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Options, road work top Oklahoma survey results

Options, road work top Oklahoma survey results


Newsok.com: By John Johnson
Published: July 22, 2009

Motorists and commuters in Central Oklahoma want more transit options and better road maintenance for the region’s future transportation system. These were some of the conclusions from a survey that Association of Central Oklahoma Governments conducted in May.
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The survey will help identify strategies to improve auto, bus, pedestrian, truck, rail and bicycle travel for the region’s long-range transportation plan, also known as the Encompass 2035 Plan.

Some of the key findings included:

• More than 80 percent of respondents drive alone to work.

• More than 80 percent of respondents live within 20 miles of work. More than 50 percent of those taking the survey said their one-way commute to work took at least 20 minutes.

• When asked what ways they would prefer to travel in the future, the top three responses in order were rail, car and bus.

• When asked what the top three priorities for the system should be, the top response was "develop passenger rail,” followed by "maintain roads and bridges” and "improve the public bus system.”

• When asked what would most improve safety while traveling in the region, "better maintenance of roads and bridges” was the top choice among respondents.

• When asked what would encourage them to ride the bus, respondents wanted bus routes to be closer to home and work, to run more frequently, and to have more service available earlier and later than the current schedule.

• When asked what funding sources they would support to improve the transportation system, respondents strongly suggested that no new funding was required. Rather, the existing funds and resources needed to be redistributed. Other sources that ranked high on the survey included a gasoline and diesel tax increase, and an increase on vehicle registration fees.

• The final question asked how respondents would spend $100 among a variety of transportation modes. "Road maintenance” received the largest cut of the money, followed by "passenger rail” and "public bus service.”

The survey was not designed as a scientific survey. However, results will provide insight into the priorities that central Oklahomans place on safety, bus riding, carpooling and mobility options and the most acceptable means of financing these transportation improvements. The complete survey results are available at www.acogok.org.

John G. Johnson is the executive director of the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments. He can be reached at acog@acogok.org.

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