GOP puts trucking interests ahead of the public interest
By Will Collette
|Source: Rhode Island DOT|
There’s no evidence to support that prediction. However, there are present day FACTS. RI has some of the country’s worst bridges and roadways. These already cost us in car crashes, damage to vehicles, blown tires and damaged wheels, plus time lost in traffic jams.
Democrats pushed the RhodeWorks plan to repair all those roads and bridges without delay. Already, there are RhodeWorks projects all over the state fixing some of our worst bridges and, incidentally, putting a lot of unemployed construction workers back on the jobs.
Check out the work that’s being down on the rotten underbelly of the Route One bridges going through Wakefield to see not only how bad the problem really is, but how quickly the state RhodeWorks program can get to work on the solution.
Meanwhile, Republicans have become lobbyists for the interstate trucking industry.
Republicans seem to think road repairs can fund themselves, or that they can find enough loose change by searching the chair cushions in state office buildings.
They expected to fund it from waste and fraud, kicking off a big “Waste-O-Meter” media gimmick last winter. They found a few million in projects that in their opinion might be unwarranted, but hardly enough to fix even one bridge, so we don’t hear about the “Waste-O-Meter” any more.
|Elaine Morgan thinks the Russians|
For decades, we have been under-funding and neglecting highway and bridge repair and maintenance. Only an idiot (or a Republican) can fail to see that we need to raise and spend some serious money to deal with this public safety menace.
Democrats enacted legislation to finance RhodeWorks through tolls on interstate trucking. Studies showed those big rigs are the major cause of damage to our roads and bridges. The state truck toll plan was just recently approved by the federal Transportation Department.
Normally, Republicans LOVE “user fees” like this, but this time, I guess the interstate trucking industry made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Instead of embracing truck tolls, the state GOP wants voters to believe they are a threat. Hopkinton state Senator Elaine Morgan even likened truck tolls to “Soviet Russia.”