"INFRASTRUCTURE" lives in the junk closet of government; it's a door no one wants to open because it's always more of a nightmare than you remember.

Then again, in Pennsylvania, the same can be said for government itself. The more you see what's inside, the more you want to keep the door shut.

The door opened a crack last week, revealing this mess: Three rural legislators, upset over the idea of tolling I-80 as a way to pay for Pennsylvania' crumbling bridges and roads and fund mass transit, are trying to derail a bill that would reauthorize the red-light camera program in Northeast Philadelphia.

Since 2005, not one fatality has occurred at the 52 red-light-camera intersections on Roosevelt Boulevard. And next year, half of the revenue ($700,000 last year) goes to the school district.

But when Rep. Tony Payton, D-Phila., introduced the reauthorization legislation, three rural lawmakers added amendments that would undermine the bill. One amendment would prevent the schools from getting any red-light money; it would go to rural bridge projects.

Asphalt over education: nice priorities. *