Chances are, if you live in Michigan you’ve got one (or more). My most recent pothole story took place last week.
My youngest son, Cameron, was driving home from the University of Illinois at night. He was heading north on I-69 when the car in front of him hit a pothole. Then Cameron hit the pothole. And the car behind him hit the pothole. Three for three.
They all pulled over to the side of the road with blown tires. Because we are fortunate to have roadside assistance, Cameron called them and was connected with a local towing company. The person who answered the phone knew exactly where he was and knew all about that pothole.
This mom was grateful that no one was hurt, but was not very happy having her son pulled over on the side of a busy road in the dark, waiting for the towing company. I’m happy to report that Cameron made it safely home that night. He went to the tire store the next day where they told him that his tire was ruined and he needed to replace it. The man helping him told him that this was a daily occurrence in their store. I’m guessing that towing companies and tire companies are the only ones happy about the state of Michigan roads.
So let me just say it now, we need to fix the damn roads.
Even before this most recent pothole story, I was very grateful when Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to fix the roads in her first budget. It’s a problem that has gone on far too long and I appreciated her boldness and courageousness about confronting the problem and announcing a plan.
I get that it is not necessarily what everyone wants. To pay more at the pump. But as they say, you get what you pay for. And we need to pay for better roads. Just this week, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warns states like Michigan that after years of misguided tax cuts and corporate subsidies, our infrastructure is woefully underfunded.
At the League we believe it is critically important to invest in Michigan. That includes roads and education and communities and supports for struggling families. We also understand that an increase in the gas tax affects those who are low income the most. So we were very pleased to see an increase in the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit in Gov. Whitmer’s budget. It will help to offset the impact on families who are low income.
It’s time to face this problem head on.
Oh, and as this mom worried about her son, his dad reported the pothole on the Michigan Department of Transportation website. Let’s hope the money will be there to fix the pothole.