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Friday, May 03, 2013

If We Can't Afford The Roads We Have Now - Go Bigger and More Expensive

That's only common sense.

Well, not at all really unless you're Gov. Scott Walker or happen to represent Big Roads and the local business cartel, Forward Janesville. That's the message in a recent editorial by FJ's VP who you may recall wrote a nearly identical piece last year attacking Tom Barrett for suggesting the state re-commit transportation funds to local roads and spend within its means. Amazing how the rhetoric is now more reality based. Barrett is the conservative and these guys including Walker are the crony collectivists. That's the way it always was.

One of the main differences this time around, but only in semantics, is that their definition of "transportation network" or "transit system" doesn't involve the entire gamut of local roads, public transportation, highways, buses, bike paths, trains, planes and automobiles. They mean only asphalt highways and interstates. Period.

Last time around, I also wrote that the only alternatives to Walker's budget and FJ's demands will be either a wave of local road tax referendums or hikes in levies and new wheel taxes.

Plymouth Town Chairman Larry Harding: "There's 101,000 miles of roads in the state of Wisconsin, and the towns have 61,000 of those miles. Yet we get 33 percent of the transportation aid returned back to fix roads with," he said.

Over that timeframe, Janesville has instituted a $10 annual vehicle tax - the Walker Wheel Tax - to help offset Walker's shortfalls in revenue returned to Janesville for local road maintenance. Janesville of course is still woefully short in maintenance money. But I completely forgot that we also have the option of going backward - to the time of dirt roads.

Believe it or not - THAT is coming!


The Political Environment - Pothole Complaints Up - Local Road Repair Funding To Fall

Democurmudgeon - Dirt Roads return under Walker! w/News3 Video from Rock County

JS Editorial - State needs to build better transportation budget

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