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Scott Walker’s Bid to Strip Street Safety From Wisconsin Road Projects

11:06 AM PDT on May 11, 2015

Scott Walker is putting the kibosh on complete streets in Wisconsin. Photo: Wikimedia
Scott Walker is putting the kibosh on complete streets in Wisconsin. Photo: Wikimedia
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There's really no argument: GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker has been an absolute disaster for transportation progress in Wisconsin. As governor, he's slashed funding for transit, isolating urban workers in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, he's increased funding for all sorts of wasteful highway projects, like the billion-dollar widening of I-94 in Milwaukee, pilfering funds for local roads in the process.

Now, writes James Rowen at the Political Environment, Walker's budget would strip out Wisconsin's complete streets provision, which requires sidewalks and bike lanes on road projects that use state or federal funds, where feasible. Rowen explains:

Current law already exempts the inclusion or sidewalks or paved shoulders for biking if the cost were prohibitive; Walker's budget eliminates the requirement altogether, and since people will still bike or walk - - either by choice or necessity - - our roads will instantly become less safe and certainly less attractive for tourists.

Remember -- not everyone owns a car, or uses it on every trip, or is a legally-licensed driver.

And also remember Walker is routinely hostile to transit.

Under Walker-the-Harley showboat, and Walker-the-chauffered-around politician, concrete is only for driving lanes, transportation means autos-only and more and more people are left out of public service provision with their own tax dollars.

Keep in mind that Walker is currently polling second in the Republican presidential primary race.

Elsewhere on the Network today: ATL Urbanist explains how bad urban design deadens a new public space. Rust Wire reports that Michiganders are really responding to recent investments in the state's intercity rail system. And City Notes discusses Chicago's less-than-ideal options for rail transit expansion.

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