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Walker policy statement on roads creates fans in unlikely places



There’s been plenty of times public advocacy groups in Wisconsin haven’t exactly cheered when Gov. Scott Walker has spoken.

It’s different this time. Walker sent shockwaves throughout the transportation industry last week when, in offhand comments, he stated a preference for less highway expansion and more road repair.

Among those pleased was Peter Skopec from Wisconsin Public Interest Group.

“We’ve been calling, for a long time, for Wisconsin to rethink its transportation priorities,” Skopec said, “and, especially, to look harder at a lot of these highway expansions that drain a lot of money from the transportation fund that they could be used in other ways to meet other really important transportation needs.”

Walker, in part, cited changing transportation trends associated with millenials for the shift in emphasis.

“We think this was a really smart move by the governor to announce that we should be scrutinizing these highway expansions more and maybe not adding lanes to every highway, as we rebuild these highways in the future,” Skopec said.

Skopec is not completely surprised at the comments.

“This is in line with things that the governor has said in the past but this is the most straightforward he’s been in rethinking highway expansion,” Skopec said.

Walker, at a Rotary lunch last week, mentioned the increasing use of Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services as some of the reasons why the state needs to move away from huge highway expansion in transportation projects.

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