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» Detroit News Roundup for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 24-26, 2007

Taxpayers: Spend money on improving and hardening our regional transportation infrastructure

08.28.07 | technician | In regionalism, transit, highway, zoo

Taxpayers put roads, basics first

Roads, sewers and other infrastructure may not be sexy, but metro Detroiters would like to see their local governments spend more money on them, a Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll shows.

When the poll asked people to prioritize things for governments to spend any extra money on, roads and infrastructure trumped funding for public transportation, the Detroit Zoo and the arts.

“I believe there has been a paradigm shift since the gas prices have gone up. Waiting in traffic is very expensive,” said Nancy Bliss of Troy, who would like to see more money spent on roads, even if it required toll roads in some cases.

Upgrading outdated infrastructure, which got 38% support, and improving roads, which got 37%, were in a statistical dead heat.

Public transit ranked third at 32%. The Detroit Zoo got 18%, and art and cultural institutions received 13% support.

It’s about time we started bringing up and suggesting toll roads again. Toll roads aren’t just for trucks passing through a state without stopping. They are for an effective tool for shaping traffic and the congestion that is inherent in highways. We know all too well the outcome of completely free-to-use roads and any infrastructure: overuse and abuse. It turns out that free roads aren’t actually free.

But public transit comes in right behind improving roads, surprisingly close. We should see it as yet another tool for shaping and controlling congestion and the amount of time and money collectively wasted to it. The title is misleading a bit, because support for public transit is not that much behind improving roads. Now that we are in the mode of thinking about the cost of maintaining roads we should be considering ways to lessen the load of roads in the future.
[via Detroit Free Press]

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« Video of the Woodward Avenue human chain
» Detroit News Roundup for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 24-26, 2007