New survey shows Americans prefer to spend more on mass transit and highway maintenance than new roads

Three-fourths of Americans believe that being smarter about development and improving public transportation are better long-term solutions for reducing traffic congestion than building new roads, according to a survey released today by the National Association of Realtors® and Smart Growth America.

The 2007 Growth and Transportation Survey details what Americans think about how development affects their immediate community, and the results may surprise you on some issues.

As evidence of the traction the issue has gained in the last few years, nearly three-quarters of Americans are concerned about the role growth and development plays in climate change.

Traffic congestion is still a concern to many Americans as it continues to worsen in most cities in the country. Half of those surveyed think improving public transit would be the best way to reduce congestion, and 26 percent believe developing communities that reduce the need to drive would be the better alternative. Only one in five said building new roads was the answer.

Here are a few key findings from the survey, which you can read in detail on our main website.

75% of those polled said that improving public transportation and building communities that don’t require as much driving were better long-term solutiosn for reducing traffic. Only 21% said that building new roads provided the best solution.

Americans are more concerned than ever about the impact of growth and development on the changing climate. Nearly 90% believe new communities should be designed so we can walk more and drive less, and that public transportation should be improved and acccesible.

With 84% against, Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the privatization of public roads and highways, one of the key initiatives of U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.

80% prefer redeveloping our older, existing urban and suburban areas rather than building new housing and commerical development at the edges of our existing suburbs.