Poll: Austinites See Transportation As Big Challenge, Mayor As Big Asset

June 20, 2016 by Kate Harrington

Austinites love their mayor, hate traffic, and are worried about housing, according to a poll commissioned by the Austin Monitor and sponsored by a number of Austin businesses, individuals, and organizations.


Of the 600 Austin voters who participated in the poll, 51% said they approve of Mayor Steve Adler’s job performance; 51% say that transportation is the worst thing about living in Austin; and 20% say that housing is the worst thing about living in Austin.

“Transportation and affordable housing are consistently part of the dialogue in Austin, especially as the city continues to grow, so it’s not a surprise that the poll reflected that concern,” says Will Schnier, CEO of engineering firm BIG RED DOG. BRD is one of the companies that sponsored the poll. “However, between reforming land use code and approaching city design with these challenges in mind, Austin can be a leader in tackling mobility and affordability – which are closely linked.”


Respondents were split on their approval for City Council as a whole, with 40% saying they approve of the job Council is doing, and 43% saying they disapprove. Part of the dissatisfaction with Council might come from their handling of businesses: 41% of those who responded say they think Council puts too many regulations on businesses. Jim Williams, who was in charge of the poll, told the Austin Monitor that it was generally younger respondents – perhaps those who used companies like Uber and Lyft – that felt Council is too heavy handed with regulations.

“Normally on a question like that, the older you are, the more likely you are to be like ‘government needs to get off my back,’ and young people are usually less concerned about stuff like that,” Williams told the Austin Monitor. “But in this case, the youngest-age cohort is actually the most likely to say that they think there are too many regulations, and I think that’s a direct result of the ride-sharing issue.”

At the same time, 54% of those polled say they support the rejection of Proposition 1, the vote that made Austin’s proposed regulations permanent and prompted Uber and Lyft to suspend services.

The poll was conducted from June 3-5 by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina, and has a margin of error of 4%.

The poll’s sponsors included BIG RED DOG, Buie & Co., Austin Music People, Perry Lorenz, David Armbrust, Richard Suttle, the Workers Defense Project and the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.