To listen to most media reports and discussions among elected officials, transportation projects such as new Potomac River Bridges, I-66, Capital Beltway and other regionally significant improvements are “highly controversial in the minds of the public” and face “stiff citizen opposition.”
But when the public as a whole is actually asked about these projects one finds broad public support and minimal public opposition.
These are among the findings of a recent survey of 800 District, Maryland and Virginia residents commissioned by the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance and the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance.
Here’s what the public says on the following projects* —
- A new Northern Potomac River Crossing — Support 59%; Oppose 11%
- American Legion Bridge Express Lanes — Support 59%; Oppose 13%
- Maryland Beltway Express Lanes— Support 71%; Oppose 11%
- I-270 Express Lanes Extension to Frederick – Support 70%; Oppose 10%
- I-66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes — Support 70%; Oppose 12%
- The Bi-County Parkway — Support 54%; Oppose 13%
- New cars for 8-Car Metro Trains — Support 75%;; Oppose 6%
- MD’s Purple Line — Support 67%; Oppose 10%
(* All respondents were asked about bridge and Metro improvements. Only Maryland residents were asked about the Maryland Beltway, I-270 and the Purple Line. Only Virginia residents were asked about I-66 and the Bi-County Parkway)
To see the entire Greater Washington Regional Survey results click here
All of the above projects ranked in the top ten in a 2011 survey of area transportation professionals.
In short far from being “controversial” all of these projects have support to opposition ratios of 5-1 to 7-1 and opposition at about 10%. How many public institutions or public officials can say the same?
Let’s not allow a few naysayers to continue keeping us all sitting in traffic.
It’s Time to Make Regional Transportation Investments The Public Knows and Agrees We Need