WISPIRG Foundation
Press Release

Statement: $75M WISDOT grant awards a missed opportunity

 

By - Mar 4th, 2020 01:22 pm

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson announced on Wednesday the recipients of $75 million in Multimodal Local Supplement funding awards, which support one-time transportation investments in communities across the state. The awards include $15.2 million for projects with bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, but only $1 million for public transportation systems. Only one of the 11 public transit project applications that were submitted will receive funding.

WISPIRG Director Peter Skopec issued the following statement in response:

“We welcome the decision to fund a number of bike and pedestrian projects through WISDOT’s $75 million grant program. But overall, Wisconsin is missing a big opportunity to bring the state’s transportation system into the 21st century.

“We need to do a better job at providing options besides cars as young people gravitate to places where they don’t need to drive. Without better mass transit, Wisconsin’s growing number of seniors won’t be able to stay mobile and active in their communities. And we know that we won’t be able to meet Wisconsin’s ambitious climate goals by continuing to widen roads and underfunding better, cleaner ways to get around.

“The governor and state legislature worked together to make important investments in repairing and maintaining Wisconsin’s local roads and bridges in the last transportation budget. However, investment in public transportation, walking and biking infrastructure continues to fall short, including in today’s grant awards. Let’s build a bridge that leads Wisconsin to a future where we’re less dependent on cars.”

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