Poll finds Americans favor smarter transportation spending in stimulus bill

Eighty percent of Americans want transportation and other infrastructure spending included in the economic stimulus bill to target projects that achieve multiple goals and create new jobs, according to a survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and Transportation for America.

The 2009 Growth and Transportation Survey describes what Americans think about how development affects their immediate community. An overwhelming 80 percent believe it’s more important that a stimulus plan include efforts to repair existing highways and build public transit rather than build new highways. Forty-five percent of those polled said construction of new highways should “definitely” or “probably” not be included in the plan.

“Realtors® build communities and believe smarter transportation and infrastructure development will help create more livable and vibrant neighborhoods,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The survey shows that Americans want Congress and the incoming administration to factor plans for reducing dependence on foreign oil, improving the environment, and increasing transportation choices into the stimulus package currently in development, even if it temporarily delays job creation.

Americans are also very interested in energy conservation. Eighty-nine percent agreed that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use, with 58 percent agreeing strongly. Three in four of those polled also want the stimulus plan to support the reduction of carbon emissions that lead to global warming and climate change.

The 2009 Growth and Transportation Survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates, January 5-7. Hart Research Associates telephoned 1,005 adults living in the U.S. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Transportation for America is a broad coalition of housing, environmental, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations, seeking to align national, state, and local transportation policies with an array of issues like economic opportunity, climate change, energy security, health, housing and community development. NAR is a member of T4America.

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