Monday, August 6, 2007

Highway Lobby Seizing Control Of Highway Spending Issue After I-35W Tragedy

Wisconsin activists are allowing the highway lobby to grab the initiative in the wake of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, using it as an excuse to call for even bigger transportation budgets rather than pressuring the state to make bridge safety, not new highways, the higher priority.

The issue isn't that a relatively small amount of state transportation funding is now moved from its bloated, major-highway intensive building program to other uses.

It's that the major highway building program is already over funded, starving transit, repairs and maintenance.

Activists groups need to be more outspoken, re-emphasizing the "fix-it-first" philosophy.

Gretchen Schuldt at Milwaukee Rising has the analysis and the data to back it up, and Paul Soglin at Waxing America hasn't missed a beat, but where are the state's progressive, grassroots organizations on these issues?

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