A priority list of highway and bridge projects in Ohio, with some scheduled to be delayed for decades because of funding constraints, raised hackles among officials in several areas of the state. Now, the state Department of Transportation says it will take another look at the list.
The order of projects on the schedule may be changed, moving some up and some down on the list.
ODOT Director Jerry Wray said new criteria will be added to how priorities are set for the projects. One new criteria will be public safety, he noted.
That ought to upset residents of the Buckeye State. Who decided the first round of evaluations would not include public safety? That should have been at the very top of the list of criteria, or near it.
Clearly, if safety was not on the list, the initial round of scheduling was flawed. It should be reviewed and amended.
That said, ODOT's decision to take another look at the schedule should not be permitted to mean a return to the days when highway and bridge work depended on political clout. Obviously, that would mean big urban areas would get the lion's share of money for road and bridge projects.
Politics can never be entirely divorced from the process of doling out taxpayers' money. But Ohio residents are not served by a system under which considerations such as public safety and economic development are minor players in setting priorities.