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2004-10-24
Washington, D.C. Only 19% Want More Wal-Marts.

A new nationwide survey released this month says that only 19% of Americans think their hometowns have too few "large discount or warehouse stores such as Wal-Mart." The survey, conducted for Smart Growth America and the National Association of Realtors by the Washington, D.C. firm of Belden Russonello & Stewart, interviewed 1,130 adults age 18 and older in August and September of 2004. The "2004 American Community Survey: National Survey on Communities" asked Americans what type of communities they want to live in and the policies they support for creating those communities. According to the researchers, the new survey reveals three main points: 1) Americans favor smart growth communities with shorter commute times, sidewalks, and places to walk, more than sprawling communities. 2) the length of their commute to work holds a dominant place in American's decisions about where to live. Americans place a high value on limiting their commute times, and they are more likely to see improved public transportation and changing patterns of housing development as the solution to longer commutes rather than increasing road capacities. 3) Americans want government and business to be investing in existing communities before putting resources into newer communities farther out from cities and older suburbs. The public's priorities for development include more housing for people with moderate and low incomes and slowing the rate of development of open space. Many Americans express the desire for more places to walk or bike in their communities. When respondents were asked, "Do you think there is too much, too little, or the right amount of each of the following in the area close to where you live?", when asked about "large discount or warehouse stores such as Wal-Mart," only 19% said there were "too little" of these superstores near them. Of the 12 categories of "what communities lack", Wal-Mart ranked the third lowest from the bottom. Only "housing for people with high incomes" and "new houses and apartments being built" ranked lower on the interest scale than Wal-Mart. At the top of the list was "housing people with low incomes" along with "public transportation within walking distance", "places to bike", and "shops or restaurants within walking distance of your house." The survey suggests that 4 out of 5 Americans now see that their communities have enough big box stores, and don't require more.

What you can do: For a copy of the 21 page study, "2004 American Community Study", call 202-822-6090, or email: brs@brspoll.com. Or, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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