Georgians facor reducing traffic volume over more roads

Georgians favor reducing traffic volume over more roads

Athens, Ga. – Georgians are more likely to favor proposals that target reducing the overall volume of traffic on their roads instead of building more roads, according to a recent Peach State Poll. Given two alternatives, 70 percent of the public favor projects to expand public transportation over building more roads and highways (24 percent) as a priority for state government spending on transportation. In addition, 63 percent of those surveyed disapprove of allowing vehicles with no passengers to use the high occupancy vehicle lane for a fee.

Although the public did not support additional road construction generally, about two-thirds of those surveyed (66 percent) approve of building commercial vehicle-only highways to route commercial traffic around urbanized areas. Fifty-percent of residents in urban areas strongly approve of building such highways, and another 15 percent approve somewhat.

The public was evenly split on the question of increasing the number of toll roads in order to fund more highway construction, with 49 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving. Respondents from lower-income households (those making less than $30,000) were more likely to disapprove of increasing the number of toll roads (57 percent compared with 47 percent). Despite the fact that using tolls to fund transportation costs represents an alternative means of taxation, the poll found no difference in response by political party.

The Peach State Poll is a periodic survey of public opinion conducted by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Other Peach State Poll results:

  • The poll revealed that speeding and traffic are two of the most prominent safety concerns for the Georgia public. In an open-ended question, these concerns were cited by 18 percent and 15 percent of respondents, respectively.
  • Nearly all respondents (96 percent) characterized drinking and driving as a major danger on Georgia roads, and 81 percent characterized over-aggressive driving and speeding as a major danger.
  • In addition, 74 percent of those surveyed cited the use of cell phones while driving as a major danger; 84 percent of respondents over 54 years of age characterized cell phones as a major danger.
  • Only a small minority of the public is familiar with (38 percent) or has used (28 percent) the 5-1-1 dedicated phone number for learning about current traffic situations and delays. Of those who have used it, however, 86 percent said that they were either very satisfied (40 percent) or somewhat satisfied (46 percent) with the service.

These data were taken from a Peach State Poll survey conducted between November 19 and December 2, 2007. The poll included 800 telephone interviews of randomly selected adults in Georgia. For a sample of this size, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/-3.5 percent.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia, has as part of its mission to provide policymakers with systematic, objective research to inform policy decisions. In accordance with that mission, the Peach State Poll aims to give voice to the public on important policy matters and issues pertaining to political, social, and economic life in Georgia.

For more information on this survey or other Peach State Poll results, see www.vinsoninstitute.org/peachpoll.