Letter: Reader calls for better-funded roads

To the Editor:

In late March, I drove to Florida via Washington, D.C., for a recently deceased family member’s Celebration of Life. Why via D.C.? To check off another item on my bucket list – Cherry Blossoms in D.C.

Prior to leaving, I had read an article on individual state gasoline taxes. While driving on interstates, streets and roads, I’d compare road conditions with that state’s gas taxes. Indiana ranks nationally in the top 10 states for gas tax at $0.32 per gallon.

Hoosiers pay more in gas taxes than most states. But our roads are not in great condition. For all the roads I traveled there and back, I ranked Indiana roads the worse, closely followed by South Carolina.

With higher than average gasoline taxes, why are roads in Indiana in such condition? If the interstates are dependent on federal funds, we are not getting our share of funds or we are not using the funds very well.

I don’t know why our roads are in worse shape than many other states – maybe in designing, engineering, construction issues, improper inspections, inferior maintenance, et cetera.

Maybe its time for the governor or the legislators to approve a “Pop Road Test.” It’s rather simple to use. If you can travel on a portion of a road while drinking pop from a can without spilling any on you, the road has passed the ‘pop road test.’

But seriously, Hoosiers need a comprehensive study of our roads to determine (1) why our roads are in poor condition compared to most other states and (2) what Indiana can to to correct the total situation for the long term.

It’s going to take some time and possibly more taxes, but something needs to start soon.

Dick Huber