Survey results demonstrate traffic and congestion are top of mind for Portlanders



Survey results demonstrate traffic and congestion are top of mind for Portlanders

Traffic and congestion are a top concern for Portland residents. Fully 56 percent say congestion is the biggest problem getting from one place to another in the city, followed by another 11 percent who say the biggest problem is uncertainty about how long it will take to get someplace by car. Combined, fully two-in-three (67 percent) offered a congestion/traffic-related response.





 

City of Portland Residents and Transportation Issues Survey

Survey conducted by Erik Iverson and Robin Kreger, Moore Information

Traffic and congestion are a top concern for Portland residents. No other transportation issue even comes close. See infographic for survey highlights.

  • Traffic/congestion is the leading top-of-mind response (for 27 percent) when asked the most important transportation-related issue facing people in Portland today, along with many other traffic/road related responses – including “highway traffic” (7 percent) and “highway/road widening/more lanes” (5 percent).
  • Fully 56 percent say congestion is the biggest problem getting from one place to another in the city, followed by another 11 percent who say the biggest problem is uncertainty about how long it will take to get someplace by car. Combined, fully two-in-three (67 percent) offered a congestion/traffic-related response.
  • There is nearly universal agreement that traffic congestion is a “major” problem (80 percent) or “minor” problem (17 percent).
  • Congestion has changed the travel behavior of 80 percent of residents, with the leading change being the time they are traveling (for 38 percent).
  • Sixty-two percent of residents say the length of time they spend commuting has changed over the last three years, with the overwhelming majority (91 percent) of commutes getting longer – including 52 percent who say their commute is “significantly” longer now than three years ago.
 
When it comes to projects that could have a “major” impact addressing transportation problems, the top projects are all car/road/parking related.

Furthermore, after hearing all 11 potential projects, 42 percent of residents say, “widen or improve existing roads and highways” would be their priority to receive transportation funding.
  • Nearly eight-in-ten (79 percent) say it is more important to maintain existing capacity for cars rather than removing car lanes to make way for more bike lanes (17 percent).
  • Eighty-two percent of residents are using their own car more than once a week/daily to get from one place to another in the city, compared to biking (20 percent), MAX (13 percent), bus (15 percent) and carpool (16 percent). Another 56 percent are walking more than once a week/daily to get from one place to another in the city.
  • Two-in-three (67 percent) residents are commuting to work or school, with 60 percent commuting five days a week. Among commuters, 25 percent are going downtown and 68 percent are going elsewhere, with fully 71 percent using their own car to get there.
 
Outer East residents are similar to residents in other parts of the city in many ways, including their concern with traffic/congestion.
  • However, on the whole, Outer East residents are more strongly committed to their car use and maintaining car capacity on roads.
  • Outer East residents are far less likely to see “using cars less often” as having an impact, are among the most likely to want more parking, and are also among the least likely to want more or different MAX/bus lines/bike ways.
  • Further proof of Outer East car dependence, these residents are among the most likely to say they never walk, bike, MAX or take the bus.

Executive summary (pdf)
Survey results (pdf)



Methodology. The results in this memo come from a Moore Information telephone survey conducted July 13-16, 2017. A total of 400 telephone interviews were conducted among a representative sample of city of Portland adult residents age 18 and older, with an oversample in zip codes 97236 and 97266 to reach N=100 interviews in the Outer East area. Interviews were conducted using live interviewers among both landline and cell phones. The sampling error is plus or minus 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for N=400 and plus or minus 10 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for N=100.