Michigan Roads and Policy Recommendations

April 2017
Jay Nautiyal

Beginning as a system of Indian trails long before European settlers habituated the area that now makes up the United States, the road system of Michigan has since become a largely pot-hole laden, cracked and all around damaged mess (Bessert 2016). In fact Metro Detroit’s roads are ranked among the worst in the nation, according to numerous reports (Lawrence 2015). Can harsh weather, and ice damage explain Michigan’s poor infrastructure, or is the problem an indicator of a deeper issue having to do with poor governance and management? Moreover, what can be done to fix the condition of Michigan’s roads, and is the current funding plan that is projected to raise 1.2 billion dollars for roads enough (Gray, Egan and Kathleen 2016)? Personally I do not believe so, and will outline the reasons as to why in this paper. In identifying the issue I will also argue that the best ways to raise money for roads are by further increasing taxes, allowing businesses to advertise on roadsides (billboards) and by encouraging placemaking to make Michigan communities more attractive to entrepreneurs.