FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2017
Statement from TDA on Transportation Debate
Transportation Development Association Executive Director Craig Thompson released the following statement:
“While there is a healthy debate going on in Madison over the best way to pay for Wisconsin’s well-documented transportation needs, there are ten facts that need to be understood:
1. In the recent U.S. News and World Report listing of best states, Wisconsin ranks 49th out of 50 states for road quality.
2. A Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau report highlights that Wisconsin’s state highways are in the worst condition in the Midwest by a gaping margin. Just over 30% of Wisconsin’s state highways are in “good” condition compared to about 75% in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
3. Wisconsinites pay significantly less in combined gas tax and vehicle registration fees than any of our neighbors in the Midwest. (Source: WisDOT)
4. Wisconsin has the 2nd most transportation-dependent economy in the country. (Source: Filling Potholes: A New Look at Funding Local Transportation in Wisconsin. Prepared by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance).
5. Wisconsin congestion costs the trucking industry over $1.7 billion a year. Wisconsin ranks 15th in the country and Milwaukee County is now in the top ten. (Source: American Transportation Research Institution – Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry: 2017 Update).
6. Area Development’s 31st Annual Survey of Corporate Executives ranks access to highways as the #1 most important factor for choosing where to locate or expand a business. Access to skilled labor is #2.
7. The Administration’s proposed Transportation Budget reduces funding for the state highway improvement program by nearly $300 million. This level of funding would place Wisconsin on a 70-year schedule to finish reconstructing the Southeast Freeway System, which is at the end of its useful life. (Source: Legislative Fiscal Bureau)
8. In direct contrast to these proposed reductions, a statewide poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies found Wisconsin voters oppose delaying highway reconstruction in the Milwaukee area by a two-to-one margin (62%-31%).
9. Only 5% of respondents in this same statewide poll supported solving Wisconsin’s transportation challenges through increased borrowing.
10. In the most recent Marquette University Law School Poll (June 2017), transportation was the number one issue for the following groups: Republicans, voters between the ages of 45 and 59, voters 60-years-old and older and voters who identify their ideology as conservative or very conservative.
“Wisconsin’s economy is uniquely dependent on the condition of its transportation infrastructure, and it is in bad shape. Whatever solution our elected leaders settle upon, it needs to fundamentally address that situation and not pawn it off on future generations.
“Over 550 local governments across Wisconsin have made this point clear by passing resolutions telling the state government to ‘Just Fix It’.”
From the buses in Racine to the Port of Green Bay to the rail lines in Superior to the Waukesha County Airport to the roads we use every day, Wisconsin’s transportation network is the key to connecting goods to market and people to jobs.
Founded in 1971, the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin promotes the vitality and safety of the state’s transportation system, including public transit systems, public-use and general aviation airports, railroads, commercial ports, and roads. TDA’s members comprise business, labor, units of government, regional planning organizations, as well as individuals. Contact us at: www.tdawisconsin.org and Twitter handle @TDAWisconsin