Poll results show Americans are ready for a new beginningMarch 3, 2009
By Andrew Bielak
|Download the press release (.PDF) (.DOC)
Download the full poll results (.PDF) (.DOC)
As President Obama and Congress prepare to take up the renewal of the nation’s transportation investment bill, it’s important to note that that the while legislation may be written here in the nation’s capitol, the decisions made and the policies implemented will truly affect those far outside Washington D.C. For this reason, it’s essential to understand what kind of options Americans want, what changes they’d like to see, and what vision they have for the future of our transportation program.
As a poll released last week by Transportation for American and the National Association of Realtors demonstrates, Americans are ready for major, transformative change — and a majority believe that completing the second half of our transportation system, and repairing our roads and bridges, should take precedence over building new highways. The poll, which was conducted by Hart Research Associates, involved conversations with 1,005 adults living in the U.S. from January 5-7.
The answers to a few key questions from the poll, which are shown after the jump, are particularly revealing.
- Given that the U.S. population will increase by one-hundred million people by 2050, which of the following transportation approaches do you prefer to accommodate this growth?
|Build and improve rail systems, such as commuter rail, light rail, and subways||Build new highways and freeways||Not sure|
- I’m going to mention types of transportation, and I’d like you to tell me which one or two you think are not getting enough attention and emphasis from the federal government.
|Trains or light rail systems||Roads||Buses||Bike paths or trails||Sidewalks||None||Not sure|
- Many communities experience traffic congestion. I’m going to read you two statements about traffic congestion and I’d like you to tell me which of these is closer to your view: A) Some people say that we need to build more roads and expand existing roads to help reduce traffic congestion. B) Some people say that we need to improve public transportation, including trains and buses, and make it easier to walk and bike to help reduce traffic congestion. Which of these is closer to your view?
|Improve public transportation||Build more roads and expand existing roads||Not sure|
The message here is simple: Americans are ready to lead our transportation system in a new direction with investments that create healthier, stronger communities, protect our climate while reducing dependence on oil, and give people in every town and city affordable, efficient options. The only question is, are our transportation officials and elected leaders ready to follow their advice?