State must fix our broken roads -- Roger Johnson

May 18, 2019

Memorial Day is fast approaching, kicking off the unofficial summer tourism season.

No need to travel far away to see amazing topographical features such as California’s San Andreas Fault, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon. All you have to do is drive Highway 12 from Sauk City to Baraboo (and I suspect many other Wisconsin roads). The ruts and crevasses in the highway are “impressive,” to say the least, and not in a good way.

The terrible condition of Wisconsin roads did not just happen, it was allowed to happen, in large part because of both political parties, which put politics above doing the right thing to do. They let the roads fall into the pathetic state of disrepair they are now in.

Former state Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, pushed to repeal gas tax indexing. Keeping the gas tax tied to inflation would have at least helped with road maintenance. Republicans in the Legislature and the governor’s office were frightened by the mere thought of a gas tax increase in recent years.

Maybe, just maybe, current office holders (and taxpayers as well) will finally get it through their thick (and empty?) heads -- those roads don’t just fix themselves.

Until then, I suggest a new motto for our license plates: “Wisconsin -- Roads worse than Mississippi.”

Roger Johnson, Prairie du Sac

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