If you are like me you have vehicles with cracked or chipped windshields, misaligned steering or suffered bent wheels or broken tires. Just patching potholes does not fix the road. Living on D Drive North in Emmett Township, I see this every day. As bad as D Drive North is, I have seen even worse roads elsewhere in Calhoun County.
Currently we have a gas tax that does not entirely fund road repair and maintenance. How did a gas tax go to fund schools? Then who is responsible for the roads? Right now there is: State, County, Township, City or Village, special formulas for dispensing funds, required percentages to receive matching funds, road commissions, boards, etc. With this many cooks and fingers in the pot, why are we surprised with the current condition of the roads?
How do we fix the roads? A gas tax should pay for the roads, not schools. Clearly defining revenue source streams and simplifying the formula for distributing state funds to a value per mile, regardless of location would be the first step. We need to ensure that all levels of government coordinate the road repair and infrastructure projects. This would avoid paving a road only to have it cut up within a year to install a sewer, as happened on 6 ½ mile road a few years ago.
The weight stations on the interstate highways within Michigan should be open and operated 24 hours daily. Fines derived from overweight vehicles should go into a defined road repair revenue fund. We should enforce the weight laws to prevent overweight loads from damaging our highways.