SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Michigan’s budget and economy face significant challenges. These challenges create the opportunity and the imperative to ask if we’re getting everything we can from our spending.
Voters don’t think the current approach is working. Polling in Michigan finds that people believe the state is on the wrong track, and that Michiganders think there is a better way. Sixty-seven percent of those polled believe “now is the time for the state to invest in transportation because if done right these investments will create new jobs and attract new businesses.” Voters are clear about their hopes for the state, and Smart Growth America has practical solutions to help make those hopes a reality.
In the following pages we outline an innovative, yet common sense, approach to transportation spending that cuts costs, creates jobs and attracts businesses. Further, incorporating our recommendations would demonstrate that the state is responding to the fiscal and economic crisis with strong leadership that is not satisfied with making “fair or poor” use of taxpayer dollars.
Michigan is a national leader in prioritizing spending to maintain its roads and bridges. Michigan also faces some harsh realities.
- After a decade of gains, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) expects pavement condition to drop off rapidly.
- Thirteen percent of Michigan’s bridges are structurally deficient.
- Michigan’s transportation revenues are falling.
The transportation system isn’t poised to make Michigan competitive in the 21st century. Michigan travelers and businesses need more choices to avoid congestion, avoid volatile gas prices and create communities that draw investment.
The Smart Solution:
By making fiscally responsible choices, Michigan can save money and create jobs, preserve the transportation system and create a more welcoming business climate. Business as usual will produce a deteriorated road network with a six- to ten-fold increase in repair costs and inadequate public transportation.
About Smart Growth America
“Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities worldwide. The coalition includes many of the best-known national organizations advocating on behalf of historic preservation, the environment, farmland and open space preservation, neighborhood revitalization and more.”