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Mar 6, 201809:42 AMTransportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Wisconsin's roads crumble while difficult decisions are delayed

(page 1 of 2)

Paralysis.

That is the only word that seems to truly sum up Wisconsin when it comes to sustainable transportation funding. There are precious few legislators from either house who don’t express, in clear terms, that Wisconsin’s current transportation revenue is inadequate to meet current needs, but in the end nothing changes. Well, some things change — the roads keep getting worse and the traveling public keeps getting angrier.

So, after this very topic held up passage of the overall state budget for months, it ends up back on the front page again. Why? In part because the Trump administration is proposing a federal infrastructure package that would rely predominantly on the states to step up and increase their financial commitment.

This is exactly what Wisconsin has been unable or unwilling to do. Despite report after report finding the condition of Wisconsin’s roads to be the worst in the Midwest and among the very worst in the entire country.

Incredibly, some state officials are now saying that the only way raise sufficient revenue in Wisconsin is to do toll roads. The ONLY way? Really?

Let’s start with the fact that first Congress would have to pass, and the president sign, a federal package that lifts the current ban on tolling interstates. If that were to happen, our state Assembly and Senate would have to proactively vote to move forward on implementing tolling, and the governor would have to sign that legislation. That’s a heavy lift for a body that hasn’t taken a single vote on transportation revenue increases — other than a fee on electric vehicles and hybrids — in over a decade.

If all of those things were to happen, we would have to build the tolling infrastructure. According to a study done for the Wisconsin DOT in the previous budget, this would take about four years.

To recap: All we need is an act of Congress, the Wisconsin legislature and the governor to come together and agree on a transportation revenue source, and then to hire a firm to place gantries up across the Dairy State and … voila! Six short years later we’ve solved our transportation-funding situation.

(Continued)

Old to new | New to old
Mar 16, 2018 11:02 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Highway 18/151 in southwest Dane and Iowa county is horrible. Chunks of cement are laying along side the highway. The center line has pot holes. Wait until those chunks of cement come through someone's windshield from following a semi or any vehicle for that matter! Our vehicles are taking a massive beating! Again, who is the loser in all this, the taxpayer.
Let's take that $100 per family or child fee and the excess funds that our Governor is proposing as a part of his re-election campaign and put that money towards roads and infrastructure!
Get your head out of your A.. Wisconsin and come together with a plan.

Apr 7, 2018 04:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

our great river road rt 35 from desoto to stoddard is a very sad joke.
all it does is tear up peoples cars that people drive every day to only fry their cars out faster.
some semis drive on the shoulder, some hug the centerline.

May 16, 2018 12:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

We need to get rid of the "Tea Party" politicians, and maybe bring in some "beer party" real people that will get things done!!

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About This Blog

Craig Thomspon is the executive director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin. Founded in 1971, the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin promotes the vitality and safety of the state's transportation system, including public transit systems, public-use and general-aviation airports, railroads, commercial ports, and roads. Thompson also serves as secretary for the referendum committee Vote Yes for Transportation. www.TDAwisconsin.org and www.VoteYesforTransportation.com.

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