Listeners of Michigan Public Radio got a crash course in the Strong Towns message last week through an interview with Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn. He gave several presentations at the Michigan Local Government Management Association's Winter Institute in Kalamazoo, MI last week, and beforehand, he had the opportunity to speak on the Stateside series on Michigan Public Radio.
The program's host, Cynthia Canty, framed her central question as, "What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?"
Here's a telling quote from the interview with Chuck Marohn:
When you step back and look at the problem you can see that, yes, there is a ton of infrastructure in the ground and yes, it is deteriorating and it's failing, and the way we fix that problem—if you define the problem as stopping it from deteriorating— is you spend lots of money. If we actually dig into the problem, what we find is that the infrastructure investments that we have made (and really this is a post-World War II condition) don't actually create enough wealth and enough cash flow for local governments—for states, for counties, for cities—to actually have the money to fix them. We'll spend a million dollars on a road and then over the course of the life of that road, we won't get anywhere near a million dollars back to fix it.
(All images from MichiganRadio.org)