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Headquartered in Oil City, District 1 is comprised of six counties, including Erie, Crawford, Warren, Mercer, Venango and Forest. The county of Erie is the largest county in Pennsylvania, and the city of Erie is the fourth most populated city in the state. The beaches along Lake Erie are a popular tourist destination in the warmer months of the year. Water sports enthusiasts are right at home on the waters of Lake Erie, and many people come from outside of Pennsylvania to see the natural beauty of the area surrounding the lake. The district is also home to the Allegheny River, which is a principal tributary to the Ohio River.
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District 1 is in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania, and shares a border with Lake Erie to the north and the state of Ohio to the west. District 1 also shares a border to the east with District 2, along with Districts 10 and 11 to the south.
The main highways running through this district include Interstates 90 and 79, along with U.S. Highway 6, which has the most total miles of any road in the state. The district is mostly rural, with just over 10,000 linear miles of roadway to maintain.
In 2011, there were a total of 6,033 car accidents in District 1. Out of that total, 83 were fatal and 4,303 resulted in injuries. Due to its size and amount of roadways, Erie County is usually in the top 10 counties in the state for total number of fatal car crashes per year. The trouble spots in District 1 are Interstates 79, 86 and 90, along with Highway 6, which account for a large percentage of car and truck accidents every year. Between 2006 and 2010, 60 fatal truck crashes occurred in the district.
Northwest Pennsylvania typically has harsh winters with cold temperatures and snowy conditions. Fall and winter are generally the seasons of the year in which car and truck accidents increase statewide, but this is especially so in District 1. Lake Erie also produces cloudy conditions that make visibility in Erie County an issue.
Roads in PennDOT District 1
The main transportation corridors running through this district include Interstates 79, 80 and 90, along with U.S. Highways 6, 19, 62 and 322.