Public opinion research implications for planning policy
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Public Opinion Research Implications for Planning & Policy. Select Findings and Observations February 15, 2007. Presented By Adam Davis, Partner Su Midghall, Partner Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, Inc. www.dhmresearch.com. Research Purposes

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Public Opinion Research Implications for Planning & Policy

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Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Public Opinion ResearchImplications for Planning & Policy

Select Findings and Observations

February 15, 2007

Presented By

Adam Davis, Partner

Su Midghall, Partner

Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, Inc.

www.dhmresearch.com


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

  • Research Purposes

    • Assess regional attitudes toward transportation system improvements

    • Assess motivations for reducing automobile trips

  • Telephone survey of 1,050 regional residents (SACOG six county area), January 19-24, 2007

  • Margin of error +/- 3.0%

  • Supplemental survey and focus group research to validate and elaborate on findings

Research Purpose


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Overall, how would you rate your community as a place to live? You can use any number between 1 and 4, were 4 is excellent and 1 is poor.

SACOG Residents Rate Their Community Highly as a Place to Live

Scale of 1=poor to 4=excellent


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

  • Access to retail, services, entertainment

  • Small town feeling

  • Open space and nature

  • The people

  • Security

  • Community feeling

  • Weather

Like Most About Living in Region


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

How would you describe the situation related to transportation here in the 6-county Sacramento region: not a serious problem, a problem but not that serious, a serious problem, or a critical problem?

Transportation System is a Big Concern


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

  • “I think emissions is the primary reason”

  • “Sitting in traffic is horribly wasteful economically”

  • “If we had better transportation 911 responses would be much faster”

  • “If you don’t spend money on really important issues like this, in the long run, your society will deteriorate”

Why Should Something be Done About the Region’s Transportation Problems


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Why Should Something Be Done About the Region’s Transportation Problems

  • “Problems with gridlock”

  • “The frustration factor. Something’s got to be done about the number of cars on the road”

  • “There’s accidents continually from aggressive drivers trying to get to where they want to go”

  • “[To] end up with a saner, happier population with few social problems”


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Transportation System Needs to be Fixed

  • Four in five believe transportation system improvements must be made


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Are there any transportation system improvements you would like to see including roads, freeways, bus, light rail, or pedestrian or bicycle improvements?

Support for Transportation System Improvements


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Residents Want a Mix of Transportation Improvements

  • Residents consistently identify a mix of needed highway/freeway and public transportation improvements

  • Same priorities whether prompted or unprompted

  • Also see road maintenance as a priority


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

What Should be Done About the Region’s Transportation Problems

  • “Not enough bridges are causing congestion—everything is plugged up”

  • “Limit external growth and promote a strong and vital inner city”

  • “Encourage employers to incentivize carpooling and flextime”

  • “Light rail is fine for the region, but we need better maintained and wider roads”


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

  • “Higher gas tax”

  • “They should have smaller buses-like vans to come around more often. Those big buses can’t get through the neighborhoods and they’re always empty”

  • Greater light rail access to outlying areas”

  • “Coordinate regional transportation development”

What Should be Done About the Region’s Transportation Problems


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Can you please describe the specific improvements you would like to see made?

Desired Transportation System Improvements-Unprompted


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

I would now like to ask you about road and freeway system improvements to reduce traffic congestion in the region.

Road and Freeway Options for Reducing Congestion

Scale of 1=not important at all to 5=extremely important


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

I would like to ask you about public transit options to reduce traffic congestion in the region

Public Transit Options for Reducing Congestion

Scale of 1=not important at all to 5=extremely important


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Priorities are Similar: Emphasis Differs

  • All areas and groups of residents want a balance of highway/freeway improvements and public transportation expansion

  • Differences in transportation priorities are ones of emphasis, not overall value


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Different Factors Influence Desired Emphasis

  • Where residents live

  • Length of commute

  • Age

  • How they view the seriousness of the transportation situation

  • How likely they are to want to reduce car trips for a variety of different reasons


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Residents See Benefits of Transportation Alternatives

  • For low income to have mobility

  • For elderly to have mobility

  • Alternatives that are better for the environment

  • Alternatives that are perceived to be more safe

  • Some alternatives less stressful

  • Alternatives that reduce use of fossil fuel


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Residents are Trying

  • Many are changing behavior as much as they can

    • Bundling errands

    • Online shopping

    • Walking and bicycling more

    • Carpooling

    • Using public transit more


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Steps People Say They Could Take to Reduce Car Trips

  • “Ride a bike; walk; carpool”

  • “Telecommute”

  • “More Internet shopping”

  • “Walk down the street instead of driving”

  • “Plan outings better”

  • “Find out about alternative transportation options”

  • “Work closer to home; less shopping”


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Many Say They are Likely to Reduce Car Trips

  • Without being told of any possible changes, 45% say they are likely to shift at least 10% of their car trips to transit, walking, or bicycling over the next five years

  • In another question, 83% said at least one of six possible changes would cause them to reduce their car trips


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

What Motivates Residents to Reduce Car Trips

  • Besides gas at $4.50 a gallon, residents say other changes would cause them to reduce driving:

    • Transit service nearer their home and work

    • More frequent transit service

    • Safer transit service

    • Transit service that is at least as fast as driving

    • Transit service that is less expensive than driving and parking


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Maxdiff Exercise


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

MaxdiffResults


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Segmentation—CLuster Analysis

  • Segment 1 (10%):

    • Dedicated Drivers 12% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)

  • Segment 2 (18%):

    • Ride Share Fans 33% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)

  • Segment 3 (7%):

    • Suburban Commuters 3% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)

  • Segment 4 (14%):

    • Roads & Rails 16% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)

  • Segment 5 (10%):

    • Progressive 40% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)

  • Segment 6 (10%):

    • Status Quo 14% “Very likely” to reduce car trips (vs. 22% overall)


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Public Transit Improvements Wanted

  • Potential for much greater use of public transit options is there

  • Light rail, in particular, gets consistently high marks no matter how we ask about it. Additional bus service also is viewed as important


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Different Improvements Needed

  • Given the diverse needs of the region and residents’ desire to reduce congestion, reduce use of fossil fuel, and improve air quality, addressing the region’s transportation system situation will involve different transportation system improvements—involving both highways and transit


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Transportation System Needs to be Fixed

  • Seven in 10 believe new revenue will be needed


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

In general, do you think that over the next 10 years existing revenue resources will provide adequate funds to build the regional transportation system we will need in the future, or do you think new revenue sources will be needed?

New Revenue Sources for the Transportation System


Multi layered strategies needed

Strategies must:

Provide adequate access and efficiency of alternatives to driving

Look not only at expanding services, but also land use and other policies that complement and support alternative transportation where it makes sense

At the same time provide freeway and road maintenance improvements where need is greatest

Multi-Layered Strategies Needed


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

  • “Security on public transportation, cleaner”

  • “Make RT run later into the night”

  • “Metro Sacramento BART system connection to the airport”

  • “Expand RT light rail to college communities”

  • “Better designed public transit - parking access, security and safety, more direct routes, and greater coverage to other areas”

Transportation System Improvements That Could Help People Reduce Car Trips


Public opinion research implications for planning policy

Transportation System Improvements That Could Help People Reduce Car Trips

  • “Bus and light rail with more frequent service and closer stops”

  • “More jobs closer to home”

  • “Building the light rail Sac-Davis-Davis-Sac as voted years ago”

  • “More (and safer) bike lanes”

  • “Having smaller busses which are clean and safe and come more often through neighborhood streets”


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