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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

April 29, 2004

Survey finds budget, traffic are top regional concerns

Full report (pdf)

Sacramento Region residents are fretting more than ever about crowded roadways, with 67 percent saying traffic congestion is a big problem, according to a survey by researchers at California State University, Sacramento. That’s up from 58 percent who called traffic a big problem last year.

The survey also found 56 percent of residents would vote for a measure to increase their sales tax by a half-cent to fund transportation projects in their county. And fully 55 percent say voters should decide how to deal with regional issues, rather than local government (26 percent) or state government (8 percent).

The findings are from the third “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region,” conducted by CSUS sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 30 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The only issue cited more frequently than traffic as being a “big problem” was local government budget deficits (68 percent). Among other major issues the survey asked about, 50 percent say lack of affordable housing is a big problem, 46 percent cite the quality of public education, 46 percent cite affordable health care, 43 percent cite air pollution, 40 percent cite urban sprawl and 23 percent cite the economy.

By county, 67 percent in El Dorado call traffic a big problem and 49 percent would support a half cent sales tax for transportation projects; in Placer 66 percent cite traffic and 51 percent would support a tax hike; in Sacramento 69 percent cite traffic and 57 percent would support a tax hike; and in Yolo 48 percent cite traffic and 65 percent would support a tax hike.

Other findings from the survey:

  • There are divisions about regional identity, with 44 percent of Sacramento County residents saying they feel part of a larger region, as opposed to 21 percent in Yolo, 17 percent in Placer and 13 percent in El Dorado.
  • Sixty percent believe things are going in the right direction, and most are satisfied with their quality of life (85 percent).
  • The majority (73 percent) would prefer living in single-family housing close to work. About half (48 percent) would prefer living in single-family housing in the suburbs even with a long commute, and 43 percent would prefer living in single-family housing close to parks. Only a third (34 percent) would prefer living in multi-story or multi-family housing close to shops, schools and mass transit.
  • Residents are divided about how they think the state should deal with its budget deficit. But if spending cuts were made, 46 percent say they should be made to corrections, such as prisons. Just 11 percent favor cuts in public health and welfare, 8 percent to higher education and 2 percent to K-12 education.

The survey included 1,003 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who were interviewed from Feb. 7 to March 2. The margin of error is 3 percent.

The full report is available from the news release at Amy Liu may be contacted at (916) 278-7572. Additional media assistance is available from the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •