May 24, 2007 - 90 Percent Of New Yorkers Say Traffic Is Serious Problem, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Most Oppose Congestion Pricing

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New York City traffic is a "very serious" problem, 59 percent of city voters say, while 31 percent say traffic is "somewhat serious," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

But voters, including mass transit users, oppose 56 - 37 percent a congestion pricing proposal where drivers would be charged $8 to drive a car into Manhattan below 86th Street, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Manhattan voters support congestion pricing 62 - 29 percent. Voters in other boroughs are opposed to the proposal:
  • 67 - 26 percent in The Bronx;
  • 63 - 29 percent in Brooklyn;
  • 61 - 32 percent in Queens;
  • 69 - 26 percent in Staten Island.
By a 3 - 1 margin, 68 - 23 percent, New York City voters say they use mass transit, rather than a car, to travel into and out of Manhattan. Car drivers oppose congestion pricing 59 - 34 percent while mass transit users oppose it 53 - 40 percent.

"It's all but unanimous. New Yorkers think traffic-choked streets are a big problem. But Mayor Bloomberg will need every ounce of support from his 74 percent approval rating to convince New York City voters that congestion pricing is the answer," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"As on so many city questions, congestion pricing is Manhattan against everybody else. Most New Yorkers say it would impose an unfair charge on outer-borough drivers."

New York City voters split 45 - 46 percent on whether they agree with a principal assumption behind congestion pricing, that traffic costs them billions of wasted dollars every year. Manhattan voters agree with the premise while voters in the other boroughs disagree.

Voters agree, 59 - 36 percent, that congestion pricing would tax unfairly people who live outside Manhattan. Again, Manhattan voters are out of touch with voters in the other boroughs.

If there were congestion pricing, taxicabs should be exempt, voters say 56 - 39 percent. On other possible exemptions, New York City voters:
  • Oppose 59 - 36 percent exemptions for personal vehicles;
  • Oppose 70 - 26 percent exemptions for limousines;
  • Support 49 - 45 percent exemptions for delivery trucks.
"Okay, let's assume we have congestion pricing. Should anyone be exempt? Taxi cabs, most say, but not private cars and, overwhelmingly, not the way the rich folks ride - limousines," Carroll said.

From May 15 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,018 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

13. How do you usually travel into and out of Manhattan, by car or mass transit?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Car 23% 31% 20% 27% 29% 20% 16% Mass transit 68 60 72 63 62 73 74 OTHER (VOL) 6 6 5 6 6 5 8 DK/NA 3 2 3 4 4 3 2

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Car 22% 20% 24% 26% 29% 26% 21% Mass transit 69 71 67 65 56 66 69 OTHER (VOL) 7 5 6 5 11 6 6 DK/NA 3 3 3 3 4 2 4

TREND: How do you usually travel into and out of Manhattan, by car or mass transit?

                        May 24  Jan 18  Feb 27  Jul 17
                        2007    2007    2003    2002


Car 23 24 31 25 Mass transit 68 67 63 69 OTHER 6 7 - - DK/NA 3 3 6 6



14. How much of a problem do you think traffic congestion is in New York City? A very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very serious 59% 62% 59% 58% 60% 59% 57% Smwht serious 31 26 32 32 33 33 28 Not too serious 7 7 7 6 4 5 10 Not a problem at all 2 1 1 2 1 1 3 DK/NA 2 3 1 2 2 1 1

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Very serious 67% 54% 59% 57% 75% 56% 61% Smwht serious 26 34 35 27 23 33 29 Not too serious 3 7 4 13 2 6 8 Not a problem at all 3 1 1 2 - 3 1 DK/NA 1 4 1 1 - 1 2

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Very serious 57% 59% Smwht serious 31 32 Not too serious 10 6 Not a problem at all 2 2 DK/NA 1 2

TREND: How much of a problem do you think traffic congestion is in New York City? A very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not a problem at all?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Very serious 59 55 Smwht serious 31 34 Not very serious 7 6 Not at all 2 2 DK/NA 2 2



15. How much have you heard or read about congestion pricing, a plan adopted by some major cities to reduce traffic by charging a fee to drive into congested areas? A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


A lot 41% 51% 38% 48% 45% 36% 39% Some 36 30 39 31 42 31 28 Not much 10 6 11 8 7 13 14 Nothing at all 11 13 11 12 5 19 17 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1 3

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

A lot 44% 35% 46% 42% 48% 47% 37% Some 29 39 42 33 27 34 38 Not much 10 12 6 13 6 9 11 Nothing at all 15 13 5 10 18 9 13 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 2 2 1

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

A lot 46% 40% Some 34 37 Not much 8 11 Nothing at all 10 11 DK/NA 2 1

TREND: How much have you heard or read about congestion pricing, a plan adopted by some major cities to reduce traffic by charging a fee to drive into congested areas? A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


A lot 41 17 Some 36 30 Not much 10 18 Nothing at all 11 33 DK/NA 1 1



16. Some have suggested using congestion pricing to help relieve traffic in Manhattan. Do you support or oppose charging vehicle owners a fee to drive into Manhattan below 86th street on weekdays from 6 AM to 6 PM?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Support 37% 33% 42% 33% 47% 28% 27% Oppose 56 61 50 60 46 65 64 DK/NA 7 6 8 6 7 7 9

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Support 26% 29% 62% 32% 26% 41% 33% Oppose 67 63 29 61 69 54 57 DK/NA 7 7 9 7 6 5 10

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Support 34% 40% Oppose 59 53 DK/NA 7 7



17. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement. Congestion pricing would be good for the economy because traffic congestion costs New Yorkers billions of wasted dollars every year.

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Agree 45% 43% 49% 40% 49% 41% 42% Disagree 46 50 42 55 44 50 49 DK/NA 8 6 10 5 7 9 9

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Agree 38% 43% 60% 41% 40% 46% 45% Disagree 53 49 33 50 52 47 46 DK/NA 10 8 6 10 8 7 9

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Agree 43% 47% Disagree 47 46 DK/NA 10 7

TREND: Congestion pricing would be good for the economy because traffic congestion costs New Yorkers billions of wasted dollars every year.

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Agree 45 42 Disagree 46 49 DK/NA 8 10



18. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement. Congestion pricing would unfairly tax people who live outside of Manhattan.

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Agree 59% 62% 57% 57% 50% 67% 62% Disagree 36 33 38 39 45 29 32 DK/NA 5 5 5 4 4 4 6

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Agree 62% 67% 41% 64% 59% 58% 59% Disagree 32 29 53 33 35 38 35 DK/NA 6 5 7 3 6 4 6

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Agree 59% 58% Disagree 35 39 DK/NA 6 3

TREND: Congestion pricing would unfairly tax people who live outside of Manhattan.

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Agree 59 57 Disagree 36 37 DK/NA 5 7



19. (Intro to q19 - 22) Some have suggested that certain vehicles should be exempt from congestion pricing fees. If New York City implemented congestion pricing fees - Do you think that taxi cabs should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Exempt 56% 60% 56% 59% 65% 49% 51% Also pay 39 34 41 34 31 47 43 DK/NA 5 5 3 6 4 4 5

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Exempt 51% 49% 69% 54% 67% 59% 54% Also pay 44 45 25 42 32 38 39 DK/NA 5 6 5 4 1 3 7

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Exempt 58% 57% Also pay 38 38 DK/NA 3 5

TREND: If New York City implemented congestion pricing fees, do you think that taxi cabs should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Exempt 56 53 Also pay 39 42 DK/NA 5 5



20. Do you think that personal vehicles should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Exempt 36% 41% 35% 35% 29% 41% 43% Also pay 59 54 61 57 67 55 50 DK/NA 5 6 4 8 4 4 7

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Exempt 45% 39% 23% 39% 40% 34% 38% Also pay 52 55 72 56 52 63 55 DK/NA 3 6 6 5 7 3 7

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Exempt 40% 33% Also pay 55 62 DK/NA 5 5

TREND: If New York City implemented congestion pricing fees do you think that personal vehicles should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Exempt 36 32 Also pay 59 62 DK/NA 5 6



21. Do you think that limousines should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Exempt 26% 35% 23% 30% 24% 27% 29% Also pay 70 61 75 66 71 72 68 DK/NA 4 4 3 4 5 2 3

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Exempt 24% 24% 25% 26% 37% 28% 24% Also pay 72 72 70 71 59 70 71 DK/NA 3 4 4 3 3 2 5

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Exempt 33% 24% Also pay 64 73 DK/NA 4 3

TREND: If New York City implemented congestion pricing fees do you think that limousines should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Exempt 26 26 Also pay 70 70 DK/NA 4 5



22. Do you think that delivery trucks should be exempt or should they also have to pay?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Exempt 49% 59% 47% 49% 50% 56% 41% Also pay 45 36 48 45 44 41 52 DK/NA 6 6 5 6 6 3 7

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Exempt 55% 45% 50% 46% 62% 50% 48% Also pay 40 49 41 50 37 45 45 DK/NA 5 6 8 4 1 4 7

Means of travel In/Out of Man Q13 Car PubTran

Exempt 49% 49% Also pay 45 46 DK/NA 6 5

TREND: If New York City implemented congestion pricing fees do you think that delivery trucks should be exempt or should they also have to pay?

                        May 24  Jan 18
                        2007    2007


Exempt 49 49 Also pay 45 45 DK/NA 6 6