Poll: Congestion Pricing Down, Bloomberg Steady

A new Quinnipiac poll shows that opposition to congestion pricing among New Yorkers has grown, but mainly because most respondents think they’re also going to have a transit fare hike. According to the release, “New Yorkers will go along IF income from congestion pricing is used to prevent an increase in transit fares.”

Also: Ray Kelly’s approval numbers are down to 55-30 from 62-25 in August, even as rumors continue of a mayoral run. And Bloomberg’s ratings are holding steady, and high.

FOR RELEASE: NOVEMBER 19, 2007

OPPOSITION TO CONGESTION PRICING GROWS,
QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY NEW YORK CITY POLL FINDS;
KELLY APPROVAL FALLS AFTER ‘HAIRBRUSH’ SHOOTING

Spurred by a defection among Manhattan voters and the growing likelihood of transit fare hikes, opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan has grown to 61 – 33 percent among New York City voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Even contrarian Manhattan voters, who supported congestion pricing 54 –36 percent August 30, now are split, with 46 percent supporting it and 47 percent opposed.
Overall opposition has grown from 52 – 41 percent July 26 to 57 – 36 percent August 30.
New York City voters would support congestion pricing 53 – 41 percent if that prevents a hike in mass transit fares, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
But only 28 percent of voters say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that congestion pricing fees will prevent a fare hike, while 67 percent say it is “not too likely” or “not likely at all.”
In this latest survey, voters in the other boroughs oppose congestion pricing:
• 65 – 29 percent in Queens;
• 63 – 31 percent in Brooklyn;
• 70 – 24 percent in The Bronx;
• 63 – 34 percent in Staten Island.
Men oppose congestion pricing 58 – 37 percent while women oppose it 63 – 30 percent.
A total of 87 percent of New York City voters say traffic congestion is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem.
“Is traffic congestion a big problem? Almost all New Yorkers say yes. Is congestion pricing the answer? Almost two-thirds say no,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But New Yorkers will go along IF income from congestion pricing is used to prevent an increase in transit fares.”
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Quinnipiac University Poll/November 19, 2007 – page 2
“It will be interesting to see if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority takes this into account when it votes on possible fare increases,” Carroll added.
“Big problem: New Yorkers don’t trust the MTA. Two thirds doubt that, whatever is promised, the money really will keep transit fares from rising. More than half want an MTA guarantee to hold fares down for a specific length of time.”
New York City voters say 54 – 42 percent that congestion pricing would unfairly tax people who live outside Manhattan.
On other questions related to congestion pricing, New York City voters say:
• 49 – 42 percent that the city could devise and easy way to collect congestion pricing fees;
• 53 – 36 percent that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should promise not to raise
fares for a specified period if congestion pricing is approved.
Kelly, Bloomberg Approval
New York City voters approve 55 – 30 percent of the job Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is doing, down from 62 – 25 percent in an August 29 Quinnipiac University poll. Black voters disapprove 47 – 42 percent, compared to 49 – 38 percent approval August 29. Kelly’s highest approval was 70 – 16 percent February 3, 2006. His lowest score was 52 – 34 percent January 16, 2007, eight weeks after the Sean Bell shooting.
Mayor Bloomberg gets a 71 – 21 percent approval rating, compared to 70 – 21 percent August 29. Bloomberg’s approval has topped 70 percent in 11 of 12 polls since November 17, 2005, with one poll showing a 69 percent approval.
Approval ratings for other New York City leaders are:
• 40 – 19 percent for Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, with 40 percent undecided;
• 45 – 15 percent for Comptroller Thompson, with 41 percent undecided;
• 46 – 16 percent for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 37 percent undecided.
“Police Commissioner Kelly’s approval, especially among black voters, drops after police shot a man who claimed he had a gun, but only had a hairbrush. The question is will Kelly bounce back as he did after the Sean Bell shooting,” Carroll said.
From November 13 – 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,007 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research.
For more data — http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.