Skip to comments.Motorists Paying for Bike Paths, Museums
Posted on 12/29/2011 9:13:04 AM PST by MichCapCon
Where I live outside of Lansing, there are new bike paths sporting shiny asphalt, but the roads are crumbling. Motorists might be surprised to learn that of the 18.4 cents per gallon of federal gas tax they pay at the pump, only about 11 cents goes to maintain highways and bridges.
According to federal law, about 10 percent of federal highway funds must be used for projects such as highway beautification and transportation museums. According to a new National Center for Policy Analysis report, Paying for Pet Projects at the Pump, the Federal Highway Administration also allocates gas tax revenues to projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities and mass transit. Gas tax dollars have funded projects as diverse as a driving simulator at the National Corvette Museum, an amphibian crossing in Vermont and a turtle crossing in Florida.
Gov. Rick Snyder has lamented that Michigan is not taking in enough money to maintain highways and bridges. Rather than considering new taxes or changing the funding mechanism for roads and bridges, the governor and legislators should strongly advocate that the feds get out of the transportation business by devolving that function back to the states where it rightly belongs. In addition, Michigan should join 30 other states that mandate state gas taxes must be spent on roads and bridges.
Our elected leaders should ensure that the gas tax dollars Michigan motorists are paying are being used to fix Michigans crumbling infrastructure. There is little wonder that Americans increasingly distrust government when tax dollars go to politically favored projects rather than the purpose for which they were intended.
Same thing here. Roads are falling apart, but they put in a new bike path, Governor takes the Highway fund and puts them in the General fund and then threatens to raise the gas tax to pay for highways. Every rainy day fund stolen by the Governor, every other fund in the state robbed.
A few years back. Carl Levin was asking for $2 million from transportation money to save a section of Tiger stadium. His justification for asking for transportation money was that a bus stop would be built into the place.
NO, the bikers still use the roads and clog traffic, it's their right to piss us off, you know.
Bike path to nowhere?
What is really problematic is the speed/mass/hardness differentials between autos/trucks and people on bikes. I personally would be very apprehensive to use a bike path in vehicular traffic.
Another issue is the weather, deep snow and slush make biking a really practical (/sarc) thing in Michigan during the winter. (Not to mention sheets of icy water and snow thrown up off the tires of passing trucks.)
ps. Isn't Michigan also responsible for the curly light bulbs?
Lansing gets a lot of snow. Do the bike paths get cleared like the roads or are they unusable for a good portion of the year? What a waste.
I’m a Civil Engineer. Around 6 years ago, an architect hired me to design a parking lot, for a renovation of an old rail station into a museum.
My plans were reviewed by the state DOT.
Why? Turns out that a portion of the funding for the project came from TEA (Transportation Equity Act) money...aka ‘the highway bill’.
In additon to being a stupid use of fuel tax money, it was also not very efficient. The DOT delayed the project for months with their review. Also, any communcation with the DOT had to be filtered through a city engineer - who had to fill out a small mountain of paperwork. In the end, the DOT signed off on the plans....their legacy on the project being a long delay and half a file cabinet of paperwork.
Oops. Sorry, I thought he was the sponsor. Michigan is a beautiful state, especially west Michigan along the lakeshore.
He might have been a sponsor but I don’t claim him. I’m in the next district over and have a conservative tea party congressman.
Hell, along 696 in metro detroit, and the adjoining stretch of I-94, they put up brand new eco friendly streetlights... while my teeth were being rattled out by potholes.... now they are putting all new plants along the sides of 696, and the road surface still sucks.... not to mention all the brand new computerized signs... the ones that have messages like “Don’t drink and drive” they were a cool 500k apiece.... you can’t read them because your car is being launched in the air from the huge pothole ( or the overfilled patch they put on it )..however, when I drive through lansing(the state capital) there are real nice roads there...out of sight, out of mind i guess
Funny you should mention that. I just got home from playing volleyball at the Fraser Senior Center and had a discussion about that very thing with a guy there.......
My kids play a game sometimes when we’re traveling into or out of Michigan. They close their eyes and attempt to tell when we entered / left the state based on road noise. It’s not that fun because the change in quality is stunningly obvious.
Exactly. Any time you hear the Dems or press moan about the “nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” remember that they are asking for money for bike paths, more government transportation department workers, and “smart” highway systems like the fancy signs that say “don’t drink and drive” or that provide the same information your GPS provides. To the extent work gets done, its done in politically connected districts by overpriced union workers.
Fraser.... back in the late 80’s, early 90’s, i worked for a coupla companies located in fraser... it was like an oasis surrounded by crap (roseville, centerline, warren) is it still that way, or has it finally succombed?
The roads around my home are falling apart, but the roads in Annapolis are just fine.
It's still a decent community......
Roseville, Centerline and Warren are getting increasingly worse tho.....They've become the landing area for the immigrants leaving Detroit who are bringing their culture with them.
Why do you think the roads are crap. There is plenty of money for roads, but they steal it for transit, bikes, and feel-good PC programs. If it was all used the past 40 years only for roads, they would be in great shape.
Transportation Empowerment Act
Introduced by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves & U.S. Sen. Mike Lee
TEA: Learn it, love it, live it.
Sounds like they want you to get snow tires for your bike this winter.
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