#9 of 10 Reasons WISDOT Budget Needs to Change

Reason 9.  We are over-engineering our highways.

reasons_9.1The state is proposing to spend over half its projected transportation budget for 2013-2015 on the repair, maintenance and rehabilitation of roads, in addition to significant highway capacity expansion. In many cases, when a road is being rehabilitated – it becomes wider, allows faster traffic flow and has an increased number of travel lanes. These expanded highways have several disadvantages associated with them:

1. An increased emphasis on speed and mobility over access – leading to urban sprawl and environmental degradation and cost society up to $30 billion a year in accidents.
2. Downtowns with wide lanes and high auto speeds become unattractive destinations for work, shopping and recreation – cutting off economic vitality.
3. An unfriendly environment for pedestrians, bikers and transit users creating a less livable community.
4. Unnecessarily high capital costs and increased repair and maintenance costs down the line.

Instead of always adhering to the highest design specifications, roadway rehabilitation must take into account the fewer miles being driven by Wisconsinites each year and set repair standards to the minimum level required.

Integrating measures which help reduce congestion on the road through ride-sharing, carpooling, increased transit frequency, and investing in pedestrian and bike facilities will increase highway capacity without nfrastructure improvements. The DOT must visualize accessibility to a venue instead of prioritizing utomobile mobility over all-else.

Lake Parkway through Bayview – DOT’s idea of a residential friendly boulevard.