Governor’s lowbudget plan to fix Michigan roads: Make the people responsible

Faced with deteriorating infrastructure and a tight budget, the governor of Michigan has come up with a new plan to fill potholes without an unpopular hike to the gas tax: make every Michigander responsible for fixing and maintaining their own ten-foot stretch of road. “If Michigan residents don’t want to pay more taxes, they’re going to have to take the responsibility for the repairs into their own hands—literally,” said the governor. “I don’t have a lot of options here.” To put the governor’s plan into action, state employees delivered Road Repair Kits to Michigan households on Monday.

Each kit contains one shovel, one pickaxe, two rolls of duct tape, three bottles of glue and one can of Flex Seal adhesive. “Obviously it would be easier for everyone if there were some power tools in there, but like we’ve said before: the budget’s pretty short,” said the director of Michigan’s Department of Transportation. “I’m sure the good people of Michigan are smart enough to figure out what to do.” Despite limited supplies and direction, Michigan residents have jumped to the task of mending potholes and sealing cracks with their usual Midwest positivity. “I wasn’t sure what to do at first,” said Bill Vandeberg, an IT manager from Holland. “I mean, I remodeled our bathroom last fall, but fixing roads isn’t really in my skillset. But I found some great videos on the YouTube, and now my ten-foot section of street is gonna be the smoothest in the state.” Others have gotten the whole family involved: “My husband is shoveling gravel, I’m leveling it out, and we’ve got the kiddos mixing asphalt,” said one mother from the Zeeland area. “It’s really brought us together as a family.” By the end of the week, drivers noted that some parts of the road were in considerably better conditions.

Others appeared to have been simply covered in a thin layer of glue. “I’m not really sure what they were thinking here,” said Katie Klopps, a commuter. “They kind of just stuck tape across these potholes. Still, I guess it’s better than nothing.” The governor doesn’t expect roads to be perfect, but she reminded the public that we can’t always expect the government to fix everything. “I think this initiative will really help cultivate a sense of civic responsibility and cooperation throughout the state,” said Whitmer. She acknowledged that citizens aren’t road repair experts, but throughout the interview she seemed to be making a desperate effort to be optimistic. “It may not be ideal, but it’s the best we can do,” she said at the site of one of the roads under repair. She tripped over a crack covered in tape, sighed and said, “I’m sure if we work together, we can build a better future for Michigan.”

Claire Buck ('22) is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Hope College Anchor. As an English major and a pre-med student, she gets excited whenever she finds places where science and storytelling intersect. When she's not editing articles or wrestling with WordPress, she enjoys wandering around farmers' markets, writing sonnets, and baking bread for her housemates.

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