Congestion remains the top issue for metro Atlanta residents, according to an Atlanta Regional Commission survey. AJC File Photo.

Metro Atlantans still say gridlock is region’s top issue

Traffic is again the top issue on the minds of metro Atlanta residents, according to a closely-watched annual survey released Friday.

A quarter of residents in 13 metro counties and the city of Atlanta said transportation is the region’s biggest issue, followed by concerns about crime (23 percent), the economy (12 percent) and public schools (12 percent), according to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Metro Atlanta Speaks survey.

The survey polled 5,416 people, with statistically significant tallies in 13 metro counties, plus the city of Atlanta. The poll is conducted the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research at Kennesaw State University and it is the largest survey of its kind in the greater Atlanta area, according to the ARC.

Ninety-two percent said transit was “very important” or at least “somewhat important” to the region, while more than four-in-10 said expanding transit is the best way to fix congestion. About one-third said expanding roads and bridges would do more to help unclog roads.

RELATED: A new list of metro Atlanta's 10 most terrible traffic hotspots

ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker said people in the region “see [transit] as the best option for increasing mobility and it has been for three years now.”

The poll doesn’t offer fixes to regional issues, but rather provides a barometer for policy makers that can be coupled with the ARC’s economic and demographic data and research.

Respondents’ concerns about crime saw the biggest gain in the survey, climbing to 23 percent from 17 percent in 2015.

Crime was rated the No.1 issue in Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties, as well as in the city of Atlanta, and tied for first in Fulton.

Nationally and throughout metro Atlanta, violent crime is down and has been at or near historic lows for years. The nation, however, has suffered a number of high-profile shootings.

Though crime ranked second, 65.4 percent of respondents said safety of residents in their community was good or excellent, up from 60.5 percent the year before.

To read more about the regional survey, visit our subscriber website, MyAJC.com.

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