Monday, December 3, 2007

Roads in Washtenaw County

Like Howard Beale in the movie Network (1976), I’m “Mad as Hell”.

We all awoke this morning (Monday morning, the first day of the new work week) to find the residue of the winter storm which blew through last night. Wind gusts were up to 50mph! Snow, ice, and even Black ice were all over our roads.

Driving safely is an individual responsibility. Leaving the house this morning, most of us knew that we’d have to exercise extra caution in our morning commute.


This is what I’m mad as hell about!

First, we have the dithering idiots in Lansing. They’re quick to raise our taxes to balance the state budget.

In Michigan, did you know that we pay 51.6 cents in taxes for every gallon of gas that we buy! This is the 5th highest rate of gas tax in the country, and well above the national average.

So, what do we get from those taxes? If you’re like me, you likely think that we drive on some of the worst roads in the United States! The roads are maintained by County road commissions. For us, that’s the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC)

We read in the WCRC news update of November 21, 2007 that they have imposed layoffs in their staff. Now, I’m certain that none of the “desk jockeys” were included in those cuts. No, it’s more likely that the cuts came from the men and women who actually maintain our roads. You know, like GRADING our horribly bumpy gravel roads, or, SHOCKINGLY! Applying salt or sand to icy roads on a busy Monday morning commute.

Upon further research, I have learned that the WCRC will apply the following criteria to winter road maintenance:

1. Roads will be treated only when there is more than 2 inches of snow on the road. (A
condition we experienced this morning).
2. No weekend maintenance will be done.

So, if we get a blizzard on Friday night, I guess we’re on our own for getting around on the County roads!

If you’re like me, and mad as hell about the state of our roads, it’s time to make our voices heard! Write or e-mail to your local and state representatives. We need better results from our gas taxes!

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