Thank You

Heart of the North would like to thank the Department of Transportation (DOT) and our elected officials for funding the following projects within the area including:

    ·         Banning the use of hand held devices in work zones

    ·         USH 8 pavement project in Rusk County

    ·         Bicycle/pedestrian trail project along CTH K in Sawyer County 

    ·         As well as other projects that occurred in the Heart of the North that utilized Federal and State funding to improve our transportation system. These funding mechanisms include Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP), Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the Surface Transportation Program (STP)

Issue #1: Transportation Funding

The Heart of the North continues to advocate for adequate funding to meet the needs of Wisconsin’s Transportation Infrastructure. Roadways continue to be the primary means of transportation in our area. The funding being provided is inadequate to meet the needs of the system. Examples of what we are facing are:

    ·         Multiple Transportation studies undertaken by the State of Wisconsin indicate that there is a growing need for additional transportation funding to preserve the existing Highway System as well as meet the future needs of the Highway System.

    ·         Wisconsin County Highway Association research indicates that based on actual miles of road worked on in recent years, County Highways are currently on a reconstruction schedule of 196 years and a pavement replacement schedule of 56 years. Typical accepted schedules are 50 years for reconstruction and 20 years for pavement replacement.

    ·         The Wisconsin Towns Association studies also indicate actual pavement life is well beyond any reasonable expectation.

Possible Solution:  Increased sustainable funding to allow for all system owners to meet the needs of the system users.  

      • Increases in gas tax and return to indexing to insure long term purchase power of the fund
      •  Increase vehicle registration fees
      •  Enact the  0.5% Local Option Sales Tax proposal for local transportation related projects
      •  Increase General Transportation Aids to the local units of government
      • Increase funding to the Local Road Improvement Program

Issue #2: Work Zone Safety

Any time people are working on a street or highway near traffic, drivers and workers are at risk. The majority of injuries and fatalities in work zones are the motorists traveling through these zones. Many times drivers do not follow the direction of the traffic flaggers in a work zone, which puts both the workers and the driver at risk. Currently, School Crossing Guards have the ability under 346.465 Owner's liability for vehicle illegally crossing controlled school crossing to report violations to law enforcement, and for law enforcement to follow up and issue tickets for violation.

Possible Solution:

            Extending that ability to workers in the highway right of ways will assist in reaching compliance with the instructions given by those                    workers to the motorists. Additionally, allowing automated speed enforcement in work zones would also increase motorist's compliance                with posted speed limits.