Nearly a third of Virginians say that traffic and transportation is one of the state's top two issues, and nearly the same number say that traffic in their part of the state has gotten worse in the last five years, according to the latest Washington Post poll.
Not surprisingly, perceptions about the severity of traffic problems vary across the state. Wide majorities in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads consider traffic a problem, as do a majority of Richmond area residents. But in the southwestern corner of the state, traffic is seen as less of a problem (check out more on these differences in the excellent graphic from Sunday's Commuter Page).
But more than four in 10 in each region of the state say traffic has gotten worse in the last five years, including nearly three-quarters in Northern Virginia and two-thirds in Hampton Roads and Richmond. Moreover, the issue appears likely to impact the upcoming General Assembly elections.
Twenty-two percent of likely voters say transportation is the top issue facing the state right now, placing it ahead of the economy, immigration, health care and taxes, and 70 percent say it will be either "extremely" or "very" important to their votes this November.
Few feel the state's new transportation funding plan provides adequate funding for fixing the problems, 56 percent of likely voters say the plan spends "too little" on transportation projects.
On that point, voters statewide agree. In Northern Virginia as in the rest of the state, about a quarter say the funding plan spends the right amount while a majority says it spends too little.
Q: From what you've heard or read, do you believe the state's new transportation funding plan spends too little, too much or the right amount of money on transportation projects?
Results among likely voters:
Northern Rest of
All Virginia State
Too little 56 57 55
Too much 14 9 16
Right amount 23 25 22
Never heard of it (VOL) 3 5 3
No opinion 4 4 4
Full question wording and methodology can be found here.