Traffic Congestion No Longer a Metro-Only Issue; Minnesotans Statewide Are Calling for More Options to Meet Growing Transportation Needs

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Minnesota Department of Transportation

    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In a statewide survey released
 today by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot), 89 percent of
 Minnesotans said that reducing traffic congestion should be a top priority for
 the Minnesota Legislature.
     More than 90 percent of respondents believed that traffic volume is
 growing throughout the state and that congestion is getting worse.
     "This survey confirms what most of us are experiencing in our daily lives
 -- Minnesotans are highly aware of the level of traffic congestion and believe
 it is getting worse," said Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg.  "People are
 experiencing more stress due to increased congestion and they want something
 done."
     Respondents were asked to rate transportation priorities for both the
 short term and the long term.  For the short term, the top priorities were
 "managing traffic and removing bottlenecks" and "maintaining roadways and
 public transit."  Long term priorities among the statewide sample included
 "maintaining roadways and public transit," but the next highest priority was
 "providing transportation such as light rail and commuter rail."
     Commuter rail, which operates on existing tracks and provides passenger
 train service during peak travel times, was seen, along with light rail, as
 the highest long-term priority among metro area respondents.
     When asked what conditions would be necessary to change their current
 driving habits, 60 percent of respondents listed one of the following
 responses:  "alternative transportation options available," "traffic
 congestion and accidents increase," "transportation costs increased" or
 "change of location of job or home."
     "In addition to roads and buses, commuter rail is becoming more popular
 for Minnesotans throughout the state," Commissioner Tinklenberg said.  "They
 understand that we can never build enough roads to satisfy demand, so we need
 to create choices.  Commuter rail makes sense as a cost-effective approach
 that can be built quickly and help reduce congestion right away."
 
     Other survey findings
     -- 79 percent of metro residents said traffic congestion had changed in
        the past five years
     -- 57 percent of respondents felt providing transportation alternatives
        such as light rail or commuter rail should be a long-term priority
     -- 66 percent find that the added stress associated with traffic
        congestion is more difficult to deal with than the added time of a
        commute
 
     Mode of Transportation
     The table below summarizes the use of different modes of transportation
 used by respondents while traveling in Minnesota during the past six months.
 
     MODE                                All            Metro        Greater
                                      Minnesota         Area        Minnesota
                                       n = 800         n = 400       n = 400
     Car or truck                         98%             99%           99%
     Bus                                  12              16             8
     Car/van pool                         10              10             9
     Taxi                                  7              10             3
     Motorcycle                            6               5             6
     Bicycle                              28              32            24
     Other                                 5               5             4
 
     Responses exceed 100 percent due to rounding and multiple responses.
 
     Survey Methodology
     A random sample of 800 Minnesota households (400 metro and 400 Greater
 Minnesota) was completed between October 25 and December 31, 2000.  Sampling
 error was plus or minus 3.5 percent.  Respondents were at least 18 years of
 age and had used some means of transportation in Minnesota within the past six
 months.
 
     The Congestion Study Executive Study is available at
 http://www.dot.state.mn.us/marketresearch
 
 

SOURCE Minnesota Department of Transportation
    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In a statewide survey released
 today by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot), 89 percent of
 Minnesotans said that reducing traffic congestion should be a top priority for
 the Minnesota Legislature.
     More than 90 percent of respondents believed that traffic volume is
 growing throughout the state and that congestion is getting worse.
     "This survey confirms what most of us are experiencing in our daily lives
 -- Minnesotans are highly aware of the level of traffic congestion and believe
 it is getting worse," said Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg.  "People are
 experiencing more stress due to increased congestion and they want something
 done."
     Respondents were asked to rate transportation priorities for both the
 short term and the long term.  For the short term, the top priorities were
 "managing traffic and removing bottlenecks" and "maintaining roadways and
 public transit."  Long term priorities among the statewide sample included
 "maintaining roadways and public transit," but the next highest priority was
 "providing transportation such as light rail and commuter rail."
     Commuter rail, which operates on existing tracks and provides passenger
 train service during peak travel times, was seen, along with light rail, as
 the highest long-term priority among metro area respondents.
     When asked what conditions would be necessary to change their current
 driving habits, 60 percent of respondents listed one of the following
 responses:  "alternative transportation options available," "traffic
 congestion and accidents increase," "transportation costs increased" or
 "change of location of job or home."
     "In addition to roads and buses, commuter rail is becoming more popular
 for Minnesotans throughout the state," Commissioner Tinklenberg said.  "They
 understand that we can never build enough roads to satisfy demand, so we need
 to create choices.  Commuter rail makes sense as a cost-effective approach
 that can be built quickly and help reduce congestion right away."
 
     Other survey findings
     -- 79 percent of metro residents said traffic congestion had changed in
        the past five years
     -- 57 percent of respondents felt providing transportation alternatives
        such as light rail or commuter rail should be a long-term priority
     -- 66 percent find that the added stress associated with traffic
        congestion is more difficult to deal with than the added time of a
        commute
 
     Mode of Transportation
     The table below summarizes the use of different modes of transportation
 used by respondents while traveling in Minnesota during the past six months.
 
     MODE                                All            Metro        Greater
                                      Minnesota         Area        Minnesota
                                       n = 800         n = 400       n = 400
     Car or truck                         98%             99%           99%
     Bus                                  12              16             8
     Car/van pool                         10              10             9
     Taxi                                  7              10             3
     Motorcycle                            6               5             6
     Bicycle                              28              32            24
     Other                                 5               5             4
 
     Responses exceed 100 percent due to rounding and multiple responses.
 
     Survey Methodology
     A random sample of 800 Minnesota households (400 metro and 400 Greater
 Minnesota) was completed between October 25 and December 31, 2000.  Sampling
 error was plus or minus 3.5 percent.  Respondents were at least 18 years of
 age and had used some means of transportation in Minnesota within the past six
 months.
 
     The Congestion Study Executive Study is available at
 http://www.dot.state.mn.us/marketresearch
 
 SOURCE  Minnesota Department of Transportation