Widespread Support for Saving Money and Lives By Investing in Michigan Roads
Leading organizations, individuals, and news organizations across Michigan – including business, labor, agricultural and local government groups – support investing in our roads, bridges and transportation systems to save money, save lives and create 11,000 jobs.
Here’s what people have been saying recently:
“We’re not celebrating until the governor signs something,” Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said after the Thursday’s vote. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s about time we fix these roads.” Mlive, November 13, 2014
“… The Michigan Democratic Party supports an aggressive program of investments to repair and modernize our state’s roads, bridges and infrastructure,” the resolution says. Michigan Information and Research Service, August 28, 2014
in story about a resolution passed by the Michigan Democratic Party
“Welcome to the state of Michigan’s government today. After essentially taking the summer off to campaign, leaders have thrown up their hands on roads, which voters say is their No. 1 issue.” Susan Demas, Mlive, August 26, 2014
Vanderpool and Councilman Doug Skrzyniarz criticized the Michigan legislature for failing to address the issue of road funding before the failure occurred.
“The city of Sterling Heights didn’t just wake up a couple weeks ago and start reconstructing a bunch of bridges,” Skrzyniarz said. “This is something that happened because the state has not done its duty in providing money for the roads. There is a small minority in the state House, a caucus of people who have blocked road funding from moving forward. There is a very strong, healthy amount of legislators that want this to go through and it may go through by the end of the year. But this isn’t going to be fixed by a half-a-billion dollars. We need $2 billion or $2.5 billion per year to fix our roads properly so we don’t have to do all the fixes in one year. But that’s the problem. Our economy went south, and we weren’t doing the road repairs we needed to do for a number of years. Now our economy has improved the last few years, but the legislature has still failed to act to provide appropriation funding to fix our roads. So I encourage residents who are very frustrated about the roads situation to look into it themselves as it pertains to the state legislature and advocate on your behalf to make sure we have the road funding we need so we’re not waiting in line for an hour to go 10 miles.
“Michigan’s elected state officials took time off for vacation in May, ducking a decision over establishing a plan to repair, renovate and permanently maintain the highways for which they have ultimate responsibility. My suspicion is they figured they could have more time because Mother Nature’s next heavy assault won’t occur for some six months.” Chris Thompson of Midland, as published in the Midland Daily News, July 21, 2014
Jeff Cranson, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, said he is still hopeful the Legislature will act soon on the $1.2 billion and would like the bill (HB 4226) reported from the subcommittee to reflect that.
“Every day we wait the need gets more severe and is going to cost more next year, and the year after that,”
Mr. Cranson said. - Jeff Cranson, MDOT, 3/15/2013
“Short-term repairs often give the impression to the motorist that inferior materials or poor design are to blame when the real reason is that the road is beyond its service life and requires a more costly long-term fix.” - Kurt Shea, Plainwell, 3/7/2013
“The fact is, we have, by necessity, become pretty good at cutting our costs. However, after doing that for years, we are at the point where we have had to reduce the level of service we provide. The only way to restore the level of service that the residents of Oakland County deserve is to increase road funding as the governor has proposed.” – Eric Wilson, Board member of the Oakland road commission, 3/7/2013
“Michigan cannot be a comeback state with our roads remaining in their current deplorable state and getting worse by the day. We can’t compete economically and return to prosperity with roads that would not be tolerated in developing countries. Michigan’s tourism needs good roads to attract visitors, while forestry, agriculture and manufacturing need good roads to efficiently get their products to markets.” – Denny Olson, President Michigan Townships Association, 3/5/2013
“We just don’t have enough money to pave the roads and maintain them properly. And that’s true all over the state…Here in Grand Ledge we are lucky if we average $300,000 a year in paving. We really need to double that. We just can’t keep up with this rate of deterioration.” – Jon Bayless, Grand Ledge City Administrator, 2/28/2013
“There’s no doubt about the need for the spending. This is not money for new roads, or bridges to nowhere. This is merely, transportation experts agree, the minimum necessary to prevent the state’s current roads and bridges from completely crumbling.” – Jack Lessenberry, columnist, Dome Magazine, 2/15/2013
The urgency with which Gov. Rick Snyder proposed to address the deterioration of Michigan’s roads and bridges in his third State of the State address is welcome and overdue — and we hope legislators in both parties answer his challenge by adopting a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s outdated road-funding scheme. - Detroit Free Press editorial, 1/16/2013
It’s past time for Michigan to take action on roads. The state’s infrastructure is crumbling and political gridlock has prevented meaningful action on inadequate funding for years. [...] There is room for debate and compromise on details, but there no excuse for inactivity. It’s time to fix the roads. - Lansing State Journal editorial, 1/17/2013
Not spending this money will cost the state heavily in the long run. Michigan residents pay, on average, $81 a year more than Ohioans for car repairs, mostly because of the condition of the roads they use. – Toledo Blade editorial, 1/28/2013
We understand the way the game is played in Lansing, but we urge lawmakers on both sides to consider that the failure to address the roads issue will have serious economic consequences for their constituents. Crumbling roads are more than annoying; they are safety hazards that cost motorists millions in repairs and lost work time. – Battle Creek Enquirer editorial, 1/30/2013
We believe quality roads are essential to a quality tourism experience. The Pure Michigan campaign is driving thousands of families to visit our state, but if our roads and bridges aren’t repaired, many won’t be coming back. – Steve Yencich, Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association
Investment in our infrastructure needs to be made sooner rather than later. Better roads are safer roads! There is a clear cause and effect that the better the roadways are maintained, there are fewer accidents and deaths. Our officers are also driiving on these same roadways placing their lives at risk as well. When called upon to drive in an emergency response, lets help keep them safe. Strictly from a public safety perspective, we support the Governor’s call for better roads. – Michigan Sheriffs’ Association
“Michigan roads are crumbling, and money to fix them will continue to dwindle unless a new funding formula is enacted. Michigan Farm Bureau supports changes in how roads are funded, including user fees.” – Michigan Farm Bureau
“We can cut all the taxes we want, but if we can’t move goods from point A to point B, it won’t do us any good. Bottom line: it’s time to replace the plywood patches on too many Michigan highway bridges with pavement. It’s time to fix our roads and rebuild our infrastructure so Michigan is again attractive to employers and a talented workforce.” - Michigan Municipal League
“To increase the rate of Michigan’s economic growth and reduce driving-related injuries and deaths, the Michigan Townships Association urges the Michigan Legislature to address the funding needs of the state’s road system.” – Michigan Townships Association
“Our members are ready to get to work fixing our roads and bridges to help rebuild Michigan’s economy. It’s time for politicians in Lansing to stop playing games and start working together to make road funding a top priority.” - Michigan Laborers’ District Council
“We believe that investing in transportation infrastructure will enhance the ability of our members to get their product to market. Moreover, when businesses are deciding whether to expand or relocate, the ability to move product along with a sure and stable supply chain are key factors.” - Detroit Regional Chamber
“It’s time for the Michigan Legislature to fix the roads, which have a tremendous impact on our economic competitiveness and the cost of doing business in the state. Doing nothing is unacceptable, and is only costing us more in the long run.” - Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
“For local governments, our street systems serve as the infrastructure backbone of our community, economic development, public safety and nearly every local government service looks to the road system as a supporting mechanism to what they do. It is far past time to find a solution to this out of control issue. Let’s find the funding and let’s fix our roads.” – Michigan Local Government Management Association
“The time to invest in Michigan’s transportation infrastructure is ‘now.’ Reconfiguring the road distribution formula and developing a comprehensive transportation strategy will save Michigan taxpayers money in the future.” - Jared Rodriguez, President, West Michigan Policy Forum
Infrastructure investment is not “wasteful” spending. In fact, in our newest economic report, Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future, we found that aging and unreliable infrastructure will cost American households $611 billion over the next seven years. We must build the necessary foundation for Michigan families and businesses to thrive, which will drive our economy and improve our quality of life. – Dan Lewis, P.E., President of the Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers