Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Wisconsin Highway Bonanza: Scott Walker Unfazed by Lack of Funds

Early last year we learned just how dire the financial situation was in Wisconsin. Scott Walker explained how his state couldn't afford to run more trains if the federal government paid for passenger rail upgrades. Wisconsin, he said, couldn't afford to collectively bargain with its employees.

false

But as we've reported extensively, Scott Walker is a big spender when it comes to highways -- really big. So intent is he on building some $6.2 billion in freeways planned for southeast Wisconsin -- including a $1.7 billion interchange just outside Milwaukee -- that he appears to be undeterred by the fact that Wisconsin doesn't have anywhere near the money to do it.

James Rowen at Network blog The Political Environment explains how it could all turn into massive general fund subsidies for highways:

Scott Walker ... opined on Monday in Wisconsin that he wants to keep all his major highway expansion projects on track -- though the state transportation fund is over-committed and short of money -- but doesn't want to raise the gas tax or create toll lanes to meet the shortfall.

He's sending signals to his transportation financing task force to find alternatives -- other than rethinking the expansions altogether -- like diverting auto sales or general purpose income taxes to subsidize road-building, or setting up a new, per-miles-driven fee, or an increase in vehicle registration or licensing fees.

So much for fiscal restraint, eh?

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Architect's Newspaper reports there are some exciting changes coming for San Diego's waterfront. Rails to Trails shares the story of a New York State school that found a creative way to get more kids walking and biking -- despite its car-centric surroundings. And Green City Blue Lake writes that it might be time to "ditch the cynicism" about northeast Ohio's regional planning process.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Komanoff: A ‘Noise Tax’ Can Ground NYC Helicopters

A proposed $400 “noise tax” on “nonessential” flights is a start — and it will work.

April 18, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Welcome to the War on Cars, Scientific American

Our favorite story yesterday was this editorial in an unexpected place. Plus other news.

April 18, 2024

Meet the MTA Board Member and Congestion Pricing Foe Who Uses Bridges and Tunnels For Free Every Day

Mack drives over the transportation authority's bridges and tunnels thanks to a rare perk of which he is the primary beneficent.

April 18, 2024

Randy Mastro Aspires to Join Mayor’s Inner Circle of Congestion Pricing Foes

The mayor's reported pick to run the city Law Department is former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani and notorious foe of bike lanes and congestion pricing.

April 18, 2024

Donald Shoup: Here’s a Parking Policy That Works for the People

Free parking has a veneer of equality, but it is unfair. Here's a proposal from America's leading parking academic that could make it more equitable.

April 18, 2024
See all posts