HNTB Corporation, infrastructure experts and the Number 1 consultant to Departments of Transportation around the world, has published its yearly America THINKS Survey for 2012. This latest survey shows an uptick in the public’s interest in infrastructure investment and support for more tolls to help pay for it. With the national elections right around the corner, transportation issues seem to be very much on the minds of voters with nearly 87% of survey respondents agreeing that transportation funding is a public investment worth making. HNTB says that, historically, the results of many local transportation-related election issues pass more than 73% of the time.
The findings are published as the America THINKS Highways Fact Sheet, and part of the focus is on how the nation’s highways and interstate system issues impact likely voters in this year’s elections. Of respondents who intend to vote, 22% say that infrastructure issues will be extremely influential on who they vote for; 45% say they will be somewhat influential; 27% say not very influential; and 7% say not at all influential.
When asked how they would most prefer the country acquire the funding to pay for interstate infrastructure projects, a clear majority (61%) chose using tolls to raise the money, even if it meant raising them. The option of a miles-driven user fee got 23% of the vote and the third option, increased federal gas taxes, received 16% of the votes.
Respondents overwhelmingly thought that it was extremely (42%) or somewhat (47%) important for the federal government to fund the maintenance and improvement of interstate highways. Somewhat unimportant came in at 8% and 3% of respondents thought that funding coming from the federal government is extremely unimportant.
The America THINKS survey polled a random nationwide sample of 1,024 participants
aged 18 and over, solicited through an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.