We submitted comments on gubernatorial candidate Rick Synder’s web site regarding his comments on the US23 pedestrian bridge.
We noted that the true inefficiencies in Michigan transportation lie in the structure. There are 50-some communities in Oakland County alone that receive road funding. There is significant room for consolidation.
We also noted that there are 81 county road commissions which are separate from county government, many if not all of which are not beholden to the public.
This is the response we received:
Thank you for your inquiry. I would like to clarify that Rick does not oppose bike trails. He is a big supporter of bikeable and walkable cities. What Rick said during the debate is that we need to prioritize funds better. Despite the fact that he is supportive of building new bike bridges, he thinks that it is a higher priority to reinforce dangerously crumbling bridges that thousands of people drive over every day.
The point you make about non accountable agencies is an interesting one. I am not intimately familiar with how Rick’s ideas for transportation reform but I can tell you that he is committed to bringing greater efficiency and common sense to MDOT and transportation in Michigan as a whole.
Please continue to follow Rick’s campaign and let us know if we can be of any assistance to you.
The Reinvent Michigan Team
There’s a clear need to educate candidates such as Rick Snyder and others on the efficiency benefits of consolidation within Michigan’s transportation funding environment.
One first step would be to make it easier for counties to have their own road agencies and eliminate their county road commissions. This consolidation would eliminate duplicate administration and make them accountable to elected officials. It would also bring together county planning with road planning, which could result in significant savings through proper land use planning.
However, under current state law this consolidation is prohibited for all but two counties — Wayne and Macomb. State law also requires counties to become charter counties first, something that takes significant time and money.
And when Macomb County adopted a charter a year ago, 64% of their voters also chose to dissolve their road commission.
We should make it easier for voters in the other 81 Michigan counties to consolidate and save taxpayer money.