Budget allocation Survey Results
A second MetroQuest survey asking, “how should our region spend transportation funds?” was posted and directly distributed to 454 individuals serving on all RRTPO committees and interested parties. Community groups, advocates, localities and partners of the RRTPO also posted the survey on their own web sites. A total of 278 people participated in the survey which was open from April 16 to May 14, 2021.
Respondents from across the region participated with the highest concentration in the center of the region with slightly less response from the Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover/Ashland next. Outer reaches of Powhatan, Goochland and eastern Hanover, southern Chesterfield and New Kent counties also drew responses. More than three-fourths of the respondents primarily travel by car, a combined 18 percent bike or walk, and 5 percent use transit.
A very similar group of respondents participated in this survey as the previous one. The highest by age were in the 30-39 age bracket closely followed by those over 60. Race and ethnicity of the respondents were not as representative of the region’s population composition with 83 percent of the respondents identifying as “White Caucasian”, six (6) percent as “Black or African American” and only four (4) percent as “Hispanic or Latino”. In sum, the representation of respondents to this survey indicates a need to broaden opportunities in the future through our partners for greater, more representative participation both demographically and geographically.
More than one-half of those who participated either learned of the survey through social media or had the survey recommended by a friend of colleague. Indicating previous knowledge of the ConnectRVA 2045 planning effort, 35 percent of the respondents received an email directly from the RRTPO, serve on a committee or have been following the plan development. A very high percentage (88%) of the respondents reported being familiar with The Pulse BRT. Knowledge of PlanRVA, the RRTPO and the ConnectRVA 2045 planning effort was reported by more than one-half of the respondents. The Central Virginia Transportation Authority (CVTA) and the Fall Line Trail--both relatively new to the conversation--were also recognizable by more than half of the respondents.
Reflecting the relative weight indicated by “what matters most?”, the response to the question “How should the money be spent?” indicated the following order of priority based on an average amount of $100 to be allocated:
Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure $19.30
Transit Network Expansion $17.51
Highway Maintenance $16.98
Passenger Rail Service $16.38
Transit Frequency $14.08
Highway Expansion $ 7.13
Freight $ 5.03
Unaccounted $ 3.59
Many good suggestions were made about Public Engagement for the next round of public input which will be strongly considered once opportunities for direct public engagement are opened up, including meeting directly with stakeholders and those affected, attending festivals and farmers markets, and council or supervisor district meetings.