We’re launching a new feature to gauge our members’ opinions on an important regional topic.

This month, in our first members-only non-scientific survey, we asked about state Sen. Christine Kehoe’s Senate Bill 468, which originally would have required the completion of other transit projects before the widening of I-5. That changed as of yesterday. (Full text of the bill.)

We asked:

Caltrans and SANDAG have proposed the widening of I-5. Should it be postponed until other transit projects are completed, as Sen. Christine Kehoe has proposed?

The results are strongly in favor of her proposal, though a number of people responded that they wanted to leave a qualified “maybe” instead of “yes” or “no.” We’ll add that in future surveys.

Survey results graphic: No 33.1%, yes 64.3%, no response 2.5%

If you’d like to participate in this regular survey, there’s an easy way to do that: become a supporting member of voiceofsandiego.org. If you are already a member and didn’t get the survey, contact Summer Polacek, summer.polacek@voiceofsandiego.org, and we’ll make sure you’re included in the future.

Select comments from those who voted “yes”:

• “Caltrans has paved enough of North County. With gas at $4.75/gallon, it’s time to put our money into public transit.” —Barbara Davenport

• “Widening I-5 encourages congestion and does nothing to move the region away from its dominance on the automobile (and, as a result, the production of greenhouse gases). A more progressive approach would be to use the funds on public transit, put workforce housing (including affordable housing) near transit stations and provide incentives for people to get out of their cars. Widening I-5 is a disincentive to reducing greenhouse gas.” —Doris Payne-Camp

• “Right now, we are crying out for a better public transit system with prices people can afford. And every time SANDAG and the county supervisors get a chance to vote on how to spend transportation funds, they spend them on roads and freeways. How will we ever improve accessibility to business, work, school, etc., if we cannot vastly increase public transportation options?” —Joni Halpern

Select comments from those who voted “no”:

• “Reducing traffic congestion is more important than more mass transit.” —Dan Larsen

• “As far as the widening of 5 — of course the sooner the better. It is already bad and getting worse. I like Kehoe but she really sounds like a politician in this one — ‘let’s study the issue further.’” —Linda Sturak

• “Why wait on a solution that benefits 99% for one that benefits 1%? Okay, my numbers might not pass fact check but you get the idea.” —Ronald Osborne

• “With Orange County widened, San Diego’s and LA’s stretches of I-5 remain the last choke-points. As much as I support rail improvements, holding other infrastructure projects hostage isn’t the right answer — we could be left with neither!” —David Rogers

• “The I-5 corridor is unquestionable. Unless we change human nature, we will need to have these travel paths. After hunting birds and animals all over the world, nature follows its own path. The I-5 corridor was followed by the Jesuit Priests, who followed the cattle.” —Lyle LaRosh

• “The choke-point on the I-5 is dangerous, wastes fuel and wastes time.” —Charles Langley

Other comments:

• “Ways to reduce the current I-5 problems — relocate the oceanfront to Hawaii, move the MEX border to the tip of Cabo, declare, by gov’t fiat, that the mountains are an optical illusion, require all trucks and buses use the Phoenix-Vegas bypass to LA, or declare I-5 as a 20-lane bicycle path with frequent Denny’s and hostels. I’m sure the sage ‘intellects’ on the SD City Council/County Board will support these moves.” —Tom Hand

• “They should widen I-5, but only to create a dedicated bus lane. People have wanted a mass transit system from downtown to North County for years, but the discussion mostly centers on rail. Instead, they should buy a fleet of electric buses that regularly go up and down the 5 in a bus-only lane. Build a few more park-and-rides at each exit and you would have a cheap mass transit system that is eco-friendly and that can be implemented in relatively little time.” —Emilio Torres

• “Our present usage of transportation corridors is limited by the competency/incompetency of the drivers and their ability to react in an emergency. So we have to maintain a safe distance between cars. Technology is being devised that can be installed in vehicles, and imbedded in the roadways, that will automatically control the speed and direction of vehicles. When that technology is available and in use it will double or triple the number of vehicles on any given area of a freeway, and reduce the need to build more highways.” —John Meyers

Items quoted here may have been lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos).

Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: grant@voiceofsandiego.org or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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