Monday, June 15 2009 @ 03:25 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
While traffic is a leading irritant, it is not where the public would place the most effort over the long-term.
In one of the study’s more challenging findings, residents do not place great emphasis on solving the region’s transportation problems. By a large margin, traffic and transportation are listed as the top “long-term issue or challenge facing the Washington region.” The concern is particularly acute in parts of Northern Virginia. But when asked how much of a priority they would place on transportation if they were making decisions for the region, citizens rank transportation ninth out of a list of sixteen broad items tested – in other words in the middle of the pack. With this finding, residents are not saying “do not solve it,” but they are identifying a number of other pressing priorities that need greater attention in their view.
The second leading priority for the long term is producing safe streets and neighborhoods. On safety as well as education there are strong differences in performance among jurisdictions, but near total consensus that public safety is a high priority.
One’s commuting choice heavily impacts this number. Compared to the 54% overall number, only 38% of people who typically commute to work or school by driving alone mention transportation as a top regional challenge. The number is 50% among people who commute by mass transit, carpooling, or another means like walking or biking. Among those who do not commute regularly, the number jumps to 71%. Despite daily frustrations, commuters who drive alone are the least concerned about the region’s transportation challenges. [So why does the region over stress accommodating the SOV (Single Occupancy Vehicle?)]