Opposition to freeway widening shows up in road funding vote

May 7, 2014

One issue we’ve kept tabs on is the proposed widening of I-94 in Detroit. Over the last year, activists opposed to the plan have appeared in droves at public meetings — even state lawmakers have gotten into the fray.

It appears the anti-widening sentiment has seeped into the state legislature. This morning, during a vote on a set of bills that seeks to boost road funding by more than $400 million, Democrats offered a couple amendments to the (likely) pleasure of transit advocates. From the Freep:

In the House Tax Policy Committee, Democrats tried to get amendments passed that would invest at least a portion of the shifted tax revenues into public transit and ensure that the money would go for fixing existing roads, rather than adding new lanes to the state’s thoroughfares.

“There are people in your own districts who can no longer drive,” said Tom Zerafa, an Oak Park resident who testified Wednesday. “There are people in Michigan who are leaving because there’s not access to good transportation.

Ultimately, the amendments failed. But, it warmed the MT newsroom’s collective heart this afternoon to see the conversation on such projects has, somewhat, shifted.

  • Cory

    But the real message is that it failed which means that even though there is no money to fix the roads and bridges we have, millions of dollars will be spent to build more and wider roads and bridges which there will also be no money fix and maintain. Somehow, our legislators thinks roads make money and bigger roads make more money. That may have been true when there were none but I’m pretty sure we have passed the point of diminishing returns and are now into no net return.