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Survey reveals support for tax

Two-thirds of voters in Nevada County would support a sales tax for road improvements and transportation safety, according to a recent poll taken for the county Transportation Commission.

Support for the measure rose when pollsters gave people more information about the issues, with 72 percent saying they would vote for a tax if the election were today.

However, transportation issues ranked second to worries about drug abuse and affordable housing, according to the poll results released Monday.



Among transportation issues, the same voters’ top concerns were potholes, with 78 percent of respondents saying that’s where they would want their money to go. Other top priorities were highway safety (65 percent) and resurfacing roadways (63 percent), survey results showed.

People polled said they are aggravated by traffic congestion but that wasn’t as high a priority for where they would like to see their tax dollars spent. About 54 percent said the tax money should be spent relieving congestion.




Of those polled, 47 percent said they worried about the amount of traffic of local streets and highways. Another 41 percent said they were concerned with growth and development.

The news brought generally encouraging results to county transportation planners, who hope that voters will approve a half-cent sales tax to help fund specific transportation projects.

Officials weighing whether to put the measure on the ballot are keen to raise money locally to help fund an interchange on the Golden Center Freeway at Dorsey Drive. That would relieve traffic at congested intersections on Brunswick Road and at the intersection of Idaho-Maryland Road and East Main Street.

Grass Valley Mayor Gerard Tassone has said the California Department of Transportation would be more disposed toward granting money for the project if it sees some local financial support.

However, poll results show the interchange is the third-ranked improvement in the minds of voters in western Nevada County. They placed more importance on the widening of Highway 49 from Combie Road to Grass Valley and improving the Idaho-Maryland/East Main intersection.

Voters polled in Truckee wanted to see the Mousehole underpass widened on southbound Highway 89 and a tunnel built under the train tracks there for pedestrian and cycle traffic.

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To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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