Treasure Valley Survey Shows Growing Anxiety Over Growth, Demand For Public Transit

Oct 19, 2017

Treasure Valley residents are approaching a consensus when it comes to mass transportation options: 73.9 percent say they want more ways to get around. That's according to the latest survey from Boise State, and it represents a 7 percent increase over last year.

Justin Vaughn wrote the report, and says the shift is notable.

"Now we're looking at something like three-quarters of respondents across the entire Treasure Valley say that they want more mass transit options," says Vaughn. "And that's true whether you're in the City of Boise or in Boise County."

The survey asked 1,000 people between September 5-8 in Ada, Canyon, Boise, Gem and Owyhee Counties. Vaughn says the mass transit question was repeated this year to show change over time, along with markers about quality of life (91.6 percent of respondents said their life in the Treasure Valley is "good" or "excellent.").

But Vaughn says one area where respondents showed dissatisfaction was in the growth of the region. Almost 55 percent noted they think the Treasure Valley is growing too fast, which is an increase of more than 10 percentage points over 2016. But he says this could be a case where the public's perception of a problem is the bigger issue.

"What I would say to people in the economic development business is not that the valley is in fact growing too fast," Vaughn says, "but there's a perception that civic and economic leaders ought to be addressing so that people understand the extent to which leadership in the valley is planning for smart growth, the benefits of economic growth, the ways that harmful economic growth are being mitigated, and so on."

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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