Lack of funding leads to destruction of Montcalm County roads

A YouTube video released today documents the intentional pulverization of paved roadways in Montcalm County.  Faced with dwindling funds for road maintenance, many Michigan counties are being forced to replace paved roads with gravel.

While many Michigan roads are certainly in need of repair, it would be irresponsible to consider a road “fixed” until it is “complete,” meaning it accomodates all modes of transportation including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and those with disabilities – not just cars.

When incorporated into the original design of a roadway, Complete Streets practices often cost little extra to implement.  Advocates for Complete Streets need to reframe the issue of cost into an issue of value.  We must start placing value on the proper construction and maintenance of the entire right of way, not just the number of miles of paved travel lanes.  This means that the many engineers, planners and politicians who have ignored the needs of the 1/3 of Americans who do not drive will have to stop treating bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users and those using mobility aides as second class citizens.  Placing emphasis on value may indeed mean that communities might have to repave a few less miles of road each year and use those savings to make the roadways that they do “fix” complete.

Learn more about the costs of Complete Streets at:
http://www.completestreets.org/complete-streets-fundamentals/factsheets/costs/

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