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Wisconsin Highway Bonanza: Scott Walker Unfazed by Lack of Funds

Posted By Angie Schmitt On November 28, 2012 @ 11:15 am In Network Roundup | 7 Comments

Early last year we learned just how dire the financial situation was in Wisconsin. Scott Walker explained how his state couldn’t afford [1] to run more trains if the federal government paid for passenger rail upgrades. Wisconsin, he said, couldn’t afford to collectively bargain with its employees.


Wisconsin's $1.7 billion "Zoo Interchange," one of the many reasons the state's highway fund is running dry. Photo: Forconstructionpros.com [3]

But as we’ve reported extensively, Scott Walker is a big spender when it comes to highways — really big. So intent is he on building some $6.2 billion [4] in freeways planned for southeast Wisconsin — including a $1.7 billion interchange [4] just outside Milwaukee — that he appears to be undeterred by the fact that Wisconsin doesn’t have anywhere near the money to do it.

James Rowen at Network blog The Political Environment [5] explains how it could all turn into massive general fund subsidies for highways:

Scott Walker … opined on Monday in Wisconsin that he wants to keep all his major highway expansion projects on track [6] – 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.

So much for fiscal restraint, eh?

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Architect’s Newspaper [7] reports there are some exciting changes coming for San Diego’s waterfront. Rails to Trails [8] shares the story of a New York State school that found a creative way to get more kids walking and biking — despite its car-centric surroundings. And Green City Blue Lake [9] writes that it might be time to “ditch the cynicism” about northeast Ohio’s regional planning process.

Article printed from Streetsblog.net: http://streetsblog.net

URL to article: http://streetsblog.net/2012/11/28/wiconsin-highway-bonanza-scott-walker-unfazed-by-lack-of-funds/

URLs in this post:

[1] couldn’t afford: http://dc.streetsblog.org/2012/04/13/christie-walker-kasich-and-scott-all-deceived-the-public-to-kill-rail/

[2] Image: http://streetsblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fcp-zoo-interchange_10785426.jpg

[3] Forconstructionpros.com: http://www.forconstructionpros.com/blog/10785423/major-road-rehab-project-in-milwaukee-will-utilize-concrete

[4] $6.2 billion: http://dc.streetsblog.org/2012/08/17/wisdot-faces-civil-rights-suit-over-1-7-billion-zoo-interchange/

[5] The Political Environment: http://thepoliticalenvironment.blogspot.com/2012/11/walker-could-put-transit-back-on.html

[6] he wants to keep all his major highway expansion projects on track: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/walker-wants-to-keep-zoo-interchange-reconstruction-on-schedule-2a7pvp8-180929101.html

[7] The Architect’s Newspaper: http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/50616

[8] Rails to Trails: http://community.railstotrails.org/blogs/trailblog/archive/2012/11/27/school-in-n-y-wants-rail-with-trail-for-much-needed-route-for-students.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RTCTrailBlog+%28RTC+TrailBlog%29

[9] Green City Blue Lake: http://www.gcbl.org/blog/2012/11/time-to-get-excited-about-regional-planning-in-northeast-ohio

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