Taken together, 18% are concerned with transportation issues such as roads, potholes, infrastructure, an additional bridge, public transportation, and traffic.
|The framing on transportation may serve advertisers most|
The survey found residents consider homelessness and poverty to be the top issues they think Salem's elected officials should address (33 percent), followed by transportation issues such as roads, infrastructure, potholes and adding an additional bridge across the Willamette River (18 percent).Both formulas are misleading, and the SJ's especially so.
The additional bridge share is 4% as "most important," not 18%. The figure of 18% came from 7% + 4% + 4% + 3%, the sum of:
- Roads, potholes, infrastructure
- Additional bridge
- Public Transportation
- Traffic Congestion
And "fix it first" is a value meaningfully different from "solve traffic congestion." To conflate them and add them together conceals more than it reveals. Sure, both involve "transportation issues," but they have different valences.
It is also interesting to compare results to previous years:
|"Most Important" in 2017|
|"Most Important" in 2016|
|Truly, it's not this easy to walk and bike in Salem in 2018|
83% of people say it's easy to walk and bike in Salem?
Maybe walking, but not biking.
More specifically, the "very easy" response was 40% in 2016, 34% in 2017, and 54% in 2018. Really? What in Salem has changed an accounted for a 20% positive swing from 2017 to 2018? That's got to be noise.
|Census data on commute to work, 2017|
Those numbers are difficult to square with an 83% satisfaction rating.
Either the 83% figure is wrong, or the question is so vague and anodyne that it isn't getting a useful response. At a minimum it should be split into parts: When did you last walk, when did you last bike, how easy was it to walk, how easy was it to bike?
Survey writers could probably zero in on more specific critique. Overall it does not seem specific and rigorous enough to discern real problems, real successes, and real values and priorities. It is too superficial and prone to back-patting or complaint.