the Department of Transportation with this cartoon.
(May 6, 1999; Greensburg Tribune-Review.

The season of fall makes people think of the trees turning colors, the smell of burning leaves, and road construction?
(August 21, 1999; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

This one appeared right after the new Overdrive magazine rankings came out in 1999.  (November 11, 1999; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

This next cartoon really needs no introduction.
(April 6, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Even the Easter Bunny isn't even safe from the clutches of Randy.  This cartoon appeared during the Easter holiday and the Turnpike "emergency" road work that were brought together for a good laugh.
(April 18, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

When it was announced that Pennsylvania would be switching its exit numbering system from sequential to mileage based, our favorite cartoonist Randy Bish got inspiration for a new PennDOT cartoon.
(May 5, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

With the pothole problems on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 2000 and nearing summer, Randy decided to combine the two for this cartoon.
(June 6, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

In the summer of 2000, the people of the world gathered in Sydney, Australia to celebrate the Olympic games.  What better inspiration for this cartoon.
(August 21, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Seemed Randy had decided to take a break from his cartoons lampooning the highways of Pennsylvania.  Then he debuted this new one.
(December 28, 2000; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

It was announced to the world on January 4, 2001, that Bud Shuster (der porkmeister) would retire from the House of Representatives.  A little section of Pennsylvania mourned this lost while the rest of us went on with our daily lives.
(January 8, 2001; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Here is a classic cartoon.  Classic in the sense of the Wizard of Oz characters depicted taking their stroll down the Yellow Brick Road; however, this time it just happens to traverse Pennsylvania.
(January 14, 2001; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Randy personally sent me this cartoon that I missed in the paper.
(February 15, 2001; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Another cartoon debuted which doesn't need an introduction.
(March 13, 2001; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Seemed like Randy about his bread and butter, err, cheese as the case may be, in using the highway system as a source for his cartoons.
(March 11, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

With the Gulf War II underway in Iraq, and the massive bombing campaign, it seemed like a parallel could be drawn.
(March 21, 2003;  Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Comparing and contrasting holes in the ground between Iraq and Pennsylvania.
Ironic that Saddam is pictured in one, as that is where he was hiding.
(April 4, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

PennDOT spending came to the forefront of all the newspapers and TV stations in
2003 across the Commonwealth.  So that is what is in those barrels.
(May 6, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Also discussed in the news in 2003 was the amount of malpractice cases filed
against Pennsylvania's doctors.
(June 16, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

You might wonder sometimes crossing those bridges if they are in fact safe.  Just
be thankful you don't encounter anything like in the picture.
(June 27, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Gas prices always seem to go up in the summer.  Pay heed to the following warning
signs when on that summer trip.
(August 28, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

Emission inspections changed for some counties across Pennsylvania, and were
expanded into others to comply with Federal clean air standards.
(September 26, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

In December 2003, the Commonwealth began a campaign for people to write a new tourism slogan which would replace "Memories Last a Lifetime."  Mine of "Come create your own history" was not chosen as a finalist.
(December 17, 2003; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

It was a celebratory atmosphere at NASA when the Mars probe radioed back pictures of the red planet, but did it really land on Mars or rather in Mars?
(January 11, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

The rumors began in early January 2004 that the Turnpike Commission was thinking of raising tolls on the mainline Turnpike.
(January 15, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

It hadn't been done since 1991, but the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission raised tolls on January 20, 2003 from 4.1 cents/mile to 5.9 cents/mile.
(January 22, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Allegations of misuse of monies by PennDOT for things such as Pittsburgh Pirates
baseball game tickets came to light in January 2004.  I think they got enough
punishment by having to sit through a Pirate game.
(January 25, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
So that was the basis of Van Gough's "The Screamer."
(February 10, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Comparing and contrasting the stagecoach robbers of the past with the Turnpike
Commission now that tolls will be been raised.
(February 11, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Pennsylvania unveiled its new tourism slogan, that was picked in a contest
sponsored by the Commonwealth.  Just one was already being used by
Saab to sell cars!  To think, I wasted time thinking up my submission of "Come
create your own history" when I could have just stolen an existing one.
(March 12, 2004;  Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Winter seems to last forever, and Spring seems to take forever to finally come.  That
is when a pot o' salt seems to be worth more than a pot o' gold, even if it seems that
governments need a pot of gold to buy the salt.
(March 17, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
It was reported in March 2004 that Governor Rendell's personal vehicle had been
clocked nine times on the PA Turnpike going over 100 MPH on nine separate
occasions since November 2003.  Guess who was at the wheel?  A STATE
TROOPER!  If that doesn't take the cake!  Here is a nutty, kooky idea:  FOLLOW
THE LAWS YOU ENFORCE!  (March 31, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Accident statistics are nothing to be proud of, but it seems they might get some help
from the government.  (April 5, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
So that is how the Easter Bunny gets around so quickly on Easter.
(April 9, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
That is a new tactic that I have never seen on World's Wildest Police Videos.
(April 16, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Pennsylvania horse Smarty Jones wins the 2004 Kentucky Derby, but did he have
help in some way to beat the rest of the pack?  Randy thinks so.
(May 4, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Many different species in nature travel at different speeds, as one can see on
Discovery Channel specials.  However, there is one species, the Pennsylvanius
Governorus that travels faster than all of them.
(May 12, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
I love the classics from the 1980s.  Especially that Sammy Hagar song "I Can't
Drive 55."  I didn't realize that I wasn't alone.
(May 27, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
The day of reckoning came on August 1 when tolls were raised on the mainline
Turnpike for the first time since 1991.
(August 3, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
For the first time in 64 years, toll collectors and maintenance workers walked off the
job the day before Thanksgiving.  What a better time for a festive cartoon.
(November 28, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
On what became the final day of the strike, this cartoon was printed.  In their
defense, the monkeys would look both ways before crossing the travel lanes, say
thank you, and not fall asleep in the booth.
(November 30, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
The little forgotten NHL lockout has been taking place simultaneously, and there
might have been some temporary work for those locked out players.
(December 2, 2004; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Just as PennDOT was under the gun last year, the PTC is under scrutiny for perks
in the new year.  (January 5, 2005; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Every year the eyes of the world turn to Punxsutawney to see what Phil will say about
an early Spring.  This, I don't think he can forecast.
(February 3, 2005; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Pennsylvania's law requiring all riding on motorcycles to wear a helmet lapsed, which meant riders could chose to wear one or not.  Somehow that doesn't seem fair to those of us on four wheels.  However, Ben Roethlisberger's accident just a few days ago should give make people think twice.
(June 15, 2006; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Having been built on former coal mines, the Mon-Fayette Expressway has been
slowly sinking.  Perhaps this will become required attire to drive between I-70 and PA 51.  (August 14, 2006; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
With holes in the Transportation budget, any means to fill them were being discussed.  Even a hike in the already high gas tax that was announced ironically AFTER Election Day.  (November 16, 2006; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
After the debacle during a snowstorm that stranded many people on Interstate 78, questions arose as to who was asleep at the switch.  Perhaps the culprit was found?  (February 22, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Forget what I said above, it looks like the search continues.
(February 27, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
You know, I think I will just stick with OnStar.
(March 9, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
On April 26, Governor Rendell made the comment to the media about his state vehicle being clocked at over 100 MPH as, "Sometimes we adhere to the speed limit, sometimes we don't."  This cartoon about sums up how I feel on the matter.
(April 29, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Wow!  Even faster than the Road Runner?  I speed, but that is a problem.
(May 4, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
When the idea to toll Interstate 80 was tabled as an idea to fill the budget gaps, it made Governor Rendell so happy, he wanted to sing.
(August 5, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
After the tragic collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, many state DOTs began to do some soul searching especially PennDOT.  With about a quarter of our almost 23,000 bridges being "structurally deficient" it's a surprise it didn't happen in Pittsburgh.  (August 6, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
This cartoon is erroneous now in light that PennDOT has now released the data of all of its owned bridges.  (August 22, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
Results of some of the findings in the bridge data that was released.
(September 2, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)
What the new shields will look like along Interstate 80 the next time they are due for replacement?  (September 4, 2007; Greensburg Tribune-Review)

If you like Randy's work, check out his other amusing illustrations at the Greensburg Tribune-Review.

Here is a joke from James Willinger that has a connection with the Commonwealth.  In fact, it takes place in my home county.

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies -- two in the front seat and three in the back -- wide eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."

"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly twenty-two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that "22" was the route number, not the speed limit.  A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask ... Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven't muttered a single peep this whole time," the officer asks.

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119.

Q:  What is big, yellow, and sleeps 8?
A:  A PennDOT truck.

This is a posting from the misc.transport.road newsgroup.  The subject was State Slogans the MTR Way and these are mine for the Keystone State.

1. If you can build a better highway, we'd like to see it!

2. Potholes....Shmotpoles!

3. Highway numbers go to the highest bidder!

4. Land of 10,000 potholes.

5. We don't repair roads, we destroy them!

Here is a song from Kim "Harv" Harvey that is a festive way to pass the time away during the holidays.

"Bud got run over by an reindeer" sung to the tune of "grandma got run over by an reindeer"


Bud got run over by an reindeer,
Driving home from Altoona Christmas Eve.
There is no such thing as Santa,
But for me and __________ we believe.

He'd been drinking too much Budwieser
and his ex begged him not to go.
But he forgot his exit,
so he drove out in unfamiliar ground.
When we found him Christmas morning
at the scene of the crash,
his Ford had been totaled
and he looked as dead as Princess Di


Now were so proud of those citizens,
they have been taking this pretty well.
See them watching Penn State Football,
drinking beer and checking their death pool lists

Christmas seems merrier without Bud,
the whole crew is dressed in white.
And we can't help but wonder,
should "I-99" become route 220?


Now the duck is on the table,
and the pudding made of brown.
And the black and silver candles,
would match the color of bud real hair

We aren't in mourning,
Bud really deserves to go.
Ever hear Richard saying,
"Life is just one W1-5 after another, until the W14-1"


Here is another song from Ralph E. Brandt from York.  He made the following song up as a tribute to a friend of his, Barry Falkenstine, who was the senior PennDOT paving engineer until 1983.

Bumpy roads, tale me home, to the place I belong,
Pennsylvania, land of potholes, take me home.

I hear the car as it rattles down the highway,
Each bump tearing at its springs and shocks.
And each thump and groan reminds me,
The garage bill is coming soon some day.

© Ralph Brandt 1983

We all remember the classic Pennsylvania slogan "You've got a friend in Pennsylvania" even if it was grammatically incorrect.  Here are a few road-related slogans for the Keystone State that were devised by Karen Mooney and Carrie Pirmann.
Karen keeps the fun going with this list of items that might strike accord with you if "You know you're from Pennsylvania when..."
When the toll collectors walked off the job before Thanksgiving 2004, E-ZPass enrollment increased.  Comedian Dan Wolfe composed a tribute song to that little white transponder.  You can either read the lyrics or listen to the song.
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Page updated September 06, 2007.
Content and graphics, unless otherwise noted, copyright Jeffrey J. Kitsko. All rights reserved.