The Case for State Fuel Taxes to Support "Transit Operating Assistance"
"The Plan...", if implemented will lessen the need for more tax dollars for road and sewer repairs, as the state's urbanized area will not stretch as far - in the 1990s Michigan's urbanized land grew an astounding eight times faster than it added population. MDOT's I-96/Beck Rd freeway interchange and northwestern highway in Oakland county were supported with a combination of local and state funds. The same approach can be used to for I-75, to keep "transit operating assistance". This will benefit the entire state by means of increasing federal transit grants, employment and commerce in Downtown Detroit. This is essential for Michigan to effectively compete in the world marketplace.
The University of Kentucky compared the costs of government in 10 counties. This assessment revealed that the costs for police, fire and school services were consistently lower in counties whose growth was concentrated in established areas and highest in counties with highly dispersed growth.
Communities along the I-75 freeway corridor could join the vote for Proposal S, the property tax renewal for SMART. This will allow more community type services for the elderly and disabled in conjunction with express park and ride bus service into downtown Detroit. This can enable MDOT to buy more buses for SMART with fuel taxes to help reduce traffic congestion during peak hours. Unless mass transit is supported on an equal basis with freeways in terms of funding mechanisms, Michigan will move backwards in the efforts to reduce urban sprawl, stop urban decay and to gain employment opportunities essential to support competent mass transit. In view of the above realities, its time for Michigan leaders-to re-evaluate counter-productive growth patterns and challenge those who want to expand freeways without first protecting the best interests of all of Michigan's citizens.
Statistics provided by the Southeast Michigan Council of
Governments (SEMCOG) predicts that population growth over the next
30 years will result in at least a 36-percent growth in developed
land - 390,000 more acres bulldozed for progress. * But really who
knows? Maybe the public will take "The Plan..." seriously OR,
challenge it and make a better plan.