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21st Century Transportation
Wisconsin can’t afford more extravagant highway projects, especially when urgent local road repair and transit needs are being neglected. It’s time to get our transportation priorities straight and invest Wisconsin taxpayer dollars wisely, not wastefully.
Highway Waste Undermines 21st Century Transportation in Wisconsin
Demand for transportation alternatives is skyrocketing, and our roads and bridges are crumbling. Yet instead of meeting our changing transportation needs, our state budget continues to funnel billions of dollars into shortsighted new highway projects.
We need a transportation system that reflects and supports the way we want to travel now.
With gas prices up and lifestyles changing, we are driving less and taking transit, walking, and biking more. The average Wisconsinite drove 500 fewer miles in 2010 than in 2004, and between 2001 and 2009 young people’s travel on public transportation increased by 40% nationwide. Meanwhile, recent reports found that 1,100 Wisconsin bridges are structurally deficient, and 43% of our roads are in “less than good” condition.
By shifting our transportation budget away from expensive new highways, we can invest in efficient public transportation systems like intercity rail and clean bus systems, and make sure that our existing infrastructure is safe and functional for decades to come.
Unfortunately, the highway lobby and big road construction firms won’t easily let go of their high-priced, taxpayer-funded highway contracts. They’ve lobbied hard, and Governor Walker has listened — he has increased spending on new highways at the expense of everything else.
With state leaders considering the next two-year budget, now is the time to fight for Wisconsin’s transportation future. With enough public support, we can overcome the road builders and their lobbyists, and make sure Gov. Walker and state leaders get behind a transportation plan that will best benefit Wisconsin taxpayers.
Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson announced on Wednesday the recipients of $75 million in Multimodal Local Supplement funding awards, which support one-time transportation investments in communities across the state. The awards include $15.2 million for projects with bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, but only $1 million for public transportation systems. Only one of the 11 public transit project applications that were submitted will receive funding.
What would it take to get you out of your car? WISPIRG director Peter Skopec's hometown of Vienna, Austria, is hoping that a rebate of up to 1,000 euros for individuals and families who buy a cargo bike will help convince a few hundred people to get out of the driver’s seat and into the saddle.
A letter to the Madison Common Council in support of Metro Forward transit improvements and the proposed $40 vehicle registration fee.
Walkers and bikers are getting killed at alarming rates -- at a time when we need this type of transportation more than ever.
Driving a car shouldn't be the only way to get around in Wisconsin.
Transportation | U.S. PIRG
Seventeen pedestrians and two cyclists were killed every day, on average, in traffic crashes in 2018. PIRG Transform Transportation Campaign Director Matt Casale explains that cyclists face a dilemma: walking or biking are convenient and pollution-free modes of transportation, but they're also dangerous in a world that's been built car-first.
Transportation | U.S. PIRG
Volkswagen was caught cheating emissions laws and settled with federal authorities. The settlement included nearly $3 billion for the Environmental Mitigation Trust. How well does our state rank on plans for investing VW mitigation trust funds in clean transportation projects?
Tools & Resources
Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s FutureWISPIRG
Coalition for More Responsible Transportation Letter to the State Legislature
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