For the sixth-straight year, residents of 13 metro Atlanta counties say transportation is their top concern, a new survey shows.

Metro Atlanta's top concern? Duh

Transportation remains the top concern of metro Atlanta residents, a survey released Friday shows. 

Some 28 percent of those surveyed said transportation is the region’s biggest problem, according to results from the 2019 Metro Atlanta Speaks Survey released by the Atlanta Regional Commission. It’s the sixth-straight year that transportation has been residents’ top concern. 

That’s just one of the transportation-related findings from the survey of 5,450 people from 13 metro counties. One in four respondents said they frequently lack transportation to get where they need to go. And nearly half said expanding public transportation is the best long-term solution to the problem. 

Nearly half (46 percent) of residents said they were willing to pay higher taxes to pay for a transit expansion that includes buses and rail. That’s down slightly from 50 percent last year.

The ARC released the results at its “State of the Region” breakfast Friday. Other survey highlights: 

*Residents’ second-biggest concern was crime, which was cited as the top problem facing the region by 18.3 percent of those surveyed. Other top concerns included public education (9.7 percent), human services (8.7 percent) and taxes (7.6 percent). 

*Just 7 percent of those surveyed listed the economy as the biggest problem facing the region. That’s down from 24 percent in 2013, when the Great Recession was still fresh in many residents’ minds. 

*Affordable housing is a concern for many residents. Nearly half (46 percent) said that if they had to move today, they could not afford to stay in their communities. More than half (57 percent) said older homes in their communities are being replaced by new, more expensive homes. And 68 percent live in areas experiencing “property flipping,” in which homes are remodeled to be sold or rented at higher prices. 

*If faced with a $400 emergency expense, one in four respondents said they would have to borrow money, sell or pawn something or would be unable to pay right now. 

Ginneh Baugh, an associate vice president at the United Way of Greater Atlanta, said the survey “helps us gain a closer understanding of experiences of the region’s residents on a number of issues that are vital to our future.” 

The survey results are statistically valid for each of the 13 counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percent for the entire region and plus or minus 3.8 percent to 7 percent for individual jurisdictions. 

You can read more results at www.atlantaregional.org/metroatlantaspeaks.

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...
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