A new survey of residents in the D.C. region want Metro to focus on maintenance and reliability instead of expansion, think transportation is the area’s greatest challenge, and say that of those challenges reducing traffic congestion and delays in numero uno. Improving roads, bridges and transit facilities came in second place.
In fact, 84 percent of the 800 adult residents surveyed said pouring money into roads and transit is their priority, and 60 percent relayed that they would even be willing to fork over money to reduce congestion
This information prioritizes a few things, including jobs, the economy (10 percent), crime and terrorism (single digits apiece at 5 percent).
Equally important is the timely release of the poll, the Greater Washington Transportation Issues Survey, which was commissioned by the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance and the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance, and conducted Dec. 1-5 by Opinion Works.
The timing is noteworthy because of Metrorail, accidents, mishaps and delays over the course of the last 18 months, higher federal oversight and demands, and recent congressional testimony by authorities representing the Washington Metropolitan area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Metro officials said the system needs more public investments.
Congressional leaders said they aren’t keen on dipping into federal coffers.
If the past is prologue, Metro authorities will be forced to go where it should have gone in the very beginning — as faraway from a cheap, poorly managed transit system as possible.
WMATA gives away free and underpriced rides to all who seek them.
That is why Congress said “no bailout” last week.
That’s also why residents of the DMV complained about clogged roads — not the lack of bike racks and bike lanes.