Letter: Inaction on Roads is Not an Option.
Published in The City Pulse
As the legislature continues to debate Governor Snyder’s proposal to fix Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, Michiganders must make one thing crystal clear to our state leaders: inaction is not an option. Every single day, we lose over $3 million in our transportation assets due to inadequate maintenance and reinvestment. For the average Michigan resident, poor road conditions translate into $357 annually in unnecessary vehicle repairs.
In East Lansing, 57 percent of our local streets are rated in “poor” condition due to the declining availability of state funding. You can learn more about Michigan’s transportation infrastructure challenges at www.justfixtheroads.com. In short, as a state, we simply cannot afford legislative inaction any longer.
While Michigan’s roads and bridges continue to deteriorate and are among the nation’s worst, other states are investing in road and bridge repairs and public transit options. These investments are generating thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity. Our failure to make similar infrastructure investments is leaving Michigan behind. While I share the concerns of those who say the burden of paying for our infrastructure shouldn’t fall on the backs of working families who are already suffering from the lingering effects of the Great Recession and recent regressive tax policy changes, those concerns should motivate us to find a better, more equitable, funding plan. They cannot be an excuse to do nothing.
Legislators need to hear from Michigan residents that we expect them to focus on increased funding for all forms of transportation (roads, rails bridges, harbors, non-motorized facilities, and public transit) and to support a funding formula that allows local governments to access the resources necessary to help build communities where people want to live. Our infrastructure problem won’t go away by ignoring it. It’s time to act.
— Nathan Triplett
Mayor Pro Tem, City of East Lansing