Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Walker Could Put Transit Back On Chopping Block

Scott Walker took time off from his perpetual resume-building junket that included a vision speech at the Reagan Library in California and opined on Monday in Wisconsin that he wants to keep all his major highway expansion projects on track- - though the state transportation fund is over-committed and short of money - - but doesn't want to raise the gas tax or create toll lanes to meet the shortfall.

He's sending signals to his transportation financing task force to find alternatives - -  other than rethinking the expansions altogether - - like diverting auto sales or general purpose income taxes to subsidize road-building, or setting up a new, per-miles-driven fee, or an increase in vehicle registration or licensing fees.

Walker's Monday comments made up Scene II of Act I in the fake drama begun with the state transportation department trial balloon about the Zoo Interchange - - Mercy! - - perhaps being delayed.

All this political choreography is meant to worry the public into demanding more lanes now - - oh, no: more congestion!!! - - and satisfy the road-building complex - - though the tighter economy, aging boomers and revived urban centers as distant McMansions become cost-prohibitive are tamping down driving while making transit more attractive and necessary.

To say nothing of the lifeline that transit provides to the elderly, students and workers without cars.

Speaking of transit - - don't forget what Walker proposed in his first budget to pay for wider highways and keep his corporate donors smiling - - deleting local transit operations from the transportation fund and letting them fight it out for funding survival with all other general services statewide - - in a transit-hostile Legislature - - to keep buses on the streets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a Citizen of the State of Wisconsin, and a person who has committed a crime versus society, I am a convicted drunk driver, we need to get serious about our 1st offense, 2nd offense, ect. It is not fun. It is costly. It is not costly enough, and we need to make a change in this state. Our kids need it. Walker can be the noble and responsible person he claims to be. Get serious.