In theory, anyway, according to a poll taken by County Judge Robert Eckels. Eckels is no big fan of rail, but even when he tried to push the anti-rail viewpoint, the support was there:
The poll shows that 66 percent of Harris County voters support a regional light rail system, compared with 26 percent who oppose one.
The strongest proponents are those who live inside Loop 610, employed women and men under age 50.
More informative is Eckels' attempt to test the strength of rail support.
Even after respondents were told that a rail system would be financed with money dedicated to roads and freeways, 52 percent supported rail compared to 40 percent who opposed it.
The rail survey has its flaws. Respondents included residents from throughout the county, a larger group than those inside the smaller Metro service area.
But Eckels is right when he concludes from the poll that "there is support for rail because there is frustration with our traffic congestion."
"People want a solution, and they are willing to look at rail as a real option," Eckels said.
One thing that should be noted is that public transportation, in particular light rail, has support across the ideological spectrum. Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation is a big booster of light rail, for example. Given that the opposition to rail here is going to come almost exclusively from the right wing, perhaps proponents here ought to consider enlisting someone like Weyrich to help counter that.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 25, 2002 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack