Program: Transportation economic development fund
All from Special
funds transportation projects that support economic growth, sometimes by
targeting the project to a particular firm or industry to encourage it to
relocate, expand, or remain in the state.
sub-programs listed below are related to the Transportation Economic Development
Fund and could be eliminated from the department’s budget. The costs for such
projects could be shifted to for-profit industries and companies that benefit
directly from such expenditures. For more on state “economic development”
expenditures, see the chapter on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
This program funds roads and road safety on public lands that are subject to
commercial forestry activities. The cost of such services should be borne by
the commercial interests that benefit financially from harvesting the raw
materials in state-owned forests. Savings: $5,040,000.
Target Industries — Economic
program funds road projects that will allegedly create or retain jobs in seven
specific industries — agriculture and food processing, tourism, mining,
manufacturing, office centers, high technology and forestry. Costs of these
projects should be borne by the commercial interests that benefit directly from
these project-specific roads. Savings: $19,404,300.
Urban County Congestion.
This program is designed to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas partly by
funding public transit and traffic management projects. Public transit carries
only a tiny share of commuters nationwide. Public transit use in Michigan falls
below the national average (5 percent of commuters). Any additional money spent
on public transit in Michigan will have negligible impact on congestion and will
simply add to the existing costly, and mostly unused, infrastructure.