A survey designed to gauge interest in raising taxes to add lanes to the local highway network found out something interesting.
Besides the fact that most people STRONGLY opposed the new proposed taxes, 26% of survey respondents say they telecommute! Somehow that came as a surprise to people even though California is one of the more “techno savvy” states as state populations go.
The poll revealed that the percentage of local residents opposed to any tax increase grew from 27 percent in 2004 to 38 percent in 2007; 30 percent “strongly oppose” paying to add carpool lanes to Highway 1, while 16 percent “strongly oppose” paying for train service connecting to Amtrak and CalTrain. A successful tax measure would require a two-thirds vote for approval.
Hidden in the rubble, the poll also found something remarkably positive, something extraordinary, something largely overlooked and unreported. While roughly 12 percent of respondents said they ride the bus, 13 percent carpool, and 13 percent ride a bike, a full 26 percent responded that they telecommute. The question about telecommuting wasn’t even asked in the 2004 survey.
The author of the article, an “environmental policy consultant” suggested that a concerted effort at promoting telework in the state could significantly ease congestion, reduce pollution, conserve energy and everything an environmental consultant gets paid to promote.
Still, that’s an amazing trend.
It’s much more likely people will be willing to telecommute than tax themselves for projects that they don’t believe will really benefit them.