Back to ~ Alternatives to replacing fuel taxes and user fees

SMART supports freeway expansions

Those who support Detroit area mass transit tax increases are false transit advocates for the handicapped, the low income and the elderly! They are very sincere, but dead wrong on the truth of protecting funding. They are among the most dangerous false voices! Why Dangerous? Because they come closer to imitating true caring people than any other groups. They dress like them, talk like them, have meetings like heart-winning supporters for the transit dependant, etc. Nevertheless; they are workers of the Multi-Billion dollar I-94 and I-75 NEW Freeway Expansions lobbyists.

SMART signed the agreement for the regional transit authority act. The wording does not define bus service nor does it protect existing funds from being shifted into new transportation projects. This means funding allocated for bus service can be used for High Occupancy Vehicle HOV lanes and plans that remain fiction. Please see how federal safety requirements are not even included despite the mention of the construction of new facilities. This alone disqualifies federal grants. Please see how little work was done. SMART and RTA transit officials deny all of this, so please read and see for yourself.

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Click Here - regional transit authority act

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The Michigan state fuel tax, known as Act 51 used to pay for matching grants for buses and operating expenses can be protected as a requirement in writing at the voting booth. Without YOUR support for these WebPages, transit tax advocates will again win without the restoration of federal or state fuel tax money or industry contributions.

The real consensus of those who want more tax money for transportation are bascally as follows.

Local and state transportation officials have planned to rebuild I-94 in Detroit -- the state's largest and most urgent road project -- for nearly two decades. Without money to move forward, however, this $1.5-billion-plus project has stalled. Meantime, the Michigan Department of Transportation has continued to patch the seven-mile stretch of freeway, from I-96 to Conner, spending more than $100 million in short-term repairs over the last decade.

Besides its money problems, the state has failed to make rebuilding the battered 55-year-old freeway a top priority. Even now, construction of the project is not set to start for more than a decade.

But all that might finally change. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is working with the state to find an innovative way, even in these tough times, to start construction on the project in two or three years. SEMCOG seeks to amend its long-range transportation plan in the next two or three months to move up the start date of the I-94 project, as well as the widening of I-75 in Oakland County.

"We've talked about this forever," said SEMCOG's transportation czar. "Now we need to get it done. The longer we wait, the more expensive it gets."

The new plan includes breaking the I-94 project into affordable chunks -- spread over seven to 10 years -- enabling the region and state to move forward on a pay-as-you-go basis. The first phase could redo the freeway's bridges, rebuilding and lengthening them to accommodate the two additional lanes the project calls for. Mini-projects could move forward in a way that minimizes traffic congestion and other impacts on local residents and businesses.

For the plan to work, SEMCOG might have to delay other road work in its long-range transportation plan, such as improving I-375 to better riverfront access. That makes sense, especially since many riverfront projects simply didn't pan out. In an era of scarcity, with no increase in the gas tax in sight, politicians have to set priorities. And speaking of priorities, the I-94 project should take precedence over another mega-project, a $1-billion plan to widen 18 miles of I-75, from 8 Mile to M-59 in Oakland County. I-94 is older and in worse shape than I-75.

The state has already received environmental clearance for rebuilding and widening I-94, including adding contiguous service drives. But while the project has stalled, I-94 in Detroit has become an embarrassment and sometimes a hazard for the 160,000 vehicles a day it carries. Interchanges at I-75 and the Lodge are inadequate and even unsafe to handle freeway-to-freeway traffic.

The good news is that state and local transportation officials are finally treating I-94 in Detroit as the state's most pressing project by finding a way to shift the project out of neutral and into drive.

Everyone knows that heavy vehicles impose substantially larger costs for building and maintaining roads, yet studies consistently show that these vehicles are undercharged in relation to these costs. A well-organized trucking lobby has been successful in persuading state and federal legislators to shift costs to lighter vehicles and general taxpayers.

In effect, trucking operations are subsidized. The consequences include accelerated wear and tear on the roadways, diversion of freight traffic from rail, and increased roadway congestion. All of these consequences raise the cost of transportation and reduce the efficiency of the road system

It's most unfortunate prominent transit tax increase advocates including the TRU are in league with the road lobbyists for the Freeway Expansions directly causing the destruction of our environment and more callous bus service reductions.

Public Transit is a Human Right. These WebPages propose the taxpayers openly protest the obvious lack of mass transit leadership which has prevailed in Greater Detroit since 1995 when the first SMART property tax passed using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other acts.

NOTE: The publications below are in PDF (Printable Document Format)-for viewing & printing purposes. To view & print these publications, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in installed in your browser. If you don't have the plug-in, it can be downloaded FREE from Adobe's web site at:

Click Here - SMART Budget 2014
Click Here - The SMART Millage Vote

To return, use the "back" button on your web browser

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