Several days ago we published the results of a transportation survey detailing Marin residents’ views on SMART and the potential impact it will have on traffic and transit center users in downtown San Rafael. You can find these initial results here.
Next we wanted to focus on the attitudes and responses of people stating that they voted for SMART – or Measure Q – to see if there has been a shift as the reality of SMART has emerged.
34% Respondents Voted For SMART
As of the time of writing responses were as follows:
- 476 people took the survey
- 163 of those respondents stated that they had voted in favor of SMART (Measure Q) when it passed in 2008
SMART supporter’s locations reflected those of respondents as a whole, with the majority – about 70% in both cases – living in San Rafael:
The Big Revelation – Voters Have Turned Against SMART
The big surprise is that of those respondents who said they had voted for SMART in 2008, 50% either believe SMART is no longer a worthwhile project or answered “don’t knonw”. Specifically 28% said they no longer thought the project was worthwhile and 20% answered “don’t know”. This is a truly remarkable figure representing a significant reversal of support for SMART.
Only 50% of those who voted for the train now believe the project is still worthwhile. This compares to a figure of 21% of all respondents believe SMART is still worthwhile. So whichever lens is used SMART is barely deemed a worthwhile project.
SMART Supporters Prioritization of SMART and San Rafael Traffic Congestion
When SMART Measure Q Supporters were asked about traffic congestion in downtown San Rafael the leading answer remained “Traffic congestion is unacceptable, fixing this is a higher priority than SMART” with 38%. By comparison, for all respondents 60% selected this answer.
Of SMART Measure Q voters 36% either considered SMART a higher priority than fixing unacceptable traffic congestion or said that SMART would help traffic congestion.
By comparison, when all respondents were considered, not just Measure Q supporters, only 18% either considered SMART a higher priority than fixing unacceptable traffic congestion or said that SMART would help traffic congestion.
Will SMART Relieve Traffic Congestion?
Measure Q supporters split almost evenly on whether SMART would relieve traffic congestion:
- 42% or 69 respondents said SMART would relieve traffic congestion
- 43% or 70 respondents disagreed, saying SMART would not relieve traffic congestion
By comparison of all survey respondents:
- 21% or 98 respondents said SMART would relieve traffic congestion
- 71% or 334 respondents disagreed, saying SMART would not relieve traffic congestion
Will SMART Help Fight Climate Change
Of SMART Measure Q supporters:
- 52% or 86 respondents believe SMART will help fight climate change
- 27% or 44 respondents believe SMART will not help fight climate change
This compares to all respondents where:
- 25% or 120 respondents agreed SMART will help fight climate change
- 61% or 288 respondents disagree saying SMART will not help fight climate change
Is SMART a Well Managed Project?
Of Measure Q SMART supporters:
- 33% or 54 respondents believe SMART is a well managed project
- But more – 38% or 62 respondents disagree, saying SMART is not a well managed project
This is remarkable – of those who supported SMART originally fewer than half now agree that SMART is a well managed project! This should be ringing alarm bells for SMART board members – even those who originally supported the measure do not feel what they voted for is being well managed.
Should San Rafael Delay SMART’s Extension to Larkspur
SMART has the funding to extend the initial Santa Rosa to San Rafael segment to Larkspur but no detailed analysis has been performed of the impact on traffic congestion, and it may be wise for the city to delay allowing such disruption until SMART can demonstrate it can generate ridership with the initial operating segment. This initial segment is projected by SMART to carry 3,000 daily riders; the extension to SMART is projected to only add 131 additional riders.
There have been some claims that SMART will not generate sufficient ridership until it can connect with the Larkspur ferry but SMART’s own projections dispute such an assertion.
- 47% of Measure Q supporters say San Rafael should allow the train to be extended without performing traffic assessment or assessing ridership
- 18% of Measure Q supporters deem such analysis and assessment unnecessary
- 34% of Measure Q supporters state that such analysis and assessment should be performed first, even if it delays SMART
By comparison 70% of all respondents said that such analysis and assessment should be performed first, even if it delays SMART.