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As I See It

As I See It

Wisconsin's longest running daily commentary, a daily tradition since 1971.

Friday - September 21, 2018 9:26 am

We already know what kind of shape Wisconsin's roads are in. Now we are finding out just how much it is costing us to drive on them. A report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, finds that 31% of Wisconsin roads are in poor condition. Driving on these dilapidated roads carries a hefty price tag. About $6.8 billion to drivers statewide. That includes the costs of vehicle depreciation, repair costs, increased fuel consumption and tire wear. There is also a cost for lost time due to congestion and accidents. What does that mean for you? For drivers in this part of the state, that breaks down to more than $1200 per year. Getting those shocks and struts or tie rods replaced isn't cheap, but driving over all those potholes often makes such repairs necessary. But still, Wisconsin isn't doing anything about it. Road repairs are being put off because of declining state funding, and what work has been done has been paid for through additional borrowing. As a result, like many other municipalities, both the city and county of La Crosse are considering adopting wheel taxes to raise more money for road repair. As this report shows, it would be more cost effective to invest the money in improving Wisconsin's transportation system than passing along this very hefty price tag to the state's drivers.

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Much to consider as both city and county of La Crosse consider a wheel tax