Summary Results of MetroQuest Survey
None of the survey questions were mandatory and individuals could choose to skip questions if they chose to. Respondents could only answer a question one time. Several questions asked respondents to select multiple answers (e.g., select top three priorities), thus resulting in larger numbers of answers. In this summary, the total number of respondents per question is recorded in parenthesis and frequency of answers provided as a percentage of total respondents for that question.
- Approximately 43% of respondents (1,133) indicated that I-85 currently serves as their primary route between Gaston, York and Mecklenburg Counties; approximately 26% of respondents identified Wilkinson Boulevard as their primary route.
- Most respondents (1,093) indicated that they travel across the Catawba River daily (38%), with another 30% indicating that they travel across the river a few times a week. Approximately 15% of respondents indicated that they travel across the Catawba River more than twice a day.
- 66% of respondents (1,033) indicated that they felt they must travel “out of their way” to reach one of the Catawba River bridges.
- 82% of respondents (1,024) indicated that congestion slows their travel between Gaston, York and Mecklenburg counties by more than ten minutes (Chart 1).
Chart 1. “Does traffic congestion slow your travel between Gaston, Mecklenburg and York
The top three conditions which contribute to congestion identified by respondents (2,934) were too few alternate routes (24%), population growth (22%), and too many cars (19%).Chart 1. “Does traffic congestion slow your travel between Gaston, Mecklenburg and York counties? How many extra minutes does congestion add to your trip on average?”
- When asked whether trips were reliable – that is you generally know how long it will take to travel between the three counties – respondents (1,063) were split with approximately 49% answering yes and 51% answering no. However, when asked if their trips are reasonable, approximately 32% of respondents (1,058) answered yes and 68% answered no.
- The top three transportation needs selected by respondents (2,941; Chart 2) were:
- Infrastructure for current and future planned growth (24%)
- Transportation options / alternative routes (23%)
- Connectivity, e.g., improve the transportation network (22%)
Chart 2. “The following transportation needs have been identified for this project. Please select the three that are most important to you.”
- The top three active transportation needs selected by respondents (2,386) were:
- Accommodate commuter / long distance use (29%)
- Safety (21%)
- Neighborhood connections (14%)
- One hundred twenty-seven (127) respondents entered 152 “other” transportation needs into an open comment field. These responses were categorized into common themes (explained in more detail below). The top three common themes were:
- Transit (17%) and Public Transportation (7%)
- Public comment tended to identify the need for rail-based transit specifically, i.e., commuter rail, light rail.
- Another 7% of responses indicated a need for “public transportation” more generally, which was interpreted to include bus service as well.
- Taken together, transit and public transportation represented 24% of “other transportation need” expressed by respondents.
- Improve Existing (22%)
- This theme covers three distinct public sentiments:
- improve existing instead of pursuing the Catawba Crossings,
- improve existing before pursuing Catawba Crossings, and
- ensure the Catawba Crossings Project includes necessary improvements to existing facilities to ensure safe and efficient traffic operations.
- Alternate Route (7%)
- An alternate route is needed to ease congestion and increase access.
- Environment / Conservation (7%)
- The Project needs to take into consideration the natural and human environment and seek opportunities to further local conservation / preservation efforts.
Chart 3. “How often would you use the Catawba Crossings as a primary route between Gaston, Mecklenburg and York counties if it were constructed?”
Respondents were given eight topics to assign importance to and were asked to allocate 20 points among them (Chart 4). A total of 18,950 points were allocated by respondents. The top three priorities were:
- Reduce traffic congestion (29% of points)
- Improve connectivity (15%)
- More reliable travel time (15%)
- Better access to jobs and amenities (11%)
Chart 4. “Several priorities are listed on this page. Please show us what’s important to you by allocating the 20 stars below to what you believe are the most critical priorities.”
Transportation Amenities & Design Considerations
Respondents were asked to rate their preference for design components and amenities within five categories: vehicular, bicycling, pedestrian, recreation access, and design / aesthetic. The following chart ranks the provided answers from most preferred to least:
Table 1. Summary of Design Preferences, MetroQuest Survey
Demographics and Location
The MetroQuest survey concluded with a series of optional questions about the respondent, including age, race or ethnicity, sex, and number of cars in a household. These results are summarized in Table 2 below. Respondents were also asked to provide a zip code to place the comment geographically and an email addresses to be added to the project distribution list.
Forty-three (43) unique zip codes were entered into the MetroQuest survey. Twenty-one (21) of the 43 zip codes were attributed to a single respondent each. The table below enumerates those zip codes with 10 or more respondents.
Table 2. MetroQuest Survey Respondents by Zip Code
Table 3. Summary of Demographic Information, MetroQuest Survey