2016 bay area council poll: housing, traffic issues dominate
Results from the 2016 Bay Area Council Poll began rolling out this week with some disconcerting views from residents around the region about how to address the Bay Area housing shortage and growing traffic.
On housing, 60 percent of residents say it should be built outside the region, with 84 percent saying they support stronger transportation networks between the Bay Area, Sacramento and other areas in the Central Valley to take pressure off regional housing supply.
“This is an understandable reaction to decades of failing to keep pace even minimally with the Bay Area’s housing needs and the transportation to support it,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “There’s now an entrenched misperception that our region doesn’t have the capacity to add the housing we need. What’s unfortunate is that pushing housing outside the region still doesn’t solve the problem of supply and affordability in the Bay Area. It simply means that fewer working families and workers in lower-income jobs can afford to live here. It hurts the diversity of our region and our economy. It also means workers are commuting longer and longer distances in their cars, which pushes up damaging carbon emissions.”
On traffic, a staggering 83 percent of residents now believe it will never improve. The frustration is reflected in the more than tripling of residents, from 6 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2016, who say the region’s badly congested highways and crowded mass transit systems are making it much harder to get around.