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Americans: Smart Growth Approach to Transportation Helps Build Communities

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RISMEDIA, February 27, 2009-An overwhelming majority of Americans believe restoring existing roads and bridges and expanding transportation options should take precedence over building new roads, according to a survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and Transportation for America.

The 2009 Growth and Transportation Survey describes what Americans think about how their communities are handling development and how the transportation needs of communities can best be met.

“Realtors® build communities and know how important an organized transportation structure is in supporting neighborhood growth,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “A well planned investment in transportation will help create more livable and vibrant communities.”

To accommodate future U.S. population growth, which is expected to increase by 100 million by 2050, Americans favor improving intercity rail and transit, walking and biking over building new highways. When asked what the federal government’s top priority should be for 2009 transportation funding, half of all respondents recommended maintaining and repairing roads and bridges, while nearly one third said “expanding and improving bus, rail, and other public transportation.” Only 16% said “expanding and improving roads, highways, freeways and bridges.”

When asked about approaches to addressing traffic, 47% preferred improving public transportation, 25% chose building communities that encourage people not to drive, and 20% preferred building new roads. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed believe the federal government is not devoting enough attention to trains and light rail systems, and three out of four favor improving intercity rail and transit.

The 2009 Growth and Transportation Survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates, January 5-7. Hart Research Associates telephoned 1,005 adults living in the U.S. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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