There’s little doubt among lawmakers that Michigan must come up with new ways to pay for maintaining its broad transportation network. What’s unclear, however, is whether or not the new money would be invested in repairing our crumbling roads, or on building new and wider highways.
Michigan has few choices when it comes to raising money locally for transit. Transportation agencies can only ask voters to pitch in through local property taxes. They must rely on fewer and fewer state and federal dollars for the rest of a project’s cost. Michigan lawmakers must stop holding its cities back. Our towns can start meeting their transportation needs without waiting for the state to solve the state transportation crisis.
In his third State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Legislature to come up with a way to raise about $1.2 billion dollars that he says is needed to fix the state’s roads, bridges, buses, and trains. The state that brought modern transportation to the rest of the world is now fractured by crumbling roads, congestion, airport and train delays, and poor bus service. But questions remain, and local funding options should remain a high priority.