Improved Transit top Issue: VitalSigns survey

In the Vancouver Foundation's annual public survey report, improved transportation topped homelessness as an issue of concern for Greater Vancouver residents.

The survey asks citizens to grade their perceptions of how the city and region is faring in several different areas. The first survey, in 2006, only included Vancouver residents, but the last two years have seen the survey carried out to other parts of the GVRD.

When asked: "What is the single most important issue you would like to see addressed to improve the overall quality of life in Metro Vancouver?", nearly half the respondents replied that improving transportation is of greatest concern. I at first assumed that meant road infrastructure, but according to the report, I'm thankfully wrong:

Transportation is still the top concern. While there is applause for new initiatives that are addressing transit needs, demand continues to be strong for increased service, more affordable public transit and other initiatives that would improve our ability to get around the region.

A followup piece in the Vancouver Courier adds that current census figures back up this concern:
"Based on the 2006 census of those of us getting to school or work, 75 per cent use cars, 17 per cent use public transit, six per cent walk and two per cent use bikes".

In the actual transportation portion of the survey, the top identified priorities were improving public transit, followed by improving cycling infrastructure. There is no doubt cycling needs improvement: while there are plenty of bike routes in the city now, steps now need to be taken to make them more bike-friendly.

Also interesting was that, when asked to give an example of a specific item that has improved the quality of life in metro Vancouver over the last year, 55% of respondents didn't give anything.

Of those that could give an answer, transit improvements topped the list at 15%, three times the number that mentioned the upcoming Olympics.

You can download a pdf of the full report here.