Michigan's Poor Road Conditions

Jenna Kravitz's picture

According to the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council: “17% of the state’s roads are considered to be in good shape, 45% are in fair condition and 38% are considered to be in poor shape” (in 2014). Moreover, from 2010-2015, more roads declined in condition, than the number that improved. From personal experience driving on them, to date it seems as if the majority of roads in Ann Arbor are in poor shape.

Reasons for Michigan’s bad roads include harsh winters, heavier weight limits for trucks and Michigan’s lack of spending on road repairs, in comparison to other states. As such, in 2012, the state only spent $126 per person on highways; the lowest in the nation. In order to bring Wayne County’s roads to good conditions, Wayne County’s director of public services noted that it would take $2.3 billion. This is no small undertaking.

Guiding Questions:

  1. Why has Michigan waited so long to address this problem?
  2. How do we work towards raising the state sales tax to provide more money for road repairs?
  3. Do you think that this should be a prioritization for the state of Michigan? Are drivers’ safety at stake?
  4. For those of you who attended Brian Steglitz’ Town Hall: do you think focusing on asset management and being proactive about infrastructure issues will help?