Dear Editor: The Capital Times article “Wisconsin DOT report shows total transportation funding has fallen under Scott Walker” spotlights an alarming trend for the state’s roads and bridges. Because of the persisting myth that being open for business equates to never raising taxes, Wisconsin drivers are instead losing hundreds of dollars a year to the hidden tax of driving on rough roads and congested highways. Smooth safe pavement is becoming increasingly rare, as roads and bridges continue to age and deteriorate.

The logical funding source to increase investment in our roads and bridges is the motor fuels tax. If you want to drive your car or truck, then you have to pay for the roads. It is simple to implement and ensures those who use the roads are the ones who pay for maintaining and improving them. If we continue to delay routine maintenance and necessary replacements, we are going to be putting the burden for solving these problems on the next generation, and at an even higher cost.

It’s time to get serious about a bolder vision to modernize Wisconsin’s transportation network, rather than focusing piecemeal on one project, or a single phase of a project, at a time. To make a transportation network that will accommodate our growing needs a reality, the Legislature needs to show its leadership by voting for a motor fuels tax increase, and the upcoming lame duck session is an ideal time to make this change.

Gregory Schroeder, P.E.

American Society of Civil Engineers, Wisconsin Section

Lake Geneva

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