Survey shows Texans want more transportation funding

Effective traffic signals, more lanes among suggested improvements

SAN ANTONIOA new survey released by the Texas Transportation Institute shows that a majority of Texans favor more transportation funding.

Nearly two-thirds of the 5,000 people surveyed said they support increasing funding statewide for transportation. A large majority also support more funding for public transportation.

In San Antonio, 85 percent of respondents said they deal with congestion on a regular basis, but only a small portion are willing to do anything to alleviate the problem such as carpooling, utilizing alternative modes of transportation or changing their work hours.

Sid Martinez, director of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, said that reality makes his job extremely difficult.

"Although they are in favor of other modes of transportation (and) they want us to plan for that multimodal transportation system, they want other people to try those alternatives," Martinez said. "It takes a certain threshold of congestion for people to figure out that (they) need to do something differently. Until it affects them personally on a daily basis -- and it truly affects how they get around and their commute time to a point they can no longer take it, they decide they have to do something differently."

Ninety percent of respondents said their car is their primary source of transportation. 

Phil Chain is in the other 9 percent. Chain traded in his car about a year ago and moved downtown. He now relies heavily on public transportation. He supports more funding but said throwing money at the problem, including toll roads, won't solve every issue.

"They've been fighting with the toll thing for 10 years now for (Highway) 281 and (Loop) 1604," Chain said. "It's made more problems in that area (than a solution)."

When asked to pick from a list of 15 ways to improve transportation in Texas, a majority of those surveyed in San Antonio said they support making traffic signals more effective, adding more lanes to highways and clearing accidents faster.

With the city's population growing and an inability for state leaders to find a solution, drivers like Julio Barrientos said they'll just have to continue to deal with the congestion.

"I come from California, so traffic is worse out there," he said.

To see the full report along with a summary for each of the state's regions click here.