AASHTO Journal, 22 November 2013
According to a recent survey by the Washington State Transportation Commission, a vast majority of citizens across the state believe it is “urgent” to make sure Washington State’s transportation system meets the needs of users “today and into the future.” A majority of survey respondents (60 percent) then backed that statement up by saying they could consider paying more in taxes and fees to ensure that happens.
The survey, which was conducted through the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) survey panel, collected 5,765 responses from across Washington State during a two-week period regarding how residents feel about the state’s transportation system, where their transportation priorities stand, and if they think the state is collecting enough revenue to pay for those priorities.
The survey found that when various benefits that come from more long-term investments were listed, 78 percent of citizens said preserving transportation infrastructure was important to justify higher taxes. The next highest benefit for justifying higher taxes was reducing congestion (which received a vote from 61 percent of respondents). The third highest factor was expanding transit (at 56 percent).
The survey asked participants to rate the importance of various transportation components. In response to that question, 84 percent said maintaining and repairing current roads, highways, and bridges is important, while 49 percent rated public transit services as important, and the addition or increase of intercity passenger rail service was rated high by 46 percent.
Additional information the VOWS survey panel is available here.