Voters Taking Different Track
June 2nd, 2000 by Tim Evans
- Given the choice, 57 percent of New Jerseyans polled last month said they would prefer the state improve public transportation over building new roads.
- The preference for improved public transit was consistent in every region of the state. New Jerseyans in the Central and Northwest regions were nearly tied in favor of public transit, at 59 and 58 percent, respectively.
With the Legislature poised to vote on the renewal of the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, New Jersey voters recently voiced their preference for improving public transportation.
Preliminary results from a statewide poll of 1,200 New Jersey voters show a clear majority prefer “to spend more taxpayer money on improving public transportation, including trains and buses” over building new roads. The poll, commissioned last month by New Jersey Future, had a sampling error of 2.8 percent. Final poll results will be released next week.
The reauthorization bill now under consideration was stripped of language requiring state transportation projects to conform to the State Plan. Restoring this language would direct the Department of Transportation to focus its spending on improving public transportation and existing roads and bridges — just as the public demands. Far from being unnecessary or politically unviable, as some legislators claim, restoring the State Plan requirement is an example of how good politics can also make good policy.
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B. Tim Evans, NJF Research Director