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Jan 11, 201709:10 PMTransportation Matters

with Debby Jackson

Are our highways too big to fix?

(page 2 of 2)

When was it that we stopped being problem solvers? Yes, our situation in Wisconsin has gotten to a point where it is not going to be easy or even possible to fix overnight. Here’s an idea: how about we try to lessen the gap by finding every single efficiency that we can, we prioritize, we raise some additional sustainable revenue, and we bond at levels that are reasonable based on that new level of revenue?

These same people had another scenario run, by the way. They took the budget level that the governor is currently considering — which includes a $450 million cut to our aging state highway system — and assumed no bonding. Under this scenario the gas tax would have to be increased by 7.2 cents per gallon to even maintain this reduced level of funding. A 20% increase in the current gas tax. The conclusion we should draw from this according to these lawmakers? “We don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.”

Huh?

We all rely on a well-maintained transportation system. There are a great many responsible people who want to do what is best for the taxpayers, the motoring public, and our agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing industries that especially rely on that system. I would contend these people constitute a majority of our elected officials. My hope is that they have the fortitude to continue to search for a path forward that is sensible, sustainable, and balanced, despite the din of nonsense that surrounds them.

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Jan 17, 2017 01:46 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

How wonderfully you have avoided evaluating the option I have been proposing in comments here for years:

Place a moratorium on expansions for 10 years (until such time as the policy for self-driving automobile technology is worked out), vacate the least productive stretches of state highway, and use the savings to fund maintenance of the most productive stretches of highway.

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About This Blog

 Debby Jackson assumed the role of executive director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin after more than 15 years with the organization. In addition to her vast experience in association management and transportation advocacy, Jackson has a background in business. She leverages the breadth and depth of her professional experience, along with her knowledge of the membership and mission of TDA, to be a strong voice for robust transportation infrastructure in Wisconsin. Jackson started her career as a staff auditor with Price Waterhouse, which led to a series of accounting and corporate management positions with a major national retailer.

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