Reader responds to Franz’ road editorial

May 7, 2013

A Letter to the Editor.

By John Sniegowski. Hamlin Township. 

I am writing in response to an opinion piece published April 24, 2013, titled “Don’t jump on the roads bandwagon,” which was submitted by Rep.  Ray Franz (see editorial here). I appreciate Representative Franz’s interest in prioritizing funding for the state’s entire transportation system. By investing in our infrastructure properly, we can improve Michigan’s economy, save taxpayer dollars and save lives.

However, I completely disagree with the idea that we should wait and “see what develops.” User fees for transportation funding were last raised in 1997, and since then the condition of our roads and bridges has continually declined. It has been forecast-ed that over 65 percent of Michigan’s roads will be in poor condition by 2020, according to the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC).

Each day that we delay finding a funding solution, the conditions of our transportation system gets worse and repair costs increase. Additional data reported to the TAMC by state and local road agencies reveals that Michigan roads are deteriorating at a rate of $3 million daily, or more than $1 billion annually. To remedy this situation, every $1 invested our transportation system, saves $6 in reconstruction costs.

Given the cost figures, I would have to disagree with Rep. Franz’s comment that patience is a virtue in this situation. When it comes to road funding, patience is costing taxpayers money. I encourage Rep. Franz and others members of the legislature to work together today to arrive at a funding solution now.

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