michigan roads http://michiganradio.org en We pay for bad roads with more repairs, higher fuel costs http://michiganradio.org/post/we-pay-bad-roads-more-repairs-higher-fuel-costs <p>If by any chance you’ve left your house anytime in, oh, say, the last year, you may have noticed that our roads are in terrible shape. Gov. Rick Snyder knows this. Two years ago, he asked the Legislature for $1.2 billion a year for a decade in new money to fix the roads. If you think that’s a lot, you’re right.</p><p>But it is less than studies show our horrible roads are costing us every year in the increased cost of fuel and car repairs, as well as &nbsp;the incalculable cost of businesses that won’t expand in or move to Michigan because our infrastructure is in such lousy shape.</p><p>The governor hasn’t always been a statesman, nor above pandering to the far right. But he is a businessman, and devoted to economic expansion. He knows you need decent roads to attract business, especially the kind that produce high-tech, high-paying jobs. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:10:19 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17218 at http://michiganradio.org We pay for bad roads with more repairs, higher fuel costs Stateside for Monday, April 7, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-april-7-2014 <p>House Republicans have come up with an annual $500 million solution to fixing Michigan's horrible damaged roads. Kathleen Gray of the Detroit Free Press joins us to discuss the proposition.&nbsp;</p><p>A Clinton Township man was senselessly beaten and robbed on Detroit's east side after stopping to help a 10-year-old boy who stepped into oncoming traffic. Steve Utash&nbsp;is now in a medically induced coma. Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press joins us to try and understand this crime.&nbsp;</p><p>A neighborhood church in Metro Detroit has closed its doors about 91 years. St. Henry's parish numbers have fallen so low that the church is closing. Stateside's Kyle Norris grew up attending the church, and she joins us today to share her story. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:53:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 17130 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, April 7, 2014 House Republicans have a plan to mend Michigan roads http://michiganradio.org/post/house-republicans-have-plan-mend-michigan-roads <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As the snow and ice have melted, Michigan has come up with a bumper crop of potholes and crumbling roads&nbsp;</span>–&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">roads that were already badly in need of repair. And that has turned everyone's attention to fixing the roads and how to pay for it.&nbsp;</span></p><p>State House Republicans are proposing an annual $500 million solution.&nbsp;</p><p>Here to tell us more about that is Kathleen Gray of the Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:28:37 +0000 Stateside Staff 17134 at http://michiganradio.org House Republicans have a plan to mend Michigan roads Local governments are hopeful, cautious about state road-funding plan http://michiganradio.org/post/local-governments-are-hopeful-cautious-about-state-road-funding-plan <p>The organization championing the interests of Michigan’s local governments is <a href="http://blogs.mml.org/wp/inside208/2014/04/03/speaker-bolger-unveils-new-transportation-funding-plan/">withholding judgment on a proposal</a> to fix the state’s roads.</p><p>Officials with the Michigan Municipal League say they’re cautiously hopeful about <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140406/POLITICS02/304060020/Snyder-calls-House-road-funding-plan-constructive">the plan Republican State House leader Jase Bolger unveiled</a> last week.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17125 at http://michiganradio.org Local governments are hopeful, cautious about state road-funding plan Searching for the right solution to fix Michigan's roads http://michiganradio.org/post/searching-right-solution-fix-michigans-roads <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Recently I criticized the Legislature and State Senator Jack </span>Brandenberg<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for wanting to roll back state income taxes. He has a bill to cut the rate from 4.25% to 3.9% over three years.</span></p><p>For an average taxpayer, that would mean a tax cut of less than a hundred bucks a year. But it would leave the state with nearly a billion dollars a year less, when it already doesn’t have enough money to maintain the roads or provide other services.</p><p>After this bill sailed through the Senate Finance Committee earlier this month, I said I thought it was irresponsible election year pandering.</p><p>Later, Sen.&nbsp;Brandenberg called me.</p><p>He was warm, earnest, had a sense of humor, and said I had gotten it wrong. He wasn’t pandering in the least, he told me; this is what he genuinely believed. He said this stemmed from an agreement to roll back taxes going back to when Jennifer Granholm was governor.</p><p>I thought his calling me took class, and it was clear he really does believe in this. Brandenberg has no need to pander; he is certain to be reelected this fall to a safe Republican seat.</p><p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:26:12 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16850 at http://michiganradio.org Searching for the right solution to fix Michigan's roads This supplemental bill gravely endangers infant health and Michigan's future http://michiganradio.org/post/supplemental-bill-gravely-endangers-infant-health-and-michigans-future <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Well, yesterday the legislature approved a budget supplemental bill that includes more than two hundred million dollars in new money to fix the roads, and the politicians are congratulating themselves.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Governor Snyder issued a press release praising this, and congratulating the legislature on “working together” and creating the “positive relationship” needed to pass this bill.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Now if you think about it, what he said sounds pretty bizarre. Working together? Positive relationship? That’s the kind of language you use when two nations sign a trade agreement.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">These are the two houses in our state’s legislature. Their job is to work together for our good. And you’d think a “positive relationship” should be a piece of cake, since they are both controlled by Republicans. But in fact, there isn’t all that much positive in this bill. The road funding, while necessary, doesn’t address the major problem, and it isn’t clear whether this money will be allocated fairly.</span></p><p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:21:36 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16836 at http://michiganradio.org This supplemental bill gravely endangers infant health and Michigan's future Michigan lawmakers preparing a small patch for our roads http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-preparing-small-patch-our-roads <p>Despite appearances, those who make our laws sometimes do listen to those who elect them. Here’s one example happening right now. Anyone who drives knows that our roads are in terrible shape.</p><p>Nobody remembers them ever being this bad, especially in major urban areas. But the Legislature has stubbornly ignored appeals from Gov. Rick Snyder to fix them.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:44:13 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16823 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers preparing a small patch for our roads Drivers navigate pothole-strewn roads as Michigan lawmakers debate emergency funding http://michiganradio.org/post/drivers-navigate-pothole-strewn-roads-michigan-lawmakers-debate-emergency-funding <p>Many county road budgets in Michigan are idling on empty after our brutal winter.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">They hope state lawmakers will agree soon on an emergency road funding bill.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Drivers in Michigan could be forgiven if they think their morning commute feels more like an off-road adventure.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Brutal winter weather has turned many roads into a moonscape of potholes, more suited to an ATV than the family car.</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:34:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16763 at http://michiganradio.org Drivers navigate pothole-strewn roads as Michigan lawmakers debate emergency funding Michigan should 'bite the bullet' on road funding, suggests a PA state transportation official http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-should-bite-bullet-road-funding-suggests-pa-state-transportation-official <p>County road commissioners meeting in Lansing today heard from a Pennsylvania transportation official on how Michigan can spend more money on its crumbling roads.</p><p></p><p>Bradley Mallory is the executive deputy secretary of Pennsylvania’s transportation department.</p><p></p><p>His state recently passed a $2.3 billion road spending plan. The plan includes a higher gas tax and other fees.</p><p></p><p>Mallory says like Michigan, Pennsylvania lawmakers know they have to do something to fix their roads.</p><p></p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 22:14:22 +0000 Steve Carmody 16735 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan should 'bite the bullet' on road funding, suggests a PA state transportation official Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-feb-18-2014 <p></p><p>There are more than 70 virtual currencies in the marketplace.</p><p>You may have heard of the biggest players:&nbsp;Bitcoin, Ripples, and Litecoin, which are taking out the middleman and reinventing the meaning of money. The idea is gaining momentum among college students. Today, we heard how virtual money is opening doors for young Michigan entrepreneurs.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Then, school districts around the nation and right here in Michigan are talking about ways to accommodate transgender students. The ACLU of Michigan's </span>LGBT<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Project (</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman,serif'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px;">lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">is already working on model policies.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And we spoke with some talented Michigan musicians about how their EP (extended play recording) reached No. 2 on the iTunes electronic charts with virtually no promotion.</span></p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:50:52 +0000 Stateside Staff 16497 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 How are Michigan roads holding up this winter? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-are-michigan-roads-holding-winter <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As the winter of 2013-2014 drags on, we're really seeing what it's done to our roads.</span></p><p>Patching crews try in vain to keep up with a bumper crop of potholes. More and more of us are losing tires, blowing the suspension as we bang into one of those gaping potholes.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And keep in mind, Michigan's roads were crumbling before this winter.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">With more winter to go, we wondered where our roads stand and what needs to happen in Lansing to do what it takes to repair and maintain the roads.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk </span>Steudle<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> knows all too well what this winter has done to the pavement, and he joined us today.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></span></p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:44:28 +0000 Stateside Staff 16495 at http://michiganradio.org How are Michigan roads holding up this winter? Michigan ranks last of all 50 states on per capita road spending http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ranks-last-all-50-states-capita-road-spending <p>Michigan spends less money per capita on its roads and bridges than any other state in the nation.</p><p>It spends $154 per person annually, according to the 2010 Census.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:00:22 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16422 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ranks last of all 50 states on per capita road spending Bernero: The state of the city of Lansing is strong. The state of the city's roads not so good. http://michiganradio.org/post/bernero-state-city-lansing-strong-state-citys-roads-not-so-good <p>Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero used his State of the City speech Thursday to make a pitch for state funding to repair local roads.</p><p>Mayor Virg Bernero says the city of Lansing plans to spend three million dollars this year to repair pot hole covered roads in the capitol city.&nbsp;</p><p>But the mayor says the city would have to spend five times that much each year for a decade to fix all of Lansing’s road problems.</p><p>In his speech, Bernero called on state lawmakers to use part of the state’s billion dollar budget surplus to help repair local roads across Michigan.</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 01:56:06 +0000 Steve Carmody 16256 at http://michiganradio.org Bernero: The state of the city of Lansing is strong. The state of the city's roads not so good. Despite governor's pleas, long-term road fix looks unlikely in 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/despite-governors-pleas-long-term-road-fix-looks-unlikely-2014 <p></p><p>State lawmakers return to Lansing this week with Gov. Rick Snyder’s policy goals for 2014 in hand.&nbsp;</p><p>But few are optimistic they’ll be able to pass legislation to boost road and infrastructure funding before the November election.</p><p>Snyder has been urging the Legislature to boost infrastructure spending by more than $1 billion a year. But lawmakers say voters won’t support raising taxes or fees to pay for that kind of increase.</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:26:13 +0000 Jake Neher 16105 at http://michiganradio.org Despite governor's pleas, long-term road fix looks unlikely in 2014 Potholes straining road commission budgets http://michiganradio.org/post/potholes-straining-road-commission-budgets <p>County road commissions are closely watching their budgets, after spending more than usual on winter maintenance this year.<br /><br />Freeze-and-thaw cycles have caused a wave of potholes across Michigan.<br /><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"If winter is very expensive, that can impact our other activities that the road commission performs, but pothole filling is something of great importance for us and we will address that," said&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jim Harmon, director of field operations for the&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washtenaw</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;County Road Commission.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder called for $1.2 billion a year in additional money for fixing roads in last year's State of the State address. But his proposal failed to gain traction in the legislature. He's expected to try again this year.</p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:22:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16044 at http://michiganradio.org Potholes straining road commission budgets Grand Rapids considers extending income tax hike to pay for road improvements http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-considers-extending-income-tax-hike-pay-road-improvements <p>Voters in Grand Rapids could get a chance to vote on an income tax extension this year. The city wants to extend a temporary income tax hike to maintain roads and sidewalks.</p><p>Grand Rapids voters approved the temporary income tax hike in 2010. It’s paid for a number of projects that will lower the overall cost of running city government. That increase will expire in 2015.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 18:20:48 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15916 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids considers extending income tax hike to pay for road improvements This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners http://michiganradio.org/post/contest-giving-michigan-drivers-chance-be-highway-planners <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So there you are, driving to and from work or school every day.</span></p><p>Chances are, there's probably a stretch of highway you drive that seems particularly soul-numbing and doesn't let you get any sense of place or community.</p><p>If you could design a highway, what would it look like? And could it improve, rather than just carve up your city?</p><p>That's the idea behind <a href="http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-contest/">Highways for Habitats</a>, a contest being run by the Michigan Municipal League's Let's Save Michigan Initiative.</p><p>Sarah Szurpicki is a project coordinator with the Let's Save Michigan Initiative, and she's been involved in many efforts to revitalize cities in the Great Lakes region. She joins us today to discuss the contest that would allow drivers to play transportation planner.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 19:38:05 +0000 Stateside Staff 14879 at http://michiganradio.org This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners Pot for potholes? GOP state lawmaker wants legal marijuana to pay for roads http://michiganradio.org/post/pot-potholes-gop-state-lawmaker-wants-legal-marijuana-pay-roads <p>There’s a new idea floating around the state Capitol about how to boost funding for roads. Supporters call the plan “pot for potholes.”</p><p>Lawmakers like state Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) would like to see the state legalize and tax marijuana and use that money to pay for road repairs.</p><p>“You can tax the heck out of marijuana,” Callton says, “put it into a separate fund for Michigan roads - because it doesn’t seem like that money is going to come from anywhere else at this point in time - and it’s a cute name, ‘pot for potholes.’”</p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 19:20:48 +0000 Jake Neher 14506 at http://michiganradio.org Pot for potholes? GOP state lawmaker wants legal marijuana to pay for roads Systems failure leads to election confusion and stalled road funding http://michiganradio.org/post/systems-failure-leads-election-confusion-and-stalled-road-funding <p>Lily Tomlin and Oliver Cromwell have nothing in common, as far as I know.&nbsp; But I thought of both this morning when I was considering the news from Detroit and Lansing.</p><p>Tomlin years ago came up with a perfect line to describe the latest twist in the Detroit elections mess.&nbsp; “No matter how cynical you get, you can’t keep up.”</p><p>That was exactly the case when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers met to certify the totals in the Detroit mayoral primary election two weeks ago. There should have been no mystery about the results. Mike Duggan had been ruled off the ballot on a technicality, but won in a write-in landslide.&nbsp; He got nearly twice as many votes as his closest competitor, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. But Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett yesterday announced she was throwing out nearly half of Duggan’s votes, because poll workers merely recorded them, rather than make a hashtag mark next to them.</p><p>Not only did this cavalierly disenfranchise twenty thousand voters, it looks and smells highly suspect. Cathy Garrett is the sister of Al Garrett, a prominent union official who is one of Benny Napoleon’s biggest backers.</p><p>Now her decision would not have changed the lineup for the November runoff. It will still be between Duggan and Napoleon. But Garrett’s maneuver would have allowed Napoleon’s backers to claim he “won” a primary he actually lost. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:58:37 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 14080 at http://michiganradio.org Systems failure leads to election confusion and stalled road funding State police and lawmakers want to boost speed limits across Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/state-police-and-lawmakers-want-boost-speed-limits-across-michigan <p>The Michigan State Police and some lawmakers say it’s time to boost speed limits across the state. Many limits have not been adjusted for decades.</p><p>Republican state Senator Rick Jones plans to introduce legislation next month to increase the limits. The former county sheriff says the measure would also reduce speed traps.</p><p>“We have had some artificially lower speed limits posted. I believe many of them are posted for revenue, and it simply is not needed.”</p><p>The legislation would require local governments to set speed limits based on scientific studies.</p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:26:36 +0000 Jake Neher 14032 at http://michiganradio.org State police and lawmakers want to boost speed limits across Michigan