A survey of 463 adults in New York, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania by the Gateway Program Development Corp. finds 45 percent of them rated the “Gateway Tunnel” and Portal North Bridge projects as the most “important” transportation priorities in the region, surpassing the next most popular priority by more than 15 percent.
The poll – conducted by SurveyMonkey July 11 through 13 – also found that national infrastructure spending is either “extremely important” or “very important” to 79 percent of the respondents, though they have “little faith” it will be realized before 2020.
“In this era of divided politics, one thing that unifies everyone is the need for better, more reliable, modern transportation,” said GPDC Chairman Jerry Zaro in statement on August 12. “That’s why we … are working so hard to get Gateway funded and built. It’s the most urgent infrastructure need in the region and the nation, and – when built – will be a statement that America can do great things again.”
Other findings from GPDC’s survey include:
- More than 70% percent of the survey’s respondents want the “Gateway Tunnel” project built now, with about half of those saying trim the cost as well and the other half saying “stop the arguing and build it.”
- Faster/better railroads and roads were the leading improvements respondents would make if they could “wave a magic wand,” cited by nearly 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
- Almost 60 percent think a national infrastructure plan is unlikely to be passed before the 2020 elections.
- Rail is considered the mode of transportation in the region “in the most urgent need of modernization” at 37 percent, followed by roads (28 percent) the “bridges & tunnels” (21 percent).
- Of those who take New Jersey Transit and/or Amtrak trains, well over half of respondents would switch to driving their car or riding the bus, take Port Authority Trans-Hudson or PATH trains, or use a ferry if one of the existing North River tunnel tubes closed – adding an even greater burden to traffic congestion in the region, GPDC said.