DOT definitely needs change

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2003

&uot;Doing nothing gets us nowhere.&uot;

Those were the words of state Rep. Cam Ward last week.

Ward launched an effort recently to re-vamp the state’s Department of Transportation.&160;

It is definitely needed, especially for Shelby County.

Shelby County sent almost $13 million to the state DOT in 2002, a number which continues to increase every year.

During that same year, however, only about $4 million, or 38 percent, was spent by the state on roads in Shelby County.

If prioritized based on anything but politics, our transportation needs in this county would be tops.

Unfortunately, like most everything else in our state government, politics has been the rule in highway improvement priorities. Ward’s bill creates a Transportation Commission which would attempt to take those politics out of the decision-making process in the state’s Department of Transportation.

We fully expect our Legislative Delegation to get behind Ward in lobbying for the bill to pass the Legislature.

Further, we expect our governor to rise to the occasion and make the moves he needs to make to see that this Commission becomes reality.

Traffic problems in this county are serious business, and it’s time for serious people like Ward to stand up and make the changes necessary to solve them.

The next time you’re sitting perfectly still in your car on Highway 119 or Highway 31 in Shelby County for more than an hour either going to or coming home from work, or maybe even both, think of what you can do to encourage your legislator to do the right thing for Shelby County