Issue #1: Funding for the local road system
Almost every trip begins or ends on a local road. With the geographic location of Barron, Rusk, Sawyer and Washburn County, we are fully dependent on surface transportation for our very existence. While there is some Rail service in our area, we primarily rely on a strong local road and State system for the vast majority of the goods and services we need. Additionally one of the biggest economic drivers in our area is tourism, which relies completely on a good road system. Over the past several budgets there has been added investment in funding for the local road system. Thank you for the continued effort in working to provide adequate funding to the local road system. The increase to General Transportation Aids, the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP), the Local Road Improvement – Discretionary (LRIP-D) and the Local Road Improvement – Supplement (LRIP-S) program all provided the locals with additional funding. There are still many unmet needs across the entire local road system as well as other ways for more efficient use of the provided funds.
We support the following to continue to address the funding needs on the local road system:
1) Increases to the General Transportation Aids
2) Increases to the Local Road Improvement Program
3) ½ % Sales Tax dedicated to transportation projects.
4) Exemption of Local Bridge matching funds from the tax levy
Issue #2: Work Zone Safety
Safety of the traveling public and those that work on construction and maintenance of the highway system in Wisconsin is most important. Work Zone Safety continues to be a critical focus of the Local Governments. Workers and drivers are at risk in the work zones. Ensuring that the drivers that encounter work zones and the workers who are performing the work remain safe is critical. There are far too many crashes, injuries and fatalities in work zones in Wisconsin. Efforts must be directed to improve the safety of work zones for everyone that is in contact with a highway work zone.
We support the following to aid in increasing safety in work zones:
1) Allowing work zone flaggers to report violations to law enforcement. School Crossing Guards currently have this ability under Statue 346.465.
2) Adding Work Zone Safety instruction to the Drivers Education Curriculum.
3) Use of technology in the enforcement of laws in Work Zones
4) Allowing local municipalities to implement green strobe lights on vehicles.