Transportation Gridlock and Energy Crisis Major Concerns for Bay Area

Booming Bay Area economy over last decade has resulted in major quality of life problems for San Francisco-area residents, poll shows.

Published: 03-Jan-2001

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 3, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In the highest numbers in the 20-year history of the Bay Area Poll, 43% of Bay Area residents named transportation the region's biggest problem. The responses were solicited in an unprompted, open-ended question that measures what is on people's minds.

"Transportation gridlock is compromising the economic viability of the Bay Area, despite significant programs to plan for and fund improvements in mobility," asserts Sunne Wright McPeak, President of the Bay Area Council. "The intensity of the response this year suggests a rapidly mounting frustration and impatience."

Energy Crisis A Question of Supply and Demand

Bay Area residents know the coming energy crisis is coming. For 72% of Bay Area residents, the cost of energy worsened in 2000. Of the respondents surveyed in November 2000, 72% thought it was very or somewhat likely that electricity supply shortages would occur in the Bay Area in the next 12 months, while only 8% felt it was not at all likely.

A majority of the Bay Area residents surveyed connected the shortages to a lack of capacity in energy generation, making a direct link between shortages and increasing demand in excess of supply. On the demand side, 86% of the residents thought that the rapid growth of businesses in the new economy that use large amounts of electricity contributed either some or a great deal to the electrical supply shortage. Of those surveyed, 74% thought the lack of new or additional power plants in the region contributed some or a great deal to the energy shortages.

As a result of the perceived cause, 59% of the people surveyed encouraged greater consumer energy conservation, with 37% also supporting constructing additional power plants to increase capacity.

"Bay Area residents are knowledgeable consumers and voters. They understand the connection between energy generation and supply and demand," affirmed Sunne Wright McPeak, President of the Bay Area Council. "While the consumer may be able to conserve more, we will need to increase capacity through more energy generation to get us out of the crisis."

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