Monday, April 27, 2009

Austin's Transportation Race

Apparently people want more commuter rail. It's really annoying that the poll wasn't more specific asking about more urban rail types proving that the conversation in Austin is far behind what it could and should be. What is interesting though is the crosstabs of the mayors race with questions about issues and specifically commuter rail.

If you look at the gender breakdown in the details, you'll see that the transportation issue is mostly a male one in the mayoral race but more women would vote for more commuter rail. But its also more of an important issue for the youngest age set. The good news it seems is that the two leading candidates have the votes of people who care the more about transportation.

Now here is the kicker I'm sure M1ek and AC will post on. The part of the city that wants commuter rail the most is central. My hunch is that people in central Austin weren't thinking about more commuter rail lines when they said yes to this question which is why the questioning of urban rail or streetcar or light rail would have been much better. Will the candidates get this out of the polling? Probably not. Perhaps they have done thier own polling on the issue but I imagine not. I could be wrong.


Anonymous said...

The average US citizen thinks commuter rail is light rail is a subway. They do not know the difference between different types of rail services.

Here in Raleigh, WRAL referred to the DMU project that died as "light rail" for years. When Charlotte opened the LYNX LRT, WRAL sent a reporter down to report on the "commuter rail."

People want more trains-that's all the poll is saying.

Matt Fisher said...

They can't be all equal. All I know is, I would like to see more rail transit, but I... well, hold on. Here in Ottawa, the Citizen has dubbed light rail plans plans for "commuter rail".

Apparently, not only would it appear that people "do not know the difference between different types of rail services", but that it would appear people don't know the differences (and they exist) between LRT and BRT. I know the differences, and they can't be all equal.

Anonymous said...

Although honestly the commuter rail locations in Austin are probably most useful for a small subset of people getting back and forth to the mall and grocery store (as the commuter rail actually goes right next to those places).

Since no one has ridden it yet, people are probably in favor of it because they see the places it will go (and can't tell yet that it will only go to those place at extremely inconvenient times).

M1EK said...

Actually, people are in favor of it mostly because they assume it's going to take people to their offices; most haven't bothered to actually look at where the stations really are on the work end of the trip.

I am pretty f-in tired of having to continually call Lyndon Henry on his BS about this being light rail. Would be nice to have some reinforcements.