Tennessee DOT public survey shows generally positive views

News AASHTO Journal November 02, 2006
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The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) recently made public the results of a customer satisfaction survey it conducted in July, with the goals of assessing TDOT's overall performance and identifying transportation priorities--short-term and long-term--for the department. The survey was mailed to 6,000 Tennesseans, of who more than 2,000 responded--with largely positive responses.

Gov. Phil Bredesen said the survey results show the department has done a "tremendous" job "building better relationships with the public, along with building some of the best roadways in the nation."

The TDOT Customer Service Satisfaction Survey identified several key strengths for the department and key areas that the citizens and lawmakers felt the department needs to focus on moving forward.

Based on the results of the survey, the following four issues were the top priorities identified by both residents and elected officials for TDOT attention over the next two years: repairing or maintaining existing highways and keeping road surfaces in good condition; improving visibility of striping by night and in wet weather; improving roadway surface drainage during storms; and relieving congestion in urban areas.

Other priorities identified include improving lighting at highway interchanges in urban areas, developing dedicated lanes for trucks and additional passing lanes on highways, adding shoulders to highways that do not have them, and increasing the availability of non-highway modes of transportation.

Among responses to the survey's questions:

• 72% of residents surveyed and 84% of public officials polled said they were satisfied with TDOT maintenance on Interstates. Dissatisfaction in that area was expressed by 8% of residents polled and 4% of public officials;

• A majority of respondents said TDOT is moving in the right direction, and a majority indicated that they trust TDOT officials to make good decisions;

• 31% of residents polled and 49% of public officials surveyed thought funding for transportation in Tennessee should be increased. Such funding should be reduced, according to 3% of residents and 1% of public officials surveyed; and

• More than 70% of residents and elected officials thought that TDOT is doing a good job of addressing environmental considerations when planning and building transportation projects.

"Everyone knows TDOT builds great roadways, but we also want to build great relationships with the communities we serve," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "I am pleased to see that the citizens have recognized and appreciate our efforts to be a more community-oriented agency."

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