July 17, 2002 - New Yorkers Split On Building On 'Hallowed Ground,' Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; East River Tolls Is Choice To Close Budget Gap
New York City voters are split 41 - 42 percent on whether there should be development on the so-called "footprints," the two one-acre squares where the Twin Towers stood, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Seventeen percent of voters are undecided.

Looking at the entire Ground Zero site, 70 percent of New York City voters say future plans should include a memorial to the victims of September 11, plus office and residential buildings, while 23 percent say the entire site should be set aside for a memorial only.

These findings are similar to those in a February 8 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University when 75 percent of New Yorkers favored a memorial plus development.

The redevelopment of Lower Manhattan is going "very well," 22 percent of New Yorkers say, while 50 percent say it is going "somewhat well;" 12 percent say it is going "somewhat badly," and 4 percent say it is going "very badly."

"As they consider the options for rebuilding Lower Manhattan, New Yorkers are as divided as they can be on whether to encroach on the actual spots where the Twin Towers stood, the 'Hallowed Ground' where 2,800 people died," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Looking at the larger 16-acre Ground Zero site, New Yorkers have consistently supported a mix with a memorial plus development by almost 3 - 1 margins."

"And New York City voters, who are no slouches about criticizing government, say the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan is going well," Carroll added.
New York City Budget

Asked about ways to help balance the city budget, 40 percent of voters say place tolls on the East River bridges. Of two big-money possibilities, 23 percent say increase taxes and 20 percent say increase subway and bus fares.

If they had to choose which New York City tax to raise;
  • 35 percent of voters say raise the property tax;
  • 30 percent say raise the sales tax;
  • 21 percent say raise the income tax.
New York City's budget problems are "very serious," 46 percent of voters say, while 41 percent say they are "somewhat serious;" 9 percent say they are "not too serious," and 1 percent say they are "not at all serious."

By a 47 - 32 percent margin, New Yorkers approve of the way Mayor Bloomberg is handling the budget. To balance the budget he should cut spending, 48 percent of voters say, while 18 percent say he should raise taxes and 23 percent say he should borrow money.

"The continuing chorus of woe from Mayor Bloomberg and the fiscal watchdogs has convinced citizens the City Hall's budget problems are serious," Carroll said. "Voters first choice, as always, it to cut spending.

"When we take the 'cut spending' option away and present voters with some hard choices, the first choice is to toll the free bridges. The last choice is a fare hike."

From July 8 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 932 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Bloomberg is handling the city budget?
                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Approve 47% 60% 47% 45% 57% 34% 42% 54% 42% Disapprove 32 26 33 33 21 46 37 30 33 DK/NA 21 14 20 22 21 20 21 16 25

7. Mayor Bloomberg is trying to balance the city budget. Do you think he should raise taxes, cut spending, or borrow money?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Raise taxes 18% 12% 21% 15% 25% 10% 12% 19% 16% Cut spending 48 64 44 51 45 52 50 47 48 Borrow money 23 16 24 22 19 28 25 23 23 DK/NA 12 9 11 12 12 10 13 11 12

8. How serious do you think New York City's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, not at all serious?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Very serious 46% 39% 49% 45% 42% 55% 44% 45% 46% Smwht serious 41 52 39 42 48 32 38 41 42 Not too serious 9 6 8 10 7 8 12 10 8 Not at all serious 1 1 0 1 1 1 2 2 1 DK/NA 3 1 3 2 2 3 4 2 4

9. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, which would you prefer -- increasing taxes, increasing subway and bus fares, or placing tolls on the free East River bridges?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Increasing taxes 23% 20% 23% 23% 25% 19% 22% 27% 20% Increasing subway & bus fares 20 27 17 24 25 19 17 22 18 Tolls on East River bridges 40 39 42 39 35 45 42 33 45 DK/NA 17 14 18 13 16 18 19 17 17

10. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, which city tax do you think should be increased -- personal income tax, sales tax, or property tax?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Personal income tax 21% 17% 23% 17% 23% 19% 21% 22% 19% Sales tax 30 37 27 33 31 32 28 28 31 Property tax 35 36 35 38 34 33 37 34 36 DK/NA 14 9 15 12 12 16 14 15 14

37. Thinking about the World Trade Center site, do you think the entire site should be set aside for a memorial or do you think the site should include a memorial and some office buildings and apartment buildings?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Memorial only 23% 16% 25% 20% 17% 33% 23% 18% 28% Include other buildings 70 74 70 74 78 59 69 76 66 DK/NA 6 11 5 6 5 8 8 6 6

31. If there is development on the World Trade Center site, do you think there should or should not be development on the so-called "footprints", the two one-acre patches of ground where the towers stood?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Yes/Should develop 41% 45% 38% 44% 39% 37% 49% 48% 35% No/Should not develop 42 44 43 39 44 46 35 38 45 DK/NA 17 11 19 17 17 17 16 15 19

25. What is your impression of how well the redevelopment of lower Manhattan is going? Would you say very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Very well 22% 24% 22% 17% 20% 23% 25% 21% 22% Somewhat well 50 59 51 46 52 53 46 49 52 Somewhat badly 12 6 12 19 13 11 8 13 11 Very badly 4 4 3 8 3 2 7 6 3 DK/NA 12 7 12 11 12 11 13 11 13

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

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Hisp  Men   Wom


Car 25% 32% 23% 25% 29% 17% 24% 26% 24% Mass transit 69 64 71 70 63 77 71 67 71 DK/NA 6 4 6 5 8 6 5 7 6